Portland (Overall a definite yes)

I have to admit that I did not heap a lot of expectations on Portland. I moved around a lot as a kid, and the one thing I realized early on is that a place really does not have a huge affect on my life. I can be happy or sad no matter if I live in Oklahoma, Portland, or even in an exotic place overseas. At first everything is exciting, new, and very different, but overtime it begins to seem routine again. Some people despise the routine, but I kind of like both the new and the routine. Honestly, I figure it is just a part of living life.

Beauty. So, having lower expectations for Portland means that the city definitely exceeded them. Actually, if I had high expectations for Portland the city still would have exceeded them. The sheer beauty of Portland and Oregon is incredible. One of our friends said that if you could measure beauty by units, the unit would have to be called an Oregon. People told me about the beauty of the N.W., but I had no idea it was this incredible.

Activities. Before we moved here we made a trip to Portland in order to see the city and meet some of the locals. They said that they thought of the city as an extension of their living space. All the coffee shops, restaurants, music venues, bars, public parks, hiking trails were just an extension of their living rooms. I like that idea, and I think it is definitely true here. There seems to always be something to do in Portland. For example, tonight there is a board game group going on at the Lucky Labrador, and Friday night is the beer and blog.

Politics. Everyone seems to be interested in politics here. When the debates are on, most local theaters are airing them on the big screen. One thing I find particularly interesting is that if you go to one of those theaters a quarter till the debate starts, the theater is full. Cool huh. I definitely live in a blue state. One of the coffee shops in downtown went from being called Back Space to Barack space. Everywhere I look I see Obama stickers, signs, and t-shirts. When I was out garage selling the other day I saw a sell with a huge sign that read "Everything is free with a donation to Obama." Later in the day I saw a bake sale for Obama. It is definitely different going from the red state of Oklahoma to the blue state of Oregon, and particularly Multnomah county.

Struggles. It is not all roses here. I have almost decided that real estate is not for me, so I am considering pursuing education and training again. Most of my training is in this area, and I am good at it. It has been hard for us to meet friends here, especially fairly normal friends. Everything is new. I have to take about $900.00 worth of state tests in order to get permanent English/social studies certificates. We are both away from our families. In Tulsa, we lived just a 5 hour drive from our families, now we are a long flight away. This has not been easy, but we are coping with it. Sometimes I do feel lonely here, but I know it is just a matter of time before we make some friends and start to socialize more.

Stress. It is easy to stress right now with the $700 billion dollar bailout and the financial situation in America. Add to that the fact that I don't have a job, and you can see why I might be stressed sometimes. On the other hand, this has been a very relaxing and calming time for me also. It has almost been like a personal sabatical.

Well, that is about it for now. I think I'm going to try to convince my boyfriend that we need to go to the Fat Straw tonight for bubble tea. Yummmm! So addictive.