Sleepless in Portland

We’re surrounded by nature in our comfortable Airbnb. It’s a wonderful place to relax and decompress.

I woke up at 4:00 a.m. this morning . . . again. If today is like tomorrow I’ll be able to stay awake until around 4:00 in the afternoon, then sleep until 9:00 p.m. Brett is on a similar sleep pattern so we’ll eat dinner again at around 10:00, fall back asleep at around 11:00 and then repeat the cycle all over again. Hopefully.

So far though our jet lag isn’t quite as bad as I imagined it would be and we’ve been awake enough to get up and out to do errands during the day. Yesterday we shopped at Trader Joe’s and New Seasons Market, and I bought a pair of trail shoes at a local store for hikes and walks here and when we’re in England. Today we’re going to Costco, Winco Foods, and Target, and will stop by a local clinic to get one of my prescriptions refilled. Tomorrow morning we will load up the car and take everything over to our summer apartment on the other side of the river and get settled there for the summer. We’ll have to somehow stay awake tomorrow evening too because YaYu arrives late at night.

I enjoyed one last bottle of mugi-cha, my favorite Japan beverage, on the train out to Narita. We brought home loads of tea bags to make our own this summer.

Leaving Tokyo wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, at least the physical part of it. Our taxi arrived on time and got us to the train station where we got our NEX tickets out to the airport, arriving there with plenty of time to check our bags, have a light lunch and buy just one box of KitKats (Tokyo Banana flavor). Our flight left on time. The seats were very cramped though and it was impossible to sleep, but there was a wonderful selection of movies (yes, I watched Crazy Rich Asians again and loved every moment). The food was actually good too – for the second time on a flight we had perfectly cooked chicken breasts along with great salads and side dishes. We also received a small container of Haagen-Daz ice cream mid-flight, and had a nice ham and cheese croissant sandwich along with fresh fruit for breakfast before landing.

We’re always glad when we get our big suitcases checked in. Brett’s suitcase weighed in at 22.9 kg (limit was 23kg), probably because he carried all of our dirty laundry. Mine weighed just 20.75kg.

The layover in Seattle was a hot mess though. Our flight was delayed, and they changed the gate which required us to walk a long distance through the terminal – not fun when you haven’t slept for nearly 24 hours. But, we eventually got on a plane and the flight to Portland was short and easy, our luggage was waiting for us, and in no time at all we had our rental car and were on our way to our Airbnb where we immediately fell asleep.

We splurged on fresh Northwest cherries from New Seasons Market yesterday, and are looking forward to the arrival of Oregon berries and other summer fruits which will soon be available.

Portland is so green right now! And so wet – it’s raining, of course. I had forgotten how beautiful spring is here, but up in our Airbnb we’re surrounded by big, leafy trees and it’s very relaxing and calming. The apartment is one of the nicest Airbnbs we’ve ever stayed in too. It’s beautifully decorated, and has a fantastic, gourmet kitchen, a big, luxurious bathroom and a very comfortable bed. There’s also a full-size washer and dryer. We’re actually going to be a tiny bit sad to leave tomorrow, although our next apartment is pretty nice too.

We miss Tokyo deeply and would turn around and go back if we could. We especially miss seeing the grandkids every day, and connecting with our son and daughter-in-law. We miss all the walking we did and the daily rhythm of life we established there even though it could be stressful at times. We miss the food. We know we’ll be going back in the not too distant future though, and for now we have this summer in Portland to enjoy and next fall’s visit to England coming up as well. We are blessed.

For right now all I’m hoping is that our current sleep pattern doesn’t morph into something more insidious and instead segues into something realistic and sustainable. A girl can wish, can’t she?


28 thoughts on “Sleepless in Portland

  1. Hope to see you soon. I was in Santa Fe and upon return almost overwhelmed by all the greens in such abundance.The Rhodies that surround my house are exploding. I am in a tree house over here:)


    1. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon too! The green here is just wonderful right now – I wish we had time or energy to visit the rhododendron garden right now because we’re so close. I’ll be in touch as soon as we get moved in over on the other side.


