I visited Bend, Oregon last week, predominantly to visit my daughter, Rachel. Ever since she moved to Bend, she had been “asking” for a visitor. As you know fathers have a tough time saying no to their daughters. Hence, the visit.

We ate at a couple of excellent restaurants for dinner. First, Joolz, a Mediterranean style restaurant that improved on the concept of happy hour with their “Ecstasy Hour.” We ate tapas style until our bellies were close to exploding. It may not have been ecstasy, but it was darn good. Second, Barrio, a Latin inspired restaurant which is known for its paella. It did not disappoint. I had the house paella that came with chorizo and chicken. The chicken was so tender, it melted in my mouth. For our third dinner, we ate in, making homemade pizzas from a recipe that claimed to be the best way to have NY pizza at home. By the third pizza, we decided it was pretty good but nothing beats a NY pizza in NY!

We continued our epicurean tour of Bend with a couple of breakfast places, each quite good. First was Chow, where I had the “Eggs a la Caesar” which is an offshoot from the classic Eggs Benedict. It’s description is poached eggs, cheesy corn cake, roasted chilies, avocado, queso, chili hollandaise. How could I refuse? I didn’t. It was delicious though the coffee was quite ordinary. We also ate at The Sparrow Bakery which sported excellent coffee and really good croissants filled with all sorts of goodies. The bakery/restaurant is quite small so there is almost always a wait. Luckily, it was quite cold which kept the locals at home.

If you visit Bend, you must stop in one of the many local breweries, all sporting excellent, reasonably priced beer. Rachel and I eschewed any lunchtime foods to partake in these beers. Each was delicious, and I believe better for you than food. At least that is what the bartenders told me.

Finally, what’s a visit to a new location without taking some photos. I coerced Rachel to take me to Smith Rock State Park for a sunrise shoot. Although cold and cloudy, we made our way to the famous and beautiful Smith Rock.

It was so cloudy we never saw the sun. This makes for a good black & white opportunity.

After the bust of a sunrise, I convinced her to go back the next morning. This time there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Although better than the 100% cloud cover the morning before, it was not perfect. Yet, it yielded some nice shots.

Shot just before sunrise, during the golden hour. The alpen glow was beautiful.
The sun lit up the mountains beautifully.

It was a fantastic trip to Bend with great food, great beer, good photography, and most of all, a great time with Rachel. I can’t wait to do it again.

With all the food and beer I consumed you would think I gained a lot of weight – but, I lost three pounds. Moral? My new diet is to eat heartily and drink beer!

Remember, it’s all about the light.