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Two thumbs up Portland

One month in Portland...annnnnd....we LOVE IT!! The Pacific Northwest is everything we could have imagined it to be and more. People are authentic and kind, the weather is gorgeous, the beer is fresh, the coffee is delicious, the food is on point, and the exploring is endless. All of this amazingness is a good distraction from the fact that we really miss family & friends quite a bit.

I feel an overwhelming sense of pride to be a part of this community and am quite humbled at how accepting everyone has been despite us being a part of the huge group of people migrating from Northern California which is essentially changing the landscape and culture of Portland immensely. Have heard a few times "hmmm, you guys seem like a really nice family. You probably shouldn't tell people you hail from California" but have yet to find someone meet us with anything but a welcoming smile. People seem to be conscious and interested in the well-being of their neighbors, obsessed and actively working towards environmental sustainability, in fostering a culture that is respectful and open-minded, in working hard but relaxing harder, and creating a safe haven for raising children.

Ok ok, I know my excitement is on the verge of annoying, but I have dreamed of living somewhere like this for so long and after having kids, the desire to raise them in a place with so many good qualities became that much more important. My overly enthusiastic gushing is simply a reaction to having the dream come true :-)

All of the photos above are from our evening strolls around the block...!! Of all the exploring we do, the 1 block radius around our house remains the best, each time we go we notice new blooms or quirky details. We have adapted quickly to the frequent rains as we know they sustain the rich, colorful backdrop we love so much.

The nurseries here are gorgeous. Pistils is pretty close to our house and while I am obsessed with their beautiful plants, the girls are obsessed with the chickens they house in the back. During the last visit, there was a pretty big chicken brawl between Goldie Hawn & Pickle (two of the chickens) requiring physical removal by one of the staff. The entire event continues to be the most talked about topic in our house.

Went a little overboard this first month and ate out way more than we should have. But hey, we had to really immerse ourselves in this epic food/beer scene we've heard so much about. My favorite before moving here still ranks highest: Ex Novo Brewery in Eliot is by far the best. The beer is mouth-watering. I can't even say Ex Novo without saliva pooling up in my mouth. In addition, they have detroit-style pizza which is half-burned and so delicious. On top of everything, all proceeds go to charity!!!

Completed our first (2 mile) hike in Forest Park. If you are not familiar, Forest Park is a beautiful, 8 mile long park practically spitting distance from downtown. Was a little nervous as we have never really taken the girls for a legit hike so wasn't really sure how it was going to go. Amara rode in the hiking backpack and didn't say a peep the entire time. Thought she was sleeping, but every time I checked, she was wide-eyed and just taking in the beauty! Asha did the hike on foot and boy was I impressed. She did most of it without complaining, kept up the pace, and I only had to carry her a few times :-) Overall, I think they are going to be great hiking buddies!!

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