Okay, so anyone who has been following our little travelogue knows that I have fallen woefully behind and have little hope of catching up to the present day. We've been here in Portland for about a month, and the blog still shows us somewhere in Colorado. There is still so much to tell from our journey, but so much happening here in Portland that our reading public (small as it may be) is missing out on because of my chronologically-induced writer's block.
There is no perfect solution to this dilemma, but after much debate and deliberation I have decided to flash-forward to the present, attempt to keep our readers updated on the current happenings here in Portland, and occasionally flash back to cover the last few days of our trip. We've already covered the majority of truly epic adventures. Crested Butte was both the literal and figurative high point of the journey for both of us and once we left that mountaintop haven we just wanted to get to Portland, move into our new apartment, and have a home again.
Speaking of home, our little apartment has really come together. Here's what it looked like the day we arrived:
Simon (our faithful '94 Camry) was happy to have the load off his back and ready for a much-deserved rest after handling the 4,000 mile trip like a champion. Every time we passed a U-Haul, especially a U-haul trailering another car, we pitied the poor souls inside and thanked our lucky stars that we weren't doing the same thing.
The next day, our cube full of stuff arrived.
Where to put it all?
Just stuff it in there! Use your whole hand!
We managed to unload the entire thing in one afternoon, and began the long process of setting up, organizing, and putting things in their places. But of course, any moving experience wouldn't be complete without at least one trip to the Swedish embassy, IKEA!
We rode our bikes to the MAX station at the Rose Quarter, locked 'em up, and took the train to Ikea, right nextdoor to the Portland airport. We picked up a silverware organizer, a dish drainer, a recycling bin, some tupperware, a can opener, and some other goodies. We eyeballed couches and shelves, but saved those for another trip. We eventually went back with Simon to carry home a set of galvanized steel shelves for all our bike stuff and a super-cool blue couch that folds out into a really comfy bed for anyone interested in making the journey to visit.
We also hit up Crate and Barrel to cash in the gift certificates we were gifted as wedding presents. We scored a french press, a pair of cool cups and saucers,
a pizza stone, a colander, and a wine bottle stopper. Thanks gift-certificaters!
So, our little spot in North Portland is starting to feel like home. The breeze blows through nicely up here on the second floor, and we're right next to a big tree that we can watch the birds and squirrels in.
Our street is pretty calm and quiet, but we're right around the corner from the historic Mississippi Avenue district, home of Mississippi Studios, a music venue once graced by the talents of Dent May and his merry band of musicmakers, including none other than the illustrious Carr Chadwick and Jesse Thompson, currently on a summer tour in Europe. This little stretch of town is also home to some great restaurants, most of which we have yet to sample from. However, the Mississippi Pizza Pub is certainly a highlight. We were worried about finding a good spot for pints and pies to fill the gaping void in our lives left by Athens favorite, Transmetropolitan, but the MPP is a good start. They've got pre-made slices on the cheap, whole pies and delicious brew on tap. Not too shabby. They also offer gluten-free pizza (MEGS! Come to Portland!) and host a spelling bee every Monday night. Right next to the pizza pub is the Por Que No?! Taqueria, a teeny little spot with amazing tacos that give Taqueria Del Sol a run for its money. We didn't sample the margaritas, so I don't know how they compare to Del Sol (which may be the best I've ever had), but I know they can't match the friendly service of Mr. Jake "Treetop" Jackson. And by the way, just to give you an idea about the amazing variety of locally-brewed beers, the IPAs we had in lieu of margaritas were from Amnesia Brewing, whose restaurant and brewery are about another 200 yards up the street. Awesome. Every neighborhood seems to have at least one bike shop, one brewery, and at least 3 coffee shops or cafes.
Anyway, things are rolling along here so I'll try to update once or twice a week to stay current. I'm starting to settle into my new job, India is keeping up and working diligently to stay on top of school, and we're gearing up for the Cross Crusade cyclocross series, which starts October 4th, the day before my 25th birthday. I'm also trying to sample as many of the nearby concrete skateparks as possible before the rainy season starts and the mud starts to fly on the 'cross courses. More on all of those subjects and more to come...