In late 2010, I scored a job with the company I had stalked for most of my adult life. Nike drew me from the Midwest to its corporate headquarters outside Portland, Ore., a city I hardly knew in a state where I didn’t know a soul. My husband, Jeff, and my black lab/golden retriever/border collie-mix dog, Cooper, eagerly agreed to a cross-country move, and we road-tripped from our then-home Indianapolis, Ind., to PDX to brave this fascinating new world together.
And we fell madly in love with the rainy, kooky, hidden gem of a city.
Despite our mega-crush on Stumptown, Jeff and I are still Michiganders at heart. I grew up in a tight-knit family on a little farm among a smattering of Mid-Michigan towns famous for their cheese, pickles and corn (hence the annual Pinconning Cheesetown festival, Linwood Pickle Fest and Auburn Corn Fest). Jeff spent his childhood in the slightly-more-cosmopolitan Brighton before scooping up a soccer scholarship at Michigan State in East Lansing.
Our paths first crossed in Houston, Texas in late 2006. Before then, I had lived within a 20-mile radius of my childhood home, thoroughly enjoying my time at Pinny High, raising hell with my high school buddies through my Northwood University days, coaching 8th grade cheerleading at my alma mater, buying my first little house (and shortly after, getting Cooper) after my college graduation, and snagging my first grown-up job at Dow Chemical. Dow introduced me to PR/communications and nudged me into new cities, including Houston for a short-term work assignment. Lucky me sat next to a dimpled, single, Houston-based Michigander on a St. Louis-bound flight to catch Game 4 of the World Series, and the rest is history. Through individual and joint moves to Chicago, Brussels, Midland, Indianapolis (during which we got married in Traverse City, Mich.), and now Portland, Jeff and I have eaten, shopped, worked and made some amazing friends in pretty darn cool places.
Which brings me to this blog. Nothing makes me giddier than exploring new restaurants, local festivals, mountain hikes, craft breweries, concert venues, and any of Portland’s awesomely weird-ass events like Cartathlon or Worst Day of the Year bike ride – so I write about some of it here. My quasi-journal of my Oregon adventure provides just one way to stay connected with friends and family scattered across the country and beyond.
Thanks for stopping by.
You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times go after your heart.
What a great blog, Kristi! Funny, I’m on the board at the zoo in Saginaw, and we are running a millage campaign..and I just did a Google search for kid pictures at the zoo. I stumbled across some good ones, and then followed them to your blog, and your post about your Grandpa. Wow…small world. Glad to hear that you are coming back to Michigan! I’ll look for you at the Cornfest! Mike Kelly
Wow, how funny! Yes, we’re back to Michigan for a new adventure, which will definitely include some of my favorite festivals. 🙂 See you around – and good luck with the millage campaign!