8 Of The Best Surf Spots In Oregon

Oregon’s coasts are well known for surfing. If you’re a thrill seeker looking for surfing resorts off the shores of the state, then make sure you check out each resort and find out whether they have facilities that suit your level of skill and experience. Beginners should take heed. Surf spots are not built equally. Know your skill level.

Seaside Cove

Longboarders love to hang out on this cove where the rocks give way to the sandy shores during the low tide. Note to beginners: This is probably not for you. The beach terrain is good for intermediate and advanced surfers. Boulders make this place ridiculously challenging, even impossible, for newbies.

Indian Beach

Although you can see more kayakers and stand up paddle boarding on this beach, it’s still noted for its great surfing opportunities for all people with varying experience. Get to this venue via the Cannon Beach, heading north and coursing through the Ecola State Park. Mountains shelter this beach from the westerlies.

Short Sands

The surfing adventure depends on wind direction and swell. Start from either north or south end. This is more like a spot for beginners, so if you’re pretty much advanced, you may find beginners on surfboards distracting, maybe even annoying. It gets crowded in summer too. It’s 10 miles away from Cannon Beach.

Pacific City

This is a gorgeous beach where you can pick among several breaks. Along the south side of the cape is a reef peak where you may experience the west northwest swell, the area that’s good for beginners. Intermediate surfers may check out the peaks to the south. The beach breaks and currents may excite advanced thrill seekers. It’s not the safest spot though due to presence of sharks, speeding jet skis, and even swimmers.

Otter Rock

One of central Oregon’s popular surf spots for beginners is Otter Rock, but there are areas for intermediate and advanced surfers as well as longboarders. Like any other spots, it gets crowded during weekends and holidays.

Agate Beach

Awesome beach breaks lure surfers, new and old alike, to this paradise, which is on the south rim of Yaquina Head. A huge headland blocks the north wind. A disadvantage with surf spots like this one that cater to all types of surfers is the presence of untrained beginners, which make surfing a bit risky for adventurous enthusiasts.

Florence South Jetty

Strong currents favor only intermediate and advanced surfers. Huge winter swells attract water adventure buffs. The beach gets crowded though, and that can be a deal breaker. Watch out for the sharks, albeit threat is not severe.

Coos Bay

It’s a sandy cove along Bastendorff beach. Winds blow offshore in winter, and surfers may find that cool, but strong rips and sharks are to look out for.

Other spots to visit are Brookings, Hubbard Creek, and Port Orford.

image: By Visitor7 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

My Tips For Staying Healthy While Traveling

Traveling means leaving the comfort and convenience of home. You go to a different place where you’re unsure whether food preparations are good and water supply is clean. You’re prone to certain illnesses while traveling. You can also wind partying too much and neglecting your diet and fitness. So how do you stay fit and healthy whilst somewhere far from home?

Pack some healthy snacks.

Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you have to abandon your kitchen and all the healthy stuff in the cabinets. You can pack some of them to wherever you’re going. That way, you will still be able to healthy food while you’re away from home. Bring nuts, berries, diced fruits in a container, dark chocolate, and whole grain crackers.

Eat healthy.

Vacation is not an excuse for eating high-fat, sugary stuff no matter how delicious that ice cream looks…and those cookies. Well, occasional indulgences aren’t so bad, but you have to choose what food to eat and what to pick in restaurants or hotels when you’re not preparing your own food. Don’t be too carried away by local cuisine that you forget you’re supposed to be staying fit. Try it, but don’t binge.

If your hotel room has a kitchen, by all means do your own local grocery shopping and cook your own meals.

Stay fit.

You will be away from the gym, but that’s not an excuse for skipping on your fitness regimen. Running and even brisk walking are two activities that burn fat and keep you fit while away and on vacation. You just need a pair of good running shoes. For weight trainers, abandoning the gym could mean no muscle stimulation for sometime. But no! Learn body weight exercises, like pushups, pull-ups, mountain climbers, lunges, squats, and planks. These will keep your muscle tone while you’re away from the gym. You don’t need equipment for these exercises, so you have no excuse. You can get some good ideas for a whopping 50 body weight exercises you can do from this site.

Stretch!

If you’re on the train or bus or plane, and the travel takes several hours, you can do stretching every hour. Stand up and stretch! If you’re traveling by car, make hourly stops. Get off and do some stretching. That will keep your muscles from getting stiff and sore. You can even do some stretches in your airplane seat if you follow the tips on this site.

