Monday, August 31, 2009

P-town (the western one)

And then we came to Portland. Portland has lots of bridges, and we like crossing them, which is good because as I said, Portland has lots of bridges. One of our favorite friends, Josh Pew (see picture at right), just happens to live below a bridge.

Here is a view from his sun room of the St. John's bridge:

Amy and I actually jogged across this beast. Yes, yes we did.

Other noteworthy events of our time in Portland were:

Taboo with Josh Pew.
While there we wrote a haiku.

It was a bit tricky splitting up into teams, considering there were three of us. So we ended up making three teams, and everyone played on two of them. It worked out quite nicely. The Bethany and Josh team kicked butt.

Amazing weather! The city was in full bloom, with hanging baskets of flowers everywhere. We hopped on the city subway train thing and saw the sights....including the largest bookstore in the country (Powell's), the buffalo exchange, the weekend market, etc.

I found this setup to be very curious. Notice the baby doll in the lawn chair in the middle of all of the plants. huh.

One of my (Bethany) contributions to this blog is going to be "why's and why not's." This segment will be on the topic of moving to Portland.
Reasons to move to Portland:
  • The entire city composts (see picture at right)
  • Gigantic delicious blackberries that are $2.50/box
  • Josh Pew lives here
  • Excellent freeway and bridge systems
  • Thriving arts scene
  • No sales tax
  • Copious vegetarian restaurants
  • Massive health food culture
  • Pedestrian rights
Reasons to not move to Portland:
  • Inefficient gas pumping attendants (illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon)
  • Not seeing the sun for long periods of time
  • If you don't like crossing bridges
  • If you're a staunch Republican
Stay tuned for the "why's and why not's" of Seattle. Coming next week...

Westward Bound

The journey of a thousand miles begins:

August 28th marked our first official day on the road. Bethany began as our captain, but due to a smashingly fun party as well as late night packing, her little eyes didn't want to stay open so I took over for the remaining trek. We've already decided that it will probably be best if I (Amy) drive the long stretches and Bethany works the city streets. We are definitely the city mouse and the country mouse.

The tunes for our first day included, but was not limited to:
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Audra Lynn
  • Josh Garrels
  • MeWithoutYou
  • MuteMath
The drive to Portland didn't begin to turn beautiful until about 3 or 4 hours into it. After miles of fields, I began to understand why Bethany was asleep next to me. However, the land began to change and soon we were surrounded by trees, rivers, and sweeping hills. I'm not sure if America knows this, but the northwest is very reminiscent of the northeast. At least in my opinion. The sky was a beautiful hazy blue, capturing light like a sponge... we kept commenting on how interesting the sky was and wondering if it was because we were getting near the ocean. Until we came around a corner to find the entire mountain side ablaze. Helicopters were dropping water and sirens were blaring. We decided not to join the onlookers, and were soon on to clearer skies.

Bethany along the Hood River's edge... beautiful

As we came over the foothills surrounding Portland, the realization of our road trip finally hit me. We are going to see America. Wow. Maybe that's how the sun feels every morning.

Muffler Magic

After a few minor cosmetic additions, the Taurus is oh-so-ready for this adventure of ours. You should hear the purr thanks to our new muffler. Mmmm.

However, prayers for proper vehicle performance would be much appreciated. Although Taurus has low miles and extremely comfortable interior, rust has taken up residency due to spending most of its life on the streets of Minnesota. We hope to not run into any more repair issues for the remainder of this trip!

Going away party

Bethany applying sprinkles to mark our route

"What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." - T.S. Eliot

Friends gathered, advice spoken, safety prayed, laughter rang, geographical games played, hands of strangers turning to friends shook, and cake in the shape of the US of A consumed.

Thank you for sending us off.

Bethany and I discussed the party as we began the journey west and found ourselves overwhelmed by the support, the care, and the love you have all shown to us. Thank you for being a part of this adventure - you bless us so very much. We will be seeing you again!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Fair pic's

Pretty little pumpkins

Bovine beauticians!

Touching "the lump"

Poor Joe... he had definitely had enough.
But ew ew ew - what is that jiggly lump on his back?????

Fair pictures

This is my excited face

Aaron - the "adrenalin junkie"

The "Fire Ball"... or "Ball of Fire". Can't remember. Either way it was fire-y.

thank goodness...


And so the adventure begins.

