Yeah mon, life has been good lately. In the beginning of April I visited Amanda for a while. We went on a road trip around New York visiting several waterfalls and seeing lots of cows eating grass. I bet most people don’t think of farmland and cows when they think of New York, but they do have lots of them. We got lots of wedding planning done too. Then I flew back to Oregon and was there for a couple weeks, working at my house and also helping my dad paint one of the apartments he has.
Then I flew to Minneapolis to reunite with my two best friends from my University of North Dakota days, Pete & Jack. On Friday, April 20th, we drove to Grand Forks, turning what is supposedly a four hour drive into a six hour one. We finally made it around 3:30pm, just in time to meet up with Jake and Jeff and kick our feet up for a while. It was such nice weather in GF that weekend too! We hit up University Park and played a round of bocce ball (think of Australian Lawn Bowling but with less rules). Then we had the obligatory drive around Grand Forks while deciding what to do next. No one could decide so I drove us to Lincoln Park and we hung out there and threw the Frisbee around and had a couple of PBR’s while we waiting for our friends to gather and call us. Finally they did saying they were at a bar downtown, so we went down there and met up for some cool refreshments. A couple hours later and a bit drunker out, we stopped by the pub next door then make the trek back to 407 Cambridge Street, the home of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. As we were walking up to the door all the youngings were inside and cheered us as we came inside. Greeting us warmly until Jack brought out his bottle of Snake Wine. This was a bottle that had two snakes inside of it (one eating the other one, why not?) and then filled with vodka and let sit for a month to get the snake juices flowing freely throughout. This scared the kids and the first round was drunk by Jack, Pete, Jeff Deutsch (the chapter president now and last of the kids Pete and I recruited back in the day) and myself. I wandered through the house to view all the improvements that had been made since my three years living there. A lot had been done, the basement is finally now near completion and has a real kitchen! There are new floor tiles and carpet throughout the house and new windows had been installed to make all the former party rooms turn into sleeping rooms so more guys can live in the house. Fantastic Stuff. After my tour I saw that the fear of the snake wine had diminished and the bottle was being freely passed around. After it was all empty the snakes looked strange, like they might pop out at any moment and start slithering across the floor… Someone refilled the bottle with some alcohol and there it was sitting on the table when someone knocked it and it went flying off and broke all over the floor. Jack got a little upset and riled up over that. Finally we all made it back to Matt’s house to pass out and I found myself on the couch on the porch, pretty nice actually.
Saturday got off to a slow start. After laying around for a few hours Pete and I went for a drive around town then later collected the crew to head to the Pi Kappa Phi Roseball (dance/party). It was kind of a surreal experience sitting back and seeing this whole room of fraternity men dressed up and going through the acts that I had once taken so seriously. It was a pretty relaxed night and I snuck off to wander the golf course and make a call to Amanda. The ride home on the bus was a classic, with wild singing starting before we even made it out of the driveway of the golf course clubhouse. The party back at the fraternity house was pretty good, I was feeling irie and had a fun time watching all the action unfold. Someone had frozen the snakes into popsicle form and was running around making everyone take a lick, Pete was trying to get the youngings to drink more and Matt was trying to get people to go out and eat at the 2-29 all night diner. A taxi cab showed up and a few of us hijacked it back to Matt’s house, leaving Matt and a few other believers waiting for another taxi to take them to eat that never really came. It was five am after all.
After another relaxing night on the porch I awoke and gathered with our friends at the 2-29 for a farewell to Grand Forks truckers special (eggs, sausage, cheese, veggies and more cheese over a bed of hashbrowns). Then we were on the road back to the cities. Jack was in the back seat and every once in a while we heard a little, click, hissss coming from the back seat as a new PBR was opened. By the time we got close to Edina Jack was so tuned up that he could only tell us to get off on 50th street. So we took one exit that was for 50th street, but it was not the right one and we looped around for a while before finally making it to his house. Then a quick cruise across town to Pete’s home for some rest. Monday morning I gave Pete a ride to work and made it to the airport for my cruise back to Portland. Of all my post living in Grand Forks returns, this was by far my favorite. I am very happy to see my beloved fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi doing well and in good hands.
