Sunday, February 27, 2011

they make a desert, and they call it peace

I really miss the desert.
Maybe it was my mother's love for Arizona that instilled in me a need to visit, but ever since my first trip to the southwest I have felt at home. Spending the last fall in Arizona was a dream; warm weather, open space and glowing orange light. I have a mind inclined towards claustrophobia and the desert, with all its space to roam feels peaceful and free.
The Pacific Northwest is my home. Oregon is in my blood and I really do love it. New York is exciting and active with the feeling of anonymity a luxury to me. But the desert is where I truly belong. I really think that in the end I will wind up in this dry, rocky land. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pittock Mansion

It's been fun exploring my new city. Sometimes it's hard to shake yourself of the northwest drear, but once you force yourself outside you soon realize that things aren't so bad. In fact, I believe there have only been two days of rain since I moved here a few weeks ago.
Luckily, we live near Forest Park, the biggest city park in the country and have explored the area a few times. Most recently, Wojc and I drove to the top of the hill and checked out Pittock Mansion.

The mansion was built atop the hill in the very early 1900's by The Oregonian editor Henry Pittock and has been used in many films. That's about all the history I know, but I do know that it's a beautiful building with an even more beautiful view of Portland.

On a clear day I'm going to come to the top of the hill and hike down one of the many trails winding through the park. It's pretty exciting that there is so much to discover here and everything is so accessible. In New York, everything seemed so exhausting with subway travel that having a car for exploring feels like such a luxury.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

i am yours, you are mine

After my depressing post earlier the day took a turn for the better after a strong coffee and phone chat with my sister. Wojc, J and I decided to explore the city a little and headed out to the car only to see the whole block shut down with smoke billowing out of an apartment building down the street. Pretty intense. Turns out some guy left incense burning, took a shower and came out to an apartment on fire. Luckily, no one died but a whole building of people are out of their homes for awhile.
We got the car out and drove to east Portland to search for a building for sale that looked promising a few weeks ago. We couldn't find the building but we did find the delicious Produce Row Cafe. I love this place. It's the type of restaurant where you feel comfortable and welcome and want to spend the whole day in a comfortable booth. Not only is the food fantastic (get the beer bread!) but the people seem more genuine and nice than in many of the hipster haunts throughout the city. To top it off, our waitress was so adorable you kind of wish she'd sit down and hang awhile.
Next we headed out in search of Voodoo 2, the offshoot of the famous Voodoo donuts, in our typical fashion we forgot where it was and after driving a few blocks gave up and came to a Vacuum shop and museum. We decided to stop and check it out, kind of a strange place, but we walked out with a vacuum! Yes, it was one of those random days but now we sit in a dust free apartment complete with clean rug.
After our east side adventures we headed home where I plotted my cupcake of love concoction. After finding all of my supplies I got home ready to start baking when I realized that we had no measuring cups or spoons. Luckily, we had a math major in the house and I was able to finagle my way through the recipe. Shockingly, the cupcakes turned out delicious. Happy day of love!

Back To The Grind

I've worked at my new job for three days and it's less than stellar. There are no big red flags and everyone seems pretty nice, it is just not what I expected. The hours are long and the duties are not what interests me. I know complaining about a job is pretty snobby these days, but isn't life more about being happy than toiling away the majority of your life in a position you dread? I'm going to give the job a few more weeks to see if things improve and in the meantime I was scheduled for a second interview for a position more related to my field of work, here's hoping everything works out in the end!
In other downer news, I got sick my first week back in the job world. Not necessarily a great way to spend your first weekend but I'm starting to feel better. Luckily my brother came to town for the weekend which boosted my spirit considerable. We explored Sauvie Island yesterday and hiked along the Columbia River and today will hopefully find something fun to do as well. That's about all for my update today, cross your fingers for a better work week.
"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it"                  -Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ecola Beach

I looked at my archives today and wow, I am shocked by how little I've been posting. I'm thinking about doing another "blog for every day for 30 days"; I really enjoyed writing regularly and feel like I've been negligent.
I got a job and I start tomorrow. It might not be a dream job, but it will pay the bills and has some perks. Wojc and I are settled into our little apartment in NW Portland, I believe the neighborhood is called Nob Hill. It is a far cry from New York, but a relaxing change that seems to be growing on me.
Our first week in Portland Wojc and I took a day trip to the coast. It's only about an hour and half drive to Seaside and as a born and bred coasty that is a relief. We explored Ecola State Park beach at the magical hour right before sunset. It was chilly, but so beautiful. 
After being on the road as nomads for 7 months, it has been hard to adjust to a stable life. It feel good in the sense that my heart isn't thumping out of my chest from stress, but I won't lie that it has been all peaches and cream. I was down for several days, thinking about life on the road and NYC, luckily this yoga video pulled me out of my funk. Our day trip to the beach combined with the weekend jaunt to Port Orford has eased my way into stability and today my mood had improved greatly.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's In The Water

When Wojc, my brother and I were in Port Orford last week we were supposed to drive back Monday. However, Monday was so beautiful that we just couldn't tear ourselves away. It was one of those days thats so warm and sunny that your mind plays trick on you and you think its May or June.
Since we had another day, we loaded up the two hard shell kayaks and one blow up kayak and headed to Garrison Lake not far from my home. It was late afternoon and the sun was shining, absolutely perfect.

We glided out on the lake and I immediately vowed to kayak as much as possible this year. I really am a fish, I'm just more comfortable on the water. Rafting, kayaking, swimming, sailing, anything on a boat and I'm happy. I used to raft and kayak quite a bit in high school and even did a four day trip down the rogue river so boating is kind of like second nature to me.

Garrison Lake is a beautiful place, it's in town but surronded by trees and just a few houses, the lake is only separated from the Pacific by a small beach. We paddled almost all the way around the lake with very little wind (shocking) and caught the beginning of sunset with a few purple and pink clouds. 

Of course, no float would be complete without some delicious Olympia (sarcasm). The day was so energizing and I can't wait to get on the water again. Who would've thought visiting Port Orford in January is like a beach vacation?