Just as quickly as I left, I have returned from the chilly mountains of the pacific northwest to the sweltering pavement of Chicago.
Can I make one quick observation about this city that is not directly related to my visit to Portland, but certainly includes that experience? Chicago is a very real city. I don't know how better to articulate that, but it was as simple as getting on the plane late last night with my fellow returning travelers and I was reminded that this city is simply more real than most others I have visited. Maybe more on this another time (as I don't want to taint my Portland words) but in some ways it is as simple as that.
Ok, but Portland on the other hand is indeed a beautiful city. Stunning in fact. Nestled in mountains and full of thoughtfully crunchy folk who seem to take good care of themselves and their land. I mean, they even have big 'ol trees in the center of downtown and there are more independent coffee shops than a boy could ever hope for. It is unique and interesting place that I enjoyed.
In short, I arrived late on Friday evening to be greeted by my dear host, Ellen (the sister of the groom.) Saturday I explored the city with a friend from High School and his wife before we made our way to the woods for the wedding. It was everything charming, quirky and picturesque. The ceremony took place next to a babbling brook (frealz) and the bride and groom were thoughtful with their vows to each and other and the vows they made to those in attendance (awesome idea!) The festivities afterwards were in the same location with great home made food, beer from mason jars, and dancing until the wee hours in the woods. Here are some quick pics.
Glasses in the morning. Contacts at night.
Andy, making plans.
Little birds in a store.
I bought these. They don't need dirt to grow.
Robin and Dave arrive at the wedding.
Setting up tents before the wedding.
Robin will forever be a leaning post for her tall friends (since like umm age 11?)
Someone sewed these napkins for everyone.
The bride and the groom with the o-town crowd.
My gracious hosts.
The best part of the evening. The first dance began like this...
Then turned into this...
And out of the nowhere, this... (all to come sail away)
Honestly, it was freaking cold in Portland. As much as I'm not a fan of the heat, I was not prepared for the cold temps. So, in an effort to stay warm, we danced.
Then the morning after.
We were so cold in the morning that we tried to soak in all the sun we could.
Then when all was said and done, Robin, Dave and I made a tired trip to the stunning coast.
Recognize this rock?
So the remainder of the trip involved eating and eating and more exploring of the city. All in all it was really amazing and I find myself fairly exhausted upon the return. I'm thankful though for such wonderful childhood friends who can fantastically fun in both the midwest and the pacific northwest and be fantastically fun.