Day 11: Portland

The first time I visited Portland I knew I should never live there, but I really wanted to. In Portland, I would have become complacent. There was no machine to rage against. I would have grown a shitty mustache, joined a moped gang, and retired at 25. It would have been awesome.  Returning to Portland again I silently reminded myself: do not fall in love with Portland.

We arrived in Portland, surprisingly, ahead of sunset. Justin had spent two weeks in Portland already this year, and selected a location for us to meet friends and remedy our sobriety.

For the first time on the journey, each member of the bus crew brought their own friends to the table. Sitting there at the Horse Brass Pub, was a tenuous network of individuals, brought together largely by the bus.

Beers and conversation at the Horse Brass Pub.

Beers and conversation at the Horse Brass Pub.

I was met by my old friend Kadi. In high school, Kadi had short, spiked, kool-aid blue hair and a smile that could light up a room. These days she’s a natural brunette with long wavy hair, but her smile’s just the same. We talked about old friends neither of us had seen since high school, and how strange it was to be almost a decade away from that experience. I reminded her of the last time I visited and had just missed out on her boyfriends moped rally, to which she replied, “well, they’re having another one tomorrow night…” I bit my lip trying to contain myself. I couldn’t give in to the temptation. I can do this. I can live without moped rallies, sitting in the middle of swarm of buzzing engines…

The next morning Justin and I woke up alone on the bus. Vince had followed his friend Adam home so they could get an early start into the marshes to look for geckos or whatever it is geeky bio-kids do with their free time. I woke before Justin, and as I was in dire need of finding a facility, I gave Justin a light nudge and asked if he wanted me to bring him some coffee when I returned. Still groggy, he mumbled from his cocoon-like sleeping bag “no, it’s just down the street. Just take a right out of the parking lot.” So I drove Justin to his favorite coffee shop in the world, and he didn’t even have to get out of bed. We’ll put that on the “pro” list for living out of a bus.

I’m not a dependent coffee drinker, and only have a cup every other week or so, but Heart Roasters was easily one of the most impressive coffee shops I’ve ever been in. For one, I could drink the coffee straight without making a disgusted face. (This is unheard of. I usually have to load my coffee with sugar to get that sweet flavor I crave.) More than that though, was the consideration that had gone into the space. It was abundantly clear that every machine, tool, and vessel had been hand-selected. There was little need for decoration. Aesthetically, their exquisite equipment worked as standalone pieces, particularly the bean roaster.

The Probat roaster at Heart.

The Probat roaster at Heart.

Not only was this a premiere model bean roaster imported from Europe (so I was assured by Justin) but it had been modified with a series of sensors hooked into an impossibly thin 27″ iMac, allowing them to control the temperature profile of the roasting process with obscene precision. What I loved about this place was how seriously it took itself. They did not overcharge, or put on pretentious airs, they were simply dedicated to making the best coffee humanly possible. Over the course of an hour Justin ordered three different coffees and bought $60 worth of beans. He was pretty jazzed that morning.

With the days fix ingested, we moved the bus to Michael’s driveway, one of Justin’s friends from the night before. For the first time since Devil’s Tower almost a week earlier, we were able to charge the bus’s entirely drained battery. Surviving on a fixed ration of electricity was proving extremely difficult, and we could often be found sneaking laptops off into restaurants and coffee shops to top ourselves off. For the last few days our battery meter had been going haywire, with the battery levels dropping so low that it twice erroneously reset itself to “100% full”, leaving us with no clue how much power we had actually drained.

Recharging the bus house battery at Mike's house.

Recharging the bus house battery at Mike’s house.

The battery meter has so far proven to be one of the most valuable systems on the bus, and has given us a new appreciation for the amount of electricity we consume. On this meter we’re able to monitor the current battery voltage, the amps being consumed, and an estimation of the battery’s remaining capacity. Seeing the amps jump when we plug in a device, and watching capacity slowly drain over the course of a day has made us incredibly conscious about which devices are being left on, and whether they really need to be left on. The batteries are being charged by the good old-fashioned grid, and not by any shiny new sustainable technologies, but I think the idea of sustainability is equally about where the resources come from and how they are used. Being able to easily monitor electrical usage is a feature that could be easily integrated into any home and help to address consumption. The architectural community often seems too focused on new construction to address sustainability (probably because it photographs well), when small retrofit solutions could really be making a huge difference.

