Vancouver, B.C.

One of my goals for 2017 is to travel more and invest in staycations. Last weekend, we decided to staycation in Canada and visit the lovely Vancouver, B.C. The focus of our weekend getaway was Brews & Views.

After arriving to Vancouver and eating lunch on Granville Public Island Market, we took in the downtown views and explored downtown, gastown, and yaletown. We then headed to “East Van” and started our first brew tour.

First stop, Strange Fellows Brewing. Serendipitously, this was the perfect start to our brew tour because they had sour beers (!!) and the bartender was super helpful in giving us tips for the rest of our tour! She came by our table, highlighted the stops to go and which ones we could likely skip (we had over 10 breweries on our list and only about 4 hours to accomplish our tour). As a big fan of sour beers, I would highly recommend Strange Fellows. Part of their brewery is also a small art gallery featuring a local artist.

Strange Fellows Brewing

2nd stop, Luppolo Brewing. Luppolo is Italian for hops, and their beer definitely lived up to its name. The beer was very hoppy and complex. If you’re into hops, this is definitely the stop for you. Tip for next time: place Luppolo towards the end of a brew tour, not at the beginning. I left slightly buzzed and was grateful for the walk to the next stop (thankfully, all of the breweries on our list were within walking distance from each other).

Luppolo Brewing

Callister Brewing is Canada’s first collaborative brewery. They pride themselves on being a craft brewery incubator where they feature and rotate taps of independent breweries. Callister had a vibe of innovation. With four breweries featured, there were so many brews to choose from! Also, great art work for sale on the walls.

Callister Brewing Co.

Next up, Doan’s Craft Brewing. A tiny space but what they lacked in size, they made up for in the depth and flavor of their beer. Their Rye Stout and Rye IPA – WOW. Even if you are not a fan of Rye beer, this place might convince you otherwise. Super solid stout and IPA. This place also had board games, which gives them even more brownie points.

Doan’s Craft Brewing Co.

Our last stop was highly anticipated since 2 of the breweries we visited that day both recommended Storm Brewing. Storm Brewing is Vancouver’s oldest independent brewery. How to describe Storm……..amazing. Storm is by far our favorite brewery we have ever been to, ever.

We had a hard time finding it at first because, like all of the other breweries, it was in a nondescript building. I finally noticed a hand written sign that said “Storm Brewing” followed by a hand written yelp review – “So sketchy, but GREAT BEER!” (which is the most accurate description of Storm – I can see why they chose to include this yelp review on their handwritten sign).

Once you find the building, you walk around to the rear entrance where you slide open an industrial sized door and immediately walk into what looks like your friend-who-makes-home-brews’ basement. No tables, no chairs, and definitely no decor – except for plastic rats everywhere.

You walk up to the brewers who hand you a plastic cup. The sign by their taps read “NO pints and flights, 6 samples per person, cash contribution in tip jar, one sample at a time, hold onto your cup, no repeats.” Um…AWESOME.

Armed with our plastic cup, we each tried 6 samples of their incredible beer. From their vanilla whiskey stout, to their rose IPA, to their apple pie ale (which tasted exactly like apple pie), to their blood orange creamsicle ale (which also tasted exactly like a blood orange creamsicle) to their imperial sour, we were blown away. Definitely some of the best – and unique – beer we have ever tasted. When we were done, we threw our cups into a large recycling bin, put our cash contribution in the tip jar, and left. No prices, no frills, and the best damn beer and brewery experience you will ever have. 10 points to Canada.

Storm Brewing

We couldn’t have planned our brew tour more perfectly. We started with good and ended with GREAT. Our next stop was a board game bar I found online. Storm Crow Tavern is every gamer’s must. Gaming was the focus from the decor to the server’s outfits to the menu. Eric rolled a D&D dice to determine his drink (very fun!), and we stayed long enough to play a game of cribbage. Storm Crow offers over 50 games. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we needed to rush to make happy hour at Rodney’s Oyster House. HH oysters are $1.50 and come with a tray of 6 different sauces.

