I often go walking…..

The other day when I was walking with my teenager she told me my blog is “MORE about travel….” I guess, but how many times can I talk about my awesome walks around the neighborhood? Furthermore, my travel posts are the ones which elicit a bit more than no excitement. Well, we did go on an awesome walk for Memorial day. One of the ways to exit my Oregon neighborhood is just so spectacular it blows my mind and we walked through there that day. It is a lush forest with ferns and pines that touch the sky. I do not think I could tolerate living in one of the homes there that do not ever see much sunshine, but it is a very magical place. I feel it every time I drive thru on a near daily basis.

My brother is coming to Oregon with his in laws this weekend. There will be A LOT of them. Since they mostly all live in the high mountain desert of Southern Utah, they are going to be in awe of Oregon beauty. They come from a red rock landscape with few trees and Oregon has the greatest trees. He also came out to Oregon to visit us with his family in October a few years ago. We had a great sunny day on the coast and we walked around the hipster Portland neighborhoods with too many kids. We were always in everyone’s way! He really grew fond of Voodoo donuts and may have been there multiple times in a 4-5 day vacation. In fact, he has been there more times than me. I’m pretty sure he’s anticipating a trip there soon and also their extended family can’t come for a true 1st trip to Oregon without stopping there.

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Turned away for not wearing heels?

Last weekend, I was at a black tie event in Hollywood. (First ever black tie!) I thought a lot about what shoes I would wear. My husband is 14 inches taller than me and I knew there would be photographers (not paparazzi by any means!) at the event so I wanted to look nice next to him in the photos. I am 5’4 so not tall, but certainly not of “short” stature for a female, but short next to him. When I was first dating my husband, I bought some really high heels. They were awesome, but got goodwilled a few years after we were married cause I didn’t want to fall and break my neck. I pretty much only wear heels to church on Sunday so I was pretty worried about having to walk very far in my new or used heels. Do I want to have a really crappy time? NO!! I ultimately decided on a pair of heels that had only gotten me to the car and to the church pew and back. While getting ready for this event, the fire alarm in the hotel went off. Now I was going to get the chance to walk down 6 flights of stairs in my shoes of choice. Yippee! We didn’t evacuate immediately cause I wasn’t ready and this wasn’t our first time being in a high rise with these false alarms. When the alarm kept sounding, we went out the door. The security guard escorted us down the hall cause we couldn’t use the elevator. I got to the end of the hallway and my feet were already starting to be uncomfortable. Then the alarm started showing signs of “just kidding” and announcements to the guests to be patient, etc… Upon discovering that it was indeed “false” I was starting to be worried and annoyed about my feet. I can’t go in these shoes, but I didn’t bring any back up! We went back to the room anyway to finish what had been rushed and I remembered I had brought some black flats for the business dinner the night before. Yes! They would not much compliment my garb, but not be too atrocious and at that point I didn’t care since not coming home with bloody feet was a higher priority. I did see some women with incredible shoes, gorgeous gowns and more than a few I would trip over if I’d been wearing, but I didn’t much care and my feet survived quite nicely. Then low and behold, the news of the weekend was that a group of women got turned away at the Cannes film festival due to not wearing heels. Next time some groups needs to protest and show up in their favorite running shoes. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/22/everything-thats-wrong-with-high-heels/?tid=sm_tw

9-0-2-1-0

Instead of going to Jerusalem, I went to Hollywood this last weekend for my husband’s work award. He does not work in film. I spent a lot of the 1980’s on the California beach between LA and San Diego, but I’d only been to Hollywood once as a child and I remember it was seedy. Well, it is still a seedy place, but it reminded me a bit of Las Vegas. I have never really had a “Vegas” experience, but it is often a transit station on my way home to Southern Utah. In Hollywood and Vegas, some stuff glitters and some stuff you see is the stuff of a horror movie. We went for a rare work opportunity, but it isn’t somewhere I’d ever choose to go.

On Sunday morning, I decided I wanted to have breakfast in Beverly Hills since I’d never been there and we drove through it on our way to Hollywood so it was super close and on our route back to LAX.  I googled places for breakfast and surprisingly couldn’t find anything too exciting, but chose a place cause it was by Rodeo drive so we could eat and go for a walk after. Once you leave Hollywood, you see the Beverly Hills sign and things go from questionable to beautiful fast.

After breakfast, we started walking toward Rodeo drive and circled a few blocks. There were a lot of fancy cars and at least one clunker driven by THE HELP, no doubt. There was also this really annoying guy going up and down the streets in his Maserati revving his engine. I guess you buy a fancy fast car so you can drive it really fast from stop sign to stop sign.