After getting getting ourselves hooked up and cleaned up we made our way to the food cart corral downtown, to revisit the best Korean tacos Justin has ever had. This is probably what did me in. I’ve never seen so many food carts in one place. I’ve seen them sprinkled here and there, and every once in a while a smattering, but this was a heaping pile. Justin was completely unfazed. Being much more familiar with this city he informed me that there were food truck corrals all over the city. Oases of deliciously greasy food served from a diverse collection of tiny trailers. My circuits were overloading.

The Frying Scotsman.

The Frying Scotsman.

As we worked our way toward the Korean tacos, Justin decided to stop for a quick snack, and ordered us a piece of fried haddock from The Frying Scotsman. Seafood is generally better on the coast but this was a new experience for me. Swimming between the haddock and its crispy breading it seemed was at least half a stick of butter. The initial crunch of every bite gave way to tender interior, dripping with juices, that would instantly melt in your mouth. Justin had to stop me from buying another so I could try his precious tacos.

The pork tacos at Korean Twist.

The pork tacos at Korean Twist.

To his credit, these tacos were crazy; savory shredded pork covered with a bright purple cabbage. They were mini flavor explosions, sweet, sour, savory, tangy… but truth be told, i have a terribly insensitive palate. If noses wore glasses I’d have coke-bottle frames, and it affects my ability to pick up the subtleties in flavors. The tacos were delicious, but I fear their complexity may have been lost on such a simpleton. The most impressive aspect of the experience, however, was the overwhelming variety of foods available. An entire city block flooded with food carts. Had I gone to the food-truck-court alone, I would have starved from an inability to decide.

While at the food trucks we met with Shelly, a friend of Justin’s who had babysat him when he grew up in Germany while she was studying abroad as a grad student from OSU. Aside from my own mother, Shelly was one of the most supportive, maternal personalities I’ve ever encountered. She had nothing but praise for the work we were doing, even if she did think the bus could use a bit of a woman’s touch. (I was of course, opposed to any form of decoration.) From the food carts we walked with Shelly to Blue Star Donuts, which Justin assured us was better than Voodoo. I was a little crabby that I was being cheated of bacon maple goodness, but I followed along. What I had instead was the most outrageous key-lime donut I’ll ever encounter. The donut was delightfully fluffy, and had a neon green interior with a flavor that was bright and sharp. It was a gourmet pastry, that happened to be in the form of a donut. It was an incredible combination of comfort food and delicate dessert.

Blue Star Donuts.

Blue Star Donuts.

That’s when it dawned on me. I love how seriously Portland takes itself.

That night we went out with Justin’s friends for some good beer and great conversation at Hair of the Dog Brewing Company. We sat on their patio, or rather their street corner in an industrial part of town, discussing topics we didn’t understand terribly well (well, Ben went to med school, so he probably knew what the hell was going on), enjoying a fantastic crimson sunset. Afterwards we stopped by Emily and Kevin’s new house to check out the renovation progress. And then when the night should have ended, we went out again. Someone’s cousin was supposed to play a set at the Spare Room and we just missed them, but stayed to hear Lewi Longmire‘s Northwest country-rock rendition of warpigs, among other things. I missed out on the moped rally, but it probably would have made it too hard to leave.

Enjoying a perfect summer evening outside Hair of the Dog Brewery.

Enjoying a perfect summer evening outside Hair of the Dog Brewery.

That night we crashed on the bus, not quite ready to leave Portland. We were having too much fun. The next day Vince returned from a successful salamander scavenger hunt, and hours behind schedule we were on our way. After a few pitstops to pick up supplies, diesel, and my credit card from the Spare Room, we worked our way out of town and hit the interstate. Finally we were on the open road.

Wait, guys, what was that thump? Did the skylight just fly off?

82 Responses to Day 11: Portland

  1. Michaela

    So happy I stumbled upon your amazing journey today! I am thoroughly impressed.

    Great post, I can’t wait for tomorrow’s.
    @michaelwithana

    • Hank Butitta

      Thanks for following along!

      • grandmothergena

        Would love to take a ride in your new abode. Ya coming down south anytime?
        Great idea young man. You have a future.
        Be safe, Gena

  2. Russell H.

    I love reading about your travels in that bus. Keep having fun and drive safe. May i suggest solar panels for powering your bus system.

