Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Oregon Adventures II

Our last week to have Daddy home with us before he started his new job was jam packed full of fun!
We spent all of Monday unpacking the kitchen.  The kids played in the paper for about two hours!

Tuesday, we went with our realtor to look at several homes and we found a good contender.

Wednesday was Farmer's Market Day (so is Monday, Friday and Saturday).
We bought some berries (recognize them all?) Answers at the bottom. :-)

Our new friends, Esteban and Samuel and sweet little Ines dropped by for a visit.  They are from Switzerland and challenge our German, French and Spanish skills.  They know all those AND English.  They are just here for one month for the adoption of Ines who had a surrogate mom.  She is only two weeks old and is positively precious!

Thursday we actually visited THREE water pad parks.  We went to one with the homeschoolers in the morning and I forgot to take pictures.  Then later that evening we drove 10 minutes to down town Salem to play in front of the state capital building...but realized that the fountains were too big and scary for Phoebe....

...not Juni and Ezra though.

So, we went to the city park 5 minutes away and played in those for a while, but Phoebe still didn't want to  play in them and she wasn't even sick.  The ones here are intermittent and keep the kids hopping.  We had to pry E & J away.

Friday, we celebrated the birthday of our good friend's son.  They're the ones who live in Portland.  We went South to Eugene to a Fiber Festival.  Not the kind of fiber that makes you poop.  The kind that makes its own poop!

There was a huge convention area dedicated to spinning, selling wool from sheep, alpacas and goats as well as products made from the wool.  I could have spent a lot of money there.

Just about any evening that we are not shopping for houses, we bike/walk to the park nearby.  It's been so fun, we have decided our new home has to have this potential too.

Saturday, we wanted to investigate something we had seen in town: a pedestrian's bridge (formerly for trains) and a sand bar/beach area beside the Willamette River (Note the lack of a second 'i' in the name.  The locals pronounce this with the emphasis on "am" - I think it should be on the "ette", but whatever).

The  Willamette Riverboat Queen was happening by as we were crossing the pedestrian bridge.  This was taken about a second before the lens cap from my camera blew out of my hand and down to the sand bar below (seen in the above picture).

We were not able to find my lens cap, but still had fun.  The water was so shallow it was half warm.  On our tour of Salem last week, we learned that previous governor, Tom McCall, proclaimed all water ways and beaches (river and ocean) to be public property.  So, you can walk the entire length of the Oregon coastline uninhibited - except by maybe the weather.

We looked at many houses this past week and it seemed each time we went out we would see a better house than the last trip (not that all were winners).  We have not found THE one, but I suspect when that happens we will have to jump on it.  The market here is wild.  There's tons of houses constantly going up for sale each day, and tons more people after them.  So, houses aren't staying on the market for more than a few days it seems.  If we look at something that has been on the market for two weeks we wonder what's wrong with it.  Also, though the prices are higher than in Ohio (almost double), there's no sales tax.  The mortgage on a house 50% more expensive than our old house has the same mortgage price for the same loan terms.  We are looking for a simple ranch, 3-4 bedroom with about 1500 square feet, a small yard (but not too small) near Ben's work and a park. 

We are completely exhausted by all the big decisions, combined with so much newness.  Personally, I am a bit overwhelmed with all the social opportunities.  It's nice, in a way, to be anonymous and free, but I'm looking forward to knowing more people here - where to begin!?  Week three will bring about yet more change with Ben going to work and the rest of us resuming school to catch up what we didn't finish from last year due to the move.  We have really enjoyed having Ben with us for three weeks, but I think he's ready to get to his new job and we are all ready for some predictability.

Berry answers: From top middle - Blueberries, Blackberries, Tayberries (combination of blackberries and raspberries) and Raspberries  
Interesting fact: Our county has it's own berry!  The Marion County Marionberry.  It's pretty sour, I hear it makes good jam.  

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