Keyser Soze Has Nothing On Us

Wow.  And wow again.  I think I may have started more than one blog entry with that word and here I am using it once again.  Oh well, I’m getting older and that means repeating myself repeatedly.  I’m OK with that.

I digress…

Wow.  It’s been a whirlwind of activity and adventure since we left our little hovel in Urbana, Illinois for places west on July 5.  Here we are on August 14 and I have no idea where the time has gone.  Day after tomorrow we pack up Thor, our tried and true Volvo, our two pupinos, a bunch of crap, and ourselves for the trek back home.  Six days later, and some 2500 miles we will once again be back in the Midwest.  Where has the time gone?

When we were planning this sojourn we thought, OK, six weeks (including two weeks driving) would be plenty of time, but  then again how can there ever be enough time spent with the people you love.  There are so many people here who are in our lives it’s been tough to see everyone.  We haven’t seen everyone.  That’s a hard one.  To leave without seeing everyone.  Seriously though, how could we?  We’ve been so busy.  Let’s recap…

Six days driving here, get here and have appointment with Oregon oncologist, start treatment in Oregon, see Stan and Connie who drove to Salem just to see us (you guys rock), drive up to Portland to meet my cousin and his family after he finished the STP bike ride, eat pizza, have yogurt, drive up to Burlington, WA (and Marblemount, WA) to participate in the spreading of my grandparents ashes and next day check out the estate sale put on by my Mom and Aunts and Uncles at my grandparents house, from there take off for three days in Long Beach, WA (after a 5 hour drive to get there), enjoy the beach, drive back to Salem, drive back up to Scappoose, dinner with friends who invited us over (thanks SJ and Angela, your house is awesome), trips back and forth between Salem and Scappoose every week so I could get my shot in Salem, helping Mom sprinkle some of grandpa and grandmas ashes at Willamette University, work on the yard in Scappoose, and more work on the yard in Scappoose (thanks to Mom and Kev for helping us out with that one of the days… you two are amazing), dinner out with friends (thanks Maggie for taking us to dinner for our birthdays), dinner with friends from Urbana who happened to come to Portland for a wedding while we were here (great dining with you Evelyne and Natalie), showing our friend Jen (who also hails from Urbana) around Portland, and the farm, for three and a half days,  the treat of breakfast out at the Screen Door courtesy of Vicki (thanks girl, the chicken and waffles there can’t be beat!), a few walks in parks both in Portland and Salem with the pupinos, one of which included a piano solo by Karen, a trip on the river with Stan, dinner at Stan and Connie’s place for us with some of our good friends (so great to see you guys), a walk at Cathedral Park with Liz and Jake and Ilsa and Indy followed by a tour of their new house (love it you guys!), a stop by my old office for some chat (Stacia, I love ya girl) and lunch with some of my old work mates (I miss you Josh, Linda, Chris, Liz and Stacia!), packing up the car and driving back and forth between Salem and Scappoose every week (oh, I think I said that already), our annual walk through of one of our rentals with the renters and a drive by of the other, a couple of barbecues thrown for us by POD members, one including splashes in a pool and the other including a tasty salad made with home grown veggies, a couple of trips to the Portland Saturday Market (Sundays too!), a zoo concert (Melissa Etheridge) with some of the POD, dinners out at various places we didn’t want to miss while we were here (Piazza Italia, Little Big Burger, tacos at The Varsity, The Stepping Stone, Ruby Jewel for ice cream, chicken and waffles at The Screen Door, Mississippi Pizza, a food cart or two, Pok Pok, E-San for thai, burritos at Muchas, etc.) all of which made us each gain about 10 pounds, breakfast with my sister Kay, time spent at the farm with Mom and Don, time spent in Scappoose with Kev, packing up the car and driving back and forth between Salem and Scappoose every week like gypsies, sun, fun, and loads of love.

It’s been an amazing time.  We’ve had so much fun.  Though, seriously, I think we’re ready to be home again.  Not that we don’t love it here, and love everyone here, but we’re ready to be home.  Sleep in our own beds, be in our own house, see and spend time with the kids and our little man, who we have missed very much.  I guess that’s what happens when you live in two places.  Live in two places in your heart I mean.  You are always missing something, someone.  That’s the nature of how life works sometimes.  We moved to Illinois to be a part of of the kid’s lives, to be in Sebastian’s life, and we are glad we did.  We wouldn’t change that at all.  It’s just that this is home, and always will be.  The people here and this place make it so.  We are torn, but that doesn’t make us any less happy to be there when we are there, or here when we are here.

