p o r t l a n d, oregon

I will start by saying that vacations should be longer.
There just isn’t enough time in 5 days to accomplish
even half of what you had in mind.
We keep learning this the hard way, but yet we
struggle to find more than 5 days for vacation.

P O R T L A ND review:

Great first impression!
We got off the plane and were immediately greeted by paintings,
photos, installations, etc.
I love strong art communities, because if you didn’t know…
art is as important as biology, chemistry and rocket science.
It shows us a different kind of human evolution.
So thanks, Portland! For giving artists such a huge city to
create, showcase and appreciate art.

The weekend was a whirlwind.
You read up on places you’re going to visit and have thousands
of things you must see, but when you’re visiting friends & family, those
plans can get a little off track. It’s a tough balance.
Another thing we keep learning the hard way!
You have to pick and choose wisely.
I think we did pretty good with the time we had.

Thanksgiving was delicious and fun!
You put food in front of me, and I’m good to go.
We got to meet some really great people and we also got to
Skype with my family in Chicago on Thanksgiving Day.
I love dinners when people are just sitting at the table
telling stories and you’re laughing until your stomach hurts.
Good food, good meat. Good God, let’s eat!
While the food was cooking, we went downtown and walked in
the rain. Obviously stores were closed and people were scarce
but I love that.
You stumble upon gems when you’re not distracted.

“..A reflective surface, everyone get in!”

This pole was stacked with kids bikes.
I envy the creativity of others.

So, Friday was my favorite day.
After watching The Bucket List a couple weeks ago,
I decided I was going to start making my own.
(I’ll do a post on that next week.)
Well, seeing Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach, OR
was number 18.
It’s the first big ticket (traveling) item that I was able to cross off.
We made a loop through Washington and then came back
down the coast, and when we got to the first lookout point,
my eyes embarrassingly welled up.
It was truly breathtaking.

If you haven’t made a Bucket List, I think you should.
When I put things in writing, I mean business.
Things must get crossed off.
That’s probably the obsessive compulsive side of me at work,
but it works.

We got closer!
Well, I got closer!
There was a yucky water stream that you had to cross
and no one wanted to get their feet soaked so I had to brave
the stream alone in my poor (not-so-waterproof) Aldo boots
to get closer. I didn’t care if the shoes got completely destroyed.
But this also meant that I had to be THAT person taking self
portraits in front of a massive rock.
It was too cool for me to care though.

Add this to your bucket list, people.
There is something truly magical here.
You walk up this giant beach and there is this gigantic rock in the shape
of a haystack. The water crashes around it.
If you go when the tide is low, you can see and touch starfish
on the rock. I didn’t want to keep everyone waiting in the cold
so I didn’t go right up to the rock but the tide was also
a little high when we got there.

Ummm, thank God for a fish eye lens right?!?
It’s a $30 adapter and its pretty finicky but I freaking love it.
I was like a kid on Christmas morning.
It’s probably good that no one was there to see the complete
s_ _t eating grin on my face. Just a photo record.
I’ll never forget it.
I want to talk about a little thing called h i k i n g.
This is not something I enjoy or usually willingly partake in.
I planned on staying behind and doing homework while the rest
of the clan went on a 5 mile hike to the top of Angels Rest.
There is nothing appealing to me about an uphill climb.
I went against my decision to stay behind and went along.
How bad could it be?, I thought.
I learned quickly that it was going to be brutal.
Before we even go to the main trail my thighs were on fire.
How in hell was I going to make it up a 2.5 mile devastating incline?
Answer: Marty.
By the third switchback, I was stripping down layers of clothing
and premaritally divorcing Marty.
It was like being on my first big mountain snowboarding w/him all over again.
I went against my decision of going on a hill I wasn’t ready for…
wiped out, got the wind knocked out of me and proceeded to
cry, breakup w/Marty and throw my board down the hill.
But just like that night snowboarding, by the end of it
something had been accomplished.

