Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One Place I Love the Most... Portland, Oregon! I had never been there before, (previous to 2003) despite living about 10 hours away when I lived in California. It wasnt until I got my mission call to serve there for 18 months that I realized how cool of a place it was. I seriously had no idea!

I was able to visit many people during a short 3 day visit there this last weekend. Special thanks to Southwest Airlines for providing me with a cheap round trip ticket!! The point of my trip was to see people that I had not gotten to see on my last trip. For the most part I was successful.

I arrived Friday night at 10pm and picked up my rental car and headed to my friend Jeremy's where I was "camping" out at in his pop-up trailer! It was really fun & awesome to be able to come and go as I pleased. The arrangement worked out well and I am extremely grateful to him for offering it to me. I got to meet his brother who is living with him right now and also his gf Libby who made us dinner and we all stayed up talking until 2 or 3 in the morning. I was soo tired because I hadnt been able to sleep on the flight thanks to the guy who sat next to me.

Woke up in the night to the sound of rain and it was still raining a little bit when I got up - close to 10am! An hour later than I had planned on. Quickly headed out to Gresham, the first area I had served in as a missionary , from October 2003 to February 2004. I was able to see some families there that I had not seen for a few years!

Visited people on Saturday afternoon and ate at Big Town Hero - SUCCESSFULLY! Because you might remember from past blog posts of mine that I tried to eat here last time in Oregon & also once in Vegas and they were both closed!! Major party foul on their part. My friend Mirna who was in the Mt. Hood YSA ward when I was there , met up with me and we caught up big time!

Had some time in-between and thought I'd better go to Deseret Book in Lake Oswego to get something. Well, they didnt have what I want, but I ended up getting a DVD and a great cd by David Tolk...the cd was playing while I was walking around and seriously gave me chills so I wound up buying it.

Stopped across the street at the Portland temple - one of my favorites!

Took this pic and got it right dead on the first time! Mad skillz....

Grabbed some food here - Clackamas Town Center mall HAS one! Arizona does not. Utah does. So I was wayyy excited to pick up some dinner here. You can get it to go or eat in the restaurant. I got chicken curry and it was VERY good!

Took my food over to my good friend Autumn's house and hung out with her and her kids for a couple hours. LOVE THEM! Autumn is GREAT to talk to and her kids are so amazing. CJ showed me some of his dance moves and Ari was acting cute all over the place. Miss them but soo fun to visit when I'm in town.

Next I met up with my friend Rachel who was a girl I taught in Milwaukie and we went to Cold Stone for some ice cream - unfortunately they were out of marshmallows so I did not have a mix in to my chocolate mint. Extremely disappointing. I bought some later at WINCO! YAY!

Dropped Rachel back off at her apartment and pretty much crashed ((aka "sleep"))

Sunday morning ! Up again to visit people & go to church.

As I drove to visit the first family of the day, I did not take for granted the beautiful changes happening to the trees since fall is coming!

It had been awhile since I had seen the Wing family so it was great to visit Rachelle, plus see how big her kids Kaylee, Jayden and Jayce have gotten too!

Went to sacrament meeting in Gladstone at the Aldercreek YSA ward with Jeremy and Libby. Saw Tyler Foster and Garry Zink and saw a few familiar faces still left from when I had served in that ward , the summer of 2004!!

Took off to Cedar Mill - Beaverton area after I left church to see...

Ahhh this family treated me and my companions that I had while served in their ward, so so well! One time they left us a TON of food on their doorstep. Seriously amazing. They have since moved and switched wards but I was able to track them down in time for my visit prior to coming to Portland. We had a great time talking about all sorts of things and my time with them was too short! But it was great to have a little time , they are a wonderful family.

Had to hurry to Damascus for dinner with the Wilsons. Another family who I have not seen for a very long time! They have SIX boys now and so dinner was very entertaining. Bro Wilson is now the bishop and gave me some good marriage/dating type counsel & words of wisdom. We had spaghetti for dinner and I tied with one of their sons in a contest! I felt SO full afterwards and a little sick but it was worth it. I'd rather tie than lose! When I was serving in Gresham they had me and my companion over for dinner once and apparently I beat the same son eating spaghetti so he wanted a rematch.

Me with some of the boys before I left...

I havent seen this family (above) since early 2004 at least! Sooo crazy huh. I was able to visit them Sunday evening and it brought back such good memories of serving in their Hartley Park ward and sometimes they would feed us dinner too. It was a great visit & they knew a lot about what had happened to other people I was wondering about from the ward so it was great to get updated! I hope to keep in touch more often with them!

Headed back to Clackamas after not too long and visited the Yates family. Watched some History Channel (so wasnt allowed when I was a missionary!) talked to Rob & Christina and said goodnight to Brynn. The girls were in bed. Sweet family & I am glad I had a moment to stop and see them.

Went to bed around midnight or probably a little later. Had to be up extra early on Monday to get to Dr. Egan's office in McMinnville by 9am. Got my teeth cleaned by him and had good news - NO CAVITIES! Woohooo!! Finally! Guess that earned me a goody bag or something because the hygienist filled it up with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, flossing materials & a pencil! Sweet.

Met up with Tausha and her son after that. I havent seen her since..2007 maybe? It was great to meet up & talk with her. I cant believe we are both 27 now!

Visited Ruby at work next, did not take a picture with her. Tried to find Billie Cymbala and happened to drive by her scrapbook store. Thank goodness because I know it had moved but I had no idea where. She doesnt work there anymore apparently and the lady working told me she was about to have her baby! WOW I had no idea! Again! I was clueless. Lol. I ended up getting a phone # for Billie after I got back to Arizona so hopefully I get to see her on my next visit.

Drove out to the Egans and had lunch with Dr. Egan and his wife Barbara and their son Doug and his friend who was visiting from Oklahoma, Raegan. She was very nice & it was great to sit and each together and talk. Even though I saw them a few months ago when I had been in town. But!! It's all good, I love love visiting them and the warm welcome they give me every time I am visiting.

Drove to Cedar Mill and had a few families left to see but only had time to see Bro Bigelow who was the ward mission leader when I had served in the Sunset Hills ward. His wife was feeling under the weather so him and I talked outside for about 30 min or so. It was great to hear what he has been up to and get updates on the ward.

I badly wanted to see Jeremy and Libby again one more time before my plane left but was advised that due to traffic, I'd better leave and not make any more stops!

Bye bye Portland....I hope to see you again in 6 months! Thank you for not raining on me too much, the lovely fall colors, expensive gas ($2.80's mostly when it is only $2.49 in AZ!) , no sales tax and not letting me getting carried away in my shopping!

(flying over Mt Hood)


Michael Beckstead said...

You are AWESOME!!! Going back to Portland so often following the mission! I have been home for 5.5 years and have yet to go back... Slacker, I know! The plan is to go visit next summer, though...

Mom2BJM(Amy) said...

I love Portland too. But I have not been back since 1994...

Mom2BJM(Amy) said...

Oooops... make that 1997! We lived there in 95-96, moved back here in Oct 96, then visited back Aug 97 when Jessica was 4 mos...