Monday, January 27, 2014

A Modern-Day Nomad

I just wanted to share with all of my blog readers this article I recently wrote for Modern-Day Nomads. It's long, but I think the word count is necessary to adequately summarize the history of my itinerant lifestyle. Please click the link below to read the post:

My first real nomad adventure: 2 months in Western Europe in 1998.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Highlights of 2013

At the beginning of the new year, I always like to look back at the previous one and see what worked and what didn't. My husband, Greg, and I also use this time to set goals in various aspects of our lives, mostly following Dan Miller's 48 Days. As a way to recap my year, I decided to make this blog post a pictorial essay of some of the highlights of 2013.
On New Year's Day 2013, Greg & I rode our bikes to the top of Mt Tabor.
I enjoyed a free entrance day at Lan Su Chinese Garden, but it sure was cold!
On January 15, I had arthroscopic surgery on my right hip, followed by six months of physical therapy.
We ate lots of great food at Portland restaurants throughout the year. This is the pig ear salad from Lardo.
One month after my hip surgery, Greg & I enjoyed a free entrance day at the Portland Japanese Garden.
We continued to go to cultural events, mostly as a result of me winning contests.
In early March, we flew to Nashville to visit our families. These are my mom & step-dad's goats.
My grandmother & I played tourist for a day. This is her at the Tennessee State Capitol.
I love going through old photos. Check out my ET sweatshirt!
Of course, I had to visit all of the new breweries in the Nashville area.
I even went to a dog show with my dad & step-mom!
Portland is always beautiful in the spring, even when it's threatening to rain.
Greg & I love to explore our city. This is the St John's bridge in North Portland.
Sunny weekends = great days for bike rides & picnics in the park!
One of our favorite neighborhood hangouts - Hawthorne Hophouse (half-price sampler trays on Mondays)!
In April, we took our bikes on the train to Eugene for a long weekend of beer drinking!
Three months after hip surgery, I rode my bike 36 miles in 48 hours.
One of my favorite things to do year-round is going for a hike at Hoyt Arboretum.
On April 23, I had another surgery, this time to correct a deviated septum.
Four days after sinus surgery, I was out wining & dining at the Joy of Life Gala!
One perk of having doctor's appointments at OHSU - riding the aerial tram and the view from Marquam Hill.
I went to one Timbers match last year; they finished 2nd in the MLS Western Conference.
My mom rescued these iris bulbs when she visited us in 2012. They bloomed for the first time in May.
Greg & I enjoyed National Train Day at Portland's Union Station.
Yes, we drank a lot of beer!
I try to go to the zoo on second Tuesdays a few times each year.
Greg continued to commute to & from work by bike. I took this picture of him on the Hawthorne Bridge when I passed him while riding a bus.
Greg ran three $5 5k's with Portland Parks & Rec.
Our big vacation was two weeks in Alaska. This is us leaving Skagway at sunset on our Holland America cruise.
One of the many highlights of our Alaska trip was this flightseeing adventure with K2 Aviation out of Talkeetna.
Another favorite was Denali National Park.
We love the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest! This is Mount St Helens and Mount Rainier as seen on our flight from Seattle to Portland.
One of my favorite places to hang out on a sunny day - Pioneer Square aka Portland's living room.
My Aunt Elaine came to visit in June and we took her on some great, long bike rides!
She was soon joined by my step-dad, mom, sister & two nephews. We went to all of the usual sights, including Cannon Beach.
  My friend Adena, a flight attendant, tries to get Portland layovers a few times each year so we can visit.

In July, I was notified that I had won the Grand Prize in this Portland Brewing sweepstakes! Since Greg doesn't play golf, I negotiated a cash payout in place of the trip.
Greg knows me well - my birthday presents included tickets to a Portland Thorns match and beer socks!
Drive Revolution - The Future of Transportation; Greg pretends to test drive a new Trimet bus.
Our dear friends, Steve Woods & Cindy Anderson, celebrated their 50th birthdays in late July.
During hip rehab, I started having severe pain in both knees. Three rounds of Synvisc injections didn't help.
In spite of the pain, I continued to live a normal life. For me, that means volunteering at the Oregon Brewers Festival.
When Jeremy & Eva Rees visit, we're guaranteed to have some great food & drink, like Salt & Straw ice cream.
I went to three Thorns matches; they ended up winning the national championship. Go Thorns!
My Uncle Don came to Portland on business and we got to enjoy happy hour with him.
Rose, the neighborhood cat, continued to visit us frequently throughout the year.
My friend Corey from NYC came to visit for a few days; fun times!
We took the MAX to our first Hillsboro Hops baseball game, which they won 6-3.
We moved to our new home & I started my new job at Irvington House in August/September.
I volunteered at the Guinness World Record-breaking Redhead Event.
My mom & step-dad came to visit again in late August, primarily to bring furnishings for our new apartment. My 83-year-old grandmother tagged along this time!
Even though it was a hectic time, we still managed to visit some of our favorite spots like Multnomah Falls.
One trip in this van was all we needed to move the bulk of our belongings.
Greg was thrilled that our new apartment features an outdoor grill AND a dishwasher.
An annual fall event: Swift Watch.
We finally made it out to Sauvie Island for the first time on a gorgeous fall weekend.
Greg completed his first Half Marathon on October 6.
I continued to work as an extra on the filmed-in-Portland tv show, Grimm.
We enjoy taking day trips whenever we can; this photo is from an outing to wine country (Newberg area).
Last year's weather was perfect for beautiful fall leaves.
Another day trip - we hauled our bikes out to the Banks-Vernonia trail.
Making new friends is always fun. This is Chris Jennings, a local brewer.
On set at Lloyd Center for the Oregon Lottery Super Shoppers commercial.
We took an overnight trip to Corvallis in November to visit all of the breweries in that area.
The Albany Carousel Museum is really cool!
I organized a surprise party for Greg's 40th birthday on November 18 at The EastBurn.
I contributed quite a bit to the latest edition of the Portland Happy Hour Guidebook. This is one of the ways Cindy acknowledged my efforts.
Our new apartment has lots of windows; the better to watch the hummingbirds that come every day to feed on the Oregon Grape bush out front.
Our December vacation in southern Oregon was a winter wonderland.
We stayed at the lovely McCall House B&B in Ashland.
Per Greg's request, we took the Coast Starlight to Klamath Falls and back instead of flying or driving.
I never get tired of photographing Portland icons.
We even decorated for the holidays with our ornaments from TN thanks to my mom & Greg's mom.
Since we didn't travel over the holidays, we decided to throw a party on Christmas Day.
Wrapping up the year in style at the Benson Hotel.
I ended the year just like I started it, in a hospital bed, this time for arthroscopic surgery on both knees.