I'm coming up on my year anniversary of the Great Move West, and the feeling that dear old Porty Pants (as Anna calls it) is really my home became clear during my travels in the past week.
In honor of that blessed event known as my birthday, my dear benefactress aunt and my new unk swooped into town like a battalion of angels and spoiled me with such plunder as a cast iron skillet and dutch oven, a cookbook stand and, most importantly, a set of crumpet rings. After a few days of gallavanting in the hood, we were off to Seattle to visit another dear auntie.
Before I moved here I saw Seattle and Portland as interchangeable: both were drizzly, cultured cities near the coast that in my mind's eye were overrun with apple orchards (why? I don't know). My first jaunt up to Seattle proved me wrong. There's just something about big cities with lots of tall buildings that make me uncomfortable. My favorite cities that I've spent more than a few weeks in--Portland, DC, Paris--all have a shorter skyline that makes me feel like I can breathe better or something.
See? Just too durn big fer leetle old me.
Less than a day after I returned from Seattle the manf and I took off again, this time for the Oregon Coast. We've often been to northern coastal cities Astoria and Seaside, each about an hour and a half from Portland, so this time we decided to go to Newport on the central coast. It felt a heckuva a lot like Canal Park in my hometown Duluth with its kitschy shops selling nautical wares and huge masses of fat tourists. There's even an iconic bridge.
I had very delicious crab soup and playing on the beaches was very fun. But I found myself longing for my humble little abode.
Have I even told you about my new apartment yet? Since I've been a very neglectful blogger and all-around horrible person, I think not. I blame this jewel of a place for keeping me from you. You see, when we were in the shoebox, I had nothing to do but sit in my cave and troll the Internets. There was nothing to do nearby and I lived so far off the beaten path that going to the places where there were things to do was always a chore.
Now I live mere blocks away from a brewery; a pizza pub; a store that only sells wine, flowers, chocolate and salt; a store that only sells lightbulbs; several boutiques, including one that sells refurbished wedding dresses with stuffed owls on the bustle; antique stores; cafes; music venues; a bakery; a local independent video store; and much, much more. Now people actually want to come over to hang out in my hood, and my apartment is big enough for me to return to my chief joy: entertaining.
So, a year after I first set foot on this fertile soil, I feel like I not only belong here but that I want to stick around for a good long while.