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Tag Archives: Family

Nashville and Asheville

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Nashville was truly my last stop, as in Asheville was meeting my family and Elliot, the guy I was dating back home, in just a few days for the 4th of July. I arrived at the very welcoming home of my Couchsurfing host Jacob, and his roommate Ken.

Timing does really mean quite a lot in life. In Kansas City I had been surrounded by people at the International House of Prayer and listening to their opinions. Like most conservative Christians, they found issue with the fact that back home I was dating a Jew.  I didn’t really find any issue with it, and neither did my family. Jews do have great reputations after all, they are known to put out hard-working, respectable, financially responsible men who treat their women well. What’s not to like? And besides Jesus was Jewish! But I did understand where they were coming from, it wasn’t something I hadn’t heard before and I began to wonder if I maybe should only date Christian guys.

Coincidentally, about a week later in Nashville I landed on the doorstep of two attractive young Christian men. Little did I consider (it was pretty obvious once it was pointed out) that one of the effects of traveling the country by yourself is that you become more interesting, and therefore more attractive. People love to live vicariously through travelers, traveling solo makes you seem very secure in yourself and since this was the last destination really, I had plenty of stories to tell.IMG_20130701_183017_649 Read the rest of this entry

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Tillamook, Sauvie Island and Portland

I left Gold Beach on another overcast and drizzling day and made for Tillamook State Forest. I knew I wanted to visit Portland, but also that I would need to stop somewhere in-between according to the distance I am willing to drive and the money I had. I knew free camping and a coffee shop would see me through. I was also buying time wondering if I should contact my second cousin who I thought might still live in Oregon. Five years my junior, she had always been to me a spoiled princess that required babysitting. When I last saw her she had grown from an attention-needy child into a boy-crazy teenager and I was debating whether I really wanted to visit with someone who I plainly took as annoying.

I stopped at a farmer’s market in Coos Bay to stretch my legs and then in the late afternoon pulled into the state forest. Finding a secluded camping spot turned out to be quite a challenge, as the free camping available was mostly for ATV enthusiasts who were out in full force. I unfortunately damaged my car backing into what I thought was a campsite and into a rock.


The next day, I brushed my teeth and cleaned up in the coffee shop bathroom before going to work. The coffee shop did lack one thing though… outlets. I decided to go find a more suitable work location and stumbled upon the generous and spacious Tillamook Public Library. I also decided to connect with my cousin, after all she is older now and it’s not right to judge someone by their youth.

I grabbed some cheese curds from the Tillamook Cheese factory on my way out-of-town and headed off to meet my cousin Olivia when she got off work. She was very excited that I was in the area and was beyond welcoming. I have several first cousins close to my age and I never really thought about how lonely it must be for her. After all my dad is her first cousin and he’s close to the same age as her dad. Also, all of our family lives in the South and she’s all the way on the opposite end of the country! Read the rest of this entry

Durango, Colorado

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2013-03-30_12-52-20_66I decided to head up to Durango, Colorado to spend my birthday and Easter with my cousin Mary’s family. It was a little out-of-the-way, but I wanted to visit with Mary and I thought I would enjoy spending the holidays with family instead of with strangers.  I had the best time. Mary had a very large and comfortable guest bedroom for me to stay in, which was very conducive to working. It was good to be on a family schedule. The next door neighbor’s kid had the same birthday as me. I found out about this as he entered the minivan and yelled, “Who’s the hottie!” over and over again. I’m not really sure if it is cute or creepy to be called a hottie by a six-year-old. Though he was perfectly happy to yell to the entire car load about my physical attractiveness, he turned all shy and wouldn’t say a thing when I addressed him directly and asked him what he was doing for this birthday. On my birthday, I was surprised with a vase of flowers from the family. They had a piano recital to attend mid-day, so I took myself to Mesa Verde National Park. It was so fascinating to see all the ancient cliff dwellings. It was hard to imagine how people got to the side of the cliffs at all and even harder to imagine how they made them into such vibrant and large communities. The scenery was breath-taking. Read the rest of this entry