Ride Shares – Adventurous or Risky Business ??

I had never considered using the ride share section on Craigslist until my friend Wrenna said she had great success with it. She is a twenty something hippie kid from Ashland so maybe her trust level is different than mine ?

I did grow up in a time ( the 80’s and early 90’s ) where hitchhiking was common and relatively safe. I can’t remember ever doing it though.

I wanted to go to Oregon Country Fair and I didn’t have a car.  I moved to Oregon with a car but it died a year later.  I wasn’t in a position to purchase another one right away so I became a bike only girl. That adjustment will go down in history as one of the all time biggest adjustments I have had to make yet.  I rode down with the coworker that told me about the event the first year I moved here.

In order to get to fair from Portland, you need a car.  It’s in Veneta Oregon, which is a few hours away.  I also like to be able to arrive and depart when I feel like it.

I missed fair for a few years in a row and I was aching to go again.

I decided to give this ride share thing a try. It would be cheaper than renting a car on my own. Boy was I nervous.  This is really out of my comfort zone.  The thought of it being out of my comfort zone amuses me now that I have been to Burning Man a couple of times. Regardless…….

I went to Craigs List, found an option that worked for me and reached out.  I remember he didn’t have his shit together and we would be leaving later than he stated in the listing because he needed to clean out his car and get gas.  I didn’t have a choice but to wait.

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Once he picked me up, making conversation was easy.  Once we arrived, we parted ways to experience fair on our own. We set a time to meet back at the car. The drive home was challenging for me.  Having to listen to this middle aged guy go on and on about the number of young girls breasts he saw made me want to throw up.  Instead I pretended I had smoked too much weed, was tired from walking around the event and closed my eyes to sleep the whole way home. Never again.

 

The following year I decided to rent a car and offer a ride to other people.  I ended up with 3 other passengers, one of whom did not have their ticket and made the whole car go out of it’s way to a location where one could be purchased. You can not purchase them at the gate. Besides that, they were nice enough.

We also parted our individual ways to experience fair and meet back up at the car at a set time to travel home to Portland.  I didn’t have to hear about tits and I was much happier.

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This year, I am still a bike only girl that wants to go to the 50th anniversary Oregon Country Fair event.  Since I have been on both sides of the coin. I prefer to be in charge therefore I have rented a car. I posted in the ride share group on Facebook. I also put a listing in the ride share section of Craigs List.  I am up for some adventure and just know the people that I give a ride to will be nothing short of awesome. My heart and mind are open ❤

 

I CAN’T WAIT TO GO TO FAIR THIS YEAR. I AM THE MASTER OF MY DESTINY.

 

 

Stop thinking with your penis and be my friend.

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Why? Why? Why? is it so challenging……

It’s the age old dilemma.

Can straight cis men and straight cis women just be friends?

I say yes, yes they can.

As soon as men think past their dicks. 

I have met some men recently that I like.  I like who they are. They are Reliable, Generous, Hard Working, Thoughtful men.

I am not attracted to them sexually. I just enjoy their company and it shines through my eyes.

Men tend to mistake nice for interested. Letting them know you aren’t interested means you run the risk of loosing potential friendship.

Once they realize that I’m not interested, I think they feel rejected and have a hard time continuing to hang out.

Age doesn’t seem to matter for this dynamic.  I am going to be 45 this year and I have been experiencing this situation since I was 12.

I’m tired of it.  When will it end?

I just want to be able to be myself. The nice, supportive, funny, charming, good listening, positive, adventurous side of myself.  I want to be able to let someone of the opposite sex see the entire me and enjoy the parts they like without giving me a sexual vibe or entertaining sexual thoughts. Is it really that hard to think with the head on your shoulders and only that head?

It must be considering how often men cheat, try non monogamous relationships and talk about spreading their seed. Variety is the spice of life. I am willing to seriously attempt to understand the science behind the bio physical responses that your dick has.  Can I say dick this many times?!  I guess so, it is my blog LOL

I have also heard the only way men and women end up as friends is because one of them isn’t returning the others attraction. That one person ends up settling for the friendship. Sometimes the flame is still there and they are waiting it out, sometimes the flame dies and friendship can remain.

