Two years ago today, the hubby and I were preparing for our grand adventure. Packing up and moving from central Texas to Portland, Oregon. Talk about a road trip… roughly 2375 miles in a 26′ U-haul truck, pulling a car trailer.
While we knew it would be hard moving that far away from family and friends, the excitement of the adventure was intoxicating. Of course, looking back we would have done somethings different but as usual, hindsight is 20/20.
We left Texas one cold morning, driving like a bat out of hell to get ahead of a big winter storm. Since I had never driven a large truck and trailer, P did all the driving. Imagine a handsome man, standing on the roof of this truck, beating his chest while bellowing… “I am Man! I drive!” And I was definitely prepared to let him do so! I could sit back, navigate and post to my “Road Trip to Portland” FaceBook page.
I was always madly in love with my hubby but I’m here to tell you, you really find out how strong that love is when you’re cooped up in a U-haul for four days. The man is my hero… in every sense of the word. He made the long, hard trip so much fun! Like when we pulled off I5 in LA one night to find a motel. It didn’t take but a few blocks to realize that we weren’t in a good area. So what does my man do? Calmly makes a u-turn in the middle of this barrio and keeps on driving. Seriously, all we needed were bandanas on our heads and Low Rider (which is a favorite song of mine) on the radio. I should have been scared to death because it was really pretty bad but I had never felt so safe or had so much fun. That day was a pretty hard one on us as, over 15 hours on the road but we wanted to get past LA as quickly as possible. (Folks in LA don’t take too well to U-haul trucks and trailers on their highways.) Finding a hotel was harder than you could imagine. We finally found one, a couple of steps above a “rent by the hour” but at the time, it looked like the Hilton to us. I’m telling you… he is my hero! The next night he surprised me by getting a Honeymoon suite complete with a hot tub. Yeah… he knew how to take care of me and did a magnificent job of it too!
If you’ve been fortunate enough to take a road trip like this, you know that you get to see American like you have never before. The scenery is amazing. You don’t appreciate the mountains and deserts until you see them up close and personal. And so totally worth the numb butt!
I would do this all over again, and again and again with him. Who cares about having a numb butt when you get the privilege of being with your man, cooped up in a truck for days, dreaming about the future and having the best grand adventure of your life.
Portland was awesome for me. I walked the streets for hours, exploring my new home. Our apartment was a new experience for both of us. A third floor condo (a few short blocks from downtown) that overlooked Portland’s Lone Fir cemetery, the largest and most historic in the city. I began my day by taking a walk in the cemetery. The fir trees were some of the largest that I’ve ever seen.
Portland is a “foodie” heaven and within blocks of our condo were dozens of restaurants. A favorite was Wild Abandon. A little, romantic upper-end place that made the best Lemon Drop martinis and a dish named Chicken Champagne that was to die for. It was so much fun to take a walk down the street and try new places. And our street had such a variety of shops, restaurants, tea shops, little neighborhood bars, diners, and an upper end grocery store that kept olive oil in a locked glass case.
I didn’t find the weather bad at all. We had heard that the winters were really wet and dreary. Yes, it was wet a lot but it was more of a mist or gentle sprinkle. And being on the west side of the mountains and closer to the Pacific, it was warmer than I thought it would be. One morning I was standing at the window and something white caught my eye. I thought it must be something coming off the roof of the building until I opened the window and realized it was snowflakes. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was the most beautiful sunny day and it was snowing. I can honestly say that Texas weather is so much worse than Portland’s!
And where else can you see a cherry tree in full bloom in the middle of February?
Or see this less than 20 minutes from your downtown home?
Or walk the beach and marvel at this?
The contract job ended and we returned to Texas, to family, friends and our home. While I was glad to return, I left a piece of my heart in Portland. Hopefully I’ll take another road trip, suffer the numb butt again and return one day to the city that excites me as no other.
Want to go with me?