But now it’s May. I have been painting some more and trying to clean and organize my house for Amanda’s moving to Portland. My house is kind of small and already full of things, so we are going to have to be very organized to not trip over our stuff all the time. Shelving is key! I just arrived in Buffalo again yesterday for a little visit. It has been a month since I left Amanda last time and I was missing her so. Amanda graduates with a Masters Degree in Anthropology this weekend and we are going to do a little more wedding planning. Only two months to go now until the wedding, I can’t wait!
Peace, Love and Happiness!!
I am in Buffalo, New York visiting Amanda for a week. We have been having lots of fun together! Amanda taught me how to make candles, so we have been producing candles and I have been going to school with Amanda a few times. We visited Niagara Falls, Canada for Valentines Day and had a great time there, despite the slush and snow we had to drive through. It is pretty cold in Buffalo now, but I have my North Dakota training to prepare me. Amanda and I have been working hard trying to work out some of the details for our wedding. Which will be on Saturday July 7th, 2007.
Erik Loves Amanda!
Amanda and I survived Mexico. Three weeks was a long time to be there and we were both definitely happy to make it home back to American soil. Even though we had to split up and both go our separate ways home. So I am in Oregon now trying to stay warm and working on deep cleaning and reorganizing my house and making lots of hemp jewelry. Amanda is back in Buffalo for her last semester of University. I am going to visit her on February 8th!
So the Christmas Wreaths are all wrapped up now. Another successful season! Damn we worked hard!!!
Right now it is January and Amanda and I are travelling around in Mexico for three weeks.
We ushered in the New Year of 2007 on the beach in Tulum. We had the beach pretty much to ourselves and we were just hanging out partying it up enjoying ourselves. There was a bar nearby that had a live latino reggae band playing through the night, providing the perfect backdrop for our own personal party.
We visited the ruinas of Palenque a few days ago. Which are the most interesting and coolest ruins I have seen anywhere in the world. Amazingly huge pyramids and buildings all surrounded by miles more of ruins covered in think jungle. Amanda had been studying the ruins while working on her Masters Degree in Anthropology so she gave me the fully guided tour and translated the hieroglyphs for me.
Right now we are in the middle of travelling from Chiapas back to the Yucatan. We have been having lots of fun, though it is really hot and steamy and there are lots of mosquitoes. Some winter weather!
Yeah, so far I feel like Mexico is a great place to visit, but lots of things are sure screwed up here.
Amanda and I survived the three weeks on the road. We had lots of fun too. We visited the fraternity brothers in Grand Forks, North Dakota then toured around Northern Minnesota before circling back to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota for the 10,000 Lakes Music Festival. It was about what we excepted, maybe not what we had hoped but definitely fun by any standard. It was fun visiting with Dr. Peter Read and all my other friends. There was some pretty good music and we met lots of unique people.
After the festival we drove across the plains of South Dakota. Stopping in Murdo, South Dakota where I was impressed by the claim that it had the original General Lee car from the Dukes of Hazard show. That is until I mentioned this to my brother and he pointed out that they probably used hundreds of cars in the making of the shows, so getting a used one was probably not all that hard. That made it a little less impressive but the fond memories of Murdo shall live on! We stopped in Wall, South Dakota to visit Wall Drug where we drank the free ice water and marvel at how many people can be attracted by the signs along every Midwest highway. We drove to Mt Rushmore and drove past Crazy Horse and went into Jewel Cave before making it to Devil’s Tower just before dark. Then we took the long way to Yellowstone going south through Thermopolis and along Hwy 26. Lars and Kristen met us and we drove around and checked out all the neat geysers and natural wonders of Yellowstone. We saw lots of Buffalos too!
After camping at Yellowstone for two nights we drove to Billings, Montana where Lars raced his motorcycles in the Billings Hillclimb. He made it over once on the bike he built from scratch using a street bike engine in a modified dirt bike frame. But on his last run his bike tumbled down the hill a ways and got a little dinged up. But not unfixable. Then we hightailed it back to Portland returning home on August first.
