The last leg of this road trip. A bittersweet time. We’re all ready to see what Portland is like but we’re enjoying the road trip and hate for it to come to an end. Rylee even said today that this is the closest our family has ever been. That makes all the pains, risk and second guessing so worth it.
The scenery on the Boise to Oregon ride was about the same as the Salt Lake City to Boise stretch. It only started to change when we got about four hours out from Portland. We started to see lots of pine trees on the mountains and then, pretty suddenly, we were right in the middle of a heavily forested mountain. It was pretty amazing. Then we hit the Columbia River Gorge for most of the rest of the ride. That was unbelievably cool looking too. We were down inside the gorge right next to the river, flanked on both sides by steep, rocky cliffs and a couple of small hydroelectric dams. Then we hit forested mountains again and this time with waterfalls.
We got to Portland with eager anticipation of what this apartment would actually be like. Kelly got this place on Craigslist and had one of her new Portland Facebook friends go look at it, pay a deposit and pick up keys. Crazy how she pulled this off. The place was great. It was just like the pictures showed inside and out. We were all relived that it worked out to this point.
We had to circle the block a few times with our van/trailer combo, that now seemed even more ridiculously huge, to find street parking. This apartment, like most others in this area, has no parking. All parking is on the street which makes the streets very hard to drive down. They are two way streets the same size as Baton Rouge streets, but with cars parked on both sides so you can barely just drive one car down the center. It’s pretty awesome because it gets everyone out on their bikes or on foot.
I expected to see pedestrians and bikers, but it exceeded my expectations. People are out on the streets everywhere. In every neighborhood and on every street. We don’t go five minutes without seeing people out on the sidewalks.
Day 2 & 3
Unloading the trailer was another good family bonding experience. We are three floors up so I knew right away that Kelly and I could not, should not, do it on our own. Kelly rallied me and the kids and came up with a manageable plan that had us all working together to get it done. We did it in two waves with a long overnight break in between and every time Kelly and I ventured out for a walk, we’d stop and grab a box on our way up too. Thank goodness for her plan because my typical MO is to bear down and get it all done in one big push. I guess there is a time and a place for each style. That loaded trailer was for some reason a major monkey on my back. Getting it unloaded and returned to Uhaul felt sooooo good. It’s much easier to park now and we can put things in their place. I like order and completion.
Tate and Luke have each ventured out once for a walk. Luke even ice skated with Rylee today. Rylee has gone out a bunch already. To the grocery store, to a restaurant, to the mall and ice skating several times. She keeps telling me how much she loves it here. Nice!
I love it so far too. The air feels good. It’s cool and smells great. All the flowers are in bloom right now. Our first day was clear and sunny, the next two days, grey and misty all day long. The cool mist feels really good. So different from what I am used to. The neighborhoods are densely populated with houses and apartments all in the same neighborhood right next to each other. Then there are all the commercial establishments right down the road. Lots of local shops along with a few larger stores and a mall. All within a ten minute walk in any direction. This place is crazy. The neighborhoods look great too. All the landscaping is immaculate.
Our fingers are crossed that we stay in this apartment for more than a few days. We still have to legitimize the lease arrangement since this Craigslist Sublease is a bit questionable at this point. If it was meant to be it will be, otherwise we’re off to our next adventure.