Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weekend Away: Portland

I grew up going to Portland, Oregon for shopping trips – at 2.5 hours away from home, it was a lot closer than Seattle (3.5 hours) (and lest you think an hour difference is nothing, try making that trip once a month, with children, all for business and/or medical purposes) (not fun).  I failed to notice, until this most recent visit, that “Keep Portland Weird” is not just a catchy city motto.  No, Portlanders love their affectations.  The more shocking, the better.  Some of these people must spend hours on their appearance!  It’s not just hipster, it’s beyond that, but I guess if riding a ten-foot tall bicycle dressed as a retro horror-flick circus clown turns your crank, then have at it.  So long as you’re not trying to lure me into the mirror maze.


It was good to get away.  Sometimes a change of scenery is all I need to come back to earth from my hormone-induced pit of despair.  The real world is killing me today and I’m back to tearing up at the drop of a hat, but at least I had a break.  And I had good friends who know me and don’t judge me, and sometimes it’s nice to just feel like I don’t have to keep part of me buttoned up, you know?


There’s something about parenting in a different location that makes the tantrums easier to handle, too.  Neither of the boys went to bed at a decent hour this weekend, but I just rolled with it instead of letting it bring me down.  Not having to get up the next morning for any reason at all helps, of course.


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Firefighting in Olympia


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Firefighter Jamie was my dentist, as well – I got a lot of shots in the belly, for some reason


We stopped at the Olympia Children’s Museum on the drive down, which was a nice lunch break and got the boys’ wiggles out for at least a while.  I try to break up car trips like this whenever I can.


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The Olympia Children’s Museum was by far the most expensive children’s museum I have ever visited.  It was nice, but not any better than other major metropolitan children’s museums.  We will likely not stop there again.  Surely there’s a park where we can do lunch next time.


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Monster Trucks.  I never have to go see them again. 


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The boys were entranced, of course, but I was bored and it was too loud (with ear plugs) (yes, I’m too old).  It reminded me a lot of the whole WWF or WWE or whatever it was fad in high school: very staged with fans professing loyalties to one truck or another and cheering loudly at the hyperbolic “competition.” 



Monster Trucks are serious business

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Jamie was running a mysterious (final molar-related?) fever


The boys were so over-stimulated that they both fell asleep in the car and continued to sleep even after I carried them up to my friend’s apartment (2nd floor.  Charles weighs over 50 lbs.  I should not do that again).


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An uncommon sight


I got to spend a lot of quality time with old friends while the kids towed us from one section to the next of the Portland Children’s Museum and OMSI.  The children’s museum might not be on the list for Charles next time, but I imagine that OMSI will be entertaining for years to come.  Jamie could have stayed and played at either all day long.

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Taking off in a Gemini pod


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And the boys got to visit with their “aunties” for a whole weekend, getting in tickle fights, reading new stories, decorating cookies, and just generally being loved.


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Sometimes I just sat there while my children were read to – bliss!


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It was a great trip.  And next time, we’ll have a new baby to take with us (more chaos)!  Since there will be more chaos next time, and my poor friends already need a vacation after our annual tornado of a visit, it’s probably good that we don’t go too often.


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