Saturday, March 19, 2011

Oh, the places you'll go.

"Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!"

A few months prior to graduating college, I got in a car accident.  My ultra-safe Volvo caught on fire.  Who can say they have caught a VOLVO on fire?  This girl!  So, after sufficiently taking my Grandfather's kind gesture of letting me use his car to an extreme, I finally bought a car.  A white Nissan Altima.  I thought - this is a nice car - it will get me through the next few years.  I never knew the places it - or I - would see.

We know 35 between Ames and Des Moines like the back of our hand.  You want to talk about 380 between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City?  We'll take that trivia challenge and describe to you every mile marker in great detail.  We've seen the likes of Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Teton, 35 South to KC, 80 from Iowa to Davenport, Wineries in Iowa, Wineries in Missouri, Wineries in Washington, Wineries in Oregon - ok, that girl (THE CAR) loves wine!

A release party at Dobbes Family Estate.
But I never could have guessed all that we could discover together.  80,000 miles later - we're still together and going strong.  Girl just got a new pair of shoes - check out those new tires - but where is her mirror you ask - that's a whole different post!

We off-roaded today to a great winery.

If I die tomorrow, please bury me in a wine cave!
We then caught some energy on a drive to the coast and prepared ourselves for a hike.  She gets energy from things like rainbows (and gas, I guess).  Me?  PB&J and Coffee!

And then on to a great hike on the coast.  And when I say great, I mean AWESOME.  We climbed Neahkahnie Mountain and it was amazing!

So, my point, today, with the car?  You never know where you'll end up.  And sometimes that fact blows my mind.  Or maybe just on days when I drink wine and climb to the top of a peak where all I can see and hear is the ocean. 

"Out there things can
happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and
footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. don't stew.

Just go right along.
You'll start happening too."

CHEERS (with a glass of red wine from those great wineries!)!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Eat Happy. Be Well.

We've had our first round of visitors these past few days and we've had a blast.  For the most part, we stuck to our itinerary and experienced Portland to the fullest.  We laughed hard, experienced good food and drinks, soaked up scenery and enjoyed quality time that is too sporadic these days.

In short, we followed some wise Portland advice; Eat happy.  Be well.

First stop?  Downtown Portland, an art museum and a dinner party to celebrate another year in the life of Andrew Forsyth. 

Day 2?  The Columbia River Gorge!

Day 3?  The Shamrock Run.  My arms must have been too tired for additional pictures this day but trust me when I say that we were well.  We were well with beers in our hands at the finish line and laughter surrounding us at brunch following the race.

Day 4 found us heading to the coast and soaking in more scenery (and cheese?).

And so a flight will head out of Portland tomorrow with our visitors in tow.  Our hope is that the laughter stays locked in our house, the memories in our hearts and the message of Portland in theirs. 

Eat Happy.  Be Well.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 6

There is a reminder of how I became who I am every year on March 6.  It's my sister's bday and anyone who knows me knows that I am the most "me" because of my sister.  It's been a tough but unforgettable year for us.  I've never been so far from her and it's forced us to work on our halves even knowing that the whole is so much better.  I miss her everyday and my phone bill reinforces this.  But, I ramble.  Happy Birthday, Shay!

I'll let Dave do the talking now. 

Dave Matthews

Passing time with you in mind
It’s another quiet night
Feel the ground against my back
Counting stars against the black

Think about another day
Wishing I wasn't far away
Wherever I dreamed I was
You were there with me

Sister, I hear you laugh
My heart fills full up
Keep me please
Sister, when you cry
I feel your tears
Running down my face
Sister, sister, keep me

I hope you always know it’s true
I would never make it through
You could make the sun go dark
Just by walking away

Playing like we used to play
Like it would never go away
I feel you beating in my chest
I’d be dead without

Sister, I hear you laugh
My heart fills full up
Keep me please
Sister, when you cry
I feel your tears
Running down my face
Sister, sister, you keep me

I hope you always know it’s true
I would never make it through
You could make the heavens fall
Just by walking away

Sister, I hear you laugh
My heart fills full up
Keep me please
Sister, when you cry
I feel your tears
Running down my face
Sister, sister, you keep me

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


We learned last week that at least one experience brings tears to my husband's eyes:
  • Balls of fire at Salvador Molly's in Portland.  These habenero balls are no joke.  Diner beware - you may not get through the rest of your meal!

From hot to cold.  (how do you like that transition?)  It's been cold - like in the 20's - and rainy here almost everyday so despite an attempt at reducing my coffee intake, I have been spending a ridiculous amount of time at coffee shops.  I think a soy latte has been medically proven to warm your soul. 

Plus it gets me interacting with humans despite my "home office" set-up.  Best interaction of the week?  A little girl - about four years old by my estimation - exclaiming "my latte is ready" after a barista called her name the other day.  Her mortified mother looked at me and swore it was hot chocolate!  Some of my fave hang outs:
  • Starbucks ranks at the top.  I say this knowing that it's not as "hip" as finding your fave hole in the wall.  But, I have a serious crush on Howard Schultz (and am fascinated by the Starbucks brand) and I refuse to not give him some business.
  • Red "E" Cafe - as seen in People magazine.
  • Metro Perc.  This place has a fireplace.  So, even though I think one of the workers is sassy, I still return.
You know what else warms the soul?  Happy hour!

Is it innapropriate to gift beer themed onesies to the dozens of people I know that are having babies in 2012 (err - I really did accidently type that.  Maybe I'm subconciously foreshadowing today?) --I mean 2011.

I'll be in Iowa a lot in the next few months working and I have started to prematurely "miss" Portland (without even knowing where our next destination will be - it really makes no sense).  It's starting to feel like our weekends are numbered here.  We are compiling our list of to-dos before we leave - any Northwesterners have some suggestions?

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