Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Songs


I should've called this post crazy hair. Scott took this before the water had a chance to cover the chaos. The waves have been so small lately that I've paddled out with dry hair almost every day this week. It's actually one of my goals to have a whole dry hair session, but I don't know why because it's really annoying having my mad hair harassing me while I'm trying not to run over tourists and little kids. Anyway, this post isn't really about hair at all. This post isn't really about anything, except to say: I'm taking a brief break from blogging this week and here's a playlist.


C  H E C  K I T O U  T >>

I especially like the songs Sun Sinking Low by Mr. Airplane Man and Pray for the Sunshine by Mylee Grace and Ozzy Wrong (Ozzy "Wrong" aka Ozzy Wright.. one of the greatest free thinking, free surfing surfers ever; he sings that song with his wife). I love the song called California, too (thanks to my sister Maddie and her boyfriend Andy for that one and a few others). I hit the back button and made that song repeat around the same time our wheels crossed the state line from Oregon into California. I think it's really about wanting to get out of California though. 

I hope you all have a great week! It's Scott's last week of summer break before he starts a new job on Monday and I want to give my full attention to that. I'll be back next week .

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Parcheesi


I am embarrassed to start this story by saying our third wedding anniversary was almost ruined by the backgammon game of India. 

We picked it up at a thrift shop in Oregon for $1 and have been playing everyday since. I wonder about who used to own it and why it ended up in a thrift shop.

Our first game yesterday went fine, because I won. Then we decided it would be interesting for each of us to play two colors instead of one. If you are unfamiliar with Parcheesi, the game is very similar to Sorry where players get knocked back home if an opponent lands on the same space. Playing with all four colors increases your odds of being knocked off. I got three players sent home in one of Scott's turns and told him, "I wonder if the people who used to own this game gave it away because it caused too many fights." 

It was actually kind of a fitting anniversary as marriage always seems to be about growing and working together and getting through challenges and blah, blah... you know, not pouting about board games. 


What games do you like to play? 
I want to learn chess next. That should be good for my patience. Do you know how to play?

Monday, July 21, 2014

"Summer Teeth"

notebook from Matsumoto Studio

We are home from our Oregon road trip (as you may have guessed from these pictures of our house). My car smells like firewood and bananas. 

I'm listening to this song on Pandora by the Arctic Monkey's. I thought it said "summer's in your teeth," but it said "something's in your teeth". It got me thinking that at the end of it all, I hope it feels like summer's stuck in my teeth.

Scott and I went to the beach at home yesterday and today. On our first day back, I was hoping the waves and water temps would convince me beyond any doubt that it was good to be here and not traveling through Oregon anymore, but the waves were terrible. It didn't really matter though, I still wound up persuaded. 

Today the waves were smaller still, but better. I love those kind of days where you and the waves feel like you're playing together.

The limes and the plumeria decided to bloom while we were gone. I have to smell the plumeria everyday because I know those flowers don't last very long. I have to check on the limes every day to make sure the ants "squatting" on the land, aren't trying to take over. 

The last picture above is of winter squash stuffed with kale, red peppers, garlic and onions, sprinkled with a little sea salt, butter and olive oil. We had it at our neighbor's house last night. I can't take credit, but I'm definitely going to try to make it and maybe even bring it to something for other people to try (doing that always makes me nervous even though I post recipes here for you all the time). 

Also, I thought you might find these pictures amusing. 
I didn't realize how close Scott was to me. Luckily not closer or he might've of ended up with some other kind of summer teeth! Our friend Nick saw this all go down and said "You should really smile for the camera!" 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Wild Coast


I want to take in every last bit of Oregon, but I want to write about it while I’m in it, so I’m going to try to do both. 

We’re on the 101 S. headed home. Scott and I have been on the road for nineteen days; merging and turning along Coast Highway towards Oregon from San Diego to endure the chaos and occasional break in plans a road trip provides, hoping to feed on the spirit of spontaneity. 

I just took a drink out of our water bottle. It’s humid in there and it smells like mildew. I can’t believe I just noticed. I think I’m ready to go home when I encounter things like that, but a part of me thinks I would be very happy in Oregon. Of course, it’s easy to fall in love with a place when you’re on vacation. But I love the wild we found here. I felt like we were breathing it in and becoming wilder ourselves. 

I just spent almost an hour in an antique mall looking for these detailed little German shot glasses with tall necks that Aunt Liz served fresh squeezed orange juice in at her cabin. I left with a small porcelain Mickey Mouse for my cousin’s new baby-- of course they didn’t have the shot glasses. Maybe a part of me just thought I needed them so I could be sure I was bringing some of that wild feeling home. Like if I served orange juice in those cups I would be like Aunt Liz, a wilderness woman. 