Bring a hand sanitizer.

It may be impossible to wash your hands while you’re traveling. A handy hand sanitizer or a bottle of rubbing alcohol should keep your hands clean and keep you from catching infectious diseases. When you aboard a plane or a train, you have no idea whom you’re getting in contact with. The handrails and grab bars can be contaminated with cold viruses. The last thing you want is to come home from a vacation and come down with an annoying cold. Always make your hands clean before handling food. If you can’t wash your hands, daub some sanitizer and rub it on your hands.

Get enough sleep.

Sleepless nights due to excessive partying can stress you out. Traveling is not an excuse for staying up late at night and getting insufficient sleep. You can even get good sleep on planes if you follow the sleep tips on this site. If you stay late every night while you’re on vacation, you would come back home listless and lethargic. You’re supposed to come back from your travel energized and rejuvenated.

Got A Spider Bite On Holiday In Turkey

When you go on holiday somewhere, even if it is not to a place that is new, you hope to come back home with some type of little souvenir or trinket to remember the good times you had while away. Often for me, I just end up with photos as I do not like to collect a lot of junk, but sometimes I will find some really cool local artwork that I take back home with me.

While in Turkey on holiday, I found lots of really interesting looking Turkish lamps that I would have loved to take back home and decorate with. The only reason that I did not buy them is that they are glass and I was afraid that the baggage handlers would not be gentle enough with my luggage to keep the items safe. And it would be heart breaking to get home and discover that the treasured Turkish lamps were nothing more than broken shards of glass.

But anyways, I did actually end up with a bit of something to take back home with me when leaving Turkey. It seems that while I was sleeping one night a spider decided to give me a proper bite on the arm. When I woke up that morning, there was an odd little mark on my arm that I just assumed was a dry patch or something as it had a similar shape to ringworm or a dry patch of skin. Fast forward to later in the day and it had started swelling up, making it obvious that I was bit my something. Now, I had seen a mosquito in the bathroom and wondered if that could be the culprit, but ruled that out since the bite was flat till later in the day.

And since I didn’t actually wake up when it happened, I can only assume that it was a spider. And after looking on the internet, I have narrowed it down to either the Mediterranean brown recluse or the Turkish jumping spider. At least that what I found on this site. The bite itches like mad and should last for a few weeks 🙁

I hate spiders 🙁

My Favorite Foods When Traveling This Summer

Recently I took a bit of a holiday that had me traveling to a few different countries and cities where I got to spend a lot of time sampling the local cuisine. There were some things that I absolutely loved and some that was just okay. Fortunately, I did not try anything that I absolutely hated so that was nice. Now, I want to recount some of my food adventures with you real quick.

Greece

I have been to Greece before, so it was no surprise that their food was some of the best of my entire trip. I do not know what it is, but the local Greek honey and olive oil is so much better than anything that you van buy in the grocery store. And the feta! oh, the feta! It is so tasty there.

Some of the things that I ate were baked chicken stuffed with olives and feta; grilled feta with olive oil, onions, tomatoes and green peppers; chicken souvlaki, feta in a pastry shell with honey, cinnamon and sesame seeds; greek salad; and pizza with prosciutto.

All really great meals there.

Turkey

In Turkey, I ate a lot of things that were basically grilled meats in different recipes. Everything from gyros to donners to shepherd stew to chicken kebabs. It was also really good to eat, with the low point being traditional Turkish coffee. What can I say? I just do not like the coffee grounds in the bottom of my cup. But I am a huge fan of traditional Turkish tea. I would drink that stuff all day long if I had access to it!

Scotland

A lot of the food here was really rich, but oh so tasty. I ate Scottish pancakes with fresh cream and strawberries for more than one meal. So decadent! I also had a really yummy steak and ale pie that was such great comfort food. More than once I had fish and chips, but from different places. The worst of them had all the little fish bones still in the filet which made eating it a real pain. Also got mushy peas with it once, which was interesting.

Scotland is also big on pulled pork sandwiches apparently, and I tried one of those. It smelled a lot better than it tasted, but it was not bad. Not as good as Memphis style BBQ in the South US, but still pretty decent and definitely something that I was surprised to find. I also tried a little meat pie thing that was kind of like a hot pocket with steak meat, gravy and spices inside. It was a tasty little treat, even if it was super high in calories!