Upon arriving, (35 minutes before their happy hour was over), we were told it would be at least a 45 minute wait. I was crushed. I wanted so bad to slurp back some $1.50 oysters. Eric, seeing how bummed I was, worked his charm and within 20 minutes, we were seated at a table! We quickly ordered two dozen of the HH oysters, the mussels, and fried oysters. The oysters, with raw horseradish (YUM), were sweet and delicious on their own but the sauces were fun to try and added even more flavor to the oysters. The mussels and fried oysters were equally delicious. The whole meal, including incredible service, was a perfect way to end the night of our first day in Vancouver.

Rodney’s Oyster House Happy Hour Oysters

Day 2 was dedicated to the views. We woke up early, hit the Sea to Sky Highway for incredible and mesmerizing scenic views of the Pacific Northwest. We stopped at Wycliff Park for some beach views. Wycliff Park is a gem. If I lived in Vancouver, I would come here as much as I possibly could!

We then took the Sea to Sky Gondola to bask in the views of the Howe Sound. The gondola ride in itself was amazing. Once at the top, we were greeted with beautiful snow capped mountains, tall trees, and a beautiful suspension bridge. We were one of the first people there so it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. Our boots were the first to touch the snow in many places. It was wonderful. We hiked the trails on top of the mountain and visited each lookout point. After our hike, we enjoyed a game of cribbage before we left. 🙂

Sea to Sky Gondola

On our way home, we re-visited Shannon Falls and the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. We visited these two places in our brief trip to Vancouver B.C. back in 2013. It was cool to come back 🙂

The beauty of this region is undeniable. “Beautiful British Columbia” indeed. It was a wet, cloudy, and foggy day – my favorite. I got to experience the sea, a beach, two suspension bridges, a mountain, a couple of forests, rain, snow, clouds, fog, and a waterfall. ❤

After taking in the views, we ended the second day with another brew tour 😛

First stop, 33 Acres Brewing. 33 Acres is a combo brewery and coffee bar. So naturally, the recommendation here would be their coffee stout 🙂

33 Acres Brewing

Next stop, Main Street Brewing. A long list of selections for both food and beer but ultimately the food and beer was just average. Not one I would highly recommend. I would highly recommend the company though :).

Main Street Brewing

Third stop, Brassneck Brewing. This place was cool and had quality beers. Tons of people crammed into a long and narrow space. We were lucky to find spots. My favorite was the “Mr. Personality,” a “poundable” amber. Also bonus, Brassneck is right next to Cartems Donuterie in case you want to stop for a delicious donut.

Brassneck Brewing

Fourth stop, R&B Brewing. Cool tunes and brews. They had a sour collab with Doan’s that topped my list. Their ESB also very solid.


Last stop, Faculty Brewing Co. This place was started by two faculty members so naturally I had to check it out. The beers are named as course numbers depending on their complexity (from 101 to 500-course level beers). Faculty Brewing opened in 2016, and I think they still have some work to do. The beers are so-so, but I am giving them the benefit of the doubt since they are new and probably still figuring it out. I’d be willing to give this place a second chance and come back when they’ve hopefully developed better (and more) brews. C+

Faculty Brewing Co.

10 breweries in 48 hours! My observations about Vancouver’s craft brewery scene:

  • always hidden in a nondescript building (why?) in an unexpected part of town
  • each brewery is uniquely decorated and lots of them feature local art work
  • overall very solid beers with a nice selection from ales to ambers to IPAs to stouts
  • all of them were sufficiently busy to packed so the word is definitely out…Vancouver breweries are on. the. map. So, support your local independent brewers!

We ended the trip with dinner at Pizzeria Ludica in Chinatown. Yes, I know. Why a pizza place in chinatown? Because they have board games (of course)! This place is awesome. They have a wall of board games to choose from, and you can spend up to 2 hours after your meal playing games with your friends. They even have a game master on hand to recommend new games to you based on the types of games you like to play, the mood you are in, or your skill level. It was a board game nerd’s (me) dream.

Next time I come to Vancouver, my entire agenda will be eating all of the delicious asian food and other ethnic cuisines Vancouver has to offer. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time on this trip. Also, the number of Asian people I saw during this trip was a breath of fresh air – definitely a change of scene from Portland.

