07 July, 2011

Portland by Car

Our friends, Josh & Haley, let us borrow a car while we were in Portland. It was SUCH a huge luxury. Having a car meant being able to do more and get places faster. It also meant having a place to sit down and rest while we were out all day. And they saved us a ton of money since we didn't have to rent a car. So THANK YOU SOOOOOOOO MUCH, Josh & Haley!!!

Driving in Portland was weird for a few reasons:

1. The trees. Everywhere. Big, giant, gorgeous trees! On the freeway!
2. Portland "traffic" is nooooooooothing. Southern California is like its own little mini-world with an entirely different set of definitions for terms like "traffic" and "cost of living." Traveling always reminds me of what a strange little bubble I live in.
3. Bicyclists. Everywhere. Long Beach is a pretty bike-friendly city. We have share rows and plenty of self-righteous fixed gear bicyclists, but we don't have anything on Portland. Bikes own that town.






On our last night, we were both totally exhausted, absolutely knackered. We didn't want to just go to bed early, so we spent the night driving all over the place. Levi took me back to Lake Oswego, and we drove and drove and drove. We drove by the coffee shop he used to love and his old high school. We drove his family's route from his church in Portland back to Lake Oswego. He showed me Tryon Creek State Park. As we drove, he shared memories with me. Most of them were trivial little memories like, "That's where my mom used to buy our bread," and, "I built a rollerblading ramp here." But I loved hearing all of them. I wanted him to tell me as much as he could. I wanted him to fully enjoy this opportunity to remember. I'm lucky. I've always lived in Southern California. I'm surrounded by familiarity and places that trigger memories. Levi doesn't have the same opportunity.

I almost felt awkward sitting there next to him in the car that night, driving past all his memories. Awkward in a good way. I felt like I was sitting next to him back when we first started dating, back when I didn't know so much about him. I felt a little self-conscious about the questions I was asking and how I responded to him. Being there with him unveiled a part of Levi I hadn't seen before. I can't really explain what I learned about him. It was too intangible. But something changed, and I saw him in a different light. I don't want to forget that feeling of newness and unfamiliarity. It made me appreciate him more and love him more deeply.



  1. amazing!
    looks like you guys had so much fun.
    jealous. i'd like to visit portland one day... but we decided to go back to nyc this summer.

    the last photo looks like a movie still.

  2. I like that you said "knackered."

    Man, this trip looks like so much fun! I've really enjoyed reading about it. I dream about moving to the Pacific Northwest, especially Oregon. I love how green it is too. Here, all of our streets are lined with large trees and I'm afraid I've gotten a little attached to the shade. :)

  3. I love when you have moments like this. This has happened many times, probably more for my husband than me since we seem to end up places that I've lived before. it's cool to be able to experience those places with someone you care so much about.

  4. It's interesting to hear you praise having a car while in Portland because one of the things we loved when we were there was not needing to have a car to get around. We loved how great the public transportation was. But I definitely see the benefit of having a car so you can get out of the city and drive around!

  5. So glad you guys enjoyed Portland, I think we had a similar experience with the trees and bicyclists last year. And so glad to have met you so randomly! Utah was good, and now it's time to take a stab at my lesson plans for the fall. We are doing some of our last interviews for our adoption license, and one more class. I'll keep you updated. Oh, and what was that little devotional you were talking about?

  6. agreed. bikes dominated portland. how neat for you to experience those memories with your husband.

  7. Hopefully you also got to experience the public transportation. That's actually one of the things I loved most about Portland - that you could get pretty much anywhere WITHOUT a car. I don't know about L.O., but in Portland itself, there is a bus/train that goes practically everywhere. One summer that I lived there, when gas was over $4, I literally just stopped driving and took the bus everywhere - it was so easy, just as fast as taking a car, and totally cheaper. Portland really knows how to be "green", in more ways than one.


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