This morning I went for my last surf in Oregon. The only guy out told me the water was 50º, which if it was, it is the coldest water I’ve ever been in by five degrees. 

When I first paddled out, I was alone. I focused on feeling the wind against my face, wondering about the tourists taking pictures on the cliff above, who they were and what they loved about Oregon. I tried not to think about my biggest fear that developed when we planned to come here--the sharks. The big ones, the little ones, especially the white ones. I even opened my eyes when I was duck diving because I wanted to reassure myself that there weren’t any lurking below. But checking on that is scary, like tip-toeing downstairs to see if the bump you heard in the night is a burglar. I looked at the sand brushing back and forth across the bottom, the waves making their own art on the ocean floor, before I thought my eyes would freeze in their sockets. 

A few five foot sets began marching towards me. I couldn’t decide what to do with them at first. Going out to them seemed like creeping deeper into shark territory, but waiting for them to come to me seemed like waiting to get hit by an avalanche. After getting bowled over by a few, the competitor in me couldn’t leave without catching one and seeing what I could do with it. I loved the sensation of being smaller than the waves. Running after some of those closeouts felt like chasing trains. I only lasted 45 minutes before my hands turned both pale and bright red and I couldn’t close my fingers. 

My dad just texted me that the water in San Diego got up to 72º. Although we don’t have redwood trees or sea stacks that stand out in the water like crossed-armed giants protecting the waves from the winds. 

This trip started nearly three weeks ago with little direction or planning. We went to Portland and barely found a place to stay. I fell from the top of the Burnside bowl to the bottom with my skateboard. Once when we were camping, the sheriff showed up to escort us off of property we didn't know was private 13 minutes after our whole campsite had been resurrected from the trunk of our car. But how monotonous and uninspiring things would become if there was never a miscalculation or malfunction. Spontaneity is careless, but pure. 

I’m trying not to be sad about leaving Oregon. Aunt Liz said that she likes to think of life like seasons rather than phases. She said she appreciates every season that she lives amongst up in her cabin on the mountain, just likes she has appreciated every season of her life. Maybe Oregon was a season of my life. Or maybe it was the start of a new one.



p.s. the picture of me by the fire was taken at Moolack Shores Motel. The cutest little place we may have ever stayed. 
+all  Stories from this trip can be found here

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

10 Things We Liked in Portland: Food, Places & Skateparks

....

{Food}

Features:
All kinds of curry dishes, good drinks, affordable dining, sidewalk seating, family business. 

Features:
Games! All kinds of games! Cozy ambiance, great beer selections (and some wines), fun, hip crowd. 

(just outside of/on your way to or from Portland)
Features:
The best ice cream we've ever had, crowds, an interesting look at the process of making and packaging cheese, an average lunch stop (according to Scott the grilled cheese did not have enough cheese (what gives?) and my taco salad was overpriced and just ok). In other words, skip the meal and go straight to dessert. 

Features:
A man who wants you to skate around wearing a horse head, great beer selections, good eats and vegetarian options (delicious soups and greens). 

Features:
$7 large pizza slice and salad combo, beers on tap, cool vibe, really good vegan options.


{Places}

 Features:
Amazing downtown location, comfortable, clean and hip setting; great, award winning dining options, free Wi-Fi, great shower pressure (appreciated after camping); friendly, hard working staff. 
{Thank you Hotel Lucia for providing our accommodations!} 

Mississippi & Alberta Street
Features:
Unique, cute, hip shopping, breweries and eateries (hip seems to be becoming my word of choice for Portland, but that sounds about right). 

A walk around downtown and the east and west sides of the river
Features:
West side- Interesting people watching, water fountains, dogs, occasional outdoor famer's markets, amazing views of the waterways and bridges. East side- more nature, amazing views of the city, large logs to climb on.


{Skateparks}

Gabriel skatepark
6820 SW 45th Ave, Portland, OR 97219
 Features:
Fun roll-ins, snake run and cement mini-ramp; great for beginner-intermediate skaters.

(click to read my story about it)
SE 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97232
 Features:
Local crew, alcohol and drugs, creative construction, quick transitions, uneven surfaces, shade from the sun or shelter from the rain, a great rush, a historic location. At least stop by and check it out! 

Pier Park
10325 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203
 Features:
Street course, a bowl that was too big (11ft. deep with a big pipe in the middle), a bowl that was medium, and a bowl that was just right (for me) with a mini ramp section. 


Glenhaven 
 Features:
Pool with stairs and a steep drop-off, a smaller square bowl with fun hips and a street course. Great for skaters of all abilities. 

Have you been to Portland before? What would be on your list?

+read more from our trip here