I have a dear male friend that I have known since college.  I have dated his friends and he has dated mine.  We have a great time together. He has added so much value to my solitary life that I can’t say enough good things about him.  Of all the things I have learned from him, the feeling of being included and how to be hospitable stand out the most.

One time we were out drinking in Austin TX and I decided to share with him the theory I heard about how men and women become friends.

After I explained, we both said, so you were the one who was into me?

Then we laughed and laughed and went back to salsa dancing.

This is how I know it’s possible.  Not one time did I ever think about wanting to be with him.  I have nothing but nice things to say about him too.  He is married now with a son, caring for his aging parents, working to get his company off the ground and just all around being a good human.

I hope we stay in touch and remain good friends until one of us is no longer on this earth.

I also hope that I will be able to make more male friends.  I like men. I like gay men, trans men, cis men, Drag Kings, straight men- ALL the men.

I could also use more friends.  Julie party of one is fun. Life is more fun with friends! 

Unisex Sizing- what does that mean?

It means Men ‘s sizes.

I paid $75 to figure that out .

I thought I would share this tidbit for free – here and now. Maybe you already knew this ( good for you 🙂 if you did )

Vans shoes did an endangered species line of shoes

They partnered with artist Ralph Steadman (out of California)

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I got the ones with bees on them. I got them from Sneakers & Stuff. I do not recommend purchasing from that company. If you need to do return or exchange , you will need to ship your item back to Sweden. Do you know how much it costs to ship to Sweden? Hundreds of dollars. They are also charging $30 euros if the shoebox being returned is damaged.

Now I am tasked with trying to recover my money. I will sell them on Ebay or Offer Up or Let Go. Cross your fingers for me that I get what I paid for them or it is going to be a very expensive lesson to learn what Unisex sizing means.

Now that I am writing about it, I am thinking I could have Googled the definition. I thought I had it figured out and that unisex just meant universal. Sneakers & Stuff had a calculation tool where you put what size you wear in other brands and then they used this calculation to auto populate the size you would purchase from them. I rolled with it……

Don’t make the same mistake I did.

There is always time for a parade!

Every year the City of Portland which is also known as the City of Roses puts on the Rose Festival which includes the Rose Parade, the Starlight Parade and the City Fair. I have yet to see the Starlight Parade or go to the City Fair in the last 8.5 years. I have watched the Rose parade go by the Broadway Bridge for about 30 minutes (a couple of times). There are people who camp the night before to reserve their front row spot. One year I was lucky enough to join a friend who was meeting up with her family in one of those front spots. I bought them all ice cream for letting me join. It was lovely to have great seating without sleeping on the street to get it.

I know that I will leave Portland Oregon soon and before I do , I would like to cross some quintessential Portland activities off the To Do list.

This year nothing is going to hold me back from doing all the little things I want to do. I plan to do them by myself since it will guarantee I get to do them when I want and when I find myself available. If other people want to join that would be great. I just don’t plan to put much effort into getting other people to go since it’s more trouble than it’s worth these days.

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It was a beautiful weekend in Portland Oregon last week and I was on my way to work at Providence Park (home to the Timbers and Thorns soccer teams). It was opening weekend for both teams. The stadium was also going to reveal the 5,000 newly added seats and new areas for season ticket holders and other VIP people. I heard it was a year long project that cost 80 million dollars. ( they scheduled me to work in this fancy area both days ).

The opening season Timbers game on Saturday was nuts. There were SO many people there. The city closes both Max stops that are closest to the stadium, after the game, for reasons I am unaware of. One stop is called Providence Park. Doesn’t it just force all the people to the next closest stop? After a quick observation of this, I decided to ride my bike as close to the waterfront as possible and hop on public transportation to take me over the bridge and closer to home.

