Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Since we last spoke...

I have:

•cooked more veggies, including butternut squash risotto & fried rice with peppers & lots and lots of cookies
•taken more walks & gone for more runs
•explored our little city's downtown
•finished the West Wing (so sad it's "over")
•watched Silver Linings Playbook
•Started my JOB!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Holding patterns

We went on a walk around our neighborhood yesterday for the first time. Here are a few of the sights we...sighted.

Our neighborhood back in Alabama was extremely residential. There were a ton of parks within walking distance, and while there weren't always sidewalks, it was very walkable. Around here, things feel more industrial. Mostly because of the railroad and the river and living next to a foundry and everything. I think I like it, but it's still going to take some getting used to.

When we got home, it was time for dinner. Our kitchen is somewhat stocked now. We moved a lot of our non-perishables and made a pretty hefty trip to the grocery store earlier yesterday. Mostly for all of these veggies.

The whole time we were on the road, this was all I wanted: a giant bowl of fresh vegetables. We ate these with some brown rice last night. Today, I think we'll finish them up with some soba noodles. I'm extremely satisfied.

Now that everything's done, and I'm starting work on Monday (and Aaron's starting soonish - hopefully we'll know more about that tomorrow), I feel like we're kind of in a strange holding pattern. We're not really sure what to do all day. There are a few things that still need to get done, but mostly, we can relax...which is strange.

I'm trying to enjoy it. I'm sure things will be back to being comfortably busy soon.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Oregon Trail: The end

We made it home at about 6 p.m. (Pacific time) on Tuesday, which didn't leave us very much time to unpack. We got a few things (mainly, the mattress) out of the truck and set up camp in our living room for the night.

Yesterday, the fun began. I'm not being sarcastic, either. Fresh starts are the best. Having all of our stuff tucked away neatly into clean spaces makes me feel ...just... so happy.

So, without further ado, this is our 600-square-foot apartment!

The view from the door. On the left is our little kitchen table, on the right is my old desk, which we've converted into an entry-way table type thing, and in front is our living room with huge windows. The ones on the left side of the apartment in the living room & bedroom are right next to a Foundry, so our view is of lovely metal siding, which is fine, because it manes we can keep our windows open all day and no one can see in!

The kitchen is on the right from the front door. It's pretty standard, but here are a few of our fun decorations & such. There is a ton more counter space & storage compared to our last kitchen. And we have a dishwasher. Be still my heart.

A closeup of the entry-way desk/table. From left-right: a lamp I've had since college, a map of Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Ark., some candles & a mail-keeper thing my parents brought me back from a cruise.

In the foreground is an orange ottoman that Aaron's dad & step mom gave us. Behind that is the TV, DVD player Wii & books! I organized them by color...except for the top shelf which has Bibles, the Harry Potter series & climbing guidebooks. Aaron made this bookcase, by the way.

This is our Foundry-facing living room window with a few knick-knacks & a poster that I printed myself back home in Arkansas. (The quote is by Haruki Murakami.)

This is the view from the middle of the living room looking back to the bedroom. When they say open floor plan, they mean open floor plan. We're hoping to get a screen or two to better separate the two rooms.

I call this one "the mess behind the couch" ...this box of crap is the only stuff that couldn't find a home. I'm surprised it's as small a collection as it is to be honest. It's mostly decorations we don't have room for. A few things I know I'll take to work with me, but a few will probably stay in the box... The brown cardboard box has already left us for Goodwill land.

You might notice a bit more overflow here...we didn't have a storage space big enough for our bouldering pads. I enjoy the decorations on the dresser, though!

A few shots around the bedroom. My mom kindly sent us the plant. It's near the window to soak up as much light as possible. The weather has been pretty typically Oregonian since we arrived. The bookcase is filled with our music & movies.

Finally, the bathroom! It has our huge, main closet. All of our clothes & shoes fit, and we're using the top shelf for random storage. ...and the washer/dryer. Amazing. This is probably my favorite room in the house.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour. I'm loving our new space. It's small, but cozy, and I'm we'll make happy memories here for as long as we decide to stay.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Oregon Trail: Day 8

Today was Yosemite.

We gawked at Half Dome & El Capitan & Bridalveil Falls for a long time. We walked around Yosemite Village. We bought the over-priced souvenirs (I got a mug with a bear on it for my tea at work!). And we were just generally in awe that this stuff exists.

We are in a super comfy La Quinta in Davis, California tonight, and tomorrow we'll be home. I can't wait. This trip has been amazing, but I'm ready to be home, unpacked & for things to start to feel normal again.

I'll see you on the other side.

The Oregon Trail: Day 7

Bishop. I joked to Aaron that we should make a video of us waking up in our hotel room, getting read, driving down Buttermilk Road, walking to the boulders and FINALLY climbing something. I've seen so many videos start like that…

We didn't make a video, but that is basically what we did…after waking up and putting on layers and layers of clothing (It was 21 degrees when we woke up!) …the temp. rose quickly, and my layers came off. 34 degrees in Bishop feels like……warm. It's strange. Humidity, or the lack thereof is ridiculous! It makes all the difference.

We left the Penske truck (whom we've been calling "Pepe") at the beginning of Buttermilk Road, which is a dirt road leading out to the boulder field, and hopped into my PT Cruiser for the first time in days and days. Since the car was packed pretty well, we employed our special Arkansan skills to secure our bouldering pads to the top of the car.

The landscape is gorgeous.

And the boulders are tall!

But, we did find a few less-intimidating things to climb. The quality of the granite was sooo much better than Joshua Tree, even though I enjoyed that landscape a tiny bit more….

I hope I get to climb in Bishop again someday (soon).

I'm writing from Bakersfield, Calif. It's silly that we went back south in order to head north, but somehow that made the most sense.

We'll be in Yosemite tomorrow - our last day of play before making the last 11ish-hour push to Corvallis/Albany….to go home. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Oregon Trail: Day 6

Joshua Tree was AMAZING! We spent our whole day there hiking and climbing and ...looking at the trees. I suppose I've seen a Joshua tree before. I know I've seen pictures of them. I love them. They're beautiful and unique and interesting. But, before we headed into the park, we ate a hearty breakfast at an adorable diner.

It was the kind of place that has regular customers with regular waitresses who know their regular orders. And then there are the tourists and the dirtbags...like us. We're kind of dirtbagging. I'm starting to feel a little bit homeless.

I wouldn't mind living in Joshua Tree, though, or near it...or visiting it again.

Intersection Rock is one of the first things you see when you really get into the park. There are trad routes on it, and it's almost 300 feet tall! And beautiful!

And...the trees...

Boone got tired from all the trekking around. Good thing Metolius makes great dog beds.

...I was sad to leave. I haven't been to many national parks, but J Tree is my favorite so far for sure!

The Oregon Trail: Day 5

It's been a few days now, but I honestly can't remember anything exciting that happened on our drive from central New Mexico to Joshua Tree, Calif. We stopped in Gallup, New Mexico to walk around and eat lunch.

Here are some photos from a gas station somewhere past Flagstaff, Arizona. The light was nice.

Long distance driving makes people crazy.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Oregon Trail: Day 4

One of the longest days in the car everrrr. We drove from Little Rock to Santa Rosa, New Mexico, and when we made it there we were pooped!

We were hoping to make it all the way to Albuquerque, but we had to stop short…possibly thanks in part to a little surprise detour to visit Petit Jean.

Petit Jean Mountain has been one of my favorite places in Arkansas for a really long time. It' all based on a really sweet legend that you can read about here.

We've been meaning to stop off at the gravesite overlook for awhile now - the past few times we've been home, but it's usually been an afterthought.

I was sleeping when Aaron pulled off at the exit, and I immediately knew where we were going. It was a great Valentine's Day surprise, and a great goodbye to Arkansas. We took some pretty goofy pictures.

And then we drove and drove and drove, and nothing really interesting happened until this west Texas sunset broke our hearts.

Can't wait for more driving. Heh. Pretty sure by the end of this, I won't want to be in a vehicle for weeks and weeks.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Oregon Trail: Day 3

Our last day in Little Rock turned out to be completely hectic, but we did take some time earlier in the day to visit a few of our favorite places. We had lunch at Boulevard Bread Co.

Aaron was excited about it...

After lunch, we walked around the Heights.

The yarn folks bombed a tree in front of their storefront. It was so adorable. I couldn't help but take a million photos of it. I wish I was awesome (read: patient) enough to knit!

