Touring the East Coast
Greetings friends! Happy almost summertime!
I just got back to Portland after about 1.5 weeks out east in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina visiting friends and family. It felt great to travel again, especially riding Amtrak which I got to do a lot of as I went up and down the coast. I'll tackle my trip below, but as for how things in Portland have been...
Fake Summer in Portland
A few weeks back we had our annual "fake summer" where it gets up to like 85 degrees every day for a full week in Portland before turning back to 60 and raining for about 2 more months. It's always a sham, but for one glorious week you get a preview of what's coming in the summer. This year's fake summer meant seeing lots of friends outside along with getting my second COVID shot with my friend Joel. I'm a fully vaccinated baby now and ready for kisses!
So, on to the big trip out east. I first flew to Philadelphia to see my friend and fellow namesake Joe Tatum. I spent a few days with him exploring / eating / watching Girls5Eva. I'd only ever been there in the winter so I was excited to experience a bit of Philly during the springtime. I quite like it there. After living out west for so long I'd kind of forgotten about how old cities in the northeast are (they can be charming as hell).
Look at these damn rowhouses. I mean, COME ON. Along with being generally cute, Philly has a pretty great food scene and we got to partake in some of that deliciousness, including at Helm (in which Joe is photographed at above) which I highly really loved. It's a tad spendy for my cheap ass, but very much worth the splurge! We also checked out The Kettle Black where I got a tasty black (still don't know why it was black) bagel and a very good strawberry basil cream cheese.
We also went to the art museum, the gay bear bar, and went to Joe's friend's house for dinner. Shout outs to Dom for the incredible Italian food, Eliza and Will for chatting about ancestry, and Luke for being a self-talker. I give Philadelphia two thumbs up and it's definitely worth a trip if you've never been.
From Philadelphia, I took the train down to North Carolina where I spent a few days at my parents' house. It was the first time I had seen my nephew in about a year and a half and he's a totally different person now. He speaks in full sentences and everything which I way more fun than when he was silent. He liked showing me his paw patrol collection over and over. He loves Thomas the Tank Engine just like I did when I was a kid so I went out to my parents' garage and dug out an old Thomas book from my childhood to give to him. He loved it and I loved passing it on.
After a quiet nice visit to North Carolina, I jumped back on the train and headed up to Richmond to meet Charlie and then drive to Fredericksburg where his sister and her family live. The catalyst of this whole trip was actually for us to surprise her for her birthday (though Charlie's dad spilled the beans at the last minute). We went to a few of Charlie's niece/nephew's sporting events, hung out with his family, and I got diarrhea from a cookout milkshake. High highs and low lows, I suppose. Seriously though, his family's awesome and I like visiting them. I only took a few photos while we were there so here are a few I scraped together.
Heading into Summer
It was great to travel again. Life feels so much more normal these days and Charlie and I are getting ready to move! We're moving into the second floor of a big pink foursquare house about 3 blocks away from our current place. Our friends Zack and Evan live on the main level and it'll be super fun to live right above them. It's also pet friendly so I can finally adopt a cute cat to be my best friend. 🐈 💕
I'm turning 30 in about a month so I gotta start figuring out what I want to do for that, too. Anyways. Until next time! xx