With everything going on in America right now, it was nice to get out of the country, even if only for the weekend and even if only across the border to Canada. I was also reminded as I crossed the border of my privilege as a U.S. citizen and of the ease of travel a U.S. passport gives me and millions of Americans. I wish this were the case for everyone right now. I am so lucky to have been able to return to this place that I visited with Eric right when we moved to Portland in 2013. Until next time. 🙂

On Lynn Canyon Bridge in February 2017 / July 2013


Nevertheless, she persisted.

Every time you vote, you are doing so because of women who marched.

Every time you go to a job outside the home to provide for you or your family, you are doing so because of women who marched.

Every time you go to school or pursue higher education, you are doing so because of women who marched.

Every time you make choices so you can plan and decide the best time for your family to have children (or how many), you are doing so because of women who marched.

Every time you open a checking account or credit card, buy property, or make an independent financial decision, you are doing so because of women who marched.

I march, and will always march, to honor all of the women who’ve come before me and all of the women who will come after.

Looking Back on 2015…And Forward to 2016

25 Pictures to Capture My 2015 Year in Review.

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I am grateful for all of the family and friends that shared 2015 with me. My theme for 2015 was to do what keeps my heart beating and my soul singing. In 2014, my theme was wellness – taking care of my mind, body, and spirit. In 2014, I was mindful of both my physical and mental wellbeing. In 2015, I expanded on this to also ask, what feeds my soul? My 2015 was spent on time with family and friends, hiking, exploring the pacific northwest, taking the next step in my career, getting more involved in my professional organizations, live music, dancing, runs and races, trips, staycations, vacations, dates, and domestic travel – a lot of domestic travel.

As I look forward to and think about my 2016 intentions, I’ve chosen the following mantras to guide me.

6 Mantras for 2016

I choose to welcome abundance in my life.

I am stronger than I was yesterday.

to hate / is an easy, lazy thing / but to love / takes strength / everyone has / but not all are / willing to practice – rupi kaur

People are doing the best they can from their own level of consciousness. – Deepak Chopra

Loving myself is a revolutionary act.

The dream is free, the hustle is sold separately. Stay humble. Hustle hard.

In my next post, I’ll share what my 2016 theme is and how it relates to some of my intentions and resolutions for the new year. Share with me your highlights from 2015 and what you are looking forward to in 2016 at @jessikachi!

Students from #WakeUpandHearMe to Administrators: “We See You”

Last night, @OU_Unheard from University of Oklahoma and @WakeUpWSU from Washington State University launched a hashtag #WakeUpandHearMe to address the challenges underrepresented students, particularly students of color, face on their college campuses. (Read about why the hashtag was created here). Within hours, the hashtag was trending as students shared powerful stories of microaggressions they experience daily and the impact it has had on their identity, their community, and their campus.

As a student affairs professional and administrator on a college campus, these three tweets really resonated with me:

photo 3    photo 2         photo 1

Students see us. They recognize when we do or don’t do something. They hear us when we speak up and when we stay silent. They see and hear us –  it is time we see (really see) and hear (really hear) them.

Working in multicultural affairs, I have the privilege of listening to and advocating for students from underrepresented communities. What is so apparent to me is that students have salient identities and experiences that they bring into the classroom and onto our campuses. They are impacted and affected by the world around them, especially recent acts of injustices across the nation that have empowered people to speak up and take action. So, why can’t we take a moment to stop, process, and talk about it?

Recently on a student of color panel at my institution, students shared stories of faculty in their classes who were uncomfortable approaching the topic of race and were not equipped to address racial and gendered microaggressions in the classroom. One student shared that they believed their professor didn’t address one student’s offensive comment about a person of color during class because they did not want to make the majority of the class feel uncomfortable; however, in catering to the majority, the faculty member unintentionally de-valued the experience of the student of color in the room. She asked, “Why does their comfort trump mine?” All of the students on the panel thought there could be more education, more professional development opportunities for faculty and staff to make the college a more welcoming and inclusive environment – a place where all students feel valued and a part of the community.

In higher education, we often cater to the majority and in doing so, we silence the marginalized. What makes #WakeUpandHearMe so powerful is that these are students who are telling us that they want to be heard and for us to realize that they haven’t been heard and we haven’t been listening. So, what can we do as professionals?

