Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm baaaaaaaaack!

Hello, sunshine and Eastern Standard Time; it is so nice to be in your presence again! My plane landed in Raleigh around 7:30 last night and, although I had a fantastic time in Portland, I was very happy to be home.

My view as I walked through security.

I'm not even sure how to begin to tell you about my adventure. The flight from Raleigh to Portland was fairly uneventful. Other than some strong headwinds (read: turbulence = one freaked out Joye) flying into Portland, it was smooth and comfortable.

Sunrise between Raleigh and Dallas

Snow-capped Colorado Rockies

I met the coolest couple on my connecting flight, and our conversation ranged from talking about their deaf son, to Ethan, to faith, to what to do in Portland, to overhearing them discussing their goals for 2011. At one point, I remember thinking to myself, "I want to be like them when I grow up." I never did find out their names.

I'd like to be able to tell you that Jessi and I hit the ground running once I landed in the City of Roses, but that would be a lie. Truth is, we found ourselves in the midst of a major hiccup with the rental car company.

The short story is that funds I had deposited before the trip weren't available and, therefore, I didn't have enough money in my account to cover the hold for the rental. The manager was sticking his neck out every which way to help me, but to no avail. Thankfully, I was able to get him connected with a representative from Orbitz, via my cell phone, who both worked together to cancel my rental and process a full refund. Woot woot!

The moral of that story is: even though you've paid for the rental, make sure you have even more money to cover the fact that the car company doesn't trust you to bring it back. However, if said funds aren't available, be sure you've rented from Avis at Portland International Airport, and ask for Matt.

I swear, if we both hadn't been wearing wedding rings, I would have kissed him.

Anyway. You may now be wondering how we got home from the airport without a car. Enter: public transportation.

Waiting for my first Max (light rail) ride!

We took the train through the city, which took us to a bus stop, which took us to an intersection seven blocks from Jessi's house. Our feet carried us the rest of the way. For those of you who don't know my sister personally, and I say this with all the love in my heart, she can be a little ditsy. However, that girl made me so proud navigating us around that city! Had that been me reading those maps and looking for bus stops, we would have been in Washington State. That naive little country girl sure has come a long, long way!

Jess rolling my luggage seven blocks. In the rain. What a good sister!

I won't bore you with our step-by-step itinerary, but let's just suffice it to say that we did everything on our list! We bought a day pass for the bus on Saturday and got our money's worth! From Sunday, until I left on Tuesday, we were able to borrow her roommate's car, so my bus/train experience was short-lived. Honestly, I don't know if I would have made it four days walking between bus stops and throughout the city. Don't I just sound like a spoiled-rotten American? I give major props to those who rely on public transportation, my sister included!

On the train, headed to our bus stop.

Once we made it to Jessi's house, dried our clothes, and freshened up, we were on the go for three days straight, stopping only to eat and sleep! I think it's safe to say we made the most of my time out there. See for yourself:


Downtown Portland

HUGE Christmas tree downtown


VooDoo Doughnuts ... YUM!

Portland Winterhawks

Teddy Bear Toss!!

12,178 bears!


The place to get biscuits and sweet tea in Portland. The owners are from Raleigh and are NC State graduates!

Chapel of Mary at The Grotto

Our Lady's Grotto

Festival of Lights at The Grotto

ZooLights at the Oregon State Zoo

Train ride through the zoo


Driving to the Oregon coast - lots of tunnels!

Seaside, Oregon

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon

Oregon beaches are NOTHING like ours - freezing cold and extra windy!

Bundled up and showing off the Pacific

Our small glimmer of sunshine

My first trip to Ikea!

No visit with my sister is complete without a fabulous new hairstyle.

So, there you have it; Portland in 30 pictures, or less. I probably could have stayed another week, but I was missing my boys like crazy, and I'm sure Jessi was ready to get her bed back!

Flying back home. Chris Tomlin's "How Great is our God" came to mind as I stared out my window.

Jess, thanks for being such an amazing host, tour guide, hair stylist, and sister. I'm already itching to see you again ... I love you!


Stefenie said...

Joye it looks like you had a great time! I love all of the pictures. Breathtaking!!

Jennifer said...

Looks like you had a great trip!! I went to elementary school with one of the owners of Pine State Biscuits...never would have pictured him in the restaurant business back then!

Amanda said...

Yay, so glad you had a great trip! Can't wait to hear all the latest happenings, let's talk soon! Friday?

Mandy said...

Sounds like a great trip! Love all the pictures. Everytime I fly and take pictures of the clouds/sky I always start singing "God of Wonders". :) that is my flying song!

Anonymous said...

Welcome Home! Looks like you guys packed a lot of fun in! Love Amy

Kim Smith said...

It definitely seems like you made the most of your time there! Love the pics, especially the flying ones and Jeramie's sign to welcome you back!

Carolina Carters said...

Fun, fun!! Love all the pictures. That last one from the plane home...breathtaking!!

Glad you had fun!

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