One of the freedoms of being on a bike means you can make quick decisions and go down spaces cars can not go therefore I don’t always pay attention to which streets I am on. I found myself going down a road that did not have any traffic. Yahoo! So fun to ride down the middle of the street on a beautiful night breathing the fresh air for a few blocks. Then all of a sudden on the event horizon was a parade. The parade took up the entire length of the street and was coming right for me! I was able to see it in the dark because it was the Starlight parade and there were people glowing with lights along with lit up floats. I had a Burning Man flashback and pulled over to the first spot I saw where there were other people. Those people turned out to be the medical table. They had all the information :). I stopped and watched the parade for about 15 minutes since I ended up in the disbanding area and then went home.

On Sunday, I was heading back to the stadium to work the Opening Season Thorns soccer game ( the women’s team). When the max went right by the City Fair. I told myself I would stop by the Fair on my way home from work. It would still be light outside since the sun goes down around 9:00 p.m. this time of year.

I paid for an entire days admission to be there for a few hours. I headed straight for the Ferris wheel, bought one ticket and got in line. When it was my turn to board, they told me there was no single riders and I had missed the sign at the beginning of the line saying so. Wait?! What?! Excuse me…. I am by myself on purpose. I rode my bike down here after work, paid to get in just to ride this ride and now I can’t go?! or better yet, I have to impose myself upon strangers. Strangers that are already in their friend/ dating groups. Are you kidding me?!

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These nice people behind me let me join them and at the end the operator let me out so they could have a round by themselves. I also took many photos of them to show my gratitude. It was fun and I’m glad they let me join them.

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Next, I went for the swing ride called Vertigo. They will let solo riders on this ride. I’m not sure why I didn’t realize it wasn’t the swing ride I love so much, it looked just like it. I was made aware of the difference immediately when we were up in the air, spinning at a speed and angle that did indeed bring on Vertigo. Have you ever had Vertigo? It sucks! It can also take time to go away. I didn’t feel good towards the end of the ride and was happy for it to be over. I had enough money left to play a game or ride one more ride. That Vertigo ride really messed me up and I was ready to go home to lay down therefore I decided to play a game.

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Whac-A-Mole. This game reminds me of my childhood. It gives me a happy memory and I don’t have many of those from childhood. I walked over to play and what did he say….. You can’t play by yourself. What?! Wait?! are you kidding me. When did it become so difficult to go out and do something by yourself.?! I waited around for a few minutes. Surely someone else would want to play this game. Thank goodness someone came over in less than 5 minutes. She was a little lady, about 7 or 8 years old. She had never played. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had played. The game host announces before the game begins that the first person closest to 200 wins a prize ( the reason I couldn’t play myself even though he never explained this part to me). I beat her. She got 80 points, I got 100. I gave her the prize ❤

Then I walked towards the exit gate closest to my bike. Made eyes with a nice looking policeman, talked to the homeless people sitting on a blanket on the sidewalk next to the bike rack. They were enjoying the country music concert coming from the City fair (for free) and then I found the closest max stop to head home.

I did it! Go me! Cross another activity off the list! I managed to see the Starlight Parade and go to the City Fair this year. Next stop Rose Parade – coming this weekend.

I would like to publicly say – Thank you Portland for always having something fun to do. I won’t miss you when I’m gone and yet I’m having a blast while I’m here.

The Best Things To Do In Portland Oregon

photo-1436505743955-a98c0d3eb1a8I have been living in Portland since March of 2011 and I am still loving it. Portland isn’t a big town.  It is a dense town, which means you get a lot of options in a small radius.  Portland is made up of lots of neighborhoods (each with their own flavor). As a local, it is common to stick to your part of town since you can find everything you need in your neighboorhood.  Overall Portland is known for its nature, coffee, beer, food and strippers.

Over the last seven years, I have had several friends visit, which has prompted me to find all the fun things in town to do.  I also run an Airbnb, so I am constantly offering suggestions to guests.

Getting around town

  • The public transportation in Portland is reliable, efficient and affordable.  The TriMet system is the organization that runs the Max (aka: the light rail), the bus and the street car.  It costs $5 for an all day pass.  You can use your ticket to ride any of the options for public transportation.
  • You can also Rent Bikes. If you do get a bike, I encourage you to ride it around the Eastbank Esplanade.  Bikes are allowed on the bus, light rail and street car.

 

 

  • You will need a car if you want to go to the Gorge, the Coast or Mount Hood.

