Portland Part 2

Playing some major catch up today, in February... But what else are snow days for?!  Let's just take it on back to October.  Think Portland.  

That's right, I found myself traveling and giving into that beautiful feeling that we call wanderlust.

I was staying in the city, right on Portland State University's campus in the thick of it all!  The PSU Park blocks, off of Park Avenue, just blocks from Powell's book store and the famous food carts, and just steps from the Portland Farmer's Market.

That's right, my friends have the hook up.

I was in town to visit a former co-worker, one of my favorite students to ever come out of CU Boulder!  And definitely one of my favorite friends to gossip with!  Josh and his partner Michael have the best apartment.  Looking over the park blocks and a block away from what might be my favorite quintessential cafe ever.  Their apartment reflects them, the people who they are--- travelers, scholars, life lovers--- these fellas have fresh flowers in their home at all times.  That wasn't the only tiny little detail that I fell in love with.  I loved the way they had these beautiful glass bottles in their fridge filled with cool water, I loved the way they opened all the windows-- sunny day or fog.  I loved the way when they made pasta they took it up a notch with fresh pine nuts.  I loved how they celebrated everything.  I mean everything.  

Here are some of my most favorite moments:

My first day that I woke up in Portland I was left to my own devices... The boys had to work.  I set out on the town and decided to take in some sights.  I walked all over that city.  I went to Stumptown, I went to Powell's, I went to a history museum, I met some former study abroad alumni for hot chocolate.  By the time I got the text to head back to the apartment because the boys would be home shortly, I was exhausted.  I came in the door, greeted by their warm faces--- ready to celebrate the weekend.

I told my darling ones there was no way I could walk anywhere to dinner (I was developing blisters on my feet at this point).  No problem.  We hopped in the car, drove across one of the many beautiful bridges and found another cozy nook of Portland.  We grabbed a drink at one spot, decided to head out to find another place to eat--- we found one we liked put our name on the list and entertained ourselves as we waited.  We saw a person sitting on the sidewalk with a typewriter.  We asked what they were doing--- and found out.  Give one word and they would write a poem for you based on that word.  Typewriter- no editing.  Tyler Knott Gregson style.  We gave the word, "intrigue", I wish I could find the poem but I'm not sure what book of mine it's ended up folded up inside of.  Some day I'll come across it and I will smile warmly remembering this night.

At last, it was our turn to be sat, if we were ok with the table outside on the sidewalk.  We were.  It was a crisp Autumn night, but the boys were in their flannels, and I always enjoy the coolness.  We ordered wine to keep us warm and I ordered crab linguine.  We talked religion and spirituality.  Leaves fell from trees as we laughed and clinked our glasses in cheers.  I remember feeling that this is the way life should always feel... And I got the distinct feeling that for these two more often than not it always feels this way.  Rich.  Warm.

We headed home, I took a hot shower, the chill Autumn air finally getting to me, I rinsed off a day full of sweat and city.  My feet felt raw.  I got into the comfiest of pj's and went out to the living room only to be met with a foot massage as we laughed over the funniest videos that YouTube has to offer.

Sweet Dreams.

The next morning I kid you not I was welcomed to the day with a greeting of "Good Morning" and one of my dear ones holding a mimosa.  We listened to Mariah Carey songs as we drank our morning cocktails and prepared to head out the front door to the farmers market.  (Seriously, right out their front door)!  We made our way around buying little things here and there--- breakfast burritos, sunflowers, artichokes for later.  Musicians played Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose" and it felt like a scene right out of a Woody Allen movie or something.  Again, the feeling... Why doesn't everyday life feel like this?

We dropped our goods off at the apartment and grabbed some essentials--- today we were heading to the coast.  Cannon Beach here we come!  Or as my sister would say if she was heading there, "Hey, you guys!!!!!"  First, we made a pit stop up to Washington State for some edibles.  Did I mention I was on vacation?  It'd been years since I had smoked so I thought maybe edibles would be more my speed these days.  

We drove through torrential rain.... And some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen.  We got to the beach... And I was feeling good.  We had sang at the top of our lungs... And though it was dreary and foggy (weather that suits me) we were at the ocean!  How different this part of the coast felt compared to California where I had been the previous month.  We took off our shoes and we walked to Haystack Rock.  We spun, we laughed, they talked about my teal scarf blowing in the wind and how elegant it looked.  Being around these boys made me feel like they see me differently than I see myself.  I had a feeling the way they approached life transcended into everything.  They could only see the very best of me.  

We had enough of the cold and headed to a local coffee shop called Sea Level Bakery.  A tiny snack and a yummy latte and we were back on the road. 

I felt sick.  Too much drinking, too many edibles had all caught up with me... I puked in my cup and all over the side of the road.  Even after witnessing this horrifically embarrassing moment the boys still told me on skype the other night how they were just talking about this the other day--- how gracefully I threw up in the cup.  God love 'em!  

Some major hydrating, some realizations that I'm almost 35 and need to treat my body more kindly, one Broncos win in one of the best Broncos bars this nation has to offer outside of Denver, and many episodes of  "Dance Moms" later I found myself back at PDX.

So long Portland, it's only a matter of time before I see you again.  You and your hosts are much too sweet to stay away from for long!