    • Hank Butitta

      Solar panels are mighty tempting, but it’s final destination is deep in the woods, so I’m hesitant to make an investment like that for the short term…

  3. KC

    Hey! I found you through Colossal, & my daughter (who is excited to be returning to public school after being home-schooled for the last year) & I were totally geeking out over your school bus creation! Then we were bummed out after seeing no planned, East Coast leg to this trip. Ah well, I suppose you do have other things that need doing, eh? I’m sure you’ve been inspired countless times along the way. We’ll just have to catch you next time. BTW, the East Coast may, in many ways, hold a gentler beauty, but it’s just as breath-taking. We hope you get the opportunity to give it a run someday. Cheers! ~Kimberly & Jess

    • Hank Butitta

      We’re thinking about an East Coast journey next year, we’ll see what happens! Thank you!

  4. Sandie

    When will you be in SoCal? Can strangers tour your bus? So many questions! Thanks!

    • Hank Butitta

      We missed SoCal this time around, jetting east after SF. It’s too bad because we’ve gotten a very positive reaction from that part of the state, we may have to make a point of visiting again!

  5. Whitney Evans

    Hank: before this site completely busts open, I wanted to say that I admire you greatly. I am sure it is not all going to be as dreamy as your pictures and videos, and there will be bumps (hopefully small ones) along the way, but way to follow your passion! You are a great example for younger generations to find and follow their dreams. Your’s is so lovely. Congratulations on your courage and perseverance, may they both remain strong for you throughout this journey. Kindly, a fan that wants to put my two-cents in before you go completely viral (btw, found this through a random FB page today) All my good wishes to you and yours, Whitney

    • Hank Butitta

      Thank you so much! The pictures are a bit idealistic, but they also don’t capture all of the other emotions and moments on the bus. As a whole, they’re very representative of how I feel about the journey.

      Thanks again Whitney, I’m so glad people enjoy it! Ciao!

  6. Veronica

    What a great idea! Looks fun. Makes me wish I were there.

    • Hank Butitta

      It is indeed fun! Wish we could take everyone!

  7. Eugene

    What an amazing project, journey, and adventure! Looking forward to reading how the rest of the trip unfolds.

    • Hank Butitta

      It’s a heck of an adventure! I’ll try cranking these posts out for you as soon as I can! 😉

  8. Jonathan

    brother, love your work.

    I especially appreciate the versatility of the design and the correlative multiple use functionality of the space.

    If I were to attempt a similar rebuild, would there be an option to get access to plans and such to mimic the approach?

    Jonathan

    • Hank Butitta

      I’m particularly proud of the flexible functionality. There are certainly quirks to work out, but it’s been a very hospitable space to use!

      I’d like to make plans available for anyone to use, but it’s going to take some organization of my materials first. Keep an eye out, I hope to have them up on this site before the year is over!

      • Ann

        really, you need to write a book! DETAILS, pictures, drawings, and lots of commentary about how it was to live in it.

        This is a wonderful blog!

  9. Nathan

    Heya! I see you’re bound for SF shortly. As a fellow bus enthusiast (who can’t afford to do it just yet) I’d love to buy you a beer and see your mothership first hand. Feel free to get in touch!

    • Hank Butitta

      It’s tough to turn down free beer, but we already cruised on through SF, sorry we missed you! May all your bus dreams come true!

  10. Bowhaus

    What? Portland Oregon, but not Portland Maine???

    • Hank Butitta

      Next time! (Plus, what an incredible user name.)

  11. Anna

    What a great project and adventure! I admire your passion and hope to read more about your expedition in your future blog entries. I came upon your site while reading an article about the bus on the NY Daily News website. Safe journey.

    • Hank Butitta

      There a few more adventures that will be posted soon! Thank you so much for the well wishes!

  12. J Kretschmer

    One of my architecture college classmates posted your story on Facebook and that’s how I learned about you and your bus. As an architect I’ve been looking at alternative construction for several years including reuse of shipping containers. I’d really love to see your bus in person. I’ve noticed that you are skipping through Silicon Valley. Any chance I could tempt you to stop at the Google Campus in Mountain View, California for a lunch break and tour?

    • Hank Butitta

      Oh my god that sounds like fun, I’m really bummed we didn’t get in touch before we left the bay area, seeing the google campus would have been incredible! Thanks so much for the offer.

