“To be one's self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.”
― Irving Wallace
This is what I found in Portland, OR. A very large group of individuals who are striving with all their might NOT to conform...to be unique...to be who they're meant to be. This fact left my jaw dropped, and me saying "huh" on a very consistent basis. I think I tilted my head, squinted my eyes (as if that would help me to better understand) and remarked "that's interesting" about 20x a day. But I have to admit, I was really impressed with all the people who do their own thing in that town - there's a lot of very cool, interesting (in a good way!) and creative Portlandians!!
Fleming Island and Portland...you couldn't find two more different cities! While Florida is manicured and clean, Oregon is wild and untouched. The beauty of Oregon takes my breath away and I found myself while in the plane and in the car just gazing out in to the horizon...soaking in the forests of Evergreens and the snowcapped mountains. Below is Mount Hood...you can see Mount Hood from pretty much anywhere in Portland - it's a breathtaking site!
Below is images of Mount Tabor...an inactive volacano which is about 5 miles from Jacob's house. These steps are a popular cardio work-out for people in this area...my Nannie (my moms sis) runs them on a regular basis. She's one tough cookie! And the boy on the skate board?...I'm pretty sure he nearly killed us as we were making our way down the mountain. Skate boarding is a fun pass time on this mountain, but walkers beware!!!
Gigi and Rauly bonded over nails, see-saws, Go-Fish!, and of course, sweet lil' Oliver Ryu!
There was a lot of loungin' and relaxin' and lovin' on Oliver and Amelia!
This pic was taken just a few days ago...had to include it, Oliver looks adorable!
We got to experience several neat parts of Portland while we were there. Thursday we took Amelia to the zoo, and on Friday we went to Cannon Beach. It was windy, cold and GORGEOUS!! Rauly couldn't get over the differences in Florida's beaches and Oregon's beaches...ours are flat and HOT while Oregons are mountainous and FRIGID! Rauly was bummed we didn't swim, but she put one toe in that water and yelped. lol!!
Jacob and I got to spend one evening together - just the two of us! He took me to an annual event in Portland called "Last Thursday". This was my introduction to the weird side of Portland. Below are a few of the sites we saw. The weirdness factor did NOT dissapoint!
We had one evening at my cousins house. Justin, his wife Adrienne, and their daughters Callie and Zuma. Such a fun-loving family - it was a great night! I had to take this first pic from Facebook - it shows how much fun they are. Seriously, you can't be in Justin's presense without laughing so hard you cry!
Nannie and Zuma
Rauly and Amelia
Rauly and Callie
Again, had to steal this pic from FB. So here's my cousin, Brook! We got to spend a few nights with him - such a good guy. Love you Brookie-poo! I've said this before, but I grew up surrounded by guys who made me feel loved through-n-through and I thank my lucky stars for Justin and Brook and the way they looked out for me when we were kids. You couldn't find two more loyal guys!!
Our last morning there, John and Akiko came to visit (Kate's parents) and we enjoyed a b-fast together. Kate let Rauly help her cook...one of the many reasons I adore Kate...she's incredibly laid back and seems to have never ending patience with the kids. Rauly pretty much thinks she hangs the moon. :-)
Thanks again Jacob and Kate for a wonderful stay with your family and we look forward to our next trip!