West Side/ Downtown of Portland

oPortland City Grill is located on the 30th floor of the Bancorp tower otherwise know as Big Pink.  UnknownBig Pink has its own Instagram page dedicated to it. If you are driving, there is a parking garage right next to it.  PCG will validate your parking for up to two hours.  There is also a max stop right in front of it.

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Powell’s Books Store.  Quintessential Portland. Give yourself some time to be in here. There are many rooms to explore and gifts to consider.

 

 

portland-parks-m25d0img24312-sPark Blocks.  Have you seen the movie that was filmed in Portland, What the Bleep Do We Know?  There is a scene explaining quantum physics using a basketball.  It was filmed in the Park Blocks.

 

1486700177406Portland Art Museum.
The first Thursday of Every Month is free from 5:00p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

 

 

img_6381Portland Saturday Market– Where local artists come together to sell you their creations.  Happening weekends, March through Christmas Eve.  This is a great place to shop whether you’re a local or a tourist.

 

1297969442-screen_shot_2011-02-17_at_11.02.55_amGround Kontrol.

The places where you can drink and play video games. All ages until 4:30p.m. daily.

 

 

Places to Eat :

Piazza Italia– my favorite Italian restaurant

Cool Moon Ice Cream– right next door to Piazza Italia

Thai Peacock– my favorite Thai restaurant

Voodoo Doughnuts if you must– I think they are over rated.  Don’t buy the hype.  The one downtown always has a line out the door.  They only take cash.  There is a location on the east side you can walk right into most anytime. I saw someone get married there once.  There was a line that day since they shut down the store for a few minutes.

Alder Street Food Carts or the Food Carts on SW 3rd Ave between SW Washington and SW Stark Street.

Mother’s Bistro– Quintessential Portland Breakfast.  “Call your Mother”

Shopping on NW 23rd Street. A street lined with shopping.  Where us locals  to buy clothes when we aren’t thrift shopping.

 

 

East Side of Portland

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LaurelHurst Park is great because it’s in the middle of the city.  It’s big, has a lake where you can see ducks and birds, etc.

 

 

 

images-1Mount Tabor is an inactive volcano.  Once you’re at the top, you get a great view of the city. If you are visiting in August, be sure to check out Soap Box Derby Races

 

 

 

Places to Eat:

Blue Star Donoughts on Mississippi

Salt and Straw on NE Alberta.Right next to Bollywood Theater

Bollywood Theater– best Indian food in town.

Cruz Room– great tacos.

Por Que No Tacos on Mississippi– Mexican food tacos.

Screen Door– great for breakfast

Dicks Kitchen – healthy eating

There are too many to list!!

You aren’t going to get bad food in Portland.  We like it locally sourced, organic, infused, muddled and flavorful.  If you are Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free or Dairy Free, you are still going to eat well in Portland ❤

 

 

In General

images-1Japanese Garden– Cost $16.95 admission.

This place was recently remodeled and expanded.  It is serene, peaceful, never gets old to visit.  It’s a glimpse into another culture that is not far from the city.  Located in Washington Park.  You can get here with public transportation.

 

 

 


“Amazing View” @  Pittock Mansion

I have never paid to go into the mansion.  I just go around the back to show my friends the free view.  If going inside to see a restored to the time period house interests you then click on the link to get all the information you need to go.

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Portland International Rose Garden in Washington Park
There are over 10,000 rose bushes of approximately 650 varieties. The roses bloom from April through October with the peak coming in June, depending on the weather.

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Vista House in the Gorge. You have to take part of the Colombia Scenic Highway to get here.  Breath taking views as you look east and west. A special place we have just 20 minutes east of the city.

 

stelprd3823422Multnomah Falls 

At the base of Multnomah Falls, the Historic Multnomah Falls Lodge awaits to offer a place of relaxation, a fine meal, the perfect gift, hiking or visitor information, or possibly an espresso or tasty treat to accompany your hike or day trip.

 

 

So there you have it.  There are more places to see, eat and drink of course.  I think the ones I have listed should not be missed. Come enjoy all the things Portland has to offer, stay with me in my Airbnb, we will have a good time 🙂

Safe travels to you!

