Rock Love Oregon

29 Aug

us being cuteCaitlin and I recently made a list of cities we needed to visit. Seattle was really high up there. I still need to take us to Bloomington one fall and we should see more of the East Coast together. But #1 on our list was Austin’s sister city of Portland. When we found out that my cousin Amy was getting married in Medford, Oregon, just a few hours away from Portland, and my cousin and aunt would be extending their trip an extra day, we decided to make it a long weekend and explore Oregon together. In the spirit of it being a Teibloom family trip, here’s the Blow By Blow (BBB) of our four five day Pacific Northwest trip.

fxx-simpsons-marathonI get home from work at 3:30 every day. The plan was for Bryn to pick us up at 3:45 for our 5:10 flight. Well, Bryn had La Barbecue for lunch, fell into a meat coma and overslept. He pulled up at 4 and we hit rush hour traffic in a fairly awkward car ride with an anxious Caitlin, who always likes to get to the airport early, silently stewing*. Thankfully the Austin airport is easy to get through and we made it with time to spare, even having time to call Andy to thank him for a Jim Henson-signed Muppets record he got us that came right before we left. After an uneventful flight to San Fran** and splitting a Margarita pizza in SFO, we had a smooth flight to Medford and got picked up by Aunt Linny — the mother of the bride —and her lifelong friend Deborah. They checked us into our cute Ashland hotel, we got some vending machine cookies and watched some Simpsons marathon before passing out.

*What can I say, I don’t like the idea of missing flights. Having to wait for hours in an airport for a new flight, or having to change our plans around completely…don’t know why THAT would be a concern…

**It had lots of turbulence that made me white-knuckle Zack’s arm a few times. Sorry dear.

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We woke up early Friday, an hour and a half before our alarm even went off*. We had free breakfast delivered to our room, watched a couple more Simpsons episodes and then headed into downtown Ashland. We checked out a few record shops, got a couple greeting cards**, ducked into a unicorn gift shop, and hit up a few more cute  spots before stopping for a delicious lunch and even better ice cream.

*I don’t think we ever fully adjusted to the two-hour difference on the west coast.

**Including the most outrageous “congratulations on your marriage” card I have personally ever seen — covered in unicorns, tigers, rainbows and sparkles.

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Zoey’s in Ashland features homemade ice cream, so we had to split a couple scoops. The caramel was insanely good and overpowering. It was seriously insane, so drippy and amazing. NOM.

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After we’d had our fill of walking around Ashland, we headed to Buckhorn Springs, where the wedding would be held. Caitlin and I helped string up some lights on the trees and put fairy lights on all the tables. Just as we were about to be tasked with lighting the inside of port-o-potys, we saw my sister Suzy and her husband Sky arrive, so we helped them to their room, the cabin we shared with them for the weekend. We caught up with them for a bit before heading to the airport to pick up my cousins and come back in time for rehearsal dinner. Spending so much time with Suzy and Sky was one of my favorite parts of the wedding weekend. I hadn’t had a lot of dedicated time to hang out with them, and we bonded quickly and strongly. Love those two!

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We started Saturday morning with an incredible yoga class led by my favorite Yogi, my sister! It was super relaxing, she picked way better music than any yoga class I’ve ever been to (deep Zeppelin, Beatles and Pink Floyd cuts and Sigur Ros for Caitlin*) and it was a big love-fest with the focus on good thoughts for Amy and Ian’s marriage. I wish I could start every morning with that class. So glad we could experience my sister’s awesome Yogi skills**.

*She actually said to me before the yoga started, “The last song is for you,” and when Sigur Ros’ “Untitled #4” came on, I got a little emotional. So touching!

**If she’s up for it, we’re starting to think about the logistics of having her do a class for us the morning of our wedding. It’s such a great way to clear your head and remind yourself to be in the moment.

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After yoga, we headed back into Ashland to grab Mexican food at a decent place for lunch and tequila for ‘ritas since the wedding would be wine and beer only. When we got back, Caitlin noticed she’d been ice bucket challenged* and decided to get it over with. I was happy to record it and Sky was even happier to be the one to dump the ice bucket. After we showered in our little tub with a funky shower hose, we made drinks, had a couple sandwiches and got ready for the ceremony.

*Thanks to our fabulous new friend, Katie. I was so happy that she thought of me to nominate! Plus, it makes us even for making her jump into Barton Springs with us.

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 Amy looked gorgeous and so happy and it was lovely seeing her parents walk her down the aisle together.

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How do you smash the glass if you’re wearing sandals? You put on a boot, that’s how… #ProMove

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The Margarita crew was psyched for the wedding.

DSCN1428Uncle and Nana were very proud of Ellie for her flower girl job. We’re excited to have her as our flower girl next year! She did such a fabulous job, meticulously throwing just a few petals here and there.

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We were lucky to be in the shade here. The rest of the fam is battling the sun.

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I had to get a pic of me with my dad and my sister. Somehow this is the least blinking pic even though we took four.