1) Listen. People who are silenced over and over again deserve to be heard. In this recent article, Why Don’t My Friends Talk About Race? Here’s What They Told Me, the author shared that “often anger is a manifestation of not being heard…Last night all I wanted was for someone to hear me and know that I was hurting.” As she had conversations with people who listened to her frustrations and pain, her outrage abated. What I’ve learned is that something we all want, is to be heard and that the greatest gift we can give someone is to listen, be present, and have empathy. Sometimes just listening can solve a lot of our problems. Create a space where people are safe to express, and then hear and validate their concerns – this is the first step in healing a community and creating a community of belonging.

2) Don’t be afraid to have the conversation. People might be afraid to engage in these conversations because they don’t know what to say or do or don’t want to make a mistake and offend. If you have your own concerns or are unsure of what to say or do, then just say that. People appreciate the honesty and vulnerability and would rather see your willingness to try to engage rather than your silence on an issue that is important to them. If you are unsure or uncomfortable, be honest about it, and do more listening and ask how you can help. Just know that you have experiences and perspectives that you can offer too. Like I said in a previous blog post, you can’t fail at being you so just show up to the conversation. Once we hear and validate the concerns, we can provide perspective, advice, and resources. Sometimes it’s just a matter of communication that can help solve an issue.

3) Actions speak louder than words so, what are you doing? Of course not all concerns can take top priority and we can’t change everything overnight; however, as staff and faculty, we do have some circle of influence and control – what can you do in your sphere of influence and are you doing it? When incidents like the one at WSU happen, how does the institution respond? How do we respond as staff and faculty? What efforts are there to educate and prevent future incidents? How can we (and educate our students on how to) be intentional in our approach and actions in order to create the change we want to see? As a professional and as an institution, we have to be courageous enough to do what we say we will do and to show our values in action.

4) Don’t give in to the “us” vs “them” mentality. We need to all care. It’s not the job of one person or one office. Know that you are an administrator so when students call out administration, they mean you too. It’s not the “bad” administrators on one side and the “good” on the other or staff on one side and faculty on the other. It’s easy to point fingers and place blame but we must be a united front. Just like I tell my students, we are all part of the same campus community. When something bad happens on campus, it is everyone’s responsibility – and I mean everyone – to take some personal responsibility in making sure that it gets addressed and resolved. Just like when something good is happening, we should all take pride in it and our campus community. As a student affairs professional, we have the complex role of serving students and working for the institution and when the needs of these two groups are seemingly in conflict, then we need to work together to get back on the same page. Addressing inequities in higher education is going to take the work of all of us.

5) Commit to this on-going process. Systemic issues are not going to be resolved in a day, but there are things you can do every day. Change takes time and it’s okay to celebrate the small victories while working towards a better future. We also need to make a personal commitment to further our own understanding of issues of diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Our students are demanding a level of understanding and competency from us so that we can create a culture of inclusion on campus. Therefore, we need to provide on-going educational opportunities, trainings, and professional development for all students, staff, and faculty and/or seek out these opportunities on our own.

Ultimately, we need to be doing all of these things not just because students have called us in to action but because it’s the right thing to do. To students: thank you for your courage, your resiliency, and your voice. I hear you.

These are Revealing Times: My Response to Friends’ Racist Reactions to Ferguson


These are revealing times.

On August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, Michael Brown, an unarmed Black man with his hands in the air, was shot to death by a White police officer, Darren Wilson. His uncovered body was left on the street for 4.5 hours as a symbol to the community who really has power and how little Black lives matter. This message was further cemented three months later with the lack of indictment of officer Darren Wilson – no accountability. No consequences. The resulting protests and civil unrest are trying to shed light on the actual issue: how deeply systemic racism is in our country. Yet, we can’t even really talk about it because so much energy is used to countering points meant to cast doubt, realigning derailed conversations, and refocusing every attempt to distract attention to the problem that everyone doesn’t want to talk about.

Why is it so hard for us to accept that the killing of an unarmed person is wrong? And that there needs to be accountability? Our inability to accept, understand, and talk about racism is the problem. The conversations I’ve seen online, heard, and/or been a part of have revealed to me the people in my life who are quick to denounce or devalue issues of race in this country. As I’m struggling to process this, I am again reminded just how deeply rooted, systemic, and pervasive racism is in our country.

Here’s what racism allows us to do:  Continue reading “These are Revealing Times: My Response to Friends’ Racist Reactions to Ferguson”