Good day all and happy October! Coming to you today from beautiful, sunny Portland, OR! That’s right, it’s actually sunny here and is supposed to stay this way all week; we’re considering this a warm welcome to our new home city!
What a fun and busy week this has been, as we officially wind down our full time travel and prepare to settle down. We last left you sitting in a repair shop in Sandy, OR, awaiting our brakes to be repaired. When we rolled up to Les Schwab, they quoted us $850 for new brakes, rotors, and seals. But we received wonderful news that they were able to grind our existing rotors instead, saving us $500! We were ecstatic and felt like we left there with a best case scenario – 4 hours and $350 later and we were on our way once again!
After leaving the brake shop, we headed south of Portland to Canby, where our friends Shea and Trevor live. Heather used to work with Shea back in Phoenix; we met her for dinner the last time we were in Portland, but prior to that it had been at least 5 years since we’d seen each other. Shea is also a bridesmaid in the upcoming wedding, so we planned our travel together, leaving Bertha at her place, taking the same flight to Denver, renting a car together, and even sharing a two bedroom suite at the hotel. We pulled up to their home pretty late, it was almost 10pm by the time we got there, and getting Bertha settled into their beautiful neighborhood proved to be quite the spectacle. They live on the curved part of the cul-de-sac and it was really dark, so unhitching the trailer and lining Bertha up as close to the curb as possible took a while. Their kids came out to watch the show, the 4 year old boy, Ethan, loving the inside of Bertha as most kids seem to (it’s like a fort to them). We finally said our good nights and agreed to meet at 6:30am to head to the airport the next morning.
It was a wet, chilly Portland morning as we had our early morning departure. We gave ourselves plenty of time to get to the airport and had a nice, seamless morning before catching our on-time flight. We arrived in Denver just after 1:00pm, grabbed our rental car, checked into the hotel, had 30 minutes to freshen up, then headed right back out for the wedding rehearsal. The rehearsal was held at a park right in the heart of downtown Denver (not at the venue they were getting married at) and it had been raining for most of the time we’d been in town. Luckily, it stayed dry enough during the rehearsal, though certainly still cold, before we all reconvened at the warm, dry Rio Grande restaurant for a delicious Mexican dinner after all that rehearsing.
Following the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, we all headed back to the hotel where a group of us met in our room for some post dinner beverages and 90’s R&B while catching up on life and reminiscing on old times. This was fun for Heather, as she used to work with all of the bridesmaids (except the bride’s sister) and most of us hadn’t seen each other in quite some time. But it was like no time had passed at all, despite new marriages and kids since the last time we were all together. It made for an extra special time at the wedding to reconnect with this group again.
The next morning was wedding morning! We headed downstairs for the free hotel continental breakfast before starting in on the buffing, shaving, scrubbing, and primping for the wedding. Since it was chilly and on and off raining, JB headed down to the hotel gym for a miserable two hour run in the hotel’s warm, humid, smelly workout room while Heather headed to the bride’s room. The girls did a good job of rotating through the one small bathroom in order to get everyone’s hair and makeup done, the bride being the most crucial, of course. Cindy, the bride, also gave the girls very personal and thoughtful bridesmaids gifts during the getting ready process, making everyone tear up and need to refresh their makeup.
Around 2:00, we all loaded up (husbands too) with our dresses in hand to head to the wedding venue. Once there, we helped get the final details set up – setting up the centerpieces, filling vases with fresh flowers, and designing the dessert table (that was JB’s job and it took all his willpower not to eat the whole tray of VooDoo Donuts). After heading to the bridal room to get dressed, then helping the bride into her dress, the ceremony started at 4:00pm. We got lucky that it didn’t rain, but it was an overcast and chilly day; you couldn’t see the beautiful Rockies in the background and the bridesmaids were shivering as they took their spots at the front. After a short, beautiful ceremony, the family and bridal party escaped for some photos to be taken. Then we all headed in for the party of the evening! The bride and groom did a lovely job of organizing the details of this wedding, held at a lodge, next to a campground. It had a rustic yet medieval feel to it, and they really personalized the space. Each table had a stack of books selected from a used book store and were personalized to the group of people sitting at each table, with the idea being to take a book home with you. They did the same with the water glasses, choosing vintage glasses from thrift stores, which added both fun diversity to the tables and allowed the guests to choose one to take home.
We danced the night away to all the classics, plus some great dance music that was personal to the couple. It was a lot of fun, with an active group of dancers and most of the wedding participating. A few of the groomsmen had some pretty sweet shuffling moves even, while we (The Burhos) just had fun doing our silly dances and owning our awkwardness.