There was an outdoor art show going on in the park so we walked around the park and eventually decided to take a walk around the neighborhood before heading to LAX. Some of the homes were gated and some were not. BEWARE of DOG was a normal sign.  We walked for a couple blocks and then there were these Asian tourists on the sidewalk taking pictures of a home. Then…….. there was a woman on the grass getting her picture taken and then they went to the front door and posed for a picture. There were about 10 of them all together. I was getting really upset thinking how outrageous it was that they were standing on private property photographing themselves at this home. I was just like a deer in headlights. Before I knew it, there was a guy who comes out his front door one foot from the lady on his porch and says: “This is not okay, this is not okay….” They were grown adults, not kids and I was so uncomfortable hoping it was obvious we weren’t with them and glad our iphones were tucked away. They even didn’t immediately acknowledge him kicking them off his property and pretty much still kept standing around. We just kept walking, but I really couldn’t believe the situation we had witnessed. It was like it was in slow motion.

"selfie" (old school style) Rodeo drive is directly in front of me.

“selfie” (old school style) Rodeo drive is directly in front of me.

Mother’s day and American awesomeness…..

Happy Mother’s Day! I have been blessed with 3 healthy children so most of my days since I became a mom have been pretty awesome. I have enjoyed each stage, but amazingly I discover that I keep enjoying the next stage as well.

parade1

This picture reminds me of how much I love Mexican culture.

so pretty...

so pretty…

Rodeo queen

Rodeo queen

sooo cool.

sooo cool.

This biker club was one I'd join, but I don't know how since they didn't have a sign.

This biker club was one I’d join, but I don’t know how since they didn’t have a sign.

Yesterday we went to a parade in Portland. It was the St. John’s parade. My daughter was marching in the band so we decided to drive over and watch. I had never been to the area and it always amazes me that there is so much to discover in a city. We parked in a residential area and took iphone pictures of the street signs so we could find our return route. The modern Hansel and Gretel  way to solve this problem. We finally found a spot on a curb just as it began. Since the traffic had been unexpectedly bad, I was prepared to be annoyed if we went all that way and missed our own group cause we got there a bit after it was supposed to start. Parades are such a great part of American culture. I have attended and been in many a boring parade, but there is something so unique about them. Portland parades are more fun than most. This parade in particular had every type of person you could imagine. It started off with the mayor walking one foot in front of us: to football players, bands, people on bikes, characters in their cars playing the song from COPS, rodeo queens, preschoolers, motorcycle clubs, Oscar Meyer Weiner mobile, Ronald McDonald, Portland pirate club, and more…… Portland never ceases to amuse. America has some pretty cool people.

From RED EYE to RED LEGS…..

I was supposed to be taking a red eye flight to DFW tonight, I was then going to be flying to Amsterdam for a day of lay over sight seeing and then on to Tel Aviv. After I finally started to solidify things and start paying for stuff, my husband found out he won an award at work. Now I am crazy about travel and I don’t want anything to get in the way of that, but career lightening may not strike twice so we were torn between 2 incredible options that overlapped each other. Let me say that I have spent years and years of my life not going out (=taking care of children and never hiring babysitters) and when I got the chance to “go out” I’d booked a trip to Jerusalem. What are the odds? To add insult to injury, a week later I heard wordpress was having a conference in Portland and I really really would like to learn more about this blogging stuff in a real world atmosphere. I never could have done online college. I’m super old school bricks and mortar; but, the wordpress conference was when I was home in Utah in March. UUGHH!!!! Originally, we were going to try to do it all since the awards soirée was the night we flew back to the States, but then reality set in and I backed out of “doing it all.” Do we really want to show up to a work function with red eyes and not looking/feeling our best? I don’t think so! After much deliberation, we cancelled our first ever trip to Israel at a loss of miles (FlyingBlue promo!!!) and $$$, but this way we get to show up and be present at the party. So……in lieu of spending my day packing today, I was able to be on my deck gettiing red legs from a sunburn instead of worrying how I’d feel tomorrow morning after the red eye.

May Day

I can’t believe it is May already. School will be out in about 6 weeks. We have a lot of plans for this summer and it looks like we may be adding a lot to those plans. The other day, I was able to book swimming lessons in the 2 week gap that we have.  The lessons may have to be scrapped for more important stuff, but for now we are enrolled. We only do swimming lessons in the summertime at our house since we aren’t in the water much in Oregon. The ocean in Oregon is not somewhere I want to swim as it is way too cold. I generally prefer to swim outside and it needs to be at least 90 degrees for me to be comfortable which frankly doesn’t leave too many days as an option around here. The lessons will be indoors though so we can at least refresh the kids’ abilities. Although my husband has a near identical build to Michael Phelps, we are not great swimmers. If he had not been the 5th child to parents who never signed their children up for swimming and his parents HAD signed him up for swimming, well olympic history might have come from Idaho. LOL….. 🙂 Yesterday when I was poking around at travel deals as I spend a lot of my time doing, I discovered something which could be very useful to our family and definitely others. Euro rail passes are free for children 4-11 this year in 2015 with the purchase of an adult pass. http://www.eurail.com/eurail-passes/deals-discounts/family-discounts  I don’t know if it will be continued in the future or not, but I’m pretty excited about it. Rail in Europe is the best way to get around distances. It is very convenient and easy. I won’t book now because I’m plagued with some recent  non refundable trip cancellations so I’ll probably wait until the last minute and click purchase on this sweet deal.