Portland: Nearly 1 month later.

Well its been 3.5 weeks since we moved in here and we are quite settled already.

Today we are getting our fence finished. The yard was fenced around the¬†perimeter, but with no gates. Now our front and backyard will be fenced and gated. ūüôā

We have 90% or more of our stuff¬†unpacked. The living room is all set up, the kitchen is set up (but needs a dining room table), the bedroom has 4-5 small boxes in the closet that need to be unpacked, the bathroom just needs some under the sink organizing help, and Mark’s room still has a few boxes left, but his furniture is all set up and his toys and books are all out.

We do have a BUNCH of stuff in our gigantic garage that needs to be organized/donated/put away.

We love a lot about Portland, the food options, the great outdoor spaces, the weather (Chicago ain’t got nothin on this), the¬†community, the culture, and more. Babywearing is rampant here. I mean everyone here has an ergo. You do see ring slings, wraps and the like more often too, but seriously, everyone has an ergo. Its kind of crazy. Even though babywearing dads are more common, babywearing is here is respected and not looked on as weird. Ace got a lot of “awwww”s trying to get Mark to sleep in the carrier at a recent street fair. Speaking of street fairs, the events here…. There are fairs, concerts, and outdoor events galore, more things than one human could ever¬†experience. I’m torn between TWO great dog events next month, like I said there is simply too much to do here. Not a bad problem to have.

One of my most¬†favorite¬†things about portland are the food carts! Chi-town is really missing out¬†because¬†of big¬†government¬†on this one! I could go to a cart “pod” for every meal and be very happy. Cart pods are basically parking lots (or other similar spaces) with 2 or more food carts in the same place. Near us we have “A La Carts”, “Cartlandia”, and “Carts on Foster”. The food options at each are¬†varied, from carts dedicated to vegan food to those dedicated to deep fried food. Good cart pods have beer tents and entertainment on top of a huge selection of great food. The food cart scene here is just amazing! I could go on and on about how much I love food carts. What makes carts great is that they are usually run by one or two people passionate about¬†their¬†food. There is a cart run by an old¬†black¬†man that makes amazing BBQ, there is Dave the guy who puts his passion into his seafood creations, there is the dessert lady at “Cake on a Hot Tin Roof” who makes the BEST creme brule I have ever had. These people pour¬†their¬†passion into¬†their¬†food and its amazing.

Sorry about the delays in posting, we are keeping ourselves very busy unpacking, organizing, cleaning, and of course checking out all Portland has to offer.

The next big thing is the first visit by the Mark’s¬†Grandparents¬†for his birthday! So we are gearing up for that!

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Rain

It took 13 days, but it finally rained in Portland. People don’t realize that this is totally normal for Portland summers. They are very dry, often sunny and 75 for weeks on end. The grass is brown but they have barely been affected by the drought. Portland summers are dry, and sunny, and beautiful. When it rains it rains much like today, a nice morning drizzle. Its not a down pour (though they do come though on occasion) but more often a mist. It was the same last summer.

The rain comes in the winter. Many locals say Halloween to Easter it rains. Other more dreary, or perhaps¬†realistic, people say¬†Halloween¬†to Memorial day. But again, the rain is rarely a downpour but more often mist or drizzle with cloud cover most of the time. Annual rainfall for Portland is only 2 inches more than Chicago, but the annual snowfall for Portland is 36 inches¬†less¬†than¬†Chicago¬†at only 2 inches per year. That’s a trade-off I love. You can basically replace all of Chicagos annual snowfall (38 inches) with Portland’s rain (37 inches), then Chicago still has 35 inches of rain each year on top of that snow! Which city is wetter now?

5 Dogs in Portland

Our trip went fantastic! The dogs took it all really well considering their whole world was turned around! In the car they all slept. I would forget they were in the car they were so quiet.
Luther was the funniest as he would watch out the windows all the time just looking at stuff. He was very quietly intrigued by the scenery.
We tried to get them some good exercise each day in addition to quick walks every few hours. The first day we were lucky enough to find a forest preserve near the mississippi river that no one else was at. We let all the dogs run off leash in the woods, they had a blast and then slept for hours. The second day we found a Cabela’s and played fetch off leash on their huge property. Then let the dogs chill in there outdoor kennels (our traveling buddy stayed with them) while we went inside to buy them some new toys and treats. They chewed the “chuck-it” in the back of the car before we ever got to use it! Lol!
The third day we took them for a long walk in city park where Aiden was a super star!
The last day was all driving and by the time we got to our house they were ready to run! We had a lot of fun playing in our new huge back yard! They very quickly settled into our new house and we’ve only had one major issue so far, Simon fell out a window! It was our bedroom window on the first floor but the only reason we knew is because the other dog were standing at the window acting weird! They kept making little barks and we kept telling them to lay down, then I realized there was a bark outside and simon was gone!! Ace had to go outside to rescue him! Besides that the dogs have done great! We are rotating who gets to go to all great dog friendly places with us and they are loving it here!

