one week in pdx

Last Friday morning I woke up before the sun and flew out to the west coast to start this wonderful adventure in the north west. I can't even remember everything we have done so far because we have done a ton of things, and I mean a WHOPPING TON! Food is the main gathering center in Portland. There are millions of restaurants and coffee shops (I'm in one right now). And since we all eat, why not spend that time together in community? We've eaten out a lot because there so many new places and unique items to try.  Just to name a few, there is Laughing Planet, Chowdah and the Grilled Cheese Grill (both food carts), Blue Kangaroo, Papaccino's, Habibi (Lebanese), etc. My first meal off the plane was shamelessly Panda Express. This is very rare, but I had a craving for it and coincidentally I stumbled upon it and I couldn't pass it up. NOTE: Taylor, I solemnly swear from here on out to steer clear of the chain restaurants and eat local.

This list goes on. Very rarely have we eaten meals at home, partly due to the fact that we are in a practically sparse apartment with little food in stock. We have made two trips to the grocery store, so hopefully that will change a bit. My stomach is begging me! It's all good stuff, don't get me wrong, but I am used to eating meals that I have cooked myself a little more than this.

A major difference I have noticed here is how active people are and by active I mean they actually use their bodies to get from point A to point B. My body is screaming exhaustion simply because of the amount of walking we've done. This would be a good time to point out the obvious, that I am out of shape and sore! My butt is sore from riding my bike just ONE day! My arms are sore from playing frisbee and from climbing at a gym. My feet are aching the most because of the miles I have trekked so far. All of these seemingly complaints are quite the opposite actually. This is the kind of life style I love and I have been longing for. All of these things seemed like forever dreams and never realities while living in Austin and going to school. There was never enough time in the day to do everything even with a car! I was always and I mean always (my sister can attest to this) on the go, running around like a headless chicken. Now I am forced to go slowly and notice things. For instance, I have taken in the beautiful flowers here, like I have never seen them in my life. I'm serious. I stood looking at the fresh cut bouquets at the Farmer's Market in Woodstock because I just couldn't get over their beauty. My pictures aren't the greatest, but they give you a hint of the beauty. Calla lilies are my absolute favorite and poppies could easily be a close second. I am astounded at the variety. They all seem so exotic to me.

Another obvious difference between Portland and Austin is the weather. WOW, it has been crazy here! Everyone keeps telling me this is not normal June weather. My theory is we brought the thunderstorms with us from Texas. I think it has rained everyday so far, although the rain here is not an all day downpour-type rain. It is more like the clouds decide to dump a few buckets every so often, like a water amusement park. Then the sun comes out and warms the air. As I sit here typing, I watch the cars get pelted with hail. Hail! Who knew?

Now that I have spent a week in Portland getting to know the city and our drop zone in particular (the neighborhood Sellwood), I am settling in quite well, enjoying a slower pace of life, getting to choose what I do and how I spend my time, and learning how people live here. So far so good! I really do love it here. I am excited to meet people, make friends, and see how the Lord has planned out this summer, using our parachute team in Sellwood.

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