This is the first lookout point on the way up where
I was officially going insane.
The wind picked up and I had to put my clothes on.
We still had more than a mile to go.
It was wet.
It was terrifying.
It was dangerous.
I was doing this with those damn Aldo boots on
and no water.
Oh, and did I mention that we started this hike
immediately following the win of the Michigan vs. OSU game?
Stomach full of beer & a celebratory shot of whiskey.
It was just Marty & I most of the way.
We lost them when I had to pop-a-squat.
Marty was such a good sport, as always.
He quietly encouraged me to keep going and laughed
at my inability to keep a firm grasp on my sanity.
When you go without food & water for a certain amount of time,
your brain starts to break down and you literally start going crazy.
My brain does that when I am face to face with aerobic obstacles.

I must have asked 3 different groups of people coming down
how much farther we had until we reached the top.
The first guy said “45 minutes further,” and I wanted to cry.
I’m truly the most un-athletic person on the planet.
It’s a little pathetic.

okay, okay, okay…so I caught a second wind of energy when
two men passed us and said that we had only 10 minutes left
and that we had already passed the worst of the hike.
I powered through and then BAM!
We were at the top.
I couldn’t believe I did it.
I was mostly excited for Marty though.
This is who he is and what he loves.
I couldn’t wait to see his face when we stood at the top overlooking
the most beautiful landscape.

My heart skipped a beat.
Watching him be in his element, and knowing that he was
in a place that he can’t get to in our concrete jungle of Chicago was just

…and in that moment, all was perfect.

I didn’t even care about the view for me…I couldn’t stop
watching him. Just happy to share a moment like that with him.

It took a day to recover to be able to say this,
but it was worth it in the end.
I plan on starting to build up my hiking skills so
that I can keep experiencing those moments with him.
If I could do that climb, then I am confident that I can do it again.
Only, I’d like to build up to it before I ever attempt it again!
Anything to share that solitude on the same level w/him.

I’ll end with some photos from the trip….

My new toy!
Kodak Colorburst 350.
Mint Condition.
Accessible Film.
I’m such an instant film addict!
[i blame lewis toby]

I’ll get the food porn photos out of the way now…
Duck & homemade fried gnocci.
[mouth is watering]

Voodoo Doughnuts.

I finally got my hands on a Froot Loop doughnut.

Nothing I love more than a table of delicious food & good people.



Carl taking in the seascape.

It all started w/an  [apple jack]

It is not flesh and blood, but heart which makes us fathers and sons


I want to consume everything in mason jars.

Bucket list item #5
[deep sea fishing]

The time has come….

We dominated.
It was the most tense and happy moment.
Marty has turned me into this college football,
Michigan franchise loving MONSTER.
We woke up with the sun to get to the Michigan Alum bar in Portland
to watch the game.

We had sore throats by the time it was over.
Most amazing game ever.

I had to spend a little time gloating to a particular
crap talking OSU fan….

Congratulations to our boys in Maize & Blue.
You made us the happiest people on earth on Saturday,
and we will be reveling in this for the next year.
Hail to the Victors, baby!

[best part, was a strange old man coming up to us
and telling us how happy we look.
This happens to us often, and I love it.]


Best for last:

Yes sir, go right ahead and kick yourself in the ass
with one of your Retro Jordan shoes.

Good catching up with you on the West Coast, Cat!

Click HERE to see the slideshow of the rest of the


5 thoughts on “p o r t l a n d, oregon

  1. that pile of bikes is for the ZOOBOMB!
    >>>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoobomb

    and that breakfast photo has convinced me to get to Screen Door as soon as humanly possible.

    aaaand you inspired me to head to the coast THIS WEEKEND! i figured it was my last chance before heading back to the SOUL-SUCKING midwest… [can you tell i’m slightly bitter? just slightly]

    so good to see you two, too! i wonder how many pairs of jordans he has now…

    • i can only imagine how many he has now…ugh.

      YAY! Man, I wish you would have been back in the area when we were at the coast!

      B & B & C dinner upon both of our arrivals in the dirty mitten

      have fun this weekend! EAT SCREEN DOOR and send me pics of what you eat! :) xo

  2. One of my all time special quotes seems really fitting here “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to either fortune or failure.”–Jim Rohn

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