Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Remember how last month, or the month before last, we went to Portland?  
Well, I'm ready to talk about it now. 

In all truthfulness, I'm just finally in possession of my iPhoto again, and a few moments to upload them. 

We took off early from work and caught a train.  My first train.  (One of my 25 Goals for 25 no less.)

Union Station

I am honestly having a difficult time remembering the order of events.  I know we stayed with his friend the first night, Bryan.  I've had the opportunity to meet him before, but we were hoping to get time with his wife and daughter too.  No luck.  They had friends in from out of town.  John & Bryan had recently gone to Sweden together and this provided the first opportunity for us to scan through all of Bryan's photos.  I also believe that Friday night we drove first to a Creole Restraurant famous for it's Mac 'n Cheese.... and we wandered around some.... freeway underpasses?  I wasn't yet impressed by Portland.  (Minus the mac n' cheese.  It was darn good!)

The next morning, after breakfast and and goodbyes, we headed down to the Pearl District.  We sipped some of the best coffee in Portland at Barista, wandered shops and boutiques and then headed off for a hike.

That is water.
John thought it funny to pour water all over himself...
 he's regretted it since he realized he looks like he was drooling in all the photos.  ;) 

Saturday night we got rooms at a cool hotel downtown, where we showered and cleaned up for the rest of our adventure - and the main part of my surprise.  (If you remember - I basically knew nothing about the weekend.)  He'd told me to dress somewhat nice, but comfortable.  I knew we'd be outside for part.

We got ready, and drove to Powells, where he told me to pick out a book.  In the end, we each walked out with a small pile.  
First time to Powells. I get it now. 
 So the surprise.  I'd been trying to figure it out all month.  Whatever it was, it only happened during the month of September.  John had insisted we go in September to see it.  I thought perhaps it was a big play in a park our some kind of show or group experience.

It was in a park.  But even after we'd picked up our bag of picnic goodies and bottle of wine.  I had no ideas.  Even upon strolling up to the elementary school yard and finding the hillside covered with hundreds of people... sitting down on our own blanket and looking around.  I still had no clue what we were all there for.  I let him tell me.  It was for the Swifts.  The tiny little birds you might notice all over in the sky below.  Thousands of them gather around dusk every day in September, swirl around, and eventually after a very impressive show, they all dive into that chimney.... like a giant syphon.

 After the swifts had packed in for the night, we packed up our blanket, cheese, and wine and headed off to the next place.  The nickel arcade - home of John's favorite game ever.  He doesn't even know the name, or any of the directions, because it's all in Japanese... but he knows how to win at it.  I've got to admit, it had a special thrill.  So did running around an arcade with my favorite fellow-sometimes-five-year-old.  We ended the night with more drinks - Spanish Coffees at the oldest restaurant in Portland.  The bartender comes to your table and tosses and drops and throws and lights until a delicious caramelized drink sits before you - no longer in flames, but still warming your throat as it smoothly goes down.

The next day we explored the city in daylight - of course tried some more coffee, took plenty of photos, and wandered the Sunday market.  Before too long, it was time to hop back in the car and drive to our last scene.

You might not know it, but I am dating THE Mr. Corrado.  The very first.  We took a few hours and wandered John's campus (beautiful!), ate at one of his favorite Mexican dives (delicious!), saw his old church... and he even did a little re-enactment of how he became the first ever, Mr. Corrado.  Those hips do not tell lies.

 Lunch at St. John's Bridge (Is that right, Beau?) 
 We finished it all with a train ride home, watching the sun set, sipping hot cocoa and taking turns reading out of our new books.  We couldn't believe how beautiful the timing was -  I must have taken 20 photos.  Don't waste time on the "dinner train" - just catch a train to Portland at dusk.

I'm pretty sure I have the timing all wrong, because I can't imagine how we fit all these things in to one weekend - with a train both ways. :/  There were plenty of other coffee stops and restaurants and little happenings I left out too.   And yet, it felt perfectly relaxing.  With time to wander, breathe, taste and hold hands.  Time to talk and grow past things together.  

I'm so lucky to get these moments, and with a man who is so kind and thoughtful to plan out all the little important parts of a surprise weekend. 


Ashley said...

Great photos - I love your eye for unique shots! :)

Kim said...

I think I just fell in love with your boyfriend ;-)

Katrina Hope said...

Thanks, Ash! Love hearing that, especially from you!

Kimmers.... ;)