When we last left our intrepid heroes…. Oh, wait. Wrong story 😋
The last installment of the Beth and Jeff saga had us getting back from Italy, regrouping in Colorado and not being nekkid anymore.
Since then, we’ve been a bit like leaves on the on wind. Soaring, but a little bit lost, carried along by the fates/winds/norns/universe/what-have-you toward the Pacific Northwest.
Our original destination had been Seattle, WA, but opportunity and some persuasive talk from a few local friends swayed us to stop a few hundred miles early in Portland, OR.
|The road to Portland|
We landed in Portland, OR on Mother’s Day with a space reserved for a week at what online had looked like a decent RV park about 5-7 miles north of downtown. The name had “beach” in it and it was on an island in the middle of the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington states. What could possibly go wrong?
Turns out a lot – some issues were actual issues, other things were mistakes on our part.
- The park was on an island – BUT no beach, in fact, the park was in the middle of a retail/industrial area in the flight path for the Portland International Airport AND next to a shipping lane for barges and commercial freighters. It was LOUD.
- Portland seems to be home for many homeless people – and the island seems to be a gathering place and home to many of them. While generally polite to us, it got uncomfortable being approached in our own home by people knocking on the door or going through the park on their way somewhere else at all hours.
- The park facilities were not maintained. The bathroom seemed to have mold older than our nephews. Nuf sed.
- The park also didn’t have any room for us after that first week, except for occasional days. We were looking at being homeless ourselves.
- Assuming that our being able to get a week-long space meant
that there would be room for us to stay longer. There wasn’t. This lead to a scramble to piece together
places to stay for at least a night or two so that we didn’t have to boondock
and risk being towed or ticketed.
- Assuming that we both could find jobs easily/quickly. In Jeff’s case, he got a temp job 3 days after we arrived and has been working steadily since then. The wife didn’t get even a call or bite for 3 weeks, even though she was signed up with 4 temp agencies and actively applying directly to companies. On the 4th week, the job gods finally had pity on her and she spent the week running from interview to interview. By the end of the 4th week, she had a temp to perm job in downtown Portland. (Yay for public transportation that actually works and is affordable – yes, we’re looking at you, Denver!)
- Not taking into account that the cost of living in Portland is higher than Austin (which was really affordable!) It seems to be higher that Denver even.
Overall, we didn't love Portland right away like we thought we would. Trying on the city felt weird and uncomfortable, even though it isn't all that different in vibes and values from Austin or Denver.
By 6 weeks in, we still weren't super comfortable, especially in the park we we'd been staying.
All of this leads to what happened next:
We moved to Vancouver, Washington 😊