Spain

Since I was in Spain the longest period, I got to try to most amount of different foods. I had so many tapas that I lost count! I had some really terrible jamon Iberico that put me off of it until a local convinced me that what I had tasted was not typical and I tried it again (better the second time). The little croquettes are probably my favorite of the tapas, but I also really like the fresh olives. Pretty much everything that I tried in terms of tapas was great. I even got pizza from a local place a few times and it was really good too! And since it was warm there, I tried a few frozen treats that were yummy, like granitas.

Ed Sheeran’s SING

A few years ago I randomly discovered Ed Sheeran on YouTube. At the time, he was not really known in the United States and you couldn’t even buy his debut album in the States. Of course, he had already seen some success in the United Kingdom and Europe at this point.

Ever since first discovering “The A Team” video on YouTube, I have been a big fan of everything that this guy does.

When I heard that he had a new album coming out, I was a little bit worried as a lot of singer songwriters have a great first album and then a really, really bad second one. That’s why they call it the sophomore jinx. And I was really worried that he would have it.

The first time that I heard the new single from the second album, I was a little iffy on it. It doesn’t really sound much like his style on the first album. And I really am not a fan of the bits where he sings real high like Pharrell. If I wanted that, then I would give a listen to “Happy” or the like.

But, after a few listens, I have come around on the new song. No, it is not the greatness that I’ve grown to love so much in “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” or “Give Me Love” – but it is still better than most of the crap that is out there. I have not yet had a chance to listen to much of the second album, so I have no idea what I actually think about his second album as a unit. I think that he is mad talented, so I just hope that the album is at least close to as good as the first one. While I’m remaining optimistic about it, I am also realistic enough to not actually expect it to be as great. Time will tell though.

If you have yet to hear the song, then you can check it out below in the live performance clip from The Ellen Show.

Overall, I have decided that I really enjoy the beat of this groovy little tune. It’s turning out to be a pretty good thing to listen to when I’m on the home rowing machine or pounding the pavement outside. Try it for your workouts and see if you don’t agree!

Madurodam

After a brief stay in Paris last June, we stayed for two nights in Amsterdam. It was some sort of a pit stop (along with Bremen after the Amsterdam stay) because our next destination, Copenhagen, was too long a drive directly from Paris. Too many films have been made about Amsterdam (especially ones with plots involving crazy dudes on some hash brownie misadventures) so I have decided instead to write about the less well-known miniature city near Amsterdam, Madurodam, located in Scheveningen, the Hague, the Netherlands.

in amsterdam, we stayed in the infamous bilderberg hotel, known in conspiracy theory circles as the first meeting place of the mysterious bilderberg group. at breakfast every morning, the husband would discuss things – the news, world economy, plans for the future – and would get a kick out of relaying these things to me in a hushed tone. “just in case somebody had planted a bug under our table.” i guess i should be grateful he had not resorted to writing things down on the table napkin, haha.

Madurodam is the smallest city in the Netherlands and is about an hour’s drive away from Amsterdam. It was a spontaneous decision to visit the city (right before we were to leave for Bremen) and one that we never regretted making. The kid, who’s into miniatures, enjoyed this visit very much.

Madurodam is made of miniature structures (at a 1:25 scale) of popular Dutch places and landmarks.  It’s a great way to see most of the Netherland’s interesting landmarks in one place!

This mini city has its own mayor despite having no actual constituents. In 1952, then teenaged princess Beatrix, became its appointed mayor. She later relinquished this title when she became Queen of the Netherlands in 1980.

To know more about Madurodam, visit their official website here.

Chicken & Avocado Soup

Whenever time is on my side I like to prepare themed dinners for my husband and myself. Nothing fancy, but themed nonetheless.

Like maybe Gambas al Ajillo paired with Tortilla de Patata for a Spanish night, or perhaps a Roka Salata and kebab for our Mediterranean cravings.

Usually the dishes that I choose are simple and utterly easy to prepare, but interesting enough to lure my husband to come home early (hee hee!). For a night last month, when avocados were abundant and in season, we had an El Mexicano flair.

Ramen Bar

My husband is such a ramen eater that whenever I ask him if there’s only one type of food he can eat over and over again, he’d always say, “ramen or sashimi.” Our go-to place used to be Ajisen Ramen along Libis and when it closed, no other nearby ramen restaurants could take its place in my husband’s book.

