life on pine

August 2016

where to eat and drink in porto, portugal

Kate ParrishComment

our first stop in portugal was a small-ish town in the north, porto. we arrived in the evening and immediately went to our airbnb which was about 10 minutes from the square. the city has a very clean and efficient public transit system so we were totally fine with our location. we dropped our bags, showered and were on our way to explore porto by night. immediately the city just felt awesome. warm weather, narrow cobble stone streets, fun vibes pouring out into the streets and the beautiful mix of old architecture – i was so happy. we popped into a super grungy but awesome taverna to try the local francesinha. it's worth tasting, but i recommend splitting it with someone unless you love cheese and meat. we popped around a few bars afterwards and got a good feel for the city within just one night. 

even though we're on a pretty tight budget, eating out in porto felt pretty affordable. small bites and drinks are cheap and filling [we're talking no more than €5 a person]. in addition to the francesinha, we tried to taste all of the local delights: sardines, bacalhau [cod fish croquettes], caldo verde soup,  sandes de pernil [pork sandwiches], port wine, sparkling rosé – and so much more. we will list out everything on the travel guide soon, but a few of our immediate favorites are below. 

CITY: porto, portugal
HOW WE GO THERE: train from galicia, spain [2.5 hours]
WHERE WE STAYEDairbnb private room 
COST: € 39/night  
: 3 nights

EAT || taxca ||  casa guedes || mercearia flores || fish @ any of the waterfront spots in matosinhos || 
DRINK || combi coffee truck || casinha cafe || port tasting @ taylor's || era uma vez no porto
SLEEP || if you choose not to do airbnb, my ribeira or the white box house are both very cool spots || 


travel pitstop: galicia, spain

Kate Parrish2 Comments

when we were researching flights from berlin to portugal, we noticed it was actually much cheaper to fly to spain and take the train south over the border. kyle ended up finding a cool little surf town not too far from the airport, so we ended up booking one night at this airbnb // surf hostel. after a bus and a bus and a taxi to get there, we realized this might not have been that easy of a "pit stop" en route to portugal. but regardless, i'm so happy we ended up here. when we got settled in, it was clear arteixo wasn't on the usual backpacker trail which is always a fun experience.

after our first day we were already asking fernando, the awesome owner of the hostel / surf camp, if we could stay for another night. luckily he had availability. the town was so cozy and cute with a very strong community vibe. fernando brought us fresh bread in the morning and let us use his surf and SUP boards plus wetsuits at the pristine beach a block away. the waves weren't big enough to surf while we were there, but kp was sold on the potential when the conditions are right. the local restaurants were cheap, delicious and overall just felt home-y. we indulged in the local galician delight – pulpo – aka octopus, sipped 1 euro glasses of wine, and tuned in for the olympics (en español!) on our first evening. the next day was spent beachside again followed by cooking dinner in our cute little kitchen.

we also stopped by costa da morte surf club, another surf hostel up the hill where they offer "surfing, SUPing and skating". we hung out on their lawn while drinking beer, chatting with locals and other visitors while watching the guys take turns on the halfpipe. i think i would have liked to stay here a little bit longer ... 


schnitzel spaetzle and schöneberg

Kate Parrish2 Comments

our next few days were spent exploring the whole city. our friends are native west berliners and live in the awesome schöneberg neighborhood. it was really cool to see the city and its history through their action packed itinerary. we continued to do a mix of touristy, hipstery [sigh] but mostly local-y fun things. we had great weather [sunny and not too hot], tried so many different types of food, met up with another friend from TAO and saw her epic new apartment [the apartments in berlin are out of this world!], got the transit system down and wished for a bit more time in this fun city. 


