It has been amazing to be in Portland for an extended period.
When we visit for 2 weeks and a few days, once the jet lag is over, we begin the rush to get everything done, to see everyone, to sample every food and visit every store and stock up on Tulsi tea and fish oil capsules and my favorite Gap tank tops on sale…it makes my heart beat faster (in a bad way) just thinking about it!
So, even though we were shopping on this trip too, for big items for our house, it still feels leagues more relaxing. We could eat cheese sandwiches for dinner, and sit around and drink a beer and chat with my parents instead of feeling like we should be out at happy hour. And we could visit our friends for happy hour without my parents sad that they were missing time with us.
I was able to see my sister pretty often because she just moved to Portland at the end of last summer. That was amazing.
We were able to drive around Portland in a really leisurely way. It made it feel like I actually come from Portland and not just that I lived there when I was a kid. I actually know how to get around the whole city and not just from SW Portland to downtown, or from SW Portland to one place on the east side and then back again with no other stops (I am lacking talent with a sense of direction).
Because we were there for so long, it didn’t feel like the US is some sort of caricature with big portions, big parking spots, and loud conservative talk radio spewing nonsense into the air. It felt like friendly people, dogmatic bumper stickers, lots of local and organic food, easy parking, microbrews and PBR Tallboys in hip bars, and just an all around lovely place.
What a great experience!