Our plan was to drive across the US (at least as far as Michigan), but we needed a car to do that. We had sold both of our cars before traveling and the time had come to find a replacement
. We had been told that Oregon would be a good place to look because the state has no sales tax and registered license plates stay with the car (because we didn't really have a home and didn't know when and where we were moving, having to immediately register a car would have presented some difficulties - registered license plates would buy us time). But we needed to get to Oregon first, so we decided to find a ride on craigslist.com, which is really active on the West Coast. We ended up coordinating with a talkative, energetic woman who is a teacher in Seattle and was about to start her spring break. And, who would have guessed, but she happened to be from Michigan originally. We became fast friends as we drove to our first destination, Portland. While she met up with some old friends for the night, we took the opportunity to visit with a few old college friends of Jeff's who both live in Portland (Brooke and Brooke). When one night turned into two nights, nobody really minded. We got a good tour of the city, took a long walk through downtown Portland and made a trip to the Saturday Market (sort of a weekly art fair). Nice city!
Eventually we left Portland and traveled to Eugene, where we had decided to do our car search. Justin, another old friend originally from Kalamazoo, was kind enough to put us up in his house for a week, introducing us to his large group of friends, favorite bars and an addictive dessert and coffee cafe. The car search was a little frustrating, and we at various points considered traveling across the US either by road bike (not that we have road bikes or road biking experience) or Craig's List rideshares. However, we eventually found and bought a decent 10-year-old Subaru wagon and were on our way.
From Hawaii we flew to Seattle to visit our friend Jamie and start planning our trip back across the United States. Allison, though, had to leave almost immediately to go visit some law schools on the other side of the country, so Jamie and Jeff had the bachelor pad to themselves most of the time. Jamie showed Jeff had a good time in the city, including one of the first Mariner games of the season on a cold evening, a night out to a couple bars/brewpubs and visits to the Pike St. Market (and some minor "construction" work too). Eventually, Allison returned, so we spent a few days together walking around downtown and getting organized for the next stage of our trip before moving on.