  13. Daniel

    I just stumbled onto this adventure you’re having today and I’ve been hooked. It’s too bad I didn’t find this before you guys came through my hometown of Portland! At least you guys had the chance to try the food carts before you left on your journey. Enjoy your trip guys. I’ll be back often to read about your progress.

    • Hank Butitta

      Don’t worry, I’ll be back for more food truck action soon enough.

  14. Zan Gibbs

    Oh I am so sad I just found out about this! I live in a converted school bus in Portland OR, and would have had you over had I known! If you ever come back, get in touch (my bus doesn’t move anymore). Bus life is awesome.

    • Hank Butitta

      So cool! Rock on bus life!

  15. John Burkett

    Greetings from SE Portland. Sorry I missed the bus. As a veteran of RV and boat camping, I found amusement at your description of battery issues. I love the 3.2KW Onan generator in my RV, but my brother yanked the one out of his RV-desiring the space instead.

    Best wishes for a safe and blessed journey.

    • Hank Butitta

      It’ll be a while before I can afford an Onan! But maybe a honda… Thanks for the well wishes!

      • Ann

        keep checking online. I’m amazed at the buys my husband has made of used low use high ticket items for our RV. Some ridiculously cheap! Just keep looking.

  16. vivian

    Legitimately geeking out over your bus. Have you already gone through SF? I would love to visit you and your ride!

    • Hank Butitta

      Vivian, we already left! We had a heck of a ride through Berkeley, sorry we missed you!

  17. Jamie Griffiths

    Where are you now? Your last post was ten days ago.. with that ominous description of a thump-ing sound as you drove away… from Portland!!! How’s it going?

    • Hank Butitta

      Slowly filling in the gaps, but we’re all good! Thanks for the concern!

  18. Valya

    Yes: your blog is going to explode in about a hot radiator second… Just missed you guys on the freeway, I’d bet, coming the other way last week -back- from Oregon in an RV that my other half has so perfectly-electrically-monitored with precision charge times when needed, I’m always either amazed or on the edge of my seat, so I feel for you on the constant powerdrain fingernail biting.
    Wishing you the ultimate of fun over frenzy in this trip (and I know you’ll have it!) — somehow, I have a feeling this journey is not only going to give you a lifetime of memories, but just as many opportunities. Soak up every second…(and always stop for ‘the experiences’…they’ll be worth it, and you’ll never regret ‘making up that one hour on the road’.)

    • Hank Butitta

      Our battery is hovering at 50% so it might be time to start biting nails!
      We’re having some great experiences, and seeing some great opportunities pop up, so glad I took the risk!

      Best of luck on future RV adventures!

  19. Julia

    A late-comer to your website, although – given that I found you via a Facebook link from the Trust for Public Land – I’m guessing that the flood cometh. Anyway, the bus is fantastic, as is your journey, and Portland. I look forward to reading future posts!

    • Hank Butitta

      Thanks so much!

  20. Jenne

    Hi! Saw this link in my cousin’s Facebook. Your reader profiles has just reached the PHILIPPINES! hehehe 🙂 II think your Bus is Amazing! Loved reading your blog. Looking forward to more stories. God bless you in your travels.

    • Hank Butitta

      Going international! yeah! Thanks!

  21. jodisteeves

    Such a cool journey!! I still say the bus should come to Canada though!!

    • Hank Butitta

      Maybe next round?

  22. John

    My son is between majors and partially retired in Portland. Where everyone has three part time jobs, none over 15 hours a week, in the service industry. Fancy restaurant to pay the bills, brewpub for drink discounts and food cart for the adrenaline rush. Of course the only transportation he has is a fixed gear beater bike.

    • Hank Butitta

      I know, it’s the best place ever, right?

  23. Kristina

    Congratulations. This is a wonderful project and not just because it is a novelty. I’m an artist in San Francisco and in my neighborhood, the Mission, I take morning walks where I have seen an increasing number of car, truck, and van campers parked along the streets due to the rising, prohibitive cost of housing here. Recently, tents have also been popping up with more frequency. If you plan to come to San Francisco next, I would like to show you this if you are interested. (send me a mail) There is now a necessity for this type of housing in cities such as SF. Perhaps people here can take some ideas and inspiration from your project.

    • Hank Butitta

      I really hope the people who are considering tiny life get the chance to see this project! I’m sorry we missed you in San Francisco, it would have been great to see people living the tiny life, even if it is from necessity.

