Thursday, October 1, 2015

I'm sorry, Portland, but it's over.

It's not you, it's me. While I knew it was always a temporary thing, I threw my heart into you.  I asked everyone what I needed to see and I did it. Japanese Garden? check. Rose Garden? check. Hiking, food, waterfalls, downtown, desserts? Check check check check check... you get the idea :) These last four months have been wonderful, and I'm about to tell you why I'll never forget you, but I'm a St. Louis girl and it's time to go home.

The food, oh, the food. I remember my first food cart like it was yesterday. I enjoyed my time downtown, stopping at food carts and eating lunch in Pioneer Square while various artists gave it their all at noon on Tuesdays. Oh, Savor, you never let me down, and I'm pretty sure Whole Bowl sprinkles crack on top because I just can't stop thinking about it and that's saying something for vegetarian fare. Nong Khao Man Gai, you did not disappoint.  Thai Square in Sellwood, your pumpkin curry and odd mix of vintage signs and comic book paintings on the walls will stick with me long after I've left. Bamboo Grove Hawaiian Grill off Macadam? My palette has never had it so good. Don might have to come back just for your Luau Style Kalua Pig (seriously).  If you haven't had Tacos (technically, I think it's El Guapo Taco, but you wouldn't know that unless you went inside - seriously, get a sign, people!) you need to get yourself there, stat. As an added bonus, they recently acquired one of them fancy fountain soda machines ;). If fountain soda isn't your thing, they'll even bring your mouth watering tacos over to NW Growlers. On my birthday I had a piece of coconut cream cake at Mother's and I don't regret it at all. Last but not least, Salt & Straw. Never let anyone tell you that you're overrated... you are not. Come to St. Louis! We will embrace and love you. I know everyone tells you that, but we are a food town as well, and we will cherish you,  I promise!

Your people, for the most part, are fit and healthy and it's so weird! You act like sugar is evil and it confounds me. There were a few exceptions (I'm looking at you Decadent Creations and Sweetheart Bake Shop) that made my weekly trips to farmer's markets way more awesome. I can't wait to get home and send Don to work with cupcakes and know they won't just sit there. Not only do you eat incredibly healthy, but you are all in shape as well; Multiple times I've been passed by 80 year old men on my morning run. There was one time where I was riding my bike and I couldn't keep up with this guy who was running - we went all the way downtown and I still couldn't catch him - I didn't know Captain America was from here... I would've stopped and asked him how it was possible, but I way too out of breath to talk.  I will miss my morning runs along the Willamette -yikes, what a pretentious sounding statement - perhaps I should revise that to say,  I will miss my morning unsightly hobble along the Willamette. Thank you Greenway Trail, you sure do beat running around the blocks at home.

I won't miss your Sellwood bridge construction and all the back up beeps at 3 am, but considering there is a tiny street at home called Southwest that was closed before we left and will still be closed when we get home (people will have met, created life, grown it, and brought it into the world before that damn thing will get done) I guess I can appreciate your drive to get it done in a timely matter but MAN, it's gonna be great sleeping through the night again.

Can I take your nightly news with me? The stories about Waffles the missing dog, the community coming together to find important stolen items, odd protests, and for the most part, low crime rate are so much better than hearing about daily murders and awful crimes. You seem to focus on, and spend more time on the good things, and even though it's quirky, it's so much better than giving all the attention to the bad things.

Your weird will definitely be missed. If there was one way I felt like I fit in, it was with your creative side. You encourage art, you accept and celebrate protests about everything, you dress in every way possible, tattoos are commonplace, and there are things to see around every corner. You love your flyers, and put them up for everything. I hate to say goodbye to Beaver, but all good things must come to an end. Blue Guy? Unicycle Flaming Bag Piper? Keep it up... the weird world needs you ;)

 Oh the hiking, I will miss you most of all.  We hiked nearly every weekend we've been here. Banana slugs are the BEST and there will be a slug shaped hole in my heart without them.  Mountains? So many mountains! What are those? We definitely don't have them back home.  Big ole snails are up there with banana slugs.  As obnoxious as they were on certain days, I will miss the daily crow symphony. You can keep your massive amount of spiders. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't do the "walk through a web" dance.


You can also keep your difficult to navigate roads and constantly changing street names. Not even my gps could figure that shit out. I'm going back to a place where if you miss your turn, you can just catch the next one and still get to your destination on time.

