So how do you ensure that you keep talking to the woman of your dreams, after reestablishing contact, after you haven’t talked for almost twelve years? Well clearly you call, text, Skype, and email, and then you invite the woman of your dreams to move your car with you. Or at least that’s what I did, and it actually worked pretty well! So I’m going to try and outline this whole trip in a series of posts for the next few weeks. Hopefully they’ll come a day or two after Leah’s weekly Sunday recipes, and perhaps you’ll even find them interesting. And this one is all about Oregon, where I’m from, and where Leah flew to meet me. So part one, commence!
I started graduate school in New Mexico in 2014. I had a car for the first year, but for the second I drove it back home to Oregon to save a bundle on gas and insurance. In 2016, however, I figured I’d need a car again, to move when my program was done. At this time I wanted to get to know Leah more, and we’d met once in Albuquerque already. It went great, so I got ready to convince her to join me for a road trip. We could see famous Southwest canyons, we could talk and reconnect, I could show her how to set up a tent—I had an EXTENSIVE list of reasons for her to come. But actually I didn’t have to say much. I suggested the trip and she was in! I’d never been so happy.
Leah flew up to Portland in the middle of May, 2016. In her day before I got there she did a walking tour of Portland. She saw the famous White Stag sign, Powell’s Books, and walked by Voodoo Doughnuts, but didn’t get one. And now, as an Oregonian, a confession: I’ve walked by Voodoo Doughnuts MANY times but I’ve never gotten one either. There’s something about just how “out-there” the doughnuts are that’s always scared me off. Of course, now I’ve found Duck Doughnuts here in Greensboro, which does all the same wacky things like key lime or bacon doughnuts, so maybe I should give Voodoo a shot.
After I met up with Leah we hit Powell’s again. It’s a Portland institution, as well as America’s largest independent bookstore. It’s also a place where I could live. We did some more walks along the water, and we saw a cute family of ducks get into a pool and then an old man came out and screamed at them until they left—it’s a moment we joke about frequently. It also rained the whole time I was there, which I think did a good job of explaining to Leah why Portland is a city I’ve always said I could never live in. I like visiting though! And after that it was off to Eastern Oregon, where my folks have a house and it’s a nice, dry desert (aka the good side of OR).
On our way we went to the top of Multnomah Falls, which is one of my very favorite hikes. Our pictures turned out great, and they might be the only pictures of the falls like that for a year or two, since last summer the whole area was caught up in a massive fire. On our way down from the falls we saw a man hiking up in a Sasquatch costume, which is Oregon at its best, and then we got to my car and continued east. And that was another reason I knew Leah was a keeper—we’d just been dating for a few weeks and she was already OK with going to meet my parents. She’s smart, pretty and brave, aka the woman of my dreams. After that, next stop Washington!
–Jeff and Leah