Although Boise is home to both of us, we decided to embrace Idaho at its roots. Which means the Western Idaho Fair! We had an excellent tour guide (our great friend Aaron) who made sure we experienced a little bit of everything:

  • Aggressive parking
  • Dock-diving Dogs - Bizarre. These canines would launch off of a dock, chasing a flying chewy toy, into a pool that was measured in feet. Solomon the black lab was in the lead at 19.5 feet when we left.
  • Carnies - Aaron almost got talked into being drenched in the dunk tank for coupons to Subway... but then he came to his senses.
  • The "Ball of Fire" - we could only afford tickets for one ride, so we invested in the fastest, the spiniest, the scariest, the most scream inducing (from Amy) and the most colorful ride that we could find. Because "we are adrenalin junkies" - Aaron.
  • "Meet the Animals" a livestock petting zoo - oh this was most enjoyable! We never did find out what the disgusting jiggly lump was on the back of the zebu... any thoughts? Bethany loved the baby goat and display of hatching chicks.
  • The Exhibition Hall - boy oh boy does Idaho put it's best foot forward when it comes to arts, crafts, and prize worthy legumes! Congratulations Darlene (our old neighbor) for her champion artichoke blossom!!
  • Free samples - nothing has changed. Bethany and Amy can sniff out a deal anywhere. This one came about in the form of fresh salsa, of which we scored an entire gallon-sized ziplock worth! Thank you Quickchopper.
  • Fried fair food. Aaron=pita, Amy=pronto pup, Bethany=baked potato icecream
  • A hypnotist - not impressed
  • A dive in the fountain. Aaron was still hungry. And broke. So he rolled up his pants and came back a little soggy, but 2 dollars richer.
All in all, a truly Idahoan experience.

On a jet plane

Although I'm anxious to begin sharing our already culminating adventure stories, this first must be told:

My flight from Denver to Boise has become a very routine process, one that I'm often over-confident about. This was one of those times.

My sweet mother and I squeezed the most out of our last few minutes together, saying our goodbyes and passing on words of advice and encouragement. It wasn't easy saying goodbye to this friend of mine!! But I knew it was really past the time that I should have gotten in line, especially at an international airport with a security system about 1/2 mile long, 4 flights of stairs to descend and ascend, 1 train to ride, and one gate B25 to find. So after one more quick kiss on mom's cheek I ran through the line, grabbed the plastic tubs, and began slipping my shoes off for the security check, hoping I wouldn't get stopped as my plane was already boarding.

Disclaimer: something ALWAYS happens to me in airports.

At this point, I was beginning to feed my personal possessions on the conveyer belt and in through the x-ray tunnel. However just as my laptop was about to disappear into the shadows, the woman in front of me shrieks and lunges into the x-ray machine, screaming something like "WAIT WAIT! Oh no, STOP! Turn it off! Oh NOOOO!"

are you ready for this?


Everyone froze. Eyes were wide. The security guard looked at her and said "You are kidding me." Snickers were beginning to grow. I had to turn around to keep her from seeing me laugh out loud as the machine backed her luggage out. A purse was unzipped and a disheveled white poodle popped out.

Thankfully Charlie was ok, and I made it to my gate just as my ticket section was boarding. Amazing eh?

as it should be

Breaking news! Breaking news!


(thanks to United... hee)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It was put off to the tomorrow

Hello, my name is Amy and I'm addicted to the last minute.

I have approximately one day until I climb aboard that United flight. And in this one day I have about 3 loads of laundry that need to be done, 1 room that needs to be cleaned, and several bags that need to be packed. Simple. And completely reasonable for one day.

Except that I also want to make dinner for my parents, and it would be so great to have a quick visit with a few friends before I leave, as well as stop by the restaurant to drop off the cards that I still haven't written to every individual employee. I want to go for a run. I want to alter a jacket. It would be nice to hand dye a skirt I'd like to bring with me. Oh, and finish and return the library book I have only 5 chapters more to consume. And maybe make some energy bars for the trip. While I'm at it, it would be nice to balance the check book... ok, I'll stop here.

I will say however that I'm seeing some growth in this area of my life. My to-do list only includes the absolute necessities. And I've also said no to approximately two posed needs/ideas that would take away time from tomorrow's laundry and packing extravaganza. For anyone who knows me, saying no is an extremely painful experience, so this is a giant step for me! At this rate I might not have to stay up all night tomorrow!

