Home > Uncategorized > Days 56 and 57: A second home in Portland

Days 56 and 57: A second home in Portland

Location: Beaverton, OR

Miles Driven: ~215

Total Miles: 13,904

After 8AM I was on the road, heading Northwest in the direction of Portland.  I felt a little more relaxed than the previous night after the close call with the deer, and took my time heading towards my brother Mike’s home in Beaverton (suburb of Portland). 

More scenic Oregon

I arrived shortly after noon.  I hadn’t seen Mike and his wife Heather in over a year, and some things have changed since I last visited.  They now live in a nice new home, and now there’s a new addition to the family, baby Nolan. Nolan was born in January, and is my second-oldest nephew after Nico (who you met during my stay in Houston).  Another very cute kid.

little Nolan

Lucky timing for me, Heather’s aunt, Kathy, was hosting a party on Saturday for all the July birthdays in the extended family.  I just happened to arrive the same day of the party, so after a few hours of seeing Mike’s house and visiting with Nolan, we headed over to the party and enjoyed some BBQ with Heather, her family, and relatives.  The folks here in Portland have always treated me as one of their own since my first visit out here around 2006, and I consider this place another second home.  I’m always made to feel very welcome here (and commensurately, always eat very well).

Burt grilling some oysters

Burt grilled up some of his famous jalapenos-wrapped-in-bacon-stuffed-with-cream-cheese, and I quickly devoured several of those shortly after they came off the fire.  Willie, Kathy’s husband, also grilled up some delicious burgers and hotdogs, and I enjoyed those along with all the delicious sides people brought.

Great time at the party.  Played with baby Nolan some more, and got to visit with some of the relatives I hadn’t seen since last Spring.

Mike and Nolan

look at those big eyes

Me with the parents and the little guy

Nolan with his Great Aunt Lorraine

Nolan with Grandma Marilyn

Nolan and Grandpa Burt

Nolan was certainly the star of the party, but the star right behind him was the food at the party.  Absolutely delicious.

Tasty Marion Berry pie

Thanks to Kathy and Willie for hosting a great party!

The next day, Sunday, was a lazy day.  Everybody got naps, especially the baby, and then later in the day we made our way to Heather’s parents for some of  Burt’s famous grilled ribs.  I was spoiled once again with some great food, and enjoyed relaxing at their home.  It soon was Nolan’s bedtime and we had to head out, and I made sure to grab a last few photos with the folks here.

Mike and me

Here with Heather's family - Marilyn, Burt, and Chrissy. These guys always treated me like one of the family

After putting Nolan to bed, Mike and I headed out to the movies along with Chrissy and her boyfriend, Chris, to watch Inception.  Wow, what a great film.  One of those that really makes you think.  Christopher Nolan, the director, has made some great films including Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Prestige (one of my favorites).  I didn’t think Inception would live up to the hype, but turns out it exceeded it, in my mind.

And so that wraps up my Sunday in the area.  I made a car appointment at a local Mazda dealership here for Monday.  I need an oil change, plus I wanted to get everything looked over before I continued the journey further North.  I’ve covered just under 14,000 miles on this trip and haven’t had a single car issue (outside of my carelessness in Utah draining the battery), so here’s hoping some preventative maintenance will keep things going strong for the trip to Alaska.


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  1. Jonathan
    July 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Nolan is really growing up fast, what a cutie. I can’t wait to see Nolan and Nico running around together. They’ll make a great duo.

    • July 26, 2010 at 10:08 pm

      Yes. I particularly enjoyed watching them Skype with each other the other day. Nico was sitting on his computer chair throne, and Nolan wouldn’t stop looking everywhere but the computer screen

  2. Colleen
    July 26, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    What great pictures of everybody! Nolan certainly seems to be a star! I can’t believe how big he is getting. Makes me want to come out and visit everyone out there soon!

  3. bea
    July 26, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    oh baby Nolan… those huge cute eyes! and yes, Inception is a great movie! I loved it. No, i did not take the baby with me to the theatre.

    • July 26, 2010 at 5:08 pm

      Haha you anticipated my question! Let’s talk about that movie sometime, Bea. Have you seen The Prestige? If you liked Inception, I think you would like that

  4. ND
    July 26, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Great pictures! Nolan looks so big already! Joe, we saw Inception last night, and we can’t stop talking about it.

    • July 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      Extractors gonna Extract

  5. Ashley
    July 27, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Nolan is probably the cutest little guy I’ve ever seen. You should have a couple of kids at some point Joe; especially if they’re that cute. Ghardt, Sobes, Kelly, and I will totally babysit 🙂

    • July 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      hahah no rush on that front…I am not going to lose the baby pool!

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