|Dinner overlooking the Columbia River. No less than five times Mario utter the words "I can't believe we live here!"|
|We stumbled across this food truck on an unassuming Saturday afternoon, nestled among industrial buildings. Dude. Duuuude. A lucky find, indeed.|
|We already have a favorite coffee shop. Though we can't declare an actual winner with so many possibilities yet to be explored.|
|The Pacific Northwest has the sexiest fruit. And it hasn't stopped wooing us yet. (New England cherries were $7.99/lb when we left and nowhere near as mind-blowingly yum.)|
|With our futures so wide-open, I thought it wise to have my fortune told. I'm sure this must have some profound meaning...|
|An architectural salvage store like nothing we've ever seen. Mouths agape the whole time.|
|A darling dessert food truck outside our lunch destination. Did you know Portland has more than 500 food trucks? We intend to eat at every one of them. At this rate, we'll be done by week's end.|
|IKEA meatballs. Because we moved and every move involves a requisite visit to IKEA, and every IKEA visit involves a requisite meatball break.|
|This dude makes me deliriously happy. (And occasionally craaazy. But mostly so, so happy. No one knows your buttons better than your kid. Amiright?)|
|After breakfast at a local diner one morning, Kiddo and I drank insanely good coffee while reading side-by-side. He is a most excellent young man and a devourer of books.|
|Endlessly talented, this one. He's one of those rare and mythical creatures who is athletic and crazy smart and super determined. So he scales the hardest walls with the greatest of ease. While wearing Chucks, duh.|
|A new favorite restaurant. (Lardo)|
|Architecture to die for, often when you least expect it.|
|Gah! These two! They sure make life grand.|
|A visit to our neighborhood farmer's market. We started things off right.|
|Double gah! Can you feel the studliness emanating from your computer screen?|
|Crunchy new sandals, a tribal print bag, and an overpriced but delicious cold-brewed coffee (on our way to REI no less). I'm feelin' native. [These sandals. Seriously. I never want to take them off. Sanuk Yoga Sling 2]|
A snapshot into life thus far in the Pacific Northwest. I've become a lackluster blogger and even more lackluster photographer. My DSLR hasn't made it into the car once in the last two weeks. Not a single adventure has been documented with it. And so the iPhone has been stretching its legs perhaps more than usual or I'd have nothing to show as evidence of this fresh new existence.
I have yet to establish some semblance of a schedule, nor have I found The Perfect Place to write. I thought I had one, but Mario and I nearly suffered heat stroke (and some seriously unattractive sweating occurred) yesterday upon realizing the design of the old building offers itself to a greenhouse effect and they are sorely lacking in the air conditioning department. Oh, well. It seems that schedules and rhythms and such are hard earned but easily interrupted. To much coffee and irregular bedtimes and a whirring mind all contribute to the topsy turviness of life right now. But considering we turned our world upside-down just two weeks ago, I think we are doing pretty well. We are even on the road to home decorating with all the essentials unpacked and a few pictures already hung.
My goal is to rejoin the workforce in October, once Kiddo is good and settled in his new school, so I've been shopping the healthcare job market over the last couple days. Holy moly am I overwhelmed. Grad school requires hands-on patient care in order to apply, but there seem to be a zillion necessary certifications to do even the most entry level jobs and I'm digging in my heels at the prospect of going back to school for a year (and thus put off working for another year) to get a certificate on top of a bachelors degree just so I can gain some current experience. But I suppose now may not be the time to tackle big picture stuff. Things have fallen into place beautifully thus far and I have no reason to believe this won't as well.
In the meantime we are enjoying our new surroundings, as each day they become increasingly familiar. I can get myself to and from the essential places sans gps and have even expanded to some more distant locations. And although moving from three acres in the woods to suburbia comes with an adjustment period, I'm loving it. Neighbors, garbage pickup, a great recycling program (used foil! plastic beyond 1 and 2!), walking trails, a grocery store just two minutes away, a yard that take mere minutes to mow, air conditioning (!!!)... I could go on and on. I'm not a prissy girl, lest it seem that way. I can lift heavy things and use an industrial snowblower and drive manual transmissions, but I've come to understand that, while I don't need them, creature comforts are something I enjoy (especially after years without them). Also, more than once I've been midway through the process of changing my shirt or running to get a drink of water in my underpants before realizing that there is a clear sight line to one of the neighbor's houses. Note to self: you now have neighbors. On all sides.
This week Kiddo is at camp. While he enjoys sleeping in late and playing Legos all day in his pajamas, we quickly realized the need to establish a schedule. Not just him; all of us. So we investigated overnight camps in the area and found the perfect one for him. I hope he's out there getting muddy and doing adventurous things with like-minded kiddos. Our very first day he went and introduced himself to some kids on our street who play basketball in the evenings, and has since been back to play several times. He's never had that before and I'm so glad there are kids nearby. He needs that social outlet more than he needs to live in the middle of the woods... though that time in our lives was valuable, too. Mario and I contemplated going away for a night since we are sans child, but instead made the decision to stick around. Why complicate things? There are plenty of experiences to be had, and it will be nice to have a little grown-up time meanwhile enjoying our new home.
So that's a glimpse into our lives over the past week or so. I've been thinking a lot about making a house a home, as we are renters for the first time in 10 years and that was a confusing prospect initially. (Do you put holes in walls? How do we make it our own? Is that even possible? Turns out it is.) But that's a post in and of itself, one I hope to have written tomorrow while the thoughts are still fresh.