I’m writing this post in the clawfoot bathtub of a restored 1890’s farmhouse in Portland, Oregon. The stain glass window is open and the birds are literally singing Disney style outside. Yesterday I saw an actual hummingbird while sitting on an old porch’s rocking chair.
This trip certainly wasn’t planned. In fact, the day we left I sent Matt the following text
“Come home, we’re driving to Portland after Jack wakes up from his nap.”
That was that.
Within an hour, I’d booked a kennel for Wesson, downloaded a few hours of Peppa Pig for Jack, Orange is the New Black for me and had found this charming little farmhouse in Woodstock.
16 hours of driving, a murdery lookin motel, one (sticky) Idaho McDonald’s play place later and we were in Portland.
Matt had been working 12 hour (sometimes longer) days for the last few months and over the last few years until this November had been working a two week on, two week off, out of town rotation. I had started this blog and some freelancing while staying at home with Jack and the burnout got real.
All I could think about was escaping.
Of all the places we’ve vacationed, Portland feels like the place to shirk responsibility. It’s the place I’ve felt the least attached to my phone, this blog, an Internet connection.
It’s also the least attached I’ve felt to a plan. We’ve just been wandering.
Because I’m me, I’ve spent a lot of time feeling guilty for shirking said responsibility but then I remembered why we left. We were overwhelmed. Life got too busy and we felt like we had to escape.
There was no hesitation.
I have to say, leaving my phone at the house while we go out, barely touching my laptop, choosing not to worry about the Instagram stats, Facebook engagement, readership, is refreshing.
Not having to read about another cop shooting a black teenager, not listening to podcasts on eating disorders, not hearing about another rapist getting away with ruining a woman’s life, was probably what I needed to escape most. Activism is so important to me, feminism is my bread and butter but it gets to you after a while and sometimes you just need to turn it off and get your head straight.
It refocuses things and every once in a while we all need a little refocusing. Not that you need to go to Portland to refocus, well, maybe you need to go to Portland to refocus. It’s pretty hard not to focus on the perfectly appealing strangeness of it all.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation” – Audrey Lorde
Here’s what to do in Portland
Outdoor splashing fountain in the Pearl District for the little babes
Mississippi Street if you’re hippie enough and you like food trucks
The Rebuilding Center if you want to buy a beautiful vintage chandelier for $20
Hawthorne District if you’re hippie enough and like to shop vintage
Southeast Division Street if you watch Portlandia, like Thai food and are between the ages of 19 and 30 (or feel like it)
23rd Street Pearl District for the world’s cutest restaurants in these sweet old houses
Hang out at the Ace Hotel and get your photo taken in their photobooth
Nude Beaches (not that you need to go to the beach to get nekkid in Portland)
Drive to the coast (Cannon Beach)
Where to Stay
Where to Eat