Oh wow, it's July?

Written by Guy 

June was a blur. Between camping trips, serious wedding planning, and a few trips to Sauvie Island — we had zero time to sit down at the computer and type the details of our adventures. I realized this morning, as  sporadic fireworks split the morning air into countless fiery pieces, that it was now patriotic July. No, no longer June, not even for another day.

Really, I realized that we have been slacking. Negligent. Not on our “A game.”

So now we are back to fill you in on our summer adventures. Wedding planning sits high on the list of activities. With three months to go it seems that we spend most weekend time doing some sort of wedding planning… ummm or more specifically wedding shopping.

Today for instance we were searching the Beaverton-Tigard thrift store scene for wedding accessories. Here is a list of what we hoped to find (store in parenthesis if we found it):

  1. One old, clean trunk for wedding cards (The Garage Sale Warehouse);

  2. Escort card platter (Goodwill);

  3. Table seating display (Union Gospel Mission);

  4. Wholesale Flowers — though not at a thrift store; and

  5. Yarn/Ribbon for bouquets.

Fun fact: Escort cards are the little cards that tell people where to sit and allow them to call dibs on a particular seat at a certain table. These are useful at weddings, conventions, or a large gathering of any kind where you need to herd people gently while still letting them feel empowered. Yeah, you choose one of eight seats at that table and then sit down, that’s your seat.

If wedding brain isn’t a term yet, I’m coining it.

We have a busy and fun July to share with you. Hopefully it makes up for June. Up next we have Sauvie Island days, pool party evenings, a couple trips to some awesome local museums (to beat the heat, a trip to Chicago/Indianapolis for a dear friend’s wedding, and a long awaited parent trip to cap the month. Cue fireworks of excitement and explosive smiles… oh wait, those are actual fireworks exploding outside.

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

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Goodbye Arizona

He writes in this font,  she writes in this font. 

Goodbye Arizona, I bid you farewell! 

Confused? I’ll explain: You read right on our last post, I am not moving to the Rose City  until Oct. 26 — a little under three weeks from now. Still, this past weekend was my last one in Phoenix before the move. This upcoming weekend I will be camping (shockingly, Arizona has woodsy areas) and then I am going to PDX the following one. Yes, this leaves another weekend before the move — technically — but who counts a packing and cleaning weekend?! I certainly do not. 

Also, call me sentimental, but I like to think that I spent my last weekend here in Phoenix with Megan. It’s more memorable. Oh, that’s just lovely and certainly much more memorable! 

So what do you do for a farewell weekend? I tried to fill it with some of my favorite things, of course. Luckily, the Arizona sun decided to curb its fury for the weekend so that Megan and I could run around town and enjoy the sites one last time. It was so nice to not melt while visiting for a change. 

Saturday morning started with donuts, obviously. For the past three years I have used nami donuts as therapy for difficult days in court or long weekends in the office. Located just a few minutes from my office in downtown Phoenix, this vegan pastry and coffee place has been my refuge on the toughest of days. I am not above admitting that their slogan “made with nami love”  has actually given me encouragement after a long day of trial — or maybe it was just the sugar rush. 

We may have over-indulged. Is there really such a thing? I blame it on their incredible menu and it being my last visit before moving: I was extra-hyper after my two donut start to the day… the pitaya power breakfast and coffee may have added to that as well. Oops. At least we were ready for some adventures! I must say, the vegan country breakfast burrito was amazing! I mean, who doesn’t like a little bit of maple syrup with tofu, tempeh, and veggies? It was truly a fantastic combination! 

Next stop: Zinnias at Melrose. Going to this vintage market just outside of downtown Phoenix has been part of my Saturday routine for years. I am grateful that Megan also likes vintage stuff and the feeling of rummaging through an attic because stopping by  Zinnias was an absolute necessity for me. Pure looky-loos this weekend (oh yes, that is a real term), we spent hours exploring the store and dream-decorating our future home. Yes, the visit made my head dream up the most beautiful “Mad Men” inspired home. I’m talking about Don and Betty Draper in the Suburbs designs. Based on our design plans, we may need a few dream homes actually.    

After a couple of hours sifting through dust and discovering treasures, we needed a little sun and fresh air! Finally Megan got to make use of the bikini she brings on each visit. We spent the entire afternoon soaking up the sunlight while immersing ourselves in books and a little bit of wine… maybe a touch past a little bit, but only slightly. 

*It was nap time.*

Feeling refreshed several hours later, Megan was adamant that we go for a hike together before the impending sunset closed that option. You see, we plan to hike each time she visits. Sometimes the oven-like heat dissuades us from that mission. Other times we enjoy one too many margaritas to make a hike possible. This time, thankfully, Megan would not accept any excuses: We Were Going Hiking. 

We ended the day by watching the sunset from Squaw Peak. It was perfect. Absolutely stunning.  While Megan snapped photo after photo trying to capture the colors just right, I reflected on the countless times I had hiked the mountain previously; always by myself. Damn, I am being sentimental again. It’s kind of funny to hear him say that. At the beginning of our relationship he asked me if I was a “romantic” or “sentimental.” I said that I was a combination of both, I love the passion of romance, but I have a love for nostalgia. I live with glowing feelings about certain moments I have experienced. I prefer to have that kind of energy stay in my heart. He said that he was certainly not sentimental because that means that you want things to last. It’s interesting how much more sentimental he is now. 

I cannot think of a better way to say goodbye to Phoenix and welcome-in the next adventure of my life — with Megan. 

Now onto Portland! 

 

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Vintage Shopping

And we found boots! Feeling excited and motivated after talking with Cheryl from 3 Dots and A Dash, we explored House of Vintage (Hawthorne) for some wardrobe additions. We found some.

