Not surprisingly, we’re still thinking about our Portland adventure. On one of our epic afternoon jaunts (I think we covered the whole city at least three times on foot) we stumbled upon Merriweather’s Restaurant. It instantly became a recommendation on our site, because what we thought would be simply a charming local eatery turned out to be a force of local cuisine, supplying their kitchen from their own farm. Now it’s not news that locally sourced food is a popular thing, but it is inspiring how commonplace it is becoming, when it’s something that seemed so unusual just a handful of years ago.
Of course Portland isn’t the only city that gets in on the locally grown fun. Here in San Francisco garden-supply store Plant’It Earth grows hydroponic basil which becomes lunch at nearby cafe, Mojo. The Mission district’s Stable Cafe sources its ingredients from local farms and suppliers. And there are countless other examples where those came from.
So why are we talking about it on a vacation rental blog? Well, local food connects you to the heart of a place. It’s one thing to slide into a booth at a national chain and order something you’ve had a million times. But it is a different thing entirely to eat (and live) like a local. The soil and water that grow the salad on your plate are part of the land around you. And the essence of a place is felt more easily when you use all your senses to capture it.
It’s one thing to get a room at a national hotel but another entirely to spend your time in a local home, wandering the local neighborhoods, pretending just for a while that you live there. While there’s nothing at all wrong with hotels (heck, we like them, too!), it’s a different experience to inhabit rather than just visit.
Getting a little esoteric here, aren’t we? Sorry about that. But this is why we do what we do — because we believe that throwing yourself into the tastes and smells and culture of a place is a the best way to experience it. it’s the difference between looking at a postcard and walking through a town square.
Everyone knows Sonoma is cool, but spending your trip in a hip, urban, and decidedly local home in Petaluma’s ultra-cool warehouse district opens you up to a side of the area you might not otherwise see. And staying in a classic Haight Ashbury flat is different than just reading about the Summer of Love.
We’re here, and we hope you are too, to experience everything we can. To run headlong into new cities and learn what it’s like to actually live there, rather than just reading what’s printed on the flyleaf of the guidebook.
Until next time,