Tag Archives: Eugene

Goings On in Pictures (and some words) – Part II

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s good. Because I don’t have a thousand words. I have a ton of pictures. And zero words. Well, some words.

Things have been happening here after moving to the Pacific Northwest.  We’ve been…

running around the beaches in Florence,

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biking all over Eugene,
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hiking all over Eugene,the-state-of-things-part-deux-9 the-state-of-things-part-deux-10 the-state-of-things-part-deux-11 the-state-of-things-part-deux-12 the-state-of-things-part-deux-13 the-state-of-things-part-deux-14 the-state-of-things-part-deux-15

and eating, always eating the good vegan foods.

Vegan Chinese from Lotus Garden: Battered veggie beef deep-fried, broccoli, carrot in sweet & spicy sauce, the-state-of-things-part-deux-16

and veggie pot stickers. the-state-of-things-part-deux-17

Neal’s specialty: homemade BBQ tofu with a side of broccoli and curly fries.the-state-of-things-part-deux-18 the-state-of-things-part-deux-19

Asparagus bowl with creamy avocado dressing, olive tapenade and a jungle juice (I think) from Laughing Planetthe-state-of-things-part-deux-20

And food from one of my favorite places in Eugene, Cornbread Cafe. A vegan omelette with sausage, biscuits and home fries.

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Strawberry crepes with tempeh bacon and home fries.the-state-of-things-part-deux-22

For the next post, there will be words. At least more words. Probably the same amount of pictures give or take. Sound good?

 

How to Prepare for a DIY Cross-Country Move

3500 miles of changing weather and landscapes, too many dog farts to count, and far too much packing and unpacking shenanigans later…we made it! We traded sunny Atlanta for the damp lushness of Eugene, Oregon. As I type this, I am looking at moss-covered trees blanketed in fog. And I kinda like it. A lot.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

Getting here was not easy. It’s not the norm that people just up and move to a place across the country on what *seems* like a whim. Up until this point, I let my job dictate where I live. This time I decided to choose where I live. Because as the youngins say YOLO*!

Seriously though, this kind of untraditional way of moving is super scary. But isn’t anything that’s not the norm scary? Ultimately, this is not a tutorial. Everybody is different and has different needs and financial situations. In this post, I’m gonna share with you some things we did along the way to help us “pull off” a DIY move across the country. Keep in mind that some of these steps are over a very looooong period of time.

How We Prepared for a Cross-Country Move

1. We saved money. This has given me peace of mind and I know that it will act as a security blanket if we need it.

2. Made sure we had dat cash-money flow from a geographically independent source. Think freelancing (Neal) and telecommuting (me). This required Neal to work nearly up to the day we started packing our stuff.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

3. Spent time researching cities to live (helpful sites that we used here and here). Narrowed it down and took a trip out to scope places to live. We got extremely lucky and found a house to rent on our trip out. I think this is partly due to the fact that our move was during an atypical time to move (winter!). Could we have gotten a place to live without traveling out here? Probably. But I felt better having seen the hood and the actual inside of the house.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

4. Set a moving date. We had already built a good rapport with our Atlanta rental company. As such, we were able to break our lease without too much cray-cray.

5. Rented relocubes to pack our stuff and have it transported. This was the cheapest moving option we found. They pick up the packed cubes when you call them and deliver them to your new location. They’ll even send out an extra cube if you ask in case your stuff spilleth over and they won’t charge ya if you don’t use it.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

6. Packed and purged. This one is self-explanatory eh?

We got large cardboard boxes from a retail store for free (craigslist and me are BFFs). These were great because they were all uniform sizes which made packing the cube easier! Grocery stores are also a great source of free boxes, you just have to ask. We got smaller sized boxes from the Atlanta co-op to fill in small spaces in our packing cube.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

The kitchen was the hardest to pack. Yet it was also one of the last rooms to get packed because food. Nearly every non-refrigerated good was brought with us.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

I learned to adapt to the constant transitory state of our house during the days leading up to packing the relocubes. Things got ugly for a few days.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

We had to be okay with sleeping on the floor for a night as well.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

We packed our cubes in ONE day. Had I a chance to do it over again, I would have given ourselves at least two days. It’s challenging and time-consuming to fill in those cubes because we wanted to occupy every inch. This involves some serious tetris skills.

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

7. Did our walk-through with our Atlanta place and then hit the road (road post forthcoming)!

After living in Atlanta for so long, we had established some wonderful friendships and had family nearby. So somewhere between #4 and #7 we made sure to find time to say goodbye. The ease of our move was certainly not possible without the extreme generosity and continued support of friends and family.

I don’t think I could have asked for a better moving experience. But if had to do it all over again,  I would trade places with this guy in a heartbeat…

Atlanta to Eugene- Luminous Vegans

Happy Holidays!