 

Where are you from? this seemingly easy question is not easy for me.

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When people ask me where I am from, I have to put on my happy face and ask some clarifying questions. Like- What does your question really mean? What information are you really looking for?

  • Did you want to know where I grew up?
  • What does grow up mean to you? childhood years or teenage years?
  • Where you looking to figure out where I was born?
  • Where did I move to Portland from?

Each one of these questions has a different answer. Language is important.

Usually I start by saying. I moved to Portland from Austin, Texas. Then they usually say- oh you grew up in Austin.

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Wait? What? I said I MOVED here from Austin.

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I grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Then they think I was born in Colorado.

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I was born in San Francisco, California

Spent half of the childhood years and 3/4 of my Senior year of High School in the Bay Area.

I realize this question is meant as a friendly conversation starter however I find it painful.

After all the answers- this question comes.

Did you move around so much because your family was in the military?

oh no… another innocent question is about to open a can of worms….

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No, we moved a lot because I had a dysfunctional family – I say with a smile to ease the tension.

I don’t really have any family per se. I have never met my Dad. Well that’s what it feels like anyway. I did see a picture of him holding me when I was about 18 months, my only half-sister passed away and my biological mother is dangerous to my happy life so I don’t talk to her nor have I for a very long time.

I wish society would come up with some other basic questions to get to know each other. Pronto. It’s quite possible that this question serves to constantly remind me that I am not like everyone else and to be comfortable with that. I can relate to orphans more than anyone else. Next question please.

Airbnb: “Airbnb is for little people”

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I have the nicest man for a guest at my Airbnb right now. He exudes genuine positive energy. It radiates. I imagine his wife must be equally cool . They have three daughters. He misses them and he has only been gone for a day.

He is staying for just a couple of nights. He came down from Washington State to work. He is an American professional football player. He is tall and a solid 315 pounds. When he arrived, he was wearing a boot around one of his feet. He has a torn Achilles Heal and I wondered immediately how he would do with the stairs.

It never occurred to me there might be a weight limit on the bed frame in the room.

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The bedrooms make up the entire second floor of the house. The rest is downstairs, including the bathroom. You know he will have to go up and down the stairs a few times everyday to shower and stuff.

I won’t enforce the shoes off policy with him since a persons health is more important than my preference. He should continue to wear that boot. My only request is to be careful with the bathroom rugs and the squishy ones in the kitchen.

Shoes off policy is not just about keeping the floors clean, or keeping all the things you have tracked in out of the kitchen where food is being made, it is mainly about Feet, Shoes, and Feng Shui.

He checked into the house around 9:30p.m. which is close to my bed time. There was another guest arriving at 10:00pm – I wanted to wait up for this guest since it would be his 1st time to use Airbnb. Stays just go better if I can meet and greet, give a tour and let them settle in.

Once everyone was settled, I got undressed to crawl into bed naked to sleep. Sleeping naked is the best and I highly recommend it. Benefits of Sleeping Naked according to Science. Not even 10 minutes later, I heard a loud noise that could be someone falling down the stairs. I got up, opened the door and shouted out ” Everything Okay?”

It took a second to get a response. The response came from the bedroom of the football player. He sat at the edge of the bed and the frame broke. Oh no! He was okay. He felt bad. I felt bad. It required attention and a makeshift solution. This is going to be challenging since I am a minimalist. Not much lying around.

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I went down to the basement and came up with two paint cans. Crossing my fingers they would be the right height. They worked :). As we were putting the cans under the bed for support, he was able to lift the entire bed up with one arm while laying on the floor. This is when he dropped the comment that Airbnb was for little people. I laughed and realized how small everyday things must be for him. He did use a beach towel for a shower towel. I noticed it when he was walking down the stairs because I have the same towel. I made sure to check in with him in the morning to make sure those paint cans were holding up. He slept fine. He was also able to relax and hang out on the bed.

As a Superhost, I feel like I should be able to provide comfortable accommodations to any guest that shows up. Although I do not have the funds right this minute to get another bed frame. It will be the next big purchase I buy for the Airbnb.