On a related note: I LOVE OREGON!!! It's so wilderness-y. And even though Portland's a city I don't think of it in that way. I think of it more like a big town than a city. It really has that "town" feel to it. And no one's in a rush like they are in Cali. The vibe reminds me of home.
Monday, after the mail came, I deposited my checks and got on the road. I really needed this trip - I needed to do something besides sit at home and look for jobs and worry about $$. I'm so glad I did! The drive was long, but the scenery was gorgeous. I loved the farmlands I got to pass: cows, horses, fields of sunflowers, orchards for miles. This is the first time I've been north of LA, and I had no idea what to expect.
Monday night I stopped in San Jose at the Lindo's. They were so gracious and hospitable, and Baby J even warmed up to me after a while. I hadn't seen her since they left SD about a year and a half ago, so she didn't know what to think of me!
Tuesday was spent driving up the 5 thru NorCal. I must say that the last 30-50 miles of California was my favorite part. I could see myself in that area very easily. I really liked the mountains and undeveloped land. When I crossed the state border, I wanted to snap a picture of the "Welcome to Oregon" sign, but there was tons of road construction right there, and I think a truck or machine or crew was blocking it. Oh well. Oregon showed me more mountains and soooo many trees! I pulled off the road in Eugene to fill gas, and it was a full-service station. I've never been to a full-service station in my life - not once. So, this was a new experience for me - and the guy was so nice. Just an honest, down-to-earth guy. I don't know if it would've been the same in Cali.
I got to Courtney's house late last night, and let myself in while she was at work. Her place is just adorable! The Columbia River is right outside her balcony, and her apartment is put together so cute! A full kitchen, a washer & dryer, a fireplace, a balcony, lots of space... She even has a dog & a cat. I would love to get a place like this. When she did come home from work, we met for the first time. She's a very cool girl, and enjoys the outdoors too. In fact, she just got back from a kayaking trip. And she was telling me how there's always something to do around here, no matter what you're into. It was a proper welcome, I must say.
View from Courtney's balcony: the I-5 bridge over the Columbia river connecting Oregon to Washington
Today I went for a job interview at a call center - a job I know I've got, but it won't pay enough for me to justify relocating myself right now. I drove around the city and fell in love with all the bridges. I want to drive over all of them! Tomorrow I'm going to take myself on a hike and snap a few pictures too. I haven't been downtown yet, so I want to do that later in the day. And 4 different people have told me that I have to try VooDoo's Donuts. Apparently they're famous.
Ironically, after the call center interview, I find that the company in Carlsbad wants to offer me a position. I'm so stoked to finally have a job again!!! I'll be making more money than I was when I got laid off, and I'll basically be my own boss. The commute is kind of a long way, but I think it will be worth it. And I'm still going to keep looking for jobs here in Portland, just so I can hopefully find one sooner than later and actually PLAN a move up here, instead of the real haphazard "I just need to get out of Cali" move. And Now that I'll be working, I can settle some debts and save some $$$ to make this a reality!
I'm also hoping that I'll be able to see Mark for a few minutes while I'm up here, since it's not often that I'm in Oregon. But I know he's got plans in eastern Oregon right now, and honestly, I didn't make this trip for him. I didn't make this trip for anyone but me. That's right - Risa did something selfish! After years of putting others' feelings before my own, I finally realize that I need to do for ME and that worrying about anyone else is silly, because things will work out exactly as they should. They always do.
I just noticed the sun is out and the clouds have broken up. I'm going back outside to enjoy the rest of my Oregon day. More later!