Salt & Fog

Making art & life by the Sea

Exploring Portland

illustration, Adventures & ParentingVeronica CassonComment
Gabriel Park

The weather cleared and we were able to take a walk and Gabriel Park yesterday. It was gorgeous. I especially loved this one grove of tall twisty trees that seemed to bulge and then twist back in at their top. 

fat_city-dinrt

Breakfast at the delicious Fat City Cafe, with our visiting friend Urian, many license plates and a Sasquatch wearing a Santa Hat and Kilt. Nach'

salmon river

 Exploring the wild snow patched woods with Grant. It is a fairy tale of a forest. 

Beautiful collection of illuminated art installations right on the water at OSMI's Winter Lights Festival. Outstanding. Also, cold.

fireplace.

Our sublet has a fireplace. Each night after the sunset Julie has really enjoyed constructing a fire and tending to it until bedtime. 🔥 

One Week in Portland

illustrationVeronica CassonComment

I have been doing a piece of art everyday detailing our Portland adventures.

snowalk

After having been snowed in since we arrived, we decided to walk to Barbur's, a market about a half mile away. What a great place! Like an independent much less expensive Whole Foods with a Mediterranean slant. Luke ate snow and talked the whole way. 

breadgift

Snowed in again. Julie and Luke made homemade bread and I made pickles. Luke wanted to bring one of the loaves to the neighbors sharing the other side of our duplex.

street sledding

Street sledding! 
We are still snowed in. Tried getting our truck out, but no luck. Luckily the disappointment was tempered with finding a discarded sled and boggie board in our neighbor's driveway.

Bus Stop Snowmen

Making a snowman while waiting got the us into town. During the ride we received an ice storm warning so decided only to stop for lunch then return home.

books_w_pictures

We finally got our car out of the snow. A good thing too, as we were invited to a "talk with pictures" event at a fabulous comic store. Books with Pictures was one of the most welcoming kid-friendly, LGBT inclusive, feminist comic stores I have been too. Our family is sure to be regulars.
Luke also found a new favorite comic Ultracat.

Foodtrucks

Finally got out to a food pod -the first time of many I'm sure. (a food pod is a congregation of different food carts that often have facilities, a fire pit, picnic tables, and a roof).

 Before we moved here we knew that would be one of our favorite things from our visits. It was Luke's first time and he sure loved being able to run around in between bites of his amazing burger from Burger Stevens Julie had some ramen from the adjacent cart. Both were so good!

WomensMarch

All three of us marched in PDX's Women's march last Saturday. Such an inspirational and empowering day. And everyone was SO kind! Which is a Portland thing in general though I expect it was the same at all of the Women's marches.

cloudcap

And finally we spent yesterday play board games and drinking beers at Cloud Cap games. Such a warm inviting space. $5 gets you all day in a charming game room with a great selection of family and euro games. This one is Dead of Winter. (Our son was not there when we played this one, Zombie apocalypses are no place for a three year old).

Moving to Portland

Action & Adventures, Adventures & ParentingVeronica CassonComment
Setting off on our move with both cars loaded.

Setting off on our move with both cars loaded.

In mid-November - somewhat unexpectedly - we decided to move our family from the Bay Area to Portland.

The reasons we had were many and varied but for the most part, Portland seemed a better fit for our family than the Bay Area. Our son had yet to start kindergarten and we were both self-employed or looking for work, so if there was a time to go, it was now. A new adventure! Why not? We love adventure.

Admittedly, moving during the holidays was not the easiest choice, but once we decided to do it, we were both anxious to get there. Every day we delayed seem to be putting our future on hold.

Once Christmas was over, it was a mad dash to pack our belongings and get the cars ready to go. We left the day after New Years.

 

Unfortunately, ten minutes after we got on the road, our car died. We found ourselves and most of our bagage at a roadside auto shop.

stuck in garage

 

It took two more days before the car was ready to go. Originally we had planned to stretch the ten hour drive into three days. Due to the unexpected maintenance delay, we instead split the trip into two days.

 

The first night we stopped at the Best Western Tree House in Mount Shasta. We arrived just as night fell.

 

best western tree house

It was giant cozy log cabin of a hotel.  (more about this stop and two other fab hotel spots on this Travel Nueva post).

After warming up - it was 6 degrees there! - we had a celebratory dinner in which we shared a prime rib between the three of us. They had a wonderful indoor pool and hot tub which we used before going to bed.

lodge

The next day we ate a quick breakfast and got on the road, driving the entire day with only brief stops for snacks and bathroom breaks.

My view from the Prius following Julie and Luke all day.

My view from the Prius following Julie and Luke all day.

The adorable and delicious Limestone coffee shop in Medford, OR.

The adorable and delicious Limestone coffee shop in Medford, OR.

We made it to our sublet in the South West of Portland pretty late. The power to the keypad we had been given as a code to get in the place was not working. After some shivering in the cold, we knocked on the neighbor's door and asked for help.

Once we found our way inside, I put our very tired son to bed while Julie went out food shopping. We had heard there was a snow storm on the way and we wanted to be prepared in the case of us not being able to get out.

Thanks goodness we did! During our first breakfast it started snowing and did not let up for three days.

Watching the snow fall from our sublet's kitchen window while we eat our first breakfast.

Watching the snow fall from our sublet's kitchen window while we eat our first breakfast.

Blanketed with snow, the world outside our window on that first morning seemed strange and otherworldly. The perfect fresh start to begin the next chapters of our life.