New Places Found

When the kids come to visit, I am always looking for new places to take them. It is funny to me how many new places I find even after living here for almost a decade. Just goes to show that there is never a moment when you shouldn’t be exploring your own backyard. Below are 5 new places I found near me.

Riverside Park (photo credit: Carrie Ames)
Little Crater Lake Trail

Ooo Nobibi

Lux Sucre
Holler Treats

The Great Taco Run of 2020

Raise your hand if tacos are your thing! Yup, they are in this house. A while I ago I saw a post about a taco truck trip and since no one can travel far from home this summer, we decided to check it out for ourselves.

We created our own rating system with the possibility of a perfect score at 35. The highest score achieved was 31.5 and the lowest was 7. Some of the items we graded for were tortilla, meat, beans, and size.  Below are 5 of our favorite stops with their score.

What are you doing to get to know your area a little better this summer?

  1. El Jalisco located at 8726 SW Barber Blvd Portland, OR (Rating: 31.50)
  2. Don Pedro at 5900 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver, WA (Rating 25.75)
  3. Trejo’s Mexican at 1833 W Court Street Pasco, WA (Rating: 28.50)
  4. Raliberto’s Taco Shop at 233 128th Street Everett, WA (Rating: 28.75)
  5. El Chapulin Oaxaqueno at 4451 California Ave SW Seattle, WA (Rating: 28.50)

Christmas Blessings

You might wonder why this post is on the travel week but . . .this year I have felt blessed beyond measure on my own life’s journey. It has been a year full of ups and downs. I have cried many tears but I have smiled to the depth of my soul. In this year of so many changes and growth beyond compare; I decided that I needed to share my gratitude for those blessings with those that might not be able to see the goodness still in the world. I resolved this year to relieve some of the suffering that I have seen in those around me by creating homeless kits. I know that my effort was the tiniest drop in the bucket but . . .the love that I have felt while working on the project and the culmination of that love while delivering the kits this week will probably never be matched.

I found a location in downtown Portland that could use the kits and set to creating them with a few of my friends and family. We were blessed along the way with others that wanted to help and had donations given to us of items we were seeking. In all we had 52 kits created. I will never know the reason why some of these people who received a kit are in the situation that they are in but I hope, in some small way, the kit reminded them that they are loved.

Our kits were filled with toothbrush/toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, gum, protein bar, hard candy,  crackers, nuts, water, small pkg of wipes, Kleenex, Chapstick, soap, band-aids, socks, Advil, hand warmers, and poncho or emergency blanket.

As we were delivering we heard people exclaim how excited they were for the socks and the gum. I know it was Christmas early for some of these people and I feel so grateful to have been apart of that Christmas exchange.

One thing I have learned over the years . . .you will never know the impact you have on the life of another. My heart is forever changed and buoyed up with love from this.

As a thank you to those that came with us last night–there was a small little celebration at Ruby Jewel afterwards. Enjoy the few pictures from our small event.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Snow day (or week)

Just a reminder to everyone . . . I live in Portland. I don’t live in Utah. It does get cold in Portland and sometimes it decides to ice and on a rare occasion it will decide to snow. You know, the kind of snow that falls in the morning but gets washed away in the rain before dark. Apparently this year, old man winter is a bit confused. (Maybe he is really just too old to do the job anymore).

We are on our 4th (count them 1, 2, 3 . . . 4th) snow storm this winter. Most of them have come and gone and we get a lingering day of ice but the storm this week; can I just say that I was waiting for the snow plows to come through and clear the street. To my dismay, Portland has nothing to clear the streets with and the city has been dumping gravel by the truckloads to try and make the roads semi-movable (it’s not working).

So I have been stuck in my house for the whole week. I could have gone to the office on Monday and Tuesday but I slipped on the ice that had formed from the prior snow storm on Saturday night. Then Wednesday morning I wake up to about 8 inches all around me. Now I am barricaded in my house because that snow turned to ice and it isn’t melting with our temperatures hanging out in the 20’s. I am a little confused.

So that brings me to my top 5 things I like about being forced to stay home.

  1. I don’t have to wake up to an alarm since I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night.
  2. I can take a nap in bed on my lunch break.
  3. I can hang out in “comfy” clothes all day and I don’t have to put makeup on.
  4. I can watch nature outside of my windows instead of staring at a parking lot.
  5. I don’t have to make the commute.