Every year, sometime in October, when it’s dark, dreary and rainy, there comes a day when I wake up and lament that I’d failed to take advantage of the all the precious, sunny, warm summer days at my disposal.

This year, I vowed that that was not going to happen and came up with a plan.

In fact, it was a brilliant plan. A grand plan.

Grand, as in – a road trip across the U.S.

Both directions!

And maybe a bit of the Midwest as well.

As I started looking into it, I discovered there were so many cool places to see, things to do, foods to eat. I got so excited I was fit to burst.

And then reality hit.

I didn’t have a few spare months to devote to my grand exploration of the entire U.S.

And I didn’t want to spend any more of my summer away from my husband than I already had.

All I really wanted was to not waste away another summer.

Then I had an epiphany. A lightning bolt moment of enlightenment.

I’d heard rumors that Portland (where I live) is a really cool place. I’ve even spread such rumors myself.

Instead of spending a summer living out of a suitcase while I explored beyond my home state, I could spend the summer living out of my cozy home while I explored beyond my home suburb.

The only thing more amazing to me than the fact that this came to me as a flash of brilliant insight is the fact that it had to come to me as a flash of anything at all.

I’ve lived in the greater Portland area for 19 out of the last 23 years.

I tell people all the time how utterly awesome Portland is.

I tell them Portland is a city where you can be and see and do just about anything and that they should really visit it and experience it for themselves.

But for some reason, I’d never taken my own advice.

Because, as we all know, the grass is greener on the other side – in the other city, the other state, the other country.

Instead, I’d tucked myself away in a cozy suburb in the lee of Portland, and never bothered to poke my nose out to and sample the many tantalizing delights on the other side.

Like Cartopia and Voodoo donuts after midnight, just for starters.

So, instead of filling my summer with road trips, I decided to fill my summer with Portland.

I quickly realized, I’ve been missing out!

Portland is awesome! Why didn’t I tell myself about this place?!

Late night food carts.

Lunch time food carts.

Voodoo donuts – magic indeed!

Indian food at Bollywood theater.

Cuban food at Pambiche.

Sandwiches at Lardo.

Ice cream at Salt and Straw.

Coffee at – I lost count – but I’ve been sampling a whole lotta coffee!

Saturday Market and downtown Portland…..

And I’ve only just begun!

I feel like a kid who’s stepped into a store full of fluffy Tiggers, sugary things, and shiny, sparkly things!

Last Saturday, I dragged my husband to Saturday Market and we set out to walk along Burnside to Powell’s.

Saturday Market was great, but we never made it to Powell’s.

Because every few feet, down every side street, and on every corner, I spied a new and better shiny sparkly thing that I needed to zip off and check out.

I have a sneaky suspicion my husband was tempted to attach me to the end of a child harness to keep me from darting into the street. Of course, wisely, he kept any such thoughts to himself. After all, he knew I was an ardent Tigger-worshipper when he married me….although, now that I think about it, I may have failed to fully disclose my relationship with Tigger…..moving right along….

Today, despite my fervent quest to devour Portland, I forced myself to stay home and chip away at some mutating household chores. I got quite a bit done (in my humble opinion).

And I was a full half way finished ironing a shirt before I succumbed to a need, a deep, powerful, burning need, to find a new boba tea shop.

In my defense, I did remember to turn off the iron before I dashed out the door.

And, in my defense, I did finish the shirt when I got back, but not until I finished my tasty boba tea.

So far, this has been the most awesome summer I’ve had in ages.

It turns out, I don’t need to go on a road trip to see, do and eat all sorts of great things. I can stay right here at home. Of course, it is entirely possible, at some point, that my exhausted husband will recommend I take a nice, long road trip…..

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