The wedding ended just before 11:00pm with a glow stick send off for the happy couple. The rest of the wedding party and family got to work breaking down the venue in record time, loading everything up into a bunch of cars to get it back to the hotel. The idea was for people to head out downtown after the wedding, but it was pouring and cold at this point, not to mention everyone was a bit tired after a big day! So we headed over to one of the family member’s rooms for a short after-party, before everyone called it a night just before 1:00am.
We chose to get up early for free breakfast the next morning, rather than to sleep in. Then we showered and packed our things, checked out of the hotel, and headed with Trevor and Shea to Denver’s VooDoo Donuts. VooDoo has been growing – they were initially just in Portland, but now have 5 locations between Denver, Austin, and Oregon (three are in OR). So this makes the fourth one we’ve been to, leaving only Eugene, OR left to visit. Of course we had to check the Denver location off the list, despite having donuts last night at the wedding!
After donuts, we headed toward Oktoberfest to meet the rest of the wedding group. We stayed there for the rest of the day having a couple of German beers, hanging out with friends, eating giant bratwurst, and watching a few friends try their hand at keg bowling. We eventually settled into a bar later in the afternoon that specializes in “pickle shots” = pickle vodka and pickle juice. Don’t knock it till you try it! Before we knew it, it was time to leave for our flight that evening. We headed back toward the car, stopping for a quick dinner, and beelined toward the airport. We still needed gas and to drop off the rental car and suddenly we were running late for our flight! After an excruciatingly slow security line, we were running toward our gate as we heard our names called for last call! We made it, just barely, and settled into our individual middle seats, just happy to be on the plane. Our flight landed just before midnight in Portland, where we had the longest journey to the parking lot in history. By the time we made it back to Bertha and into bed, it was close to 2:00am. We were beat!
The next morning, we slept in outside Trevor and Shea’s house while they had to get up early to take their kids to soccer practice. We finally got out of there just before noon (with a dirty stare from their neighbor for parking our beast of a rig in their nice neighborhood for 4 nights) and headed north. We squeezed in some workouts (JB running mile repeats and Heather doing yoga and burpees) before we headed back to the airport at 3:00pm to pick up Kym and Kevin from the airport. You’ll remember Kym and Kevin from many recent blogs; they were coming back to Oregon after their week with family in South Carolina. We pulled up to the airport curbside in typical Burho fashion, with the La Cucaracha horn blaring, and picked them up. They had booked a hotel room in the area for that evening so the four of us could enjoy one last night on the town – extra bonus: the hotel let us park Bertha in their parking lot overnight. It’s funny that both us and the Tysons started this journey in SoCal only two weeks apart and are now settling down in the same state at the same time (they’re settling in Bend, OR). Saturday night was meant to be our last big hurrah before settling into our respective cities. We made a night of exploring Portland, taking the train from the hotel, starting with Vietnamese appetizers, checking out a brewery, playing some video games at an adult arcade, and ending with chicken and waffles at a diner. As much of a “big night” as it was, we ended up back home around 11:00pm, the Tysons having just come off a long travel day that started three time zones east of Portland, and us being exhausted from our own travel and wedding festivities. It was a great night though and a wonderful send off to our full time travelling with them.
On Sunday morning, we took the Tysons from the hotel over the bridge to Vancouver, where their truck and dogs were waiting for them. The people watching their dogs have a huge property that we explored a little, petting goats and leaving with a fresh dozen eggs from their henhouse (which we cooked this morning, so tasty!). We then said our goodbyes to Kym and Kevin, agreeing that we’d see each other again sooner than later. It was then time to get us moved into our new RV park! We hit the grocery store to stock up on healthy food for the coming week, and then headed to get all checked in at Jantzen Beach RV Park, where we’ll be through Oct 18th. We’re very close to downtown Portland and the park itself is easily accessible to a lot of stores in the area. After checking in, JB headed out to make a couple of bucks doing Postmates deliveries and returning with a RedBox movie in tow. We had a lovely dinner and settled in for movie night with Wonder Woman, which was really good! Gal Gadot is both a badass and unbelievably beautiful.
The past two days (Monday and Tuesday) have been spent tucked into our new “home” as we map out the next steps here and work toward putting roots in Portland. Our blog format and frequency may be changing soon as our travels slow down, but stay with us as we transition from one road to another. What a journey this has been so far…
Total RV Trip Miles: 22,360.6