Do you ever have those vacations where you feel like you need another vacation when it's over?
We visited Georgia for a short, busy two days to see his family and friends (read: lots of driving and short "hello-how-are-you's") and then drove up to NC to see my family. There were two days of graduation festivities (in 95 degree east coast heat.... home again, home again!) and then a few final days to hang out with old college and work friends.
On our last day in town, my sister and I bought my mom a bouquet of wild irises from the farmer's market for Mother's Day. They smelled like candy, and I couldn't help burying my nose in them as we brought them to the car to take to her. This was a bad idea; irises have this horrible pollen that clings to pretty much anything. When I pulled my nose away, my whole face was covered in it. Plus, trying to gently "brush it off" resulted in pollen smearing everywhere and staining my skin yellow. Yeah. Staining. For about 20 minutes I was pretty sure I was going to have to tell people that I developed jaundice while on vacation. But after some good ol' fashioned scrubbing, I managed to get my face clean. I didn't, however, escape the yellow-colored pollen sneezes I had for three days afterwards.
Being home with family was so nice, even if it was for a short amount of time. (A week goes by so quickly!) And I'm uber-proud of my sister for graduating with her doctorate and getting an awesome job, to boot!
I told her now that she is gainfully employed she is responsible for using part of her hard-earned paycheck to buy my mother's house some decent toilet paper. My mom likes to buy the bulk packages of TP from Sam's. You know, the ones that come in standard 1/2 ply rolls (Luxurious). Tanner calls it "Jesse James toilet paper", because it's "rough, tough, and don't take shit from nobody." (We're pretty serious about our bathroom time around here.)
At any rate, we're looking to upgrade. 1 ply, here we come!
Other than that, we had some fun adventures in flying (as usual). It's hard to escape airport shenanigans when you spend a total of 30 hours in them.
On our flight out, Tanner and I got to the airport at midnight for a 5:00 am flight. (I don't recommend this.) Turns out, airports aren't really open at midnight. So we napped in the lobby until 3:00 am, checked in, and had to wait until 4:00 am to get through the security check-point. We grabbed a bite to eat and waited for our flight - but since we were flying standby we didn't get on the 5:00 am flight (it was full) and had to wait until 10:00 am to actually leave Portland. Then we flew until 7:00 pm that night and arrived in Atlanta feeling like we had those little cartoon airplanes whirling around above us, like when Wylie Coyote gets hit in the head with an anvil. It was pretty much like that.
On our flight home we flew out at 9:00 am and had an eight hour layover in Philadelphia (not my favorite airport, but at least they have cool rocking chairs to hang out in). I bought new books for my Kindle (I read 4 full books that week and was already on my 5th. P.S. - Have I mentioned how addicted I am to my Kindle these days? Love it. I never thought I would say that, but I get to read way more than I used to with it, and that's saying something, because I read a lot) then flew from Philly to Portland at 6 pm. We chased the sun across the country, so that when we arrived in Oregon at 9 pm, my watch said it was nearly midnight EST, but it was still bright and sunny outside. We got to see the setting sun outside the plane window and a gorgeous Mount Hood lit up with clouds and a clear sky. Beautiful.
Portland is just gorgeous from the air. When I first moved here, we landed on a crummy, cloudy, rainy day in March, and all I could see from the air was gray, gray, gray and industrial waste around the river. It was a disheartening first look at the city to which I had just moved across the country.
This weekend's glimpse, however, was of a lush and green valley of rolling hills and stunningly jagged mountaintops piercing the sky, the setting sun making everything glow like magic. It reminded me of what I had already discovered in the year I've been here: Portland is beautiful.
Here's an instagram recap of our week: