Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Who knew Idaho was so pretty?

...well, actually I did. But I figured there was a chance you didn't, so I thought I would share some pictures from my recent trip there.

A few weeks ago I went on what very well may have been my last climbing trip of the summer. I took a long weekend with a couple of friends and made the grueling 10 hour drive to the City of Rocks in southern Idaho. We left after work on a Thursday, drove all night, and arrived at our destination just as the sun was peaking over the rim of the valley. After not-quite-enough sleep we proceeded to spend three full days climbing, hiking, dodging the sun, and generally exhausting ourselves. We capped the trip off with one final climb on our fourth day just before we hit the road and made the long drive back. Superb camping, huge granite rocks and some good photo opportunities made for a fun end-of-sabbatical trip.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In case you were wondering...

...we're still in Portland.

When we last updated the blog we were settling into Monica's basement for what was supposed to be a week long stay, before we were to head back to Houston and start looking for work. However, thanks to Monica, work found us here in Portland.

At the end of April we were running low on both money and motivation and we were both looking forward to getting back into a more normal routine. You know, one that involved regular work schedules, sleeping in the same bed for more than three nights in a row, or cooking on something other than a camp stove. When we were a few days from Portland, Monica asked us how long we would be staying with her. After we told her we were thinking we'd be there a week, ten days tops, she pouted that she had hoped she would be able to have us there for the whole summer. Paige reminded her that she needed to start looking for a job soon to which Monica jokingly replied that Kaiser had a ton of work and would love to contract Paige for the summer while she did her Houston job search from Portland. We wistfully chuckled about the prospect of spending the summer in Portland, but quickly dismissed the idea as unrealistic.

Flash forward to 8am the next morning when we wake up to no fewer than a half dozen emails we've been CC'ed on from Monica. Each are addressed to various department heads at Kaiser and titled something like "Paige Smyth is back in town and looking for work- she can start Monday." And then people actually responded to the emails. And then they were ecstatic about the idea. And then suddenly spending the summer in Portland wasn't just a pie-in-the-sky idea.

Paige's old department welcomed her back with open arms and quickly put her to work. Feeling guilty about being a house husband, I called my old company to see if they might be able to use my pacemaker expertise for a few days a week*. To my surprise, they also were excited to have me back helping out. So a few days a week, when I can squeeze it into my climbing schedule, I also do a bit of work to contribute to the household income.

Our plan, for those of you that are either excited about our return to Houston or our departure from Portland, is to stay in Portland until August. I have to be in Houston for school by August 18th, so Justin is going to fly up for my birthday on August 9th (shameless birthday plug) and drive back to Houston with Emma and me. Since Paige's work project wraps up at the end of August, she is going to stay in Portland until our friends Ian and Paige (different Paige) get married on August 28th. I'll fly up for the wedding and then we'll fly back to Houston together.

And that, in a very large nutshell, is what we have been up to and what we will be doing for the rest of the summer. Hopefully we won't lapse so long again before we find something interesting enough to write about. Thanks for reading!

*By "feeling guilty" I of course mean, "occasionally bored"