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we’re still here!

It’s been just about a month since our trip to Portland (which means, it’s also been a month since our last update to our cozy space here).  We’re still here! (I did suggest there may be a bit of a hiatus as we settle down from the events spurred by our trip.)

To recap:  Portland still exists in all of its beauty, uniqueness and charm.  Due to such acknowledgement, we made sure to frequent a few of our favorite spots while there such as:

  • The Lovejoy Deluxe at Lovejoy Bakers
  • Any one of the daily specialty sandwiches from Laurelhurst Market
  • The tapas menu from Hoyt 23
  • Thai from our old usual place in the pearl (ya know.. that place since I can’t seem to remember the name)
  • Stumptown coffees & lattes
  • Café Nell bloody mary
  • Salted Caramel & Balsamic Cracked Pepper Strawberry Ice cream cones from Salt n Straw
  • … among a few other local eateries

Stumptown Coffee

Auntie Kate

Welcome Back Weinstocks

Lovejoy Bakers

Laurelhurst Market

Yes, all of the above are food joints, but Portland is a very foodie city – to which, Sam and my list would be a disgrace but really, you can’t go wrong.  Other things enjoyed were a friends get together at the lovely Elia’s place.  It was great night filled of brief catch ups, youtube sharings, twerking attempts and learning how to prune (right?).  The boys did their thing, the girls did ours just like 8th grade, because it was long overdue.   The babe hung out among everyone for an hour or so and then snoozed during the rest of the festivities like the perfect tike she is.

my lovely ladies

This trip was more of a mission: bring Papa Weinstock to MD.  Well, mission accomplished after three straight days of packing up, about 60 phone calls to the shipping company, about 30 lattes and countless other  “little – last minute – to do’s.”  All in all, I wouldn’t have wanted to deal with all that it entailed in any other city because it’s really where I am most comfortable, confident and calm.  That city brings out the best in me.

It also helped that my good friend, Madalyn offered her adorable little cottage-style studio to us in Sellwood for the week.  It was the perfect little place and if I had thought to take a few photos of its charm, it’d be worth sharing because she’s really made it adorable, cozy and perfect.  A huge thank you to Madalyn for her generosity.

… Another successful mission was completed that was unexpected to say the least – closure.  I had anticipated that this trip would be like the re-opening of a wound.  I have missed Portland (& continue to) but the idea of potential regret of moving across the country was quieted upon returning home to Maryland from PDX.  Portland will be there should we ever find ourselves in an opportunity to move back, but for now, we’re happy to start creating a network here in Baltimore.  Portland will be (hopefully) a yearly trip (for now).

As for Papa Weinstock’s arrival – we’re still sorting things out, settling through details, belongings & future plans.  It’s challenging but so far, there are not too many lessons to offer about moving a parent closer and the idea of care-taking.  All I can say is that support and a listening ear go a very long way.  To those who have offered this to us, we are forever grateful.

I promise to not be as much of a stranger!  Here’s what you can look forward to:  A Green Wedding, There’s a stranger in my car, I’m not 21 anymore & an update on little Miss E.

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rainy friday

As I drove onto base this morning, the greeting from the friendly guard caught my attention.  The usual greeting is to pull the car up, roll the window down, hand over my CAC ID card where the guard will inspect both sides and mayyyybe say, good morning or thanks – today as I handed my card over, the guard didn’t take it from me to inspect it – he opened his arms wide, glanced at my id and said, “welcome to paradise.”

I loved this.

Not only is today a very gloomy, wet, humid day but it’s also 7:30 a.m., friday and what’s known to be the slowest work day still lies ahead. This guy made my day.

The simple phrase of welcome to paradise has other meaning for me as well because lately, I’ve been extremely homesick for Portland.  There have been many times where I find myself re-convincing me that we made the right move with our decision to move to Maryland, but my goodness – we left a lot behind.

To all my friends back in Pdx, I will always love daydreaming over your constant streams of goodness from the PAC NW.  Recently, two of my jet setting friends headed north to the Olympic peninsula and posted photos from the lodge and beach where Sam proposed.  They had no idea that was where he had done it and likewise, they fell in love with the landscape and scenery as well.  That’s the thing about the PAC NW, there are so many places that make you feel like you discovered it – or that you are capturing some of the most awe-inspiring, breathtaking sites – that no one could ever take that moment or feeling away from you – but so many others share in the exact same feeling just at a different moment in time.  When I see these photos, they take me back to my moment and thus, am thankful for my time there but makes me miss it terribly.  Those moments take you out of whatever reality you may be living in if only just for a moment.  Those moments kept me thriving in Portland. I could walk away from a stressful work week – be on the beach staring out at Haystack rock or driftwood on Ruby Beach – and in those moments all the little issues were insignificant.  The PAC NW, for the better part of 4 years, has been our paradise.

Our thing has always been weekend escapes or short day trips to wine country, to hikes, to camping, to stick our toes in the ocean to whatever.  It’s been five months since we’ve done anything like that; where ordinarily, it would never go more than 3 weeks without some sort of adventure.  We need an adventure. (yes, the past five months have been more than a fair share of an adventure, but we need an us adventure – if that makes sense).  It’s time to make Maryland our paradise.

So this morning, my lovely and unexpected welcome into work has inspired me to finally stop moping about missing Portland and to do something proactive about it by planning several cheap, nearby, unknown day trips to discover.  If anyone has any suggestions – throw them our way.

Wishing you all your little oasis of paradise today & if you’re with us on the East coast, stay dry!