  • YAAM beach club for drinks after a long bike ride
  • prinzessinnengarten biergarten: this urban garden also includes local food trucks, drinks and true biergarten vibe
  • roamers coffee and booze cafe [they have tasty food, too]
  • ORA bar right in oranienplatz (kreuzberg), inside an old pharmacy is a super cozy bar/restaurant. only basic cocktails are available before 6pm, after, the craft cocktail bartender arrives. the interior reminds me of this spot in austin! there are also a lot of other cool bars in this area if you have time to wander around 
  • thai park [preussen park]: homecooked thai food served farmers market style 
  • district moi saigon street food, fun for dinner. sit on the patio
  • 36 curry das original aus berlin : if german pork sausage and curry ketchup interests you


  • biking berlin: the city is flat and easy to navigate which makes it perfect for two wheels
  • kreuzberg neighborhood: very fun area to wander around
  • boat ride along the spree river [BYO alcohol if you can be somewhat discreet about it!]
  • 25 hours hotel: grab coffee, shop or have a cocktail at their monkey bar [overlooking the monkeys in the berlin zoo
  • tempelhof field the famous west berlin airfield has become the city’s biggest urban park, great to hang in the summer and see the history of the buildings
  • visit a proper kneipen: julian is local expert on some of the best in town. these german 'working man clubs' are somewhat of a dying breed, but hold so much history as some places have been open 50+ years and used to be the center gathering spot for each neighborhood. think, a dive bar, but better. the guys ended up at this one every night, an old favorite of david bowie's when he lived here

stay tuned for the full travel guide coming soon! 

welcome to berlin

Kate Parrish2 Comments

berlin has been on our list for a while now – after hearing stories from friends that have visited and meeting locals, i was so intrigued by the mix of history, old and new architecture, art, music, food, bier, nightlife and just overall "vibes" that i'd heard so many people rave about. neither of us had ever been to germany, and after meeting julian and coco on tao philippines, they offered to let us stay in their guest room the next time we were in europe. we decided to take them up on it! and i'm so happy we did. it was so fun to not only stay with locals, but to hear more about the city from their point of view, and get a true local's tour blended in with some of the research we had done on our own. 

we arrived on a thursday and dropped our bags before having a somewhat "touristy" day seeing a lot of the historic spots. before arriving we had heavily brushed up our research on the history of berlin and were enamored with learning everything we could about WWII, hitler, prussia, nazi germany, soviet communism, the wall and well... so much more. you can just feel the history walking through the streets, and we couldn't get enough.

some of our favorite stops in central berlin include:

later we went to our home for the weekend and had a delicious home cooked meal & caught up with our friends. we also spent the evening mapping out the rest of our visit – below are just a few photos from around the city. more to come!

the munken hut hike | lofoten islands, norway

Kate Parrish1 Comment

on our final day in lofoten we did the munken hut hike, as the trailhead was only a 20 minute walk from our hostel. the weather was weird that morning, so we packed a bag full of every item we might need - weather pending. what-was-thought-to-be a somewhat moderate hike turned out to be one of the hardest most uncomfortable hikes i've ever done. 

because of all the rain, the trail was extremely muddy and slippery. our shoes were wet and filled with mud within the first hour and i was falling what felt like every 5 minutes. the wind picked up, temperatures dropped, rain fell and mud continued to get more and more slippery as the mountain became more and more steep. after climbing and climbing, we finally ended up at the huts which had a family cozied up inside with a fire playing cards. we peered in the windows and they smiled and waved, but did not look like they were planning to invite us in. other people set up camp here, however we quickly turned around after snapping a few photos. as much as we wanted to sit and hang, the wind was quite brutal. 

this all being said, i would highly recommend this hike if weather permits. the scenery is really crazy (coastal views, multiple glacial lakes, jagged mountain peaks) and the challenging climb felt great on the legs. our experience was just pretty tough [though i'm happy we can at least say we did it]! and the views were of course, incredible. with better weather, it's easy to see why this hike is reviewed so highly amongst locals. 

across our 3 hikes in norway we trekked 19 miles total and climbed 7,400 feet. stair-master with views!

see our  full lofoten travel guide here


my hiking gear: long sleeve | shell | underneath [kids XL] | pantsbackpack | hiking boots hat | sports bra [my new favorite]