Finding quality, stylish boots is always somewhat of an obstacle. Inexpensive ones are, well, cheap. Quality leather boots that also have some style are hundreds of dollars out of our price range. Thank goodness for vintage shops! Within the first five minutes of perusing House of Vintage's huge store on Hawthorne Boulevard, I found these awesome Laredo workboots. It was clear someone had worn these boots day-in and day-out for who knows how many work-days. Still, despite the worn-in appearance, there were certainly not worn-out. At $22, I feel pretty damn happy with this purchase. Just in time for the chilly season!

Megan had quite the find in the boot department as well, but I'll let her tell it. We had gone through much of the store, I tried on some adorable moccasin boots, but decided I already have multiple pairs. I did not, however, have any adorable medium brown leather Calvin Klein Sport boots. When I picked them up off the shelf, I imagined them as an item my mom may have seen brand new shopping at Macy's in the early 80's. I had to have them.

We stumbled upon a throwback photo booth before checking out. Oddly, the fee for this memory catcher was $4.38. Please tell me you think this is weird too? Four dollars? Sure. But why add the thirty-eight cents. Weird. Well, we deposited $8.76 into this strange-fee charging contraption and had some fun getting romantic in the photo booth.

Now check out these boots!

 

On Hawthorne

He writes in the font,  she adds to the story in this font. 

Random acts of kindness, that's what life is all about. The real social currency that people exchange day-to-day is compassion and unexpected displays of consideration. That's what I felt this morning anyway, as we explored Hawthorne Boulevard in East Portland. Random acts of kindness (RAK for you chivers) are subtle; things that people often overlook without notice. This can apply to the giver or recipient alike - true kindness is a natural deed of humanity after all. We do it instinctively. 

Here is how we experienced the subtle kindness of strangers one recent sunny day in PDX.

Successfully getting an early start this past Saturday morning, Megan and I were up and active by seven o'clock. She finished a blog post as I went for a quick run along the waterfront. By half past eight, we had worked up an appetite and were ready to start some adventures. Luckily, we didn't have to engage in the perfunctory nuisance of choosing where to eat; Megan had already made that decision. "I want to take you to Bread and Ink," she said as we got into the car. Guy had mentioned vintage shopping the day before and immediately I thought of the Eastside. Nothing brings me back to freshmen year at PSU like Hawthorne Boulevard. It’s full of great and affordable vintage furniture, vintage apparel, and fantastic food! 

This is where I had my first random act of kindness: Bread and Ink. As many of you know, I'm sure, it's difficult to find parking in the narrow-street neighborhoods surrounding Hawthorne Boulevard. It took ten minutes past eternity for us to find a spot that was not blocking someone's driveway. I think it took slightly less than eternity, but we were both incredibly hungry at this point, so it felt like forever. While Guy contemplated what nearby object he could eat, I actively practiced hunger ignorance. We followed a trail of mirages deep down a side street until we found a spot a couple of blocks from the beginning of our search. By the time we made it to a table inside, there was a palpable vibe of "hangry" emanating from us - or at least from me. "I'm just hungry, man," is how I responded to the server's cheerful salutation when he first came to greet us. At this point, it seems that “hangry” is a pretty typical slang, but for those who do not keep up with Urban Dictionary, it’s the combination of hungry and angry. The anger is typically caused by the hunger. 

He brought me a cinnamon roll. It made a world of difference. Pause here and look below. It was delicious and nostalgic, Megan and I said at the same time that it tasted like the ones our mothers made at home. This cinnamon roll practically melted in my mouth. This may sound stupid or trivial, but that subtle display of consideration meant something to me. I felt that he recognized the situation and went out of his way to make it better; pure kindness. After waiting for us to finish the cinnamon roll and mollify the hanger, he came back and talked to us about the restaurant and how they make their delectable food. It’s incredible how much of a difference genuinely good customer service skills can make. Coincidentally, I recently taught a short class on customer service to some of my clients at work and we discussed how the first person you interact with can often set the tone for a customer's experience with a business. (For those who may not know, I manage a child abuse prevention program and have the opportunity to work with adults to work towards stability and self-sufficiency). 

Fun fact #1: Bread and Ink has been serving Portland for thirty-four years and makes all of their food from scratch. 

Kindness is contagious. It spreads like the scent of spring flowers. We left breakfast in a cheerful mood and were ready to do a little vintage shopping. I think happiness and excitement were emanating from us as we strolled down the street snapping pictures and being way too affectionate. This sounds like a recurring problem.  Now it was time for a little vintage shopping! 

Fun Fact #2: The vintage shops on Hawthorne don't open until eleven(ish). 

Walking around and killing time, we stumbled into 3 Dots & A Dash. Here is the next act of kindness. While admiring all of the beautiful furniture and accessories, Megan started talking to Cheryl, the store owner. Coincidentally, we had both bought Moo cards recently and this sparked a conversation about quality business cards and our blog. She asked all about our story, blog, and lives in general. Her kindness was in listening and giving encouragement. Cheryl was so supportive about our plans and even invited us to her craft nights. Immediately upon hearing the words "craft night," I'm pretty certain my eyes darted at Guy with the non-verbal cue equivalent to saying,"We are going." In turn, she let us learn all about her business and interests. I love meeting talented people that are willing to share like that. 

Fun fact #3: Anyone interested in refurbished, one-of-a-kind furniture NEEDS to check out 3 Dots and A Dash

These acts of kindness from perfect strangers may not seem like much, but they meant something to us. People being nice to other people; it's a simple thought that does not always happen. Sometimes it does not happen at all.  Whether Cheryl or our server at Bread and Ink even remember it, I will never forget their kindness. More importantly, I will pass it onward. We will pass it onward. 

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