So here's the plan:
  • Wake up tomorrow morning and have some quite time with tea
  • Shower... it's been awhile
  • Eat a substantial meal (poached eggs over quinoa and greens - my new fav)
  • Begin laundry cycle #1
  • While laundry is cycling, I will run an errand
  • Return home and hang laundry on the clothes line (sun-dried clothes smell the best)
  • Begin cycle #2
  • Choose the suitcase. Oh this one is always hard for me. Do I go jumbo size and bring it all and have to deal with feeling excessive, or do I deliberate for hours over which pajama pant to bring and pack a single duffle bag, knowing that I'll feel carefree but limited in my outfits. Ugh.
  • Hang cycle #2 in the afternoon sun
  • Begin cycle #3 (I'm not convinced I have this many dirty clothes, but I wouldn't put it past me)
  • Break: Piano playing break or a chapter of my book (The Chosen) in the treehouse
  • Decide which shoes............................................... I'm so not good at this
  • Eat something. A peach maybe.
  • Hang cycle #3
  • Begin creating outfits that will mix and match, as well as be smart choices for the varying weather we will find ourselves in. This may require calling Bethany.
  • At this point, my mom will come in and check on me, only to find me sitting in my room surrounded by piles of clean clothes, completely and utterly overwhelmed. And she will start packing for me.
  • After watching her for several minutes I will have a burst of inspiration and this mountain will be conquered.
  • Weigh the bag to make sure I don't have to pay any extra fees at the airport.
  • Zip the bags
  • Sigh with relief
We will see. Even now I'm doubting this schedule, however I've come up with a new tactic I've never tried before: A reward. If, and only if, I am able to hold myself to this sort of schedule. I'm not sure if there is anything that can motivate me to move faster than I'm comfortable moving... maybe time at the hot springs. Well, I'm open to suggestions. And any advice you'd give to a raging procrastinator.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Routing Roulette

I'm not kidding when I say there's an I Love Lucy episode for everything...
I have been known for my keen ability to relate an I Love Lucy episode to everything in life. This road trip is no exception!

I thought I would post some details about our routing and trip:
  • We plan to leave from Boise, Idaho on Friday, August 28. (If you live in the area, Amy and I are having a going away party on Thursday night at 7pm-please come!)
  • Our first destination is Portland, OR
  • Then we will head north to Seattle and Bellingham, WA (Sept. 1-3ish). Maybe passing through Spokane for a night on our way East.
  • Next stop, Lakeside, MT. With a possible trip to Glacier National Park.
  • Then (drumroll please...) Mount Rushmore, South Dakota! We're both very excited to see this facey mountain.
  • Chicago, IL. We will be there by September 12.
The rest is to be determined. But the vague outline is NW, midwest, NE, SE, SW. The goal is to see this country of ours and meet people along the way! Please post any suggestions of "must-see's" from any US trips you have taken. We are compiling them (as well as contact information) and would love to hear any insight you have.

Thanks for tracking with us!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

like a sequel to a really good book...

Amy here.

As the days of preparations are fading and the number of days until "The Launch" are decreasing, the excitement inside is definitely mounting!

For those of you who are just getting to know Bethany and I, I thought I'd share a little background on the story of our friendship so far. For those of you who already know us (meaning you know what Bethany puts on her waffles and why Amy tries to grow plants), well you probably know us as two peas in a pod and this might be a shock for you to find that there was actually a time when Bethany was just Bethany and Amy was simply Amy. Instead of "Bethany and Amy". What a dull time.

We met on the cracked sidewalk outside a former crack house. (yes that was entertaining to write. Even more entertaining since I speak truth). We were both students at the School of Biblical Studies, a branch of the Vineyard College of Mission (VCOM) in Boise ID, a 9 month school that focuses on the inductive study method of the Bible. It's a somewhat lengthy program to describe. Let me just say that personally it has been the best investment of my life so far! And one of the perks was sharing a bunk bed with Bethany Haglund herself.

Our friendship took flight through hours and hours of studying together, midnight snacks of chocolate muffins, chia pets, mouse attacks, budget birthday parties, gyms, sweat pants, pudding parties, all-nighters, melt-downs, walks in the leaves, gingerbread houses, encouraging words, honest words, silly words, confronting words, floods, shared closets, rationed toilet paper, and MuteMath.

Graduating from SBS was quite a feat for both Bethany and I... one that I'm very grateful we accomplished together. It was an experience that laid a foundation of truth and placed a hunger in us both - uniting us in a unique way. I'm so glad we've been able to watch each other grow and change!

After graduating, we both interned for the college and shared the duty of being the "house moms" for the first-year students in the same ghetto house we first met in. This place was home to approximately 23 people. Not kidding. Thankfully we had 3 bathrooms and two kitchens, but needless to say we were always on top of each other and something was always needing repair (bath tub, door frames, pipes in the basement, etc). The best part of this living situation was that it allowed Bethany and I to be roommates once again! This time we scored the living room as our bedroom, which meant we had a fire place!!!

Since we interned for different schools within the college, we had two extremely different experiences being staff, however through it all we were able to find common ground in the fact that we love each other and love being friends so dang much!

Wow, this is getting lengthy. I'm going to need to work on my blogging technique. Succinctness is not my forte unfortunately.

Basically all I wanted to say is that Bethany and I are friends. And we like being friends. So much so that after a year of not seeing each other, except via Skype, it's time for a reunion. A reunion that makes history!

So America - brace yourself as the BFF's are hitting your highways!

(in 7 days and counting!)