An Ever-Fixed Mark: Love on the Move

Sea to Sky Highway: British Columbia, Canada

Where did we leave off? Oh, yes: at the border crossing with the baby, headed to Whistler, British Columbia for a wedding.

But let me fill you in on the back story. Two summers ago (well, two years, three summers, I guess? If you count this current one), Ted and I landed in Beirut, Lebanon, not quite half way through our year long trip and not quite half way around the world from Oregon.

We were in the nitty gritty of learning love on the road.

As in: Love is patient, love is kind…it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints…” andLove puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things…” 

As in: long-term travel and long-term love are hard work. Continue reading

A Baby and a Border Crossing

Here we were, traveling north on Interstate 5 on the cusp of babyOregonian’s first border crossing, and I was fighting to keep my eyelids open.

Who’s terrific thought was it to wake her at 4am and hit the road from Portland, Oregon to Whistler, B.C. before sunrise?

Oh yeah, mine. Continue reading

Back to British Columbia: Woven Lands, Woven Lives

It makes me incredibly happy to map this unfolding life in relationships: people and memories rooted in places and adventures and shared celebrations.

When Ted and I married, we honeymooned in Cascadia. (I like that title. It sounds even more romantic than “Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia,” doesn’t it?) Continue reading

World Cup Fever: A Match in Argentina and a Standing Date

I’m not a sportswriter at all, but I can tell you this: I love World Cup fever.

Tonight there’s a heatwave here in Portland (that kind of fever I can do without, thank you). Little Lucie is asleep in our one air conditioned room while Ted and I lay low, devouring smoked salmon, drinking Pinot Grigio, and eating Oregon berry cobbler in effort to recover from a long week. I’m not going to admit that Jaws is also on TV. (Ted listened to a recent NPR interview with Richard Dreyfuss, and, well, here we are.)

What does any of this have to do with international sports?

Tomorrow’s the final World Cup match of 2014, and before the play between Germany and Argentina appears on the pitch, I wanted to (finally) post photos from the 2012 Racing vs. All Boys match we saw in Buenos Aires.

Two years late and somehow also the eleventh hour? Seems a fitting time. (Ha.) Continue reading

Oh, for Time to Spend Like Money

The internet brings me many tidbits, connections, and inspirations. It’s a time-waste and a treasure-trove.

I found this recent read thanks to Sarah Peck. (Side note: Sarah, too, trained and worked in landscape architecture. A definite kindred spirit.)

David Cain’s article, Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed, resonates soundly with the season I’m in right now: the musings over New Zealand’s flat whites and the ease of dropping dollars on coffees here at home, the loss of space for life-giving things that cost more time than money, and the real price of our current system of economics.

I started to share the article as a Facebook post but then thought better of it Continue reading

Cannon Beach: At Home on the Journey

Fellows on this journey who really get it make my heart feel at home, both in literal and metaphorical foreign territory. Have you met people like that? People who make you feel open with your story and at ease in your own skin? Continue reading

Seven Wonders of Oregon

By some great fate, I am an Oregonian. I grew up with Pacific Northwest air in my lungs, Oregon dirt between my toes and under my fingernails, and a vantage point to watch the world start new each day with the sun rising over the Cascade Mountains.

The place is in my blood. While living adventures on pinpoints of foreign maps, Oregon hovers behind my shoulder or calls from the far horizon, an instinctive true north on my internal compass.


Three Sisters Wilderness Area: 1999 (Yep, that’s a pre-Instagram, scanned film photo, people.)

I grew my appreciation of the world’s beauty right here in my native patch of earth: triumphantly summitting Oregon mountains, learning to fish in Oregon lakes, hiking caverns behind Oregon waterfalls, poking my finger into ice green anemones of Oregon coast tidepools, following wagon trail wheel ruts carved in Oregon stone, and learning my identity in the web of Oregon ancestry in the midst of deeply nurturing friends and family.

And now, six(ish) continents later, as I shared in a recent comment to a reader, I’ve come home and fallen even more in love with this place; I know without doubt how special of a spot Oregon actually is. Like anywhere, it has its faults and blemishes, but for locals and visitors with a curious heart and an appetite for nature’s beauty, delicious foods, and friendships with genuine people, this land is absolutely rife with riches to be discovered and treasured.

For all these reasons and more, I’m in this midst of a mad, mad crush on our state Tourism Board’s current campaign: The Seven Wonders of Oregon.


Image Credit: Travel Oregon

This place on the planet stamped its mark on me from the very beginning, and I’m more proud than ever to see Oregon showcased with such class and style.

“We see your Wonders, world. And we raise you seven of our own.”

Continue reading

Three Stories Up: A Lookout Tower Weekend in Central Oregon

A short time after Lucie was born last September, Ted called me from work and said, “Here are the dates for a four day weekend in February, I want you to have fun finding somewhere to go, just the three of us.”

Let me tell you, if there’s anything a house-bound postpartum traveler wants to hear, it’s “Cheer up, love! Let’s book our next adventure. Put a bit of fun on the horizon.”

- Photo collection & travel notes from our first vacation as a family of three -

lookout-tower-weekend-in-central-oregon

It felt so good signing in to one of my favorite day-dream corners of the internet (Airbnb), and getting the trip-planning gears turning again. Continue reading

Orbit

Here we are, on the far side of the sun.

At that half-way point between birth-day and birthday.

Closer to one than zero.

babyOregonian turned six months old this week, and planet earth’s orbit is headed back toward that place in space where we hung in the skies last September 17th.

Funny what seems new, what feels familiar.

Continue reading

Walking With African Elephants

Today’s my mom’s birthday. And Abraham Lincoln’s. And…a sweet little friend of mine named Amelia: a little girl who happens to love elephants very much.

When Ted and I were in South Africa in 2012, little 1+ year old Amelia saw pictures of elephants in my Instagram feed, and her mom told me about her excitement.

I’d intended to write a story about the facility we visited and their elephant program, but after the day’s experience and the additional research Ted and I did about the system of elephant “rehabilitation” they purported to provide (and after the fruitless series of emails we exchanged with the operators, asking for more transparency in their operation), neither of us could in good conscience recommend the place.

I ended up writing a different post (The Questionable Ethics of Wildlife Tourism in South Africa), and later on in Asia we steered clear of animal-related tourism, including the famous Asian Elephant parks. We’d become awfully jaded, tired of petting zoos masquerading as medical centers, tired of tourists buying into the bull.

Yet, there was something undeniably amazing about standing next to those mighty animals that day in South Africa…

This year, I’m dedicating a little collection of elephant photos to Miss Amelia on her third birthday. Continue reading