We have Arrived!

We arrived in our new house and are settling in. Sunday we got here around 6:45 Pacific time as we pulled in the driveway Mark yelled “NEW HOW (house)”! I was promptly¬†interrogated¬†by the neighbor but I brushed it off and we played in our back yard with our dogs. Soon the realtor¬†arrived¬†with the keys and we saw our house in person for the first time. We didn’t know the layout at all! It was really fun (and scary) exploring it. It was overwhelming. We only had a few things with us, and now we had this big empty house too.¬†

We both had some serous fears and doubts the first night, but soon enough we were passed out on the floor of our new house. 

The next morning we went to a great breakfast place (in that time we missed the appointment for the gas to be turned on) I ran some¬†errands¬†then picked up Mike and some lunch. We ended up going to a mall¬†because¬†it was so unnaturally hot we got some awesome, but WAY too expensive dinner before our ordeal of a night then involved losing my keys,¬†forgetting¬†things all over and¬†eventually¬†getting to take a shower….

Today was great¬†because¬†we got the truck unloaded and I got a nap! Seriously awesome. After I finally woke up we got lunch at a local food cart pod (more on these awesome places in a later post), then bought appliances! We won’t get our appliances till monday so I may need to go to the¬†Laundromat¬†soon. We managed to get our bedroom mostly set up and put away and we picked up a few groceries.¬†

Tomorrow we are probably going to IKEA to get a cheep couch and desk. 

On the Road

Here I am sitting in our kind of gross hotel in Draper, Utah. A suburb of Salt Lake City (I think…). All I know is that this almost tops the list of places I like the least of anywhere we¬†visited (but beating LA is gonna be hard for any city). Its a weird climate that I don’t like much. I’m pretty sure this is still considered “Semi-arid” like most of the places we’ve been recently (Nebraska, Wyoming), but whatever it is I don’t like it. Its weird feeling, and too high up… and well just a strange place where every family is¬†gigantic¬†and has strange values. Where instead of¬†having¬†left turns they make you turn right, then have a U-turn lane. 0.o Its hot, and kind of dry, and kind of¬†mountainy, but not that much. I’d take Vegas over this any day. Can’t wait to leave and head to Portland, but my planning wasn’t the greatest so tomorrow we have over 12 hours of drive time. We hope to leave by 7am¬†Mountain¬†time.

The¬†trip¬†is actually going EASIER than I expected. So easy I’ve driven the whole thing! The drive has been more¬†scenic¬†than I expected and the dogs have been very well behaved. They have been in the car over 8 hours a day for 3 days and in small hotel rooms at night (sometimes split up between two rooms). They are doing well with being walked and have gotten to run around off leash twice, once Toby ran off chasing a bird, but besides that they have been well behaved. Mark is handling the car well, so well we didn’t even use the DVD player at all the first day. The only downside is that the car puts him to sleep so he’s napping 2-3 times a day then staying up late when we all need to sleep.

I’ve learned a few things on this trip. Here are a few random ones: Don’t waste space in your suitcase for kids PJ’s¬†because¬†they won’t want to put them on anyway. Snacks, you can’t have too many snacks. Hotel ice buckets make good dog water bowls in a pinch!¬†Cabalas¬†is a great place to stop on the road,¬†especially¬†with dogs. They have outdoor dog kennels and water available. And they have walking paths and some even have enough outdoor area for a game of catch with your pup! We had all 5 running around at one! They also sell dogs supplies if you need any!¬†

One more day and we will be at our NEW HOUSE. 

Time to Go!!!!!

In about 9 hours we will be hitting the road to Portland! Most of our stuff is packed and lined up in what used to be the playroom, ready to go on the roof of our car in the morning. The dogs and Mark have no idea whats coming (though I have tried to explain it!), but I know they will do fine. Our dogs are crate trained and after 20minutes in the car they will calm down and sleep. Rest stops are going to be interesting and a pain in the butt…. but we will handle it!

Here is a picture of our new backyard waiting for us in Portland!

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One third of an acre fenced in!