Return to VAN

Since Jen's return its been pretty much life as normal.  Whatever "normal life" means to us now...  I took part in a few more neighborhood meetings and tours, trying to do what we can to make sure our neighborhood develops in a manner best for everyone.  A difficult task in a portion of the city that has grown temendously fast in the last few years. city hall beforecity hallluciferraguI also attended and gave testimony at the city counsel meeting, where portland looked to make a decision on whether to legalize short term rentals.  We hardly rely upon our AirBnB rental income at this point, but having it as an option in the future is hugely attractive to us.  If we actually intend to make ends meet through a combination of different income streams (tiny, trickling, barely flowing streams at this point) then short term rentals may have to become a large part of that.  The city postponed the decision until a later meeting, but things look positive longterm.  Im pleased that we live in such a positive, forward thinking city.  If portland ever starts acting like the rest of the country, there's no question we'll be expats within 30days.

We also spent a bit of time working on the garage, but our energy and focus seem to keep moving elsewhere, and things seem to take forever to complete.  The last 10 percent of every project seems to take longer than the other 90.  I did get a sign built to advertise zenbox design and put it out front of the house.  Not technically a home project, but a good chance to start conversations with the many neighbors who walk, bike and drive by our place each day.  We are still looking for that perfect first client.  A neighbor who is actually willing to pay for our services rather than simply come discuss their project over a glass of wine... maybe our handcrafted sign will bring them to us!

lasersign fabsignway way back

Our monthly AirBnB guest also checked in at the end of the week, so as intended- we used getting kicked out of our house as an excuse to travel and get out of town.  In this case we took advantage of an invite from our friends in Vancouver to visit.

It didn't take a second offer and we were out the door and driving north for BC.  Vancouver seems so strange to us now.  Its very familiar as these are the streets we used to walk everyday but also somehow foreign to us now.  It's great to be back however, and its been far too long since we saw our friends here.

First task after arriving in our old neighborhood... a walk to noodlebox for a spicy peanut, of course.  We still try to recreate this meal at home, but it's all but impossible to match the flavor and heat combination that they nail every time.  A few months ago i actually wrote them to see if they were interested in a portland franchise - i'm not sure i would be the guy to open it, but i would definitely help keep the doors open!

noodleboxrobot factorybry chad jess

The next day we revisited our old stomping grounds at granville island, hit the farmers market and grabbed a fish and chips and a beer from one of VANs new microbreweries before focusing on our evening plans.

Apparently we came to town just in time for world gin day, and luckily josh and allison decided to celebrate the event in large fashion.  A night sampling fine gins and elaborate cocktails, combined with the oysters and spot prawns we grabbed on the island...what a great chance to catch up with friends!

The remainder of our time was spent simply catching up friends with a bit of world cup in the background and trying to convince them to move to portland (as it's clear we cant afford to move here).  We even got  lucky break in the weather to squeeze in a day of volleyball on the beach.  It wouldn't have truly been a trip to VAN without it...


jen fishspot prawnsworld gin day