 

*YOLO = You Only Live Once

TruVeg International Vegan Cuisine in Eugene, Oregon

I love that feeling I get when I happenstance on something wonderful when or where I least expect it. Like that time I found a crisp twenty-dollar bill in the back pocket of some jeans before I did the wash.

TruVeg Eugene, Oregon - Luminous Vegans

Or that time we were driving around Eugene exhausted from searching for a place to live and found a vegan food truck tucked into the parking lot of an auto mechanic shop. The owners of the TruVeg International Vegan Cuisine were some of the nicest folks I have ever met. Even though we were outside on a drizzly, cold day I felt like I was being warmly welcomed into someone’s home.

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The menu is 100% vegan and they also offer many raw dishes. I ordered the Bi Bim Bap which was sautéed carrot, onion, mushroom, spinach, and spring onion served over brown rice with their own spicy kochujung sauce.

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I had never had a Bi Bim Bap prior to this so I didn’t know what to expect. But I fell hard and fast for this dish. The combination and ratio of well cooked veggies was perfect and there was plenty of their spicy, flavorful sauce to coat every single bite. Shortly after this meal we drove up to Salem, Oregon and every twenty minutes or so I blurted out — gosh, my lunch was soooo good…I can’t stop thinking about it. That’s how delicious it was.

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Neal ordered the Singapore Noodles which was mung bean noodles with sautéed onion, carrot, mushrooms, spinach and spring onion seasoned with their special curry spice blend. While full of flavor and very delicious, it didn’t compare to my preciousss Bi Bim Bap bowl. Or perhaps I just wasn’t in a curry mood.

TruVeg Eugene, Oregon - Luminous Vegans

What I like about TruVeg, aside from the insanely delicious and filling meal I got from them, is their commitment to caring about people, animals and the environment. All their containers, bags and eating utensils were completely compostable.

TruVeg Eugene, Oregon - Luminous Vegans

What’s more is that when I talked to the owners they mentioned wanting to have a brick and mortar location. And it looks like that is slated to happen in January of 2014! It doesn’t matter to me if they are in a truck or in a building. I definitely plan to go back for the Bi Bam Bap bowl and to try other things on the menu.

Have you ever had a Bi Bam Bap bowl? What is your favorite vegan food truck?

Cornbread Cafe: Vegan Comfort Food in Eugene, Oregon

Eugene Oregon- Luminous Vegans

Back in early November we took a mini-trip to Eugene, Oregon (to find out why, keep reading). Cornbread Cafe was the first place we ate while there. This cozy, diner-like restaurant serves 100% vegan comfort food made in-house. Not only was the food and friendly staff amazing here, but Cornbread Cafe really makes an effort to keep things local and sustainable. You can read all about their mission here.

Cornbread Cafe Eugene -Luminous Vegans

Their menu is an indecisive person’s worst nightmare because there are so many tantalizing things to decide between from eggfu benedict to nachos and phish & chips.

Cornbread Cafe Eugene -Luminous Vegans

Since we went early on a Sunday morning, we selected dishes from the breakfast menu. Neal went with their Chik’n & Waffle – breaded and deep-fried seitan atop a large Belgian waffle served with country cashew gravy and maple/agave syrup.

Neal says it was THE best vegan chick’n and waffles he has ever had. The gravy was rich and savory and was perfectly complemented by the sweet syrup. And the seitan was the right kind of fried- moist on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Cornbread Cafe Eugene -Luminous Vegans

I went with the build-your-own-omelette served with home fries and a fluffy white biscuit. The omelette comes with Daiya cheese and a choice of 3 items to stuff it with. I chose to get mine stuffed with spinach, mushrooms and salsa.

I don’t know how they did it, but they have created the most eggy vegan omelette that I’ve ever tasted. Every bite was full of flavor. And most importantly, it was nice and moist. Nobody wants a dry omelette. I don’t think I could make an omelette at home that even comes close to how lovely this was.

Cornbread Cafe Eugene -Luminous Vegans

I so wish that I could have tried more dishes but we were only there for a short time. Luckily I’ll be able to eat there as much as I want in several weeks because we’re moving to Eugene!

We’ve been dreaming and scheming about moving to the Pacific Northwest for a looong time. So when we saw our friends Kenn and Jeanette pull it off, we were inspired to finally go for it ourselves. The trip in November was our scopin’-out-places-let’s-make-this-happen trip.

We were able to secure a place to live and come the end of this week, we’ll be loading up the car and driving from Atlanta to Eugene. If it sounds cray-cray, I assure you it is. But I’m excited (and nervous, scared, anxious, etc.) about our new adventure! And I can’t wait to have another one of those omelettes…

What is your favorite vegan comfort food?