Portland. Say what you will, it is indubitably the locus of quirky hipster cool in America.


Which is why, say what he will, our actor/barista son Nik is so happy here.

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We arrived late.


They are replacing the iconic PDX carpet with a slightly different design. Don’t know if Portlanders are going to be able to handle it.

In the morning we rented a car and picked up eldest son Dimitri at the airport. Then we all went to meet Alekka at the train station – it is called Union Station, same name as the one in LA where Alekka started her journey on the Coast Starlight the morning before.

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Our dear friends Terry and Gary had invited us to stay with them. Their beautiful home is in a forest just across the river in Washington state.

Gary and Terry's back yard

Gary and Terry’s back yard

Gary and Terry are wonderful hosts who put together two(!) parties in honor of our visit.

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For many years we used to go on an annual camping vacation with a few other families. All of us were friends of Gary and Terry’s, and some of us (though not Andreas and myself) were bluegrass musicians. Listening to them picking and singing around the campfire was always a highlight of the trip. A few of those friends were here at the barbecue and I was very pleased to see they’d brought their instruments.

One of the main events of the weekend was the marriage of my great-niece Nicolette to her fiancé Eric. The wedding was at a park nearby and had a Star Wars theme (they’d gotten engaged at Comic-Con). Andreas’s brother James, the bride’s grandmother Jean and aunts Siestini and Stassi and their families, our great-nephew Steven, and Nik’s girlfriend Grace also helped represent the bride’s side of the family.

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After the wedding festivities wound down our group paid a visit to Portland’s rose garden.

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Over the next couple of days we visited our old haunts in downtown and let Nik introduce us to some new ones.

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One of the best new destinations was “Salt and Straw,” an ice cream shop with some very interesting flavors. I got a double scoop of arbequina olive oil and blue cheese/pear.

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Something new since our last visit to Oregon is the legalization of marijuana. The sight of so many “dispensaries” and all the attendant paraphernalia, now legal, was surprising to me.

Andreas loves that Portland is a bicycle city

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And I love that it is a book city.

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Overall we were so charmed with Portland that we decided to move here.

One of my former students from Medford is now a real estate agent in Portland, so we made an appointment with Brad at his office, Living Room Realty. We talked a lot about the different neighborhoods and went out to look at a few listed homes.

Alas, we did not see our dream house on this trip. But I am pretty sure it’s here, so we will keep looking. Maybe next summer we’ll find it.



About lornaofarabia

I am a teacher from Medford, Oregon. I currently live and work in Bangkok, Thailand.
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