There's so much catching up to do since our last post!  This week alone has equaled traveling through/to 2 provinces and 4 states.  That's a whole lotta miles,  more roadside bathrooms than I'd ever care to admit to seeing, some really amazing podcasts, the most beautiful country side drive, and finally making it back home feeling full/exhausted/inspired/excited/blessed/happy/ready to be back to our life here in Calgary - all the feels.  

I was trying to figure out how best to share our trip here and I think I will do it in two posts.  There's just so much.  This post to share a glimpse into our roadtrip, and the next where we can share our guide to Portland and where we shopped/ate/drank/loved/and think everyone should visit!  I've been excited to share it all!  So here we go...

We both really love driving/road tripping.  I feel like it allows us to be way more independent, get a more inside perspective of the city, get to places we wouldn't necessarily be able to go to without having a vehicle, and in turn see sites we wouldn't otherwise see.  Also, I've said it before and I will say it again, our time in the car just seems to invite the best of conversation and connection for us.  Nothing like being trapped in a car together for hours - bring on the conversation!  Life gets figured out in our little truck let me tell you.  Because we don't mind driving, we ended up making our drive there a little longer than it otherwise would have been, purposefully on the way there and not so much on the way home.  Calgary > Invermere > Penticton > Portland > Calgary.  

Our trip was FULL.  We kind of planned our trip around being a part of a photography workshop on the coast, so we spent 2 days going from Cannon Beach on the coast to Latourell Falls just East of Portland getting our pictures taken and playing dress up in the most stunning Anna Campbell wedding dress for the workshop.  People and connection are everything. During our time in Portland we got to meet and shoot with 25 photographers who were leading/attending the workshop, a photographer from Vancouver, Washington, and on our very last night in Portland we spent hours and hours with the sweetest couple that we met through Instagram. We've never gotten to share in connection like that while traveling before.  It added so much to our trip.  It's those momentary crossing-of-paths that cause us to be open and vulnerable in ways that we wouldn't have otherwise felt.  I never ever ever would have opened myself up, gotten out of my introverted self to have welcomed that kind of connection years ago while traveling.  I'd like to think that means I've changed, and grown and evolved at least a little bit over that time;)  I used to hear others talk about getting into random conversation, connecting with, and chatting to people during their adventures but I just knew that just wasn't me.  I've since learned it's all about the place you're in and the vibes you're putting out.  If you're open, you attract people to approach you and invite conversation, if you're not so open you don't.  It's as simple as that but I'm really glad I'm at this place in life where I'm inviting others in.  (One of the amazing things about social media). 

James and I road tripped to Portland for our honeymoon 7 years ago.  So, it was all kinds of nostalgia to re-visit all this time later.  It felt familiar to us, even after all that time.  Like nothing had changed, but everything had continued to evolve and grow.  Some things we found funny. For instance,  7 years ago we had been wandering around Portland and marvelled at how they had not only garbage bins, but recycle and compost ones as well.  Calgary just implemented compost bins this year.  7 years ago, James bought his first growler of Rogue beer.  Within the last few years filling growlers has become the new thing here.  So, things that once seemed so futuristic to us there seemed much more common place now (or maybe we just aren't as fascinated by compost bins...?).  Also, we often comment how glad we are that Instagram wasn't really a thing at our wedding, and even after that, for our honeymoon.  It felt so much more sacred and as though there was nothing else to do but really be in the moment with each other.  There were a few days of our trip this time around that we decided to be super intentional about keeping our phones and Instagram off.  There are definitely times that I feel like I'm not exactly cut out for the social media/blogging gig.  Because when I step away I almost feel more full of life.  Definitely more present, and engaged with the people I'm with and those around me, and less like I need to let everyone else know what's going on in my life and more like I'm happy to be there in that moment.  Truthfully of all our days away without question the best were spent just the two of us, offline, wandering around.  

I always think the best part of going away is coming home.  We had quite a drive home too.  We got re-routed in Idaho and ended up going the longer way around through Montana.  By the time we made it a few hours from Calgary we drove through the most insane lightening storm ever.  It was terrifying but made getting home in the early hours of Monday morning even more sweet.  Getting out of our everyday routine, away from home, and seeing a different place/city with fresh eyes left us feeling inspired and so thankful for the life we live.  We came home with a new and refreshed perspective, and that's always a good thing.     

I can't wait to share some of the places we ate/drank/stayed/shopped in Portland!  I will share it in the next few days, stay tuned! 

Photos by Julie