Adventure Time!

So we are sitting in Terminal 6 of Los Angeles International Airport, waiting for a delayed flight to Baltimore, Maryland.

This is the first trip we have taken without our son since he was born, and we are both having a little bit of trouble with it. We do fine, right up until the moment he isn’t fine.  It’s a strange feeling to be without the little guy, especially to be traveling across the country. 

We take off tonight at 10:40, although we have already seen that change once, and land at 6:30am, east coast time. From there we head straight to WashingtonD.C.  I’m hoping to get some sleep on the flight, but I hate to do that. 

Flying gives you such an opportunity to work, to write, to think, and to dream. To fly over dark country, to let your thoughts wander as you cruise a couple of thousand feet in the sky. It’s pure magic. 

Until tomorrow friends, keep safe. And keep dreaming. 

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On The Road…Part 2

This has been an especially wonderful trip to Portland, and only served to reinforce how much I love this city. From food to transportation to weather, this has been a model trip.

Our last trip to Portland was done in by one thing; location!  We originally thought we were booking a place in the North West section of the city, but it ended up being in North Portland.  This time we were much more selective in our choice. It makes a huge difference.  This time we are in the Nob Hill neighborhood of North West Portland, and it is great; a beautiful neighborhood in every sense of those words.

We are using AirBNB for our accommodations, and no matter how you feel about the subject, you have to admit they’ve changed the game when it comes to finding and booking rooms.  We booked about two months in advance, and spent just over $100 per night for a beautiful house, built in the late 19th-century.  More than that, it is right in the middle of great food, shops and feet away from the streetcar pickup.  Which brings me to my next favorite part of this trip.

We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and I didn’t have to get back into my car for two days, a full 48 hours, until we checked out on Friday.  We used the Portland Streetcars, and MAX Light Rail. (We avoided busses out of personal preference, not lack of choice). These conveyed us to the Oregon State Zoo, downtown, food carts, a great Farmer’s Market, coffee, dinner, lunches, and home.  We never once worried about traffic, parking, or safety.   It made one of the most stressful parts of a trip a complete non-issue.

Portland has long been recognized as a “city on the go,” with an expansive public transportation system, but if those trains have no destinations, what’s the point? The City of Portland has a lot of reasons for that system; over 10,000 acres of public parks, a world class downtown area, and beautiful neighborhoods, each with their own flavor and mood.

This is my third trip to Portland, and each time I go I find something new and exciting to do.  Portland is an incredible city with amazing gifts.  And I love it more each time.

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Links:
Oregon State Zoo
Elephants Delicatessan
Eastside Distilling
South Waterfront Farmers Market

My Best Friend

I want to tell you about Max.

Max is my dog.  He is 7 years old, a chihuahua and dachshund mix (more commonly referred to as a chiweenie).  And he is my best friend.

I have been fairly open about my Depression and anxiety.  Max has helped me through all of it for the last seven years.  He curls up with me.  He lays with me.  He doesn’t mind spending the day watching movies, or letting me pet him for as long as I need to, trying to quiet the racing thoughts.  And while this sounds just like any dog you might find, Max is special.  He comes to me when an attack starts.  He curls up in my lap, or paws at me, or just lifts my hand onto his head.  He cuddles and licks me when I hurt.

Max was a rescue dog; abandoned by his former owner as too high maintenance.  We adopted him, walking into a Pet Smart to find a bed for our first dog Milo.  We saw Max and couldn’t stop looking at him.  I asked if I could hold him, and as we walked around the store he fell asleep in my arms.  It was love.  Now, seven years later, he still falls asleep with me.

Today Max is going in for surgery.  He has a growth on his lip that needs to be removed and sent to the lap for further testing.  Under the best circumstances I wouldn’t be handling this well, and these are currently far from the best of circumstances; in the middle of a move, between trips, and during a fairly busy time at the day job.  He needs to have the surgery, and I know that the vet is excellent.  But anytime a dog has to be put under for a procedure, just as with a human, there are chances you take.  And then we wait for the lab results.

I have tons to say about Portland, a wonderful wedding in Olympia, and a crazy road trip.  I have things to say about moving and living in our own space for the first time in four and a half years.  I have things to say about the election and politics and the current state of our world.

But tonight I wanted to say that I love my dog.  My Max.

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 PUPDATE (8:00pm):  Max’s surgery went very well. A mass was moved from his lip and was sent to the lab. He is resting at home and everyone is happy to have him here. A big thank you to the Las Tables Animal Hospital. 

Update From The Road

I am traveling this week, but I wanted to share a little with you.  Enjoy these images from a wonderful trip.  I will be back next Wednesday with a regular post.

Fire escapes are plentiful in the Alphabet District.  This one particularly grabbed my attention.

One of our favorite buildings in the Alphabet District. Mixed use buildings are so amazing to me.

“Keep Portland Weird.” Portland has a wonderful sense of humor!

A wonderful day at the Oregon State Zoo.  My son had a fantastic time.

The architecture of Portland stuns me when I see it.  It is uniquely Portland.


A great Farmer’s Market by the waterfront. 

On The Road…Part 1

The countdown has started.

I am currently five days away from my second big trip this year. We are headed back to Portland for a few days, and then up to Washington State, for a friend’s wedding. Excitement doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Just about the only part I’m not excited for is the drive.  This isn’t the first time I’ve driven all the way to Portland.  It is an all day grind; just over 800 miles, and 12 and a half hours if you do not stop.  And you have to stop.

This is a return trip to the Pacific North West for us.  We were there in March, and are looking forward to exploring some different parts of the city.  This time, our goal is to use Public Transportation as much as possible.  And to eat.

My wife and I have discovered that, when we are on vacation, food is the defining characteristic of our trips.  We are constantly planning our next meal, asking the locals where the best food is, and allowing for places along the way to surprise us.

For this trip, just like our last adventure, we are using AirBNB.  We had no issues finding a great little space a few months prior, and for a very reasonable price.  It is close to all the activities we are looking forward to; a short walk to the metro station, near restaurants, and with a little coffee shop just around the corner.

The second part of our trip is a much more personal adventure; two of my closest friends are getting married, and I get to officiate their wedding.  It is such a wonderful gift, and I couldn’t be happier about it.  I will be there to help them begin a brand new chapter of their lives together.

July is going to be a very exciting and busy month, and I have a lot of travels to write about, but August is shaping up to be a huge adventure too.  I can’t wait to tell you about it.