Now it’s the end of August. Amanda has returned home to Buffalo, New York where she just started her last year of University. I have been working at the wreath shop office some and selling tie dye some at the Gresham Farmers Market. I am headed this weekend up to the Gorge in Washington to see the Dave Matthews Band and try to sell the rest of my inventory and cash in. Or at the least to have a really good time.
“I don’t need to fight to prove I’m right. I don’t need to be forgiven! Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yea!” -The Who
Last week Amanda and I drove to the Oregon Coast and stayed in Yachats, Oregon. Sitting on the beach that night I asked Amanda to marry me. She said Yes! So now we are embarking on our engagement honeymoon. In about an hour we will leave on a three week roadtrip. The van is all packed and ready to go and we are washing out our last batch of tie dye right now. We are excited and happy as can be.
Next week my wonderful girlfriend Amanda will arrive in Oregon to visit me for the summer. The week of July 10th we are going to take off on a road trip in my van. We are planning to heading to Glacier National Park in Montana, then cruise along Highway 2 until we arrive in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Pete will be there along with lots of my other friends for the “Pi Kappa Phi Fix the House Weekend.”
After a weekend of partying and a bit of painting or something we are going to head to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota for the 10,000 Lakes Music Festival where Amanda and I are going to have a Tie Dye booth in the campground. After four days of selling and trying to become thousandaires we are planning on heading to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming of course seeing Mt Rushmore and the Devils Tower along the way. While visiting Yellowstone my brother Lars and his girlfriend Kristen are going to join us midweek for some camping then we are all going to head to Billings, Montana for the motorcycle hill climb that Lars is going to compete in. After that we are going to convoy back home with Lars, ending three weeks on the road.
But those are just the plans. And plans can always change……
Well Amanda came to Europe and joined my travels. We stayed in Amsterdam a few days then headed to Brussels, Belgium for a night then spent the week in Paris, France. After that we went to Koln, Germany then to Krefield, Germany where my ancestors on my mom’s side of the family came from back in 1680. Then back to Amsterdam for a day of relaxing before we had to part ways and each head home.
Yeah, this is not too descriptive, I know. But I kind of got sick of Europe towards the end of my trip. I guess I was thinking “Is this it?” Sure it was great being there and I had fun, but it makes me realize that Northern Europe is not a magical land of fun. It’s just like anywhere. Fun can be had wherever I am because I am me. But really it’s just like America. A bunch of big smelly dirty cities with a bunch of scumbags and immigrants all over.
I’ll take a cabin in the Oregon woods anyday.
Viva la Revolution!
On Wednesday, April 26th I headed off to Europe. I flew into Amsterdam and arrived the next afternoon. I stayed at a popular party hostel downtown and had a pretty good time for a few days, but soon was ready to start traveling towards Sweden. So I caught the train to Copenhagen, Denmark and stayed there for a day. I visited the hippy neighborhood of Christiana and was there just in time to take part in a Peace Parade for May Day.
On Tuesday, May 2nd I took the train to Stockholm, Sweden. I visited my friend Anders (who I traveled with in Australia) for a few hours then took the night train north to visit Peteä, Sweden. Petiä is the town where my great-grandparents lived 100 years ago. So after a train ride and a bus trip I was there. It looked kind of like Oregon, lots of nice trees and hills and nice scenery.
There are some Swedish relatives who visited Portland when I was 12 years old who live in Petiä. So I gave them a call and they gave me the grand tour and fed me lots of Swedish food until I was full. I got to eat pault, reindeer and moose. They showed me all of the old buildings of Petiä and a house that my great grandmother Ida grew up.
I was there for a day and then took the night train back to Stockholm. I arrived on Friday afternoon and spent the day sightseeing from the water, on a boat tour. Then I met up with Anders again and we have been partying it up this weekend and having lots of fun.
Tonight I am leaving for about 20 hours of train riding to take me back to Amsterdam so that I can pick up Amanda when she arrives on Thursday.
Well I finally bought an airline ticket to Europe. I leave Oregon on April 26th and fly into Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Amanda is going to join me after she is done with school in May and we will both leave on May 23rd. So stay tuned for tales of excitement and adventure in Europe!