The Bend roundup…

Once again it’s been weeks between posts. The days are bulleting past with so much happening in our lives – this is the third time I’ve sat down to write this and I fear it’s going to be short on words but heavy on pictures..a roundup of sorts…things we’ve been up to. Stick with me though and I promise the closing paragraph will provide the big info…what next for the Croads!

We finally made it to Portland where the girls easily slipped back into their big city mode a la life in Antwerp...
We finally made it to Portland where the girls easily slipped back into their big city mode a la life in Antwerp…
had fun exploring all the cool things about big city life in the Pacific Northwest...
had fun exploring all the cool things about big city life in the Pacific Northwest…
loved exploring the beautiful Japanese Garden...
loved exploring the beautiful Japanese Garden…
a tranquil oasis in the midst of the big smoke...
a tranquil oasis in the midst of the big smoke…
lots of opportunity to pause and reflect...or in this case...pose for the camera...
lots of opportunity to pause and reflect…or in this case…pose for the camera…
then onto OMSI - Oregon Museum of Science and Industry...
then onto OMSI – Oregon Museum of Science and Industry…
a very cool place which kept us busy for hours...
a very cool place which kept us busy for hours…
met the world's tallest man...
met the world’s tallest man…
quite a sad story...he got an infection in his leg from the metal braces he wore and the infection killed him when only in his early twenties...
quite a sad story…he got an infection in his leg from the metal braces he wore and the infection killed him when only in his early twenties…
mingled with some germs...
mingled with some germs…
took in some of the stunning views just outside of Portland...
took in some of the stunning views just outside of Portland…
and did a bit more posing...
and did a bit more posing…
Rachel Hunter before she decided it was time to cut lots off her hair...
Rachel Hunter before she decided it was time to cut lots off her hair…
went to a world class rodeo in Sisters which is just a short drive from Bend...
went to a world class rodeo in Sisters which is just a short drive from Bend…
there was a rodeo queen...
there was a rodeo queen…
bucking broncos...
bucking broncos…
beautiful horses...
beautiful horses…
real live buffalos...
real live buffalos…
these two rodeo clowns...
these two rodeo clowns…
Yee hah!
Yee hah!
Ride 'em cowgirl!
Ride ’em cowgirl!
continued to explore the myriad of beautiful hiking trails just a quick drive from downtown Bend...
continued to explore the myriad of beautiful hiking trails just a quick drive from downtown Bend…
had our first family photo taken in a good few years...and it's our backs...photo taken by an elderly gentleman who thought we looked cute...as he turned to leave we noticed he had a gun in a holster...because everyone needs to be armed whilst hiking!!!
had our first family photo taken in a good few years…and it’s our backs…photo taken by an elderly gentleman who thought we looked cute…as he turned to leave we noticed he had a gun in a holster…because everyone needs to be armed whilst hiking!!!
on the way to Green Lake...stunning...
on the way to Green Lake…stunning…
little bits of snow are still hanging on well into summer...
little bits of snow are still hanging on well into summer…
Green Lake...one of our favourite hikes so far...
Green Lake…one of our favourite hikes so far…
this tends to happen after nine or so miles of hiking...
this tends to happen after nine or so miles of hiking…
We went to New Zealand and had such a special time catching up with our family...my grown up nieces are just gorgeous in every way...very proud Aunty...
We went to New Zealand and had such a special time catching up with our family…my grown up nieces are just gorgeous in every way…very proud Aunty…
the rest of them are pretty damn awesome too!
the rest of them are pretty damn awesome too!
we came back to Bend and moved into a new house right on the Deschutes River...means we are regularly treated to some amazing sights...
we came back to Bend and moved into a new house right on the Deschutes River…means we are regularly treated to some amazing sights…
just beautiful!
just beautiful!

Thanks for sticking with me. Whilst all the above activity was going on, we were navigating the changes taking place because of the sale of Taura Natural Ingredients, the company Richard works for. Many of you know that the whole reason we came to Bend is because of the impending sale of the company. As our VISA’s are tied specifically to Richard’s job with Taura we weren’t sure if we’d be staying or leaving when the company sold, so we came out West to see some more of the USA just in case it was our last chance to. Shortly before the girls and I headed to NZ, we found out that a large Israeli company had bought Taura and they were very keen for Richard to stay on in his role and they were happy for him to base himself wherever in the US he liked.

Whilst we have absolutely loved Bend, travel in and out of here is tricky and as Richard is on the road a lot we needed to be somewhere that didn’t add an extra day or two in travel time to every trip. We seriously considered San Francisco, but at the end of the day we have been won over by Oregon. In many ways it reminds us a lot of New Zealand, it’s less formal and conservative than where we were on the East Coast, the people are laid back and friendly and being on the West Coast puts us much closer to home – good for us travelling back to NZ and good for visitors too…hint hint!

So the big city of Portland is to be our new home. Our focus for the last few weeks has been house hunting and after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing we have bought a new home. It’s in what is known as the Southwest Hills area, about five miles from the centre of Portland.

our new digs...kind of wild and crazy garden surrounded by trees, little stream running through the bottom...so despite being very close to the city we still have a sense of being close to nature
our new digs…kind of wild and crazy garden surrounded by trees, little stream running through the bottom…so despite being very close to the city we still have a sense of being close to nature…
It was built in the 90's but has been renovated throughout to be more contemporary...most kiwi looking home we've been in...
It was built in the 90’s but has been renovated throughout to be more contemporary…most kiwi looking home we’ve been in…
The crazy wilderness garden and the fabulous kitchen have Richard very excited :)
The crazy wilderness garden and the fabulous kitchen have Richard very excited 🙂

So in just over two weeks we will be in our new – hopefully for longer than two years – home. Olive and Edie start school the day after we move in. It’s a public school which has an excellent reputation so we are all excited about it. There are a few nerves too – on all our parts. Just because we’ve done it so often doesn’t make it any easier and in some ways moving state is a bit like moving country – new driver’s license, new taxes, new insurance – but I shall refrain from moaning!

Our other big news is that we have invested in an organic candy bar company – American friends if you see OCHO on the shelves, give it a try.

Gotta love a company that asks when every family member's birthday is so they can send you candy on your big day!!
Gotta love a company that asks when every family member’s birthday is so they can send you candy on your big day!!

So that is all the news from us. Next couple of weeks will no doubt be a blur of packing and organizing as well as trying to make the most of beautiful Bend before we leave. It’s been a wonderful experience and we feel pretty proud of the fact that we’ve been living in each other’s pockets, with few breaks, for nearly five months and we still like each other! Please send us lots of love and positive thoughts as we embark on another big adventure!! On the Croad again!!!

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