  2. Those cherries!! My favorites…can’t wait until they’re ripe here in MI. It’s insanely spring green here, too, and I’m loving it. We’re had rain, rain, rain, but it does make for a thousand shades of green. Wishing you an easy transition to Pacific Time.


    1. I adore fresh cherries, and love cherry pie, but can’t stand cherry flavored-anything, especially medicines (but candy is just as bad). The store had giant bags of cherries for just $4.99 and we couldn’t resist. They are delicious! Berry season will be here soon – can’t wait for that to arrive either.

      I have more energy than I thought I would, but unfortunately it doesn’t last very long.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We go through brutal jet lag as well, so do take heart that it is not just you, and that you will eventually come out of it though it can seem otherwise during the worst of it, I know. It’s so bad for me that I will generally swear off any future travel to far off time zones, and insist I mean it ‘this time.’ Of course, I then forget how miserable it is and off and running planning our next adventure . . .

    Am curious as to why you are changing apts so quickly? Is there a little story behind the switching that you shared here previously, and that I missed? Regardless, enjoy them both!

    Here, if it makes you feel any better, it rained all morning, though it has not stopped. It’s been a gray May and then some, and the sunny skies of April have been sorely missed!

    Heading out shortly to walk along the beach in San Clemente now that the skies are clearing. Will think of you!


    1. The jet lag is actually not as bad this time as I thought it would be, but it’s still not good. What I’m mostly afraid of is that it will take longer to return to normal because of the length of time we spent in Japan versus just a few days. We’ll see – I’m happy for the long stretch awake that we’re getting from morning to afternoon right now as we have had errands to run.

      When we booked the long-term stay in Portland the apartment wasn’t available until the 17th so we had to book another place for the first three nights after we arrived. It’s working out well as our errands for now are all over here on the east side of the river.

      I’d love to go out and walk but I’m still too tired and doubt I would get very far. We’re located very near to the Marquam Trail in town so will be hiking that once we get settled next week.

      Temperatures here were in the 90s last week, but it’s cool and rainy now – we had to get our cold weather clothes back out again! Usually the weather gets nice toward the end of June and summers here are glorious!


  4. Back home till you go to England! I am sure, you will relax, get lots of rest and have fun back in Portland too. Enjoy your home time!


    1. Portland does feel like home, even though we’re staying in a rental. We know our way around the city, know who to call for what, and have friends here. We are going to use our time to get caught up and to get some rest.


  5. Welcome Home!
    I had some of those Cherries last week, not bad! I too can’t wait for the local produce.
    Enjoy your time here with the girls!
    We too will be in Eugene, but I believe Luoyi walks on the 17th, it is a shorter walk, less graduates.
    Hope to see you this trip!


    1. Hi Sandi! The cherries are really good – we’re very glad we picked up a bag. I know they’ll be out in the farmers’ markets soon, but I’m happy to get a head start.

      The girls won’t be here this summer! Meiling is heading back to NYC after graduation; WenYu is staying back in Boston (internship), and YaYu is heading over to Japan for the summer – she will be there to watch the kids and help out with the housework for her brother and sister-in-law. She’ll have a wonderful time though. Meiling walks on the 17th as well – she’s just doing a ceremony with her department instead of the big one – so maybe we’ll see you there.

      We’re going to be staying over on the west side, up near the hospitals – something new for us.


  6. That sun room looks a perfect place to read and nap. Great AirBnB find!

    I wish you could send some of the rain here. We’re in drought and everything’s so dry.

    Look forward to reading and seeing pictures of some trail hikes.


    1. Both Brett and I could happily live in this apartment if it were available. The sun room is lovely although there’s a bit of traffic noise. The bedroom is quiet though, thank goodness.