When we saw Ramen Bar inside Eastwood two weeks ago, we couldn’t contain our excitement and made plans to eat there right away. One-week after that, we’ve already eaten there a total of 4 times. Our ramen expert gave it two thumbs up. Ajisen, what?

So yeah, that happened.

Herb and Dorothy

He was a postal worker. She was a librarian. Modern art collecting meets frugality in Herb and Dorothy, a 2008 documentary about a retired couple based in New York who had proven that “you don’t have to be a Rockefeller to collect art.” Together they scrimped, saved and haggled with (then unknown) artists to collect over 4,000 pieces of art that later on became collectively worth millions of dollars.

I saw this documentary last year and instantly made a connection: they’re the Warren Buffetts of the contemporary art world — living simply since the 1960s (in a rented one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan) to be able to buy things that were undervalued and holding on to them — forever (they never sold a single piece). Even when the Vogels (as they are often referred to in the film) were granted an annuity by The National Gallery of Art for the temporary exhibit of their collection in the museum, they did not use the money for food and medicine (as the museum had hoped for) but rather for purchases of more artistic work by contemporary artists. How’s that for passion?

HERB & DOROTHY tells the extraordinary story of Herbert Vogel, a postal clerk, and Dorothy Vogel, a librarian, who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history with very modest means. In the early 1960s, when very little attention was paid to Minimalist and Conceptual Art, Herb and Dorothy Vogel quietly began purchasing the works of unknown artists. Devoting all of Herb’s salary to purchase art they liked, and living on Dorothy’s paycheck alone, they continued collecting artworks guided by two rules: the piece had to be affordable, and it had to be small enough to fit in their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. Within these limitations, they proved themselves curatorial visionaries; most of those they supported and befriended went on to become world-renowned artists including Sol LeWitt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Tuttle, Chuck Close, Robert Mangold, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Lynda Benglis, Pat Steir, Robert Barry, Lucio Pozzi, and Lawrence Weiner.

After thirty years of meticulous collecting and buying, the Vogels managed to accumulate over 2,000 pieces, filling every corner of their tiny one bedroom apartment. “Not even a toothpick could be squeezed into the apartment,” recalls Dorothy. In 1992, the Vogels decided to move their entire collection to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The vast majority of their collection was given as a gift to the institution. Many of the works they acquired appreciated so significantly over the years that their collection today is worth millions of dollars. Still, the Vogels never sold a single piece. Today Herb and Dorothy still live in the same apartment in New York with 19 turtles, lots of fish, and one cat. They’ve refilled it with piles of new art they’ve acquired.

HERB & DOROTHY is directed by first time filmmaker Megumi Sasaki. The film received the Golden Starfish Award for the Best Documentary Film and Audience Award from the 2008 Hamptons International Film Festival. It has also received Audience Awards from the 2008 SILVERDOCS Film Festival and the 2009 Philadelphia Cinefest. Palm Springs International Film Festival named HERB & DOROTHY one of their “Best of Fest” films in 2009.

from: http://www.herbanddorothy.com

Herb and Dorothy teaches us a beautiful lesson: not-so-ideal circumstances are no match for passion.

The footage in the documentary’s ending credits is a bit of an easter egg (or so I think). It shows Herb and Dorothy going to an Apple Store, picking out a Mac and bringing it home. The ending of the ending credits? Dorothy checking out her brand new Mac, sitting in the same place where the Vogels have a new and growing art collection. A-ha.

Windows fans need not make a comment.

Tips To Get Rid of Mosquitoes The Natural Way

With dengue on the rise here in the Philippines, everyone is naturally concerned with getting rid of mosquitoes in their homes. There is no permanent way to eliminate mosquitoes but there are several ways to minimize the proliferation of these pesky bloodsuckers. We here at Oodles do not encourage the use of commercial mosquito repellents containing the harmful chemical DEET.

And don’t even get us started on ‘fogging’ (the use of insecticides and pesticides via machines that distribute them in a smoke-like fog). Fogging is okay if a. you can afford it, b. you only want a VERY temporary respite from mosquitoes (it’s just for a party, they can come back the next day) and c. you don’t mind the chemicals contaminating your lawn (oh look, it’s a mutant grasshopper!).

