Saturday, October 23, 2010

If I could I would...(stolen from the lovely Rachel Buckingham)

If I could I would...

-start every day with a great cup of coffee ...or three

-work a job that allowed me a superb balance of time for work and travel/adventures

-take a trip all around Italy and Greece

-Do all 161 official scenic byways and highways

-have more free time for cooking and exploring

-never wear my best jeans to the point where they are unwearable

-wear flip flops year round

-live in a place where it rains at least half the time...long term (and I'm on my way)

-go to all 50 states

-visit every Canadian province and territory

-take cooking classes in Italy

-learn to tango

-have coffee mugs from every country in the UN

-go bungee jumping off of a bridge

-visit Israel

-go to Switzerland

-make a cheesecake from scratch

-host a Thanksgiving dinner

-finish writing a novel I can be proud of

-work for a recognized publishing house

-own rain boots for every day of the week

-have my house smell like apple cider, pumpkin pie, and fall leaves year-round

-visit Donegal Ireland and trace my ancestry

-spend some time in Alaska

-have a lake house somewhere tucked away

-live close enough to friends to continue to learn and teach about open-minded, forgiving, unconditional love

-go to Savannah, Georgia

-see Roswell, New Mexico

-start a catering company

-attend weddings of good friends as often as possible

-keep my eyes and my heart open

Friday, October 8, 2010

Settling in the Pacific Northwest and the scenic byway tour

On my drive out to Portland, Kacey and I stopped and did Beartooth Mountain. It's one of America's scenic byways and supposedly the most beautiful drive in America. I just thought that it would be a pretty stop on the way through to Oregon. Beartooth blew my mind. It was one of the best days I've had in memory, and I decided to consider looking into more scenic byways. Oregon has 9-10 official scenic byways and another handful of unofficial byways. I dragged my roommate out to do the Columbia River Gorge one to see if Beartooth Mountain was a fluke, or if I should be pursuing this. I had another absolutely breathtaking and wonderful day. As a result, I've decided to try to do as many of the official scenic byways in the United States as I can. I'm not going to spend every waking moment pursuing this goal, but it's something that brings me a lot of happiness, so I'm going to start pursuing it.

I have already finished the entire state of Wyoming and half of Montana having done Beartooth. Next up, I'm going to try to do most of the other 8 in Oregon and then Washington state. The pacific coast highway one will be more of an endeavour. It's a 12 hour drive minimum (and that's not counting stops).

Besides banging out scenic byways, life in Oregon brings me happiness everyday. I love the mix of the offbeat city culture and the proximity of the beautiful natural Northwest. I haven't been so at peace with staying put in...ever.