Lastly, a small-ish list of random things I will miss:

  • Our bed. I know, not really Portland-related, but it's gonna be hard to go back to a queen size. 
  • Your dog friendliness and obsession with them in general. 
  • All of the blackberries everywhere through most of the summer. 
  • The Oaks Amusement Park little train whistle. I heard it daily and it made me smile. 
  • Your passion for Recycling and the Environment. You've got it right. 
  • The caution signs for bicyclists approaching the train tracks. Hilarious. 
  • Bagpipes! Bagpipes everywhere! 
  • Your love of honey bees. I saw no less than 3 stories on the news about rescuing hives.
  • Your people-friendly river. The constant sailboats, kayaks, and paddle boards were fascinating. I wish the Willamette could teach the Mississippi how to make things fun (you know, without killing all the people). 
  • The bikes. The bike friendly roads, paths, bridges and for the most part, the thoughtful drivers that deal with them every day. 

So Goodbye, Portland. Leaving is so bittersweet. I wish you the best as your city grows and I hope the population boost doesn't take away the wonderful things that make you special.  I'll think of you often, but I'm going home to watch my Cardinals in the post season, start up the Blues season, have the BEST donuts at Donut Drive In, go to Eckert's for a corn maze, have a Great Pumpkin at Ted Drewes, eat some thin crust pizza, toasted ravioli, BBQ done right, and sit around some bonfires with my friends.

P.S. If you're from Portland and reading this, come see us in the Lou! We have great beer, great food, the best zoo (it's free!), the City Museum, (it will blow your mind) and we will welcome you with open arms :).  Oh and we also have very affordable housing :).

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

September Rock

Phew! Halfway through September. Two awesome vacation groups down and one to go! I can't believe our time in Portland is coming to a close, but I'm really excited to go home.  We've almost accomplished everything on my list of things I've wanted to do here. I don't think we're going to make it to Crater Lake, which sucks, but I've seen a lot of beauty to last me for quite some time.
For the last two weeks we've been hosting friends and it has been wonderful! I miss my friends so much so it was nice to have a boost of fun before these upcoming last two weeks in Portland. So without further ado, I present to you pictures!

Let's start off with Monk and her "I'm so cute you should give me all the food and love" face.  Don't be fooled. She is a beast.

We went to Astoria and Cannon Beach with Kat and Owen.  This picture was taken from Ecola state park, not to be confused with Ecoli Park which is a place you would probably want to avoid.

We were there pretty late in the day, but it made for great silhouettes.

Get a load of these three. Too cute for words. Frenchie Army.

Kat and Owen got photo bombed by a fast dog:

Surfing season is underway. Burrrrrr.

For the first weekend since we got here, the fire ban on the beach and some campgrounds was lifted. It was so neat walking back in the dark and seeing all the fire lights in the distance.

These are my Teddy Bear sunflowers. They bloomed just in time for my friends to see them and keep up the farce that I'm good at gardening :)

The coldest, wettest, foggiest hike I've ever been on happened on Blue Star Mountain.  No regrets! While we couldn't see too far in front of us, it was a nice preview of fall and Halloween and all the spooky and seasonal things I find joy in.

This was the coolest watered down web I'd ever seen.

On the foggy hike, we found the elusive Mouse, elk, pig, spider, rat. Okay so I'm not sure what it is, but I've seen it on information boards on most of our hikes about things we may see and I'd all but given up. I guess I'll be responsible and look it up. Okay, it's a Pika. What a cute, appropriate name.

So we went to Cannon Beach the following week too, but this time we got to explore the cute little town and see the candy store! I'm a sucker for a good Halloween display. Too bad I was too excited to get a good photo of it :)

This Halloween display was in the Christmas store. 

The trashcans throughout town had lyrics and quotes on them slightly converted to convey helpful trash messages. 

I love the beaches here because the tide seems to come in for so long before it gets to you.  You can see the Terrible Tilly lighthouse in the background.

The tide was low enough that we got to play in the freezing cold tide pools.  My feet were numb but I was so excited I didn't care about it.

The clouds started rolling in when we were leaving the beach.

On the way out for the coffee stop, I made a friend. Her mom was inside so she eventually came and sat by me and leaned on my legs like we'd known each other forever. I love dogs. :) 

Here's a Forest Park Snail. My second snail! I love it. 

This was the Praying Mantis that taught Becky how he could fly.

This is a tired group after a long hike.

This is inside a caboose. It's like a magical caboose because from the outside it looks little and then you come in and it is gigantic and it has lots of tea.  It is probably the most Portland place I've been in.

We'll see how motivated I am to do a farewell to Portland post or if I'm too excited to go home to post. :)


About Me

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Hi! I'm Becca. I live on a farm and bake apple pies and frolic in the fresh air. Just kidding; I live in the city and I can't possibly cram anymore plants in the yard than I already do. I make the most of the space I have and wouldn't change it for the world.