Unless a completely safe ultra-effective commercial repellent is invented, keep these tips in mind to keep the mosquitoes at bay:

1. Stagnant Water – Out!

Stagnant water in ponds, fountains and clogged gutters in your property may serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes. Make sure these are drained of all standing water. If you can’t absolutely part with those pretty zen water fountains in the corner of your lawn, make sure to change its water daily. Goldfish and guppies eat mosquito eggs and larvae so it’s also a good idea to put them in your pond. Check if there are basins, pails, pots and pans filled with water around your house. These too can harbor mosquito eggs and larva.

2. Citronella Grass

Citronella grass is an effective mosquito repellent. Mosquitoes do not like the scent given off by citronella grass. My mom swears by this – she learned this from a neighbor who planted citronella in her garden and noted that during an outdoor evening party, there were hardly any mosquitoes in the neighbor’s property. Citronella grass is different from lemongrass by the way. Although they belong to the same family and look identical (with lemongrass purportedly having the same anti-mosquito property as citronella), lemongrass or tanglad is the one that is usually used for cooking while citronella grass is used for medicinal/aromatherapy purposes. Here’s how to tell them apart.

3. Citronella Oil

As with citronella grass, mosquitoes are also naturally repelled by citronella oil. Make sure you buy citronella essential oil and not fragrance oil (which is synthetic). My son goes to a school surrounded by plenty of trees and shrubs so I dab a few drops of citronella oil on his legs and arms as well as on his school uniform before he leaves the house. We buy our citronella oil from a small stall called The Citronella Co. in the 6th level of Shangri-la Mall and Ilog Maria citronella with propolis (available at Ilog Maria’s online shop and at Echo Store). A cost effective way of making citronella spray: 10 drops of citronella oil in 100 ml pure grain alcohol (100 proof vodka will do) + 8 tbsp distilled water. Let stand for 2 weeks until the oil has blended with the alcohol and water.

4. Cedar Wood

Cedar wood is primarily used to drive cloth-eating moths away from the clothes in your closet but it has the ability to get rid of other insects, mosquitoes included. Mothballs are made of naphthalene and can be toxic, causing serious illness or even death when inhaled in substantial amounts. If you have pets and small children in your house, it is wise to use cedar wood instead of mothballs in your cabinets and in areas around your house where you don’t want those mosquitoes flying around. I bought a few 6-inch block of cedar wood (cut into 3 parts) for P200+ from Make Room last year but I suspect True Value branches may carry them as well (let me know if they do).

5. Pepper Pellets

From Manila Bulletin Aug, 20, 2010 article: “The government might eventually end up giving out pepper pellets, not for condiments but as a means of decimating dengue-bearing mosquitoes.” According to researches done by the PCHRD (Philippine Council for Health Research and Development), pepper pellets placed in water can kill mosquito larva. I wonder if this means that fresh pepper has the same effect and if it is only harmful to mosquitoes (meaning it’s safe for the fishes happily swimming in your backyard pond).

6. Electric Bug Zappers

Bug zappers work on the premise that mosquitoes are attracted by the flourescent or ultraviolet light inside the gadget. Some believe it’s not a very effective way to eliminate mosquitoes as biting insects are attracted more by the carbon dioxide exhaled by people and pets than by the light/heat emanating from the bulbs inside bug zappers. Which means that bug zappers work if you let them do their job away from people and pets. It makes sense to stay away from mosquito-attracting devices as insects could be attracted by these at first but could zero in on you once they sense food, a.k.a you, in the immediate vicinity. Open the bug zapper, get out of the room and close the door.

7. Incense Coils

Incense coils have been around for centuries and they seem to be effective in warding off pesky mosquitoes. I remember Katol of “lamowk seyguradong teypowk” fame at my lola’s house when I was a child and that we had to sit very close to the green burning coils (which were usually placed under the tables while we were eating) – they lose their effectiveness the farther you are away from them. I am not sure what those commercial anti-mosquito coils contain but somebody has found a way to make a Katol-like mosquito repellant using lanzones peels.

8. Fan and Mosquito Net

If all else fails, turn on the fan and use a mosquito net. Just make sure the mosquito isn’t inside with you when you tuck in the net at the sides of your bed.

Fun Trivia: A Taiwanese woman catches 4 million mosquitoes and wins a $3,000 cash prize.

Care to share any natural anti-mosquito tips you know of?