Next we spent a few hours climbing before saying some last goodbyes. The Little Rock Climbing Center feels so homey. It's funny to think how intimidated I was by it and all the people there when I first started climbing.

We were lucky enough to meet Aaron's school friends' brand new baby before heading out as well, further confirming my suspicions that we're all getting much too old and serious and stuff.

I just want to keep having adventures....

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Oregon Trail: Day 2

As I mentioned in my last entry, our hotel in Tupelo was not too shabby. I was sad to have to wake up so early & head out. I grabbed a Danish, an apple & a cup full of Fruit Loops on the way out.

Boone and I shared the cereal on the drive. He came with a ziplock back full of Fruit Loops when I adopted him. His breeder apparently fed them to him as a puppy. I wonder if they comfort him at all. He does seem a little stressed by the move. Poor dog will have lived in three apartments in three states in his three years of life (he turns 3 on March 3)!

I followed Aaron till Palestine, Ark., and this was my view:

I left him after our gas stop because Boone had an 11 a.m. vet appointment to get to, and we were running a little behind.

Boone has been a patient at Hillcrest Animal Hospital since he was a puppy, and the staff there is amazing. I highly recommend them. At the appointment he was pronounced healthy & happy & good to go to Oregon. He was also given three shots: one in each hip, and one on his back. He didn't seem to mind at all. Further proving that he is, in fact, indestructible. You can poke the dog with needles & he doesn't even care.

I realized while paying that I had no idea where my credit card was. Panic ensued. We searched for about an hour and never found the damn thing. For all I know it's somewhere between Little Rock & Palestine. A new one is on its way to me…

After the stress of that situation, I needed a nap before my big birthday dinner. Aaron's family & my family joined for the first time to wish me a happy 26th!

There were many wonderful gifts & stories exchanged. I'm so, so lucky.

Aaron and I ended the night at our favorite Little Rock bar with a couple of beers, so even with the stress of the missing credit card, Day 2 was still a success!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Oregon Trail: Day 1

This is cheating, because I'm starting the day before Day 1...with our "Last Supper," as I called it. I made a grilled cheese on sourdough with feta, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and homemade pesto ...and it was delicious.

We also had roasted potatoes & cauliflower.

That was before we threw the last few kitchen items into one of the last packing boxes.

Our real "Last Supper" in Montgomery was at Tomatinos, the delicious pizza place where we actually ate one of our FIRST meals in town during our first house hunting trip.

"Day 1" was technically spent loading up our Penske truck, cleaning & finally leaving Montgomery at about 5:30 in the pouring rain. It drizzled on us all day as we packed and moved and finished up, and that was fine.

It was not fine driving my car up onto the trailer in the downpour, but I did it.

We ended up staying the night in Tupelo. We basically fell into a bed at the Days Inn...

I slept better there than I did the night before in our echoy, empty, apartment.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Today is my birthday. I get to spend it packing & cleaning & getting ready to move...tomorrow. We're picking up our Penske truck tomorrow. I'm not sure if we'll actually get on the road or not. We'll spend about 10 days moving from start to finish. Some of those will be spent driving, and some will be spent adventuring in places like our hometown of Little Rock, Albuquerque, LA, Yosemite & Bishop.

Aaron's finishing up his last day of work today, and once I finish writing this, I'll be working on getting the apartment ready to go. Most of our belongings (minus furniture) are in our dining room in boxes. It's bizarre.

This morning, we took time out for one last trip to Cafe Louisa, one of our favorite local spots. They have the best bagels.

It's also just a really cool atmosphere to kick back, drink coffee and watch the regulars...

Quiet moments like these have been really important to me this week. It's been busy and stressful, and today doesn't necessarily feel like it should be my birthday. But, if my present is getting to take an awesome road tomorrow trip with the love of my life and ending up in our new home, in Oregon. I'll take it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My trip to Oregon

My trip to Oregon was full of:

•Getting in late
•Lots of late-night tea
•An exhausting day in Corvallis
•Thin Mints
•Dessert 7-layer Dip
•Veggie Burgers
•Boot camp (I'm still sore)
•A trip to the home brew store
•A pretty cute baby
•Very good friends
•Discovering Vine
•Being sad to leave
•Being excited to be back soon

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Five

1. Sunshine
2. Best friends
3. The colour orange
4. Searching
5. Wandring