travel for daze

©fourwoodthinking

It’s been over one week since our return home. And it’s taken all this time for the hum of the plane (and car) engine to leave my ringing ears. Funny how traveling can stay in the body for so long like a phantom vibration, leaving one so utterly exhausted. Our little man, who’s earning quite the collection of airline wings, bounced back in no time. Too bad, because I would have loved a long family nap!

About one month ago exactly we waved “sayonara” to our cats and our home to celebrate two weddings and scout out another two, very distant, cities as possible spots to raise our son. The vibrant, buzzing cityscape here in NYC is slowing squeezing us out as rent prices skyrocket. I’m beginning to feel like Alice in Wonderland after the “Eat Me” cake catastrophe, but there is no way we can move from our, seemingly shrinking, one-bedroom. Our neighborhood is no longer in our price-range, and since it’s one of the cheapest to begin with…well, it may be time for a yard now anyway.

Among the list of possible city homes, we chose to visit Austin, Texas and Portland, Oregon this autumn. Both are community-centered metropolitan areas with decent public transit systems, delicious grub, affordable houses, bike lanes and exceptionally friendly tattoo artists (as we discovered). Having friends in both areas also tipped the scale. That being said, our visits ignited a bidding war on social media. It’s so awesome to feel loved! Our tour guide companions one-upped each other with breath-taking views of waterways and filled us with mouth-watering meals at local favorites. Think black bean burger between two donuts in place of a regular bun. I never thought I would eat that, but when in Rome right? Or Austin for that matter.

Austin-dip

Meredith&Rivers

This kind of trip, scoping out a new home, is what I assume speed-dating is like. Initially awkward, followed by a mental list of pros and cons, and a desperate focus to find any sort of spark before time runs out. If the spark does appear, the remainder of the date may become carefree and uninhibited. At least this is what my meet-and-greet session to find a doula was like last year. An attempt to fall in love after twelve minutes of conversation. With the cities, we had two and four days.

Both sparkled.

Austin serves fresh fruit smoothies nearly everywhere, even at a plant nursery. (Um, yes please!) Solar panels could transform all that sunshine into power for me to write more posts. Maybe posts about tex-mex, which I am confident I could survive strictly on that sort of diet. Among other Austin specialties, there are more Willie Nelson look-alikes than I could shake a stick at.

Why would I do that? I dunno. That’s just the spark excitement talking. It makes me ignore the fact that the rest of Texas attempted to secede from the US just one year ago. Friends like this help too. Again, it’s so awesome to feel loved.

Portland is basically the wintery wonderland from underneath the Christmas tree, minus the snow. The city is so quaint that the only dark alleyway I could find was a very dim restaurant with a creative name and location. Maybe it wasn’t a restaurant. Maybe that’s just how Portland rolls. Fancy alleyways that serve drinks under chandeliers. Unlike Austin, the sun stubbornly hid for two days during our visit in Portland, but we saw the ocean, Multnomah Falls, mountains and the Goonies house. Portland didn’t shower us with poetry, but she did treat us to a handmade breakfast at her cafe. And it was delicious.

So…

familyport-Seaside

astoriaview copy

Now that the journey is over, the real work begins. Time to find jobs and search for a house. It might be nice to have more than one bedroom someday. Who knows, maybe I’ll feel like Alice after the “Drink Me” fiasco and wishing for tighter quarters sometime down the road. We may visit another potential in the spring, but for now we’re focusing on these sparks and just trying to determine what is next for our family.

{I wish I could bore you with all the details of our long absence, but there has been a kid at my heels all week as I compiled this. It’s time to send this post off, move on and limit myself to brief thoughts and shorter sabbaticals.}

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4 thoughts on “travel for daze

  1. Pingback: austin texas t’s {family portrait} | Fourwood Thinking

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