When I woke up in the morning, I had an unpleasant feeling. I was happy to greet a new Portland morning but I knew I would be leaving later that day. I would be leaving my school which I loved being a part of. I would be leaving Portland. I would be leaving my newly acquired little life. Most importantly, I would be leaving my Portland girls. There was a sadness that hung over me as I got ready.
When I stepped out into the cool morning, I tried to soak up as much as I could. I loved my morning walks down to the law school each morning. I would take a new route each morning to see all that I could. I loved seeing the woodland critters. I saw raccoons, bunnies, and squirrels scurrying about each morning. I would think about how different my life would oon be and I would breathe in the fresh air deeply. I knew I would be missing this.
When I got to my class, my friends came in and had sad looks in their eyes. My amazing professor even seemed a bit sad. We all loved him. I could not believe this time had come and gone so quickly. I had been preparing for it since the previous October and it was now almost over.
After class we hugged our teacher and gathered in the hallway outside the classroom. With a heavy heart and a knot in my throat, I told my girls how they had meant everything to me during my time in Portland, how I would have been alone if it had not been for them, how they made my time there amazing, how I would be missing them horribly. Pretty soon there were four girls in the hallway in tears. We tried to comfort each other by saything that we would be seeing each other soon and that I would be back in Portland soon (which I will be). Marta* was going back to her hometown to finish her internship so *Breanna would be taking her to the airport that evening. My flight was leaving just after midnight and sweet Randi* offered to take me to the airport so I wouldn’t have to ride the ridiculous rail. I had planned to go back to my room and sleep until I had to head out but Randi* had other things in store for me. She said for me to go back and pack my things and she would come get me so that we could have one last adventure in Portland before she brought me to the airport. How amazing is she?!? Her kindness changed a sad day into one of the happiest days ever.
As I walked back up to my room, which I had hated so much days before, I tried to swallow the knot in my throat. Unsuccessful, I cried all the way back. When I got up there, I looked around my little room. I did hate the way the entire building felt but this stupid room became a refuge for me; my little space at the end of wonderful days. I began folding my flamingo sheets and my blanket with the whales on it. I packed up all my clothing, my desk lap, my fan, and my school books. After it was all packed, two suitcases were left in the middle of the floor. It just goes to show you, you do not need much to be happy except a few good friends and some dogs.
When I was all packed up, I texted Randi* and before I knew it she was downstairs. We loaded up my bags in her car and we were off for one last adventure together! We first drove out to the Pittock Mansion. I don’t really know the story behind the mansion; however, the grounds were beautiful. Lush gardens were everywhere and there was an amazing view of all of Portland from the cliff. We walked around, took pictures, and enjoyed the time together. After we were done there, we drove over to the Portland Rose Gardens.
The Rose Gardens were beautiful. You could smell the roses when you got out of the car. For as far as you could see, there were beautiful, big roses. There was a Shakespeare garden which was filled with roses and there was a magical little fountain. There were trellises of roses scattered about. So many colors and types of roses! There was also an adorable little rose themed gift shop which we perused for a little bit. After we had had our fill of roses, we decided it was time for vegan pizza!
As we drove to the destination, we passed through some really beautiful little neighborhoods. Since I am always imagining the kind of house and the kind of life I will have when I “grow up”, I loved seeing these quaint little neighborhoods. The houses were perfect and I hope to have a cute little blue cottage house one day… hopefully soon. (Pray for me).
Once we got to the pizza place, it’s called Virtuous Pie, we ordered and sat down. The place was minimal and trendy. It had a warehouse-y feel. I loved the atmosphere. When our pizza came out, it smelled amazing and tasted even better. We ate, talked, and laughed. We even ordered yummy vegan ice cream. It was yet another perfect Portland day. After we were finished we decided to head to the Columbia River Gorge. From what I understand, the Gorge runs along a stretch of highway for miles and miles and all along the highway there are areas where you can get down and play in the water or check out the waterfalls.
As we were driving down the highway, I was amazed at the beauty of Oregon. Mountains were on either side of the highway and every so often, a waterfall from high up could be seen spouting water over the edge of a mountain. The whole way, I acted like a freaking tourist. God bless Randi* who put up with my picture taking and gasping. LOL.
After a while of driving, we arrived at Multnomah Falls. We could see the waterfalls from the road. I was amazed! As we walked closer we could hear the water falling. When we got up to the waterfalls, the air was so fresh. It was a piece of nature that was mostly untouched. It was exhilarating and magnificent. There was a little bridge that you could climb up to to get a better look at the falls. Of course, we decided to climb up. When we got up there we stood there for the longest time. I was in awe of the waterfall but there was something more. Precious, tiny red-headed birds were flying in and out of the water. They were soaring all around. I wished I could be as free and carefree as they were. They were so beautiful. I loved them and I loved watching them. Such happy little souls. We finally came down and headed to the car. I began to feel sad again. I knew it would soon be time to tell my beautiful friend goodbye.
We stopped at a few more places along the highway to take pictures. It’s legitimately so beautiful that the state has built in picture areas specifically for cars to pull over and take photos. How cool is that?!? Pretty soon, we were on our way to the airport.
When we got to the airport, I was overcome with sadness and happiness all at once. I was so happy to have met these girls and to have had this last day with Randi*. I was happy to get to see my mom and my dogs. I was also miserably sad to be leaving. When I got out of the car, Randi* got out too. She helped me with my bags and then we just looked at each other and hugged and cried. Ugh, it was awful to leave.
Once in the airport, I became ridiculously sick. I don't know if it was because of all the rich food I had been eating or because my body was rejecting the idea of leaving Portland. I was sick on the airplane and all the way home. It’s miserable to be sick on an airplane and on layovers. When I landed, I was met by my mom’s smiling face and I was ecstatic to see her. Getting home, I was under the impression that my pups would be happy to see me, which they were; however, one of my dogs was pissed and didn’t want to look at me. He was upset I had left. LOL Poor boy. He got over it quickly though and took care of me while I was recovering from being sick.
After a few days of being home, my online class began and I had to buckle down and take care of that school work. I also had the final exam from my Portland class to finish and I had to finish up my work for my internship. All of that ended up going really well. I got good grades in both of my summer animal law classes. My boss was also really happy with me and my work from my internship.
Overall, it was a crazy busy summer but it was a happy one. I just remember telling my mom before I went to Portland that I knew I would make a new friend in Portland and how amazing it was to know that I had a friend in the world that I just didn’t know yet. Well, the universe was kind to me and gave me three of the best friends I will ever have. I could never have imagined that I would meet such beautiful souls. They accepted me into their group and loved me with no questions asked. They feel the same way about animal law, animal rights, and veganism as I do which is hard to find where I come from. They just get me and that in itself is something so hard to find in one person, and I found it in three. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to get to call them my friends. If any of you read this, know that you changed my life simply by being your amazing, kind selves. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship. I love you girls dearly!
Ok, so this concludes my summer travel series. I know I have been behind with posting these and other blog posts. I have been so busy all summer and it only got worse when I got back from Portland. I have never been so busy in my life. I will be posting a big life update soon. So many amazing things have happened and exciting things are coming up fast. Keep an eye out.
Thanks for flying away with me. Til next time…
*Names changed for anonymity.