That bit there being a few moments of reflection.

So we are heading home on Thursday morning.  Leaving early to get a jump on our longest driving day of the lot.  10 hours the first day.  We’re going to Boise, Idaho by way of Bend and Hwy 20, then Driggs, ID near the Tetons, and from there a drive through the Tetons and Yellowstone and then stays in Sheridan, WY, Chamberlain, SD, La Crosse, Wisconsin, and home.  We’ll get there just in time for the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival.  Yum!

We’ll miss you Oregon, and everyone in it.  It’s been a flash, and now we’re almost out of here.  A month, poof, just like that and it’s gone.  Keyser Soze has nothing on us.  We love it here, and we love the people here.  This wonderful adventure has flown by, and been fantastic.  But be rest assured… we will be back.  It’s time for us to go back home, to more people we love, but we will be back.  We will miss you while we’re gone.  But be rest assured… we will be back.

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Escalators, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

Escalators in Salem, Oregon.

Taken with the iPhone camera.

The Napkin

The Napkin, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

My brother-in-law, Tim, in Oregon.

Taken with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT.

13 Stars

13 Stars

Originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl

This house was built in the 1600’s. I loved the flag.

Buy Your Spell Here

Buy Your Spell Here

Originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl

Town Hall

Town Hall

Originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl

Traveling North of Boston

Today we went to towns with names like Gloucester, Ipswich, Salem, Revere, Essex, and Rockport. It was, yes, another good day.

We spent most of our time in Salem, walking the city checking out all the sites to be seen. I had two reactions to it. One, it was strange and sort of cool to be in a place I’ve read so much about, knowing that major events from our history took place right where we were walking. The other reaction… Salem is a tourist town. We found few places with any historical information. What we did find… a lot of tours, mysteriously all costing around $8.00 (actually, we didn’t find that, we were told that by a couple of guys we stopped and asked directions from). They were everywhere. We’d see a sign, looking like it would be pointing us to a historical point of interest, like the Witch Village, and we’d get there and find it was a shop selling witch “stuff”. Whatever that is. We never went into any of the shops. All I know for sure is that the popularity of the Harry Potter books has been quite the boon for Salem tourism. We did manage to find some very cool older buildings and the burying point, a cool yet sort of creepy cemetery. Again though, getting back to my first point, it was cool being in a place where we know so much history happened.

After Salem we made our way to Gloucester, on Cape Ann, where we had some lunch, yes I had another lobster roll ( at the market value price of just under $24… it was good, though I’m not sure it was THAT good… Karen had Cajun Haddock and it was only $12. I tasted it, and it was as good if not better than mine. Ah well… we are in New England… a girl has to have her lobster roll. I think it’s a rule or something) Things were hoppin’ in Gloucester. The streets were lined with people staking out places for the evenings parade. We thought about staying to watch, but decided to get out of town before it started. From Gloucester we went to Ipswich, the town with the distinction of being the oldest period town in the country. It was incorporated in, I believe, 1626. However, we didn’t stay long… seems people in Ipswich don’t believe in public restrooms, so we had to go, because, you guessed it, we had to go. We ended up stopping just out of town at a public pool, seeing a bunch of cars there and thinking they must have one. They did, and when Karen went inside there were a bunch of little girls who screamed when she walked in. And as she came out of the stall they all started saying, “she’s coming out, she’s coming out”. She said it was hilarious.

From there we traveled back toward Cambridge, making it in time to walk across to Boston, look around a little, walk over to the Esplanade where the Boston Pops was practicing for the big event tomorrow, and finally walking back over the river and to our hotel. With a stop, of course, for what has become our nightly ritual of getting a slice of cheese cake at the Cheese Cake Factory. Tonight… original cheese cake with strawberries for Karen, and chocolate mousse for me. Tasty.

Tomorrow… the plan anyway, is that we take the T into Boston, walk the freedom trail, enjoy some food, somewhere, and then finish off the day with a viewing of the 4th fireworks in Bean Town. Should be fun. I say the plan because with us, we usually have some sort of idea about what we’re going to do, but we don’t like to set anything in stone. We love to go off the path, hence our day today, when we left Salem and headed North to Cape Ann. That was not the original idea, but it’s where we ended up, and we had a great time.