Laura and Autumn had the pleasure to join me on a business trip to Chicago last week. After being with FEMA for a little over year, spending 50 nights on the road, and traveling almost 40,000+ air miles, it was nice to have family come along for the ride. Chicago was our destination because the annual FEMA Mitigation Planners Workshop was held here this year. This was my second visit to Chicago this year, Laura and Autumn’s first ever, and it was a great visit to the Windy City.
We have history of moving. A lot! Ever since we left our childhood homes in San Jose, California (Brett) and Newberg, Oregon (Laura), we’ve moved frequently for a variety of reasons. Job. Change of scenery. School. Most moves have been our decision, though, we’ve been more enthusiastic about some more than others.
So exactly how many places have we called home in the last decade? 17 to be exact.
7:45pm: So Laura decides she wants to get out of the house this evening since my mom is in town and will be able to watch Ethan. I was in for the evening, having settled into a cozy pair of sweats and sitting on the couch reading the latest issue of Mother Earth News. I decide what the heck since we don’t get out much. We drive around a bit and Laura says she would like to go by the University of Oregon and see how long the line is to hear Obama speak tonight.
This event was the big thing in town tonight, and with the arena having a capacity of 9,000 or so, I knew we would not get in. People had been in line for hours waiting to see him. I am all for it though, even if it meant we just have a nice walk across campus holding hands. Well, we park the car and walk about 10 minutes only to find a line of thousands. We walk past the rec center, the soccer fields, Hayward Field and finally come to the end of the line. We realize we won’t make it in, but let’s just wait until someone says its full. Keep in mind, this event is free. About two minutes later, groups of people are walking past us, saying the arena is full and we should head to the overflow area to hear him speak in 45 minutes. We following the small groups heading to the overflow area (the back of the arena) where we end up standing about 7 or 8 feet from a barricade. Speakers are playing the opening acts for the event. These are state politicians speaking inside the arena, but no one outside is really listening.
We stand around from 8:30 until 9:12pm when Obama comes walking down a ramp with secret service in tow. The thousands outside scream and chant “Yes We Can” as he takes a microphone and addresses the crowd. He spoke only for a few minutes and then proceeded to shake hundreds of hands. We had a great location because he was about 7 feet from us. He then made his way inside the arena where 10,000 are waiting to hear him speak for the next 45 minutes. It was a wonderful to be part of history.
Here is a video of Obama speaking to the crowd we were in. You can only hear him because of the angle of the person filming.
Ethan enjoys his first good snow of his life. It snowed a few inches in a matter of hours. We had no snow in our area until 7am today. The dogs are having a great time eating and playing in it. Ethan just looked around.
Our fourth anniversary just passed us. It has been a wonderful four years of marriage and a little over six years of friendship. We marked the occasion, as we always do, with a dinner at a local restaurant. This year, we were up in McMinnville visiting Laura’s family. Here is our list of locations where we have celebrated this wonderful occasion.
Honeymoon meal: Bar Harbor, Maine – a wonderful meal of lobster
Year 1: Yerevan, Armenia – a traditional Armenian meal at one of the local restaurants.
Year 2: San Francisco, California – a dinner cruise around the San Francisco Bay
Year 3: Eugene, Oregon – a delicious dinner downtown
Year 4: McMinnville, Oregon – a dinner at McMenamins
So far, we have been in a different location each year and we look forward to where 2008 will take us. We have had an exciting and adventurous time together filled with romance, adventure, intellectual stimuli, and laughter, lots of laughter. We look forward to the next year, 25th, 50th, and more.