  24. SK Gorms

    Hey fabulous trip and what a great bus! Where are you now? If you pass through Ukiah, CA-heart of Mendocino county, you are welcome to park your bus in my driveway and explore the small town wine country.

    • Hank Butitta

      We already checked out of CA, but wine country does sound like a nice break from driving…

  25. Gene

    Hi, found a story about your trip on a french newspaper (LeFigaro).
    Great story, beautiful pics – Best wishes on your journey !
    Gene.

    • Hank Butitta

      So glad it crossed the pond! Thank you!

  26. Jay

    Here’s an idea for your roof. You’ve got the space and it would solve your power problems.

    http://www.tosimplify.net/2013/06/500.html#more

    • Hank Butitta

      Solar cells would be a great addition, and we’re looking into it!

  27. FunnyfarmOR

    Beautiful sentiments, well written entries, amazing photography, your blog is going to open the eyes of countless people to the wonders of our world, doing more with less and not taking what you have for granted.

    I, like so many other readers, have been flashing back to my travels across the country over the decades. From the family station wagon pulling a 13-foot trailer, the VW camper vans, the refrigerator truck cum moving van (with myself and two siblings traveling across the U.S. in the back with our view restricted to a pass-through window to the cab) that moved us East, to our 3,000+ mile move back West in a school bus, adventures, people and places are coming back in a flood as I share in your amazing journey. The road is not always kind to our modes of transportation, but the people we are surrounded by are almost always warm, welcoming and inquisitive.

    Thank you for sharing your lives with us here.

  28. Jessica

    Stumbled upon your blog today at work and have caught up to today. Thank you for posting your adventure and letting me live a little through your journey. I will probably never get to do anything as crazy as a bus trip so I will doubly enjoy yours.

    BTW, I came upon your story through abcnews.com. God speed on your travels.

  29. Derrick

    On the subject of your power, why not incorporate solar panels in the top of the bus so you could be less dependent on the grid.

    • Hank Butitta

      I originally opted out of solar, thinking it would be parked in the shady woods too much to be useful, but as much as we’re on the road it could be very handy!

  30. PeterJ

    Hey! I just came across your adventure after it was published in the Daily Mail (UK). Sound like you could start this up for tourists. Have a safe journey.

  31. eelary

    Burst into laughter, because I was thinking the same thing when I read: “Had I gone to the food-truck-court alone, I would have starved from an inability to decide.”
    Well done and safe travels!

  32. Nic Scogna

    Couldn’t agree more about Portland. Its a love hate relationship..

    love to go. Hate to leave. But always have to.

  33. Ellen

    Hey! I just learned about you on My Modern Met. I live in Portland and I’m so glad you had a great time here. I hope the skylight situation got fixed and I will be following your journey. Best of continued luck!!

    • Ellen

      Also I’m bummed I didn’t get to see your bus, from all your photos you were both in my residential (close-in industrial/residential) and work neighborhoods (downtown-those Korean tacos and the Flying Scotsman are food carts in the pod across the street from where I work). Some great parts of PDX for sure!

    • Justin Evidon

      Thanks Ellen – it’s pretty hard to not have a good time in Portland…

  34. Joe

    I live in Portland too! Just saw this on my eff book feed. Wish I could have checked your work out in person. What’s not to love about PDX, right? Keep up the good work.

  35. Sirene

    [wailing and gnashing of teeth] You came through Portland and we (or at least I) missed you and your magic bus! Are you trying to keep your trip plans on the down-low to avoid too much publicity?

    • Hank Butitta

      Not intentionally, but we are a bit behind on updates! Sorry we missed you!

  36. Karen B.

    Hi Hank! I got a degree in Interior Design from Marylhurst University just south of Portland. I wish I would have found out about your project sooner before you passed through my awesome city. I really admire your thesis and completely agree with you that working full scale is the only way one understands relationships of materials etc. I wish I could have built my thesis entirely because I would have learned SO much more than all of the theoretical volleying of reviewers’ pompous opinions. Great work and enjoy your road trip! PS – Portland IS that cool,even if you live here 😉

  37. Helen

    This is incredible. First the idea of the bus. And then to bring it pass and if that weren’t enough to take the journey and share it with the world. Thank you. You are living your dream. I am about to be 60 years old and I now home bound, this means so much to me you have no idea. Have a great like. I look forward to more shots and experiences from your journey. Thanks again

    • Hank Butitta

      Thank you so much!

