As you know (if you read my blog) I was in South Korea from January of 2010 to March of 2013. I had a great time teaching there.
After that, I moved to Oregon to visit family from 2014 to 2015. These are some pictures from my year in Oregon, before I moved to Guam.
The art galleries at Cannon Beach are amazing. I love art, and although I don’t buy pieces very much, I enjoy just looking at it. It’s like getting an insight into the mind of another person for a moment.
For example, this person saw a canvas and thought it would be three dimensional, so they added sand and rocks to the painting.
I think it’s interesting that many people look at the same thing, and they can all see something different.
In this case, I actually did buy a piece. I really enjoy metal sculptures. I saw this, and I couldn’t help getting it.
Of course the best part of Cannon Beach is going over to Seaside and listening to the waves.
Sea grass always looks so amazing to me. I am not sure why.
I guess because my dad’s parents had a painting of the Oregon Coast on the wall in their living room, and I always liked to look at it and imagine myself there.
I love painting that you feel like you can walk into. And it’s amazing to go to the place where the painting was done, and walk into it in real life.
Plus, there’s something about a cold beach that is so refreshing.
I liked to bring an old Navajo blanket and sit on it, watching the kids play in the water and splash around.
Plus, the Oregon coast has so many cool rock formations to enjoy.
I love the west coast. I know that the east coast has more history (well, white history) than we do.
However, Oregon has a lot more too it than just the beaches at the coast!
I went to a pumpkin patch in the Fall, which was something I really missed when I was in South Korea.
Pumpkin patches and hay rides are such an American thing, as is Thanksgiving and turkey.
And of course, we have Christmas traditions too, because we spend it with family instead of as a “date night” like they do in Korea.
And then, of course, there is spring.
I went to a tulip festival at the Wooden Shoe Farm, which was a new experience for me.
It was really beautiful, and I had the “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” song stuck in my head the whole day.
Then there was berry picking out at the farms on Sauvie Island.
Koreans don’t consider raspberries to be food because there is a poisonous berry in Korea that looks very similar. I really missed them while I was away!
Plus, it’s just nice to be out in farm country. I like the outdoors, and farms are somehow comforting to me.
When I was very young, my parents and I lived in Northern California on a small farm. We moved to Arizona before I started Middle School and Arizona is “home.”
But, I do love farms. It reminds me of a childhood spent dragging bails of hay to the horses before school and learning to mow the pasture and the yard.
The hiking is wonderful as well. I went everywhere I could, from Babgy Hot Springs to Silver Falls, and everything in between.
Actually, there were waterfalls all over Oregon that are quite stunning.
Sometimes I wasn’t even looking for one, and just came upon one.
Other times I went out of my way to see them, like my trips to Multnomah Falls, which is a beautiful spot.
I think the hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, like the hike to Punchbowl Falls, were my favorites in all of Oregon.
On some of the trails, I was surprised to find rocks stacked up in the same way that you find them outside Buddhist temples.
I am always surprised by the beauty of nature, and I find that it is healing to the soul.
But of course, I am a city girl in my heart. I love to visit nature, but I also love to be able to go buy eggs at 2am. It sounds weird, but that’s how I am.
And as far as cities, Portland is a great one.
I loved the International Rose Test Garden, the Shakespeare Garden, and the Japanese Gardens.
I did get rained on a lot. It’s absolutely true that it rains all the time in Portland. However, that really doesn’t keep it from being beautiful.
Besides, when it’s usually rainy, we enjoy the sunshine that much more. It’s special.
Of course, Portland isn’t all gardens. It’s also a big city full of clubs, bars, restaurants, businesses, and everything else.
I think the most famous place in Portland might be Voodoo Donuts. Locals will tell you that Blue Star Donuts is better, and maybe it is.
But for me, I like a Bacon Maple Bar from Voodoo donuts on the rare occasion that I want sugar.
Definitely try out The Tardis Room, and eat all the food. Food is the best part of travel, after all!
And if you’re ever in Oregon, send me an email and I will suggest places to see.