      I’m so sorry about the drought – an extension of the summer heat I’m guessing. Sad too because Queensland got too much rain and loads of flood damage. Actually, it was getting quite warm in Tokyo right before we left so the rain and cooler temperatures here are a nice change. But I still hope the sun is out soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The rhodies should be in full bloom in Portland. What part of town is your current Airbnb in? We haven’t done the Marquam Trail so I’m going to have to look that up. We have done West Hills hiking, though. I forgot where you will be staying in England. We just got back from a 56 mile Cotswold Walk, our second in the Cotswolds. Really love that area.


    1. Our first place here is very near to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, but sadly we’ve been either too busy or too tired to go. But, it’s someplace we plan to visit sometime this summer – I’ve been a few times but Brett hasn’t ever seen it.

      We’re staying in the Cotswolds, in the village of Blockley, about 3 miles away from Moreton-in-Marsh. We recently learned the Father Brown Mysteries were filmed in Blockley! We plan to get in as many miles as we can before the bad weather sets in – 56 miles is impressive!


  8. Welcome “home” to Portland! The weather has been beautiful here for much of May, unseasonably warm and dry even, so I’m sure we’ll get nice weather again soon! I have loved reading your blog for years, since before you started the paper chain to count down to Brent’s retirement and your move to Kauai, so feel like you’re an old friend. I live SW Portland just off Terwilliger so not too far from where you’ll be staying!


    1. It does feel like coming home when we come to Portland, mainly because we know our way around so well. It’s been raining ever since we got here, but I know that before the summer is over we’ll have blue skies, and probably more than a few days where we wished it was raining again! You really are close to where we’re staying; I will message you after we get moved in and hopefully we can meet up for coffee some day.

      Thanks for being such a loyal reader – I appreciate it more than you know!


      1. Would love that. I am looking to retire within a couple of years myself and hope lots of frugal travel is in my future, so would love to meet you in person and pick your brain!


      2. We’re settled in, but have YaYu with us now and lots of errands to take care of. She leaves on the 30th, but I will be in touch before then and we can figure something out – I’m looking forward to meeting you!


  9. Very pretty apartment. Looking forward to many pictures as I have never been to Portland. I’m glad you had a fairly good trip and good luck with the jet lag.


    1. I love this apartment and could happily stay here all summer – it’s big without being oversized, and has lots of windows and skylights. The kitchen is pretty amazing too, especially after the tiny one we had in Tokyo.

      Right now it feels like the jet lag is winning – I woke up at 10:00 p.m. last night and stayed awake all night. I will try and sleep this afternoon but get up in time to go get YaYu at the airport.


  10. The apartment looks lovely, and I’m sure it’s nice to be somewhere that you know how to manage & handle, getting around, running errands, etc. The weather has been a really mixed bag lately. It was 90 last week in the northwest, and raining every day in the bay area. My sister is flying in today from PDX, and we’re running a half marathon together on Sunday. Apparently, in the rain. 😦

    Hope you get lots of rest, that the jet lag goes by quickly & you’re able to enjoy your time with the girls!


    1. We had to say goodbye to the wonderful apartment, but our more permanent summer residence is pretty nice too – we’ll be happy here.

      We were out running more errands today and the rain held off but it’s coming down in buckets now. I’m glad we’re inside, although we have more errands to do tomorrow and the rain is supposed to continue. Yeah Portland!

      Slept a long nine hours last night and got up at a somewhat decent hour. I am going to stay awake the rest of the day today and go to bed at a regular hour and hopefully will be on the track to overcoming the jet lag!


    1. Much as we love Tokyo, we are glad to be back in the U.S. for the summer. The weather will get better as the summer goes along, but it’s pretty nuts right now – we had to get our cold weather clothes back out when we arrived!

      Yes, more adventures to come. That’s for linking to me on Satisfying Retirement. Hopefully now that we’re back in the U.S. I’ll be able to start commenting again.


    1. LOL! She was undecided about participating in a ceremony, especially one so large, but found out her department holds their own so we encouraged her to do that one instead.

      Although we love traveling, it’s great to be back for a short break in the U.S. Our apartment for the summer is very nice, maybe the most comfortable we’ve stayed in.


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