  38. Peggy Ann

    Heard the story on WLEX, Lexington, KY news, thought I would check it out! I’m a 62 year old Grandmother, and wonder, Ok young man how are you paying for the gas and the expense of “just taking off ” for a while! Of course, you don’t owe me an answer! Just curious!

    • Hank Butitta

      No mortgage, no kids, and a supportive family have made my life very flexible; I’m extremely lucky and grateful!

  39. Peggy Ann

    Sorry, forgot to add, I did enjoy reading the journal and see the cool photos to go along with the journal! I will check back later!

  40. Bob

    More thoughts on power..
    There are several options available, not mutually exclusive..

    1} There is of course, solar, as previously mentioned.
    2} Depending on the voltages of the various systems, you might be able to install a battery isolator to allow you to charge your house batteries from the engine when it is running, however that might be a bit tricky if the bus runs on 24v, and your house power is 12v.
    3} Generator. Some of the smaller portable generators have a direct 12v charging output.

    Sorry to hear that you’ve already passed through the SF bay area.. I’m in the south bay, and would love to see the bus if you get back this way..

    Have a safe journey.

  41. Hava Stern

    My friend in Japan sent me your link. You are being seen all over the world. My late husband and I traveled all over the U.S. in our little ’67 Datsun hatchback. As high as the Bristal Cone forest in California. A must see but the bus might not make the 11,000 climb to the giant trees in northern California. We had a holly hotpot that we cooked everything in, from potatoes to pasta, very creative. I have enjoyed catching up on your travels. Enjoy your adventures, make new friends and inspire the rest of the world to rethink everything. Have you tried some solar panels on the roof for extra power? Bus on!

  42. Jonathan T

    Hank
    Living the journey with you and lovin it.
    I live just outside of Portland, sad I missed out and yes I do have facial hair not a requirement for Portland though. Live for the Voodoo but your lime love feast put bucket list item 3 on the list.
    •••
    I agree with Derrick about solar panels, looking at using them in my design but if your life leads to a lot of road adventures (and it should it you keep this up) you will need to think about the wind shear when they are folded down for travel. It’s is way doable and your 50% batteries will love you like Unicorns and Rainbows
    •••
    Safe Travels
    J TELFER

  43. David Dickson

    So glad I found this blog to follow your road trip. Amazing conversion of the bus. Its funny, but whenever I see a school bus, I automatically think ” RV Conversion”!!, life long fantasy. Have fun!

  44. mallthus

    “The first time I visited Portland I knew I should never live there, but I really wanted to. In Portland, I would have become complacent. There was no machine to rage against. I would have grown a shitty mustache, joined a moped gang, and retired at 25. It would have been awesome. Returning to Portland again I silently reminded myself: do not fall in love with Portland.”

    That is the best paragraph I have ever read in a blog. Ever.

    Hell. It’s right up there with Hemingway and Adams.

    Well played, sir. Well played.

    • Ann

      Mallthus, good point. I remember Steinbeck’s Travels with Charlie with great fondness from reading it years ago. This blog has something of that feel.

  45. Great Grandma Ginny

    Hi Hank,

    Well I am all caught up. I am not certain this is the correct place to post but all those last few pages did not offer a comment option.

    As a representative of the 1940 generation I would like to say you have given me reason to believe that maybe our world still has a chance to make it to the next century. I am very impressed with everything you have written. Your adventure, your friends, you passion for your craft and your extraordinary writing style. My only druthers would be for you to imbibe a little less; After all you have a great deal of responsibility now, not only to your safety & that of the others on the bus, but to the many thousands of us who are growing to think of you as our adventurous FRIEND.

    We anxiously await your entries to come, to learn more of what you are learning, to see you succeed in your adventure and subsequently in whatever you decide to do with your career. Thank you for taking all of us along with you.

    Be safe & blessings,
    GG Ginny

    • Hank Butitta

      Ginny! Thank you so much for all your comments! (As a note, it was unusual for us to be drinking so regularly. I think it had mostly to do with how quickly we were traveling from city to city, only having a short amount of time to spend with friends in each place. Life in one location is so much more low key. Now that we’ve returned to Minneapolis our drink of choice is coffee 😉
      Thanks for your well wishes!
      Hank

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