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 The wedding flew by. And the Horah got blurry. Maybe it was the margaritas. There were a lot of things we could chalk the blurriness up to.

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Before we knew it, we were on the road to Portland. The original plan was to ride in a van with Jon, Lynae, Tabby and AJ, but they decided one 5-hour drive was enough and gave us the van and caught a flight. The drive was fun. The first three hours flew by as we alternated between the comedy station on our satellite radio and the indie station and a few checks into the rock of the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. The last two hours were slow, but doable.

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After settling into our lovely hotel*, we headed out for dinner. It took over an hour of waiting, but Tasty n Alder was worth the wait. We all split some heirloom tomatoes, mushrooms and green beans before digging into some juicy chicken for me and Jon, skirt steak for Tabby and AJ and goat cheese dumplings for Caitlin**. Mmm. Thankfully we saved room for ice cream.

*#3 on TripAdvisor! With French toiletries to boot.

**SO good!

salt-and-straw-menus-646-1The flavors they had were insane. Jon tried at least a dozen before still deciding to get the four flavor sampler*. My favorite was the Honey Balsamic Strawberry with cracked pepper that I paired with Chocolate with Gooey brownies in a fresh made waffle cone. Next level. I ended up with that same gooey brownie chocolate concoction, which was the best flavor by a mile. I also got a salted caramel swirl, which was SO good and left the bottom of my cone filled with solid caramel. I would consider moving to Portland for this shop alone.

*He and Lynae generously shared this with us, and the wood chip chocolate was one of the best.

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The next morning, Zack and I headed into town to wander as the rest of the fam got ready. We made our way to Powell Books, a block-long bookstore with I think 4? Maybe more? stories*, that made my nerdy book-loving heart explode with joy. I could have spent a full 24 hours, at least, in that store. Sadly, we only had about an hour, so we kind of just made our way around the various floors, picking a few sections to hover over, and we left with a few choice reads as souvenirs.

*It’s a block long! So big, such a great selection!

unnamed-1We popped into a Dr. Marten’s store, where Zack was still unimpressed by the flower-covered boots I wanted, and then we met up with the others for Voodoo Doughnuts. While the consensus was that each of our hometowns had better doughnuts (I’m lookin’ at you, Gourdoughs) these were still amazing, and mine was voted the best. I ordered the “dirt” doughnut that’s covered in white icing and oreos, which was fine, but the piece de resistance was the guy with the mustache in the top left corner. The McMinnville Cream was a doughnut with maple icing, filled with vanilla cream, and it was to die for. To die for!! I wish I had just ordered two of those, although most of one and two bites of the “dirt” were enough to fill my stomach to the breaking point. It was all delicious and worth going to, but not life changing. 

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Then it was time to collect our belongings and head to the airport. Even though there was a train that would take us right to the airport, I was feeling especially lazy, so I paid for a cab ride so we could get to the Portland airport “with plenty of time to spare.” I was in great spirits upon arriving at the airport — look, Zack, they let you recycle your bottles by just having you dump the liquid! Look at these fast moving lines! This is the best airport of all time! We walk to our gate. I sit down. Zack gets up to check that our flight is on time, on the boards directly behind where we’re sitting, in view of me. I get distracted by a game on my iPhone, then start reading. 15 minutes pass. I look behind me. He’s not there. He’s nowhere to be found. I have all of our luggage surrounding me. I can’t leave it, so I can’t go looking for him. I call his phone, and it’s answered but it sounds muffled and nobody ever speaks to me. I hang up and call again. Straight to voicemail. I try again. Voicemail. I panic. I start texting him, asking where he is, begging him to answer me, telling him that I’m worried about him. 20 minutes have passed now, so I text a final plea* to respond or else I’m going to have Zack paged. He finally appears, and I’m relieved and angry all at once. Then he tells me that the reason he was gone is because our flight is so delayed that we’ll be missing our connection, and we’ve been told that we have to spend the night in Denver on our own dime. Now I’m REALLY angry. I protest, I call United (who are super rude and unhelpful over the phone), I start to accept our fate and when we talk to the United worker who is actually there at the gate, he’s friendly and my mood shifts. We look at it as an adventure. I’m able to contact my work, my dad, and the Nissan dealership who I had an early appointment with, and get everything rescheduled and taken care of. We get tons of extra time to spend with Jon, Lynae, Tabby and AJ. It works out.

*I was locked into talking to the agent at the gate, trying to figure out our options and came back to 4 missed calls and 7 texts…

Zack and I (more Zack than me) have had a bit of an excess of bad luck lately. Between the car wreck, Zack damaging his phone, then having his replacement phone stolen along with his wallet, keys to car, apartment and bike lock, and then this flight situation — it’s been a bit disheartening. But I think this airplane moment reminded me that, as long as you have your loving family with you and around you, anything can be an adventure, and you can always find love. ^This. It’s been a challenging summer in a lot of ways, but as long as we’re healthy and together, it’ll all work out. It was truly lovely to spend so much time with so many parts of my family with Caitlin and we need to go back to Portland for a long weekend soon. 

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