I’m feeling like I’ve got a little transcontinental whiplash. It was only weeks ago that I moved to Norway, and now I’m back in the U.S.

I returned largely to help my husband wrap up our lives in Portland, then we decided to take a cross country roadtrip to our beloved Chicago to visit family and friends. Plus, we’re finally and sadly getting rid of our Audi TT. Some of you remember how much I love Hubby’s Other Black Beauty.

A view of the road traveled so far in eastern Oregon.

A view of the road traveled so far in eastern Oregon.

She was too expensive to ship to Norway, but she’s going to an amazing home in Chicago. As a perfect adieu, we packed up the last of our Portland things in the TT and hit the open road. (FYI, we left the kids in Norway with Farmor. Yasss!)

Hubby and I are always stoked to be able to have an uninterrupted conversation. Now with 35 hours of just us in the two-seater, we were excited for the one-on-one time and, admittedly, scared. What if we got into a fight? That could make a for a seriously long haul.

We crossed our fingers and focused on the upcoming adventure: Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore and then Chicago.

A few hours outside of Portland, we grew tired and decided to stay the night in Pendleton. According to the billboards along the interstate, the best place in town was the Wildhorse Resort & Casino.

Whoo-weee. I don’t even know where to begin. The place was nice enough and it made for excellent people watching. Hubby and I aren’t big gamblers, not because we have anything against it, I’d just rather spend $20 on a pair of Payless Shoes that fall apart after one use than plunking $20 into a machine.

Anyway, it was a bustling, buzzing and beeping Saturday night at the casino. The place was packed with chain-smoking, leathery-faced grandmas, pot-bellied balding men who wobbled on stick legs and 20-something guys with trucker hats, tired eyes and semi-clothed girls draped on their arm.

All of that was fine, I’m sure I looked a fright after being on the road. What struck us is that everyone kind of looked… sad. There weren’t many smiles or kind eyes, just them searching for the right machine, or another drink or something else.

The next morning we headed down for breakfast and got to chat it up with some of the locals. The guy who made my omelet grew up in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood and then lived for 30 years in Portland. I also met a mom of four who was scurrying to get her crew waffles. She gave me the lowdown on the best buffet items since she and her family come there often.

We talked about our road trip and the recent move to Norway. It was neat because I felt like I’d known these people for ages, there was a folksiness that reminded me of my Kansas roots.

This is one of the great things about traveling by car, you get a chance to see a slice of life in communities and cultures that are different than your own. Plus if you look closely, you see that we’re really not that different after all.


*To follow our escapades, check out #pdx2chicago on Instagram or Twitter.



Road triiiiiip! Our adventure from Portland to Chicago — 2 Comments

  1. So very excited for the 4 of you starting a new life. I have every confidence that you will make your path. Or rather, a path will open for you much like the Red Sea did for Moses. Maybe you’ll have time to post more She’s Write – Norway Edition. I’m certainly looking forward to reading them. Unfortunately, as you probably already imagined, I will not be in attendance at your soiree tomorrow, much as I would like to be. I suspect it will be one heckuva par-tay. I remember the first time I saw the TT was on the occasion of Aunt Jo’s funeral. Later that evening we went shopping for furs and my brother was almost drooling watching you 2 snatch a gear and fly away! That was also the night you & Jorgen announced you were pregnant. Come a long way. Best of luck to you both – 4, actually – & can’t wait to hear about new experiences!! Luv ya’ cuz!!

    P.S. As times goes on if anybody needs a “heat break” Welcome sign is out!

    • Now that we’re sort of close to figuring out a schedule for our family, I’m certain I’ll have more time to post on She’sWrite. I’m looking forward to our new adventures, scared, but excited. So funny about the TT, yes I remember hanging out in that fur store, that was a hilarious time. Also, I felt so honored to be able to announce our pregnancy in a room full of family. I would love to come visit you sometime, how amazing would that be?!?! Especially as we’re in the midst of winter, I am expecting it to be brutal here. I’ve always wondered, why did you decide to move to paradise aka a little fishing village in Ecuador?

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