Portland, Oregon

I've always been interested in living in the Pacific Northwest.  I love the green trees, cool climate, mountains and artsy hipsters in Seattle and Portland.  After my sister Melissa moved up here about seven years ago, Ivy and I have been visiting her regularly and always having a great time.  After we found out this summer that we'll need to spend at least six months of each year outside Hungary to avoid being subject to worldwide income tax there, we decided Portland is where'd we'd like to be in the US.

For the past two weeks we've been staying with my sister, her husband Mark and their two kids Jacob and Will where they live on the outskirts of Portland.  I'll paste in a picture below I took of the four of them for their Christmas card.  If anyone knows of a more handsome family let me know!  Throughout our stay here (we'll be here through Christmas), Ivy and I have spent a lot of time looking around for condos.  Since Ivy works for a credit union, she's able to get two percentage points off our mortgage rate (it'll go up when she leaves the company--which hopefully won't be anytime soon) and this helps us make our dream of owning two small places in the US and Hungary a reality.

The great news for us is that we were able to get a very good deal on a two-bedroom condo just a five minute walk from my sister's home.  It's a new development called "Timberland" and we like all the green trees, walking trails and parks nearby.  Another big bonus is that there's both a nice supermarket and library in walking distance as well, along with a homey cafe and a drug store.  Downtown Portland is a very quick ten minute drive down the hill (we're in Northwest Portland) and a very cool walking street with restaurants and shops is right there to enjoy.  Our friends Kalen and Melissa F visited us last weekend with their little baby and we had a great time cruising the city with them for an afternoon.  One of the highlights was walking over to Powells City of Books--the biggest bookstore in the US (used and new).

Merry Christmas!

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ImpactErick Widmancondo, portland