01 August 2008

Northwestern Life... (so far)

So far, so GREAT. It's only been 1 day but, it has been a damn good day that has surely irreversibly changed us. Matt and I have doubtfully ever been more bonded or excited.

As we see it, so many people live out their lives in the place they were born, regardless of what type of place it is. We recognize how lucky we are to be in a position (financially, emotionally, etc) to choose to do otherwise. So, instead of melting away in Florida forever more, we decided to find an atmosphere more conducive to the type of lifestyle we'd like to pursue living.

What we've found in Portland has fit like a glove. Matt wanted fresh ingredients to cook with, he's found grass fed beef and fresh fish. I wanted fresh pasta and found Pastaworks on NW 21st. Matt wanted mountains so he could go skiing, he can now see Mt.Hood on a clear day. I wanted a car-free lifestyle, I've now plenty of places to go without a glorified horse & carriage.

Our neighborhood has come complete with all the amenities we were seeking. First of all, we can walk (Yes, walk!) to all sorts of amazing shops, markets, micro-brew pubs, and cafes. And if our feet grow tired or we want to venture further, the public transportation system is strong. The buses in Orlando carried scary people that looked homeless or drugged out of their minds. In Portland, the people look "normal". I feel so much safer.

The walk up the hill to our adorable little apartment is a steep one, but well worth it for the view (and calf muscles that can't be too far off in our future!). Inside, we have a big comfortable bed and simple modern furnishings. Finding a place via the internet from across the country wasn't easy so, I'm really pleased with the way things turned out.

Oregon is the most green place I've ever been in both senses. Some of the trees in the city skyline are taller then the biggest high-rise buildings! But, what's really impressive is the eco-friendliness. We've been to 5 different grocery store/meat markets today and the cashiers didn't just PUT everything straight into a plastic bag the way they do in Orlando. Instead, they understood my big purse was intended to carry my purchases. Sitting outside the grocery store, you don't see people walking out with carts full of plastic bags to be loaded into their SUVs. Instead, people walk, use bikes, and keep away from plastic.

We had the most fabulous cheap burrito lunch, and instead of giving us our drinks in styrofoam we were served regular plastic glassware. When we went to throw out our trash and return the basket and glass there was even a recycling bin for the aluminum our burrito had been wrapped in! How COOL?!?

The attitude of the people is so different too. In a full year at Calibre Bend we never knew a neighbor. Within a day here, we've had an extensive conversation with our new next door neighbor about the best parks, restaurants, and internet service provider.

We simply feel more at home here then we ever did in Orlando. The vibe created by all the trees and smiling strangers is something I'm happy to get used to. I can't wait to see what treats the next two months will unfold for us.

Pistol Pete helping Matt and I move out

Smatt on move out day in Orlando amazed we got everything in the car!

Our new apartment!!!

Matt before walking down our STEEP street

Yes, that's a futon we have: Come visit us!



Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel said...

Congrat's! You know, most people tend to just deal with the deck they've been given and settle into a life because it's what they know. You, on the other hand, have taken life into your own hands and refused to settle!!! I'm so happy for you! Even though it's going to be very expensive getting you here for our next photo shoot...lol. Have fun in Portland.

Elena, Gonzo, and Daniel

Pistol Pete said...

Nasty town USA!!! Baller ass shit my friends.....I needs to get me a ticket!!!!!!!!!

Robert Yeakle said...

You are quite a good writer. Maybe you should write a book. Looks wonderful. How do you get up that hill in the ice?