Monday, July 18, 2016

the long road to portland

i'm completely fried and my eyes are only half open at 8:45pm, but i have this sickness called "do all the things!!!" when i get back from a weekend away, so here i am writing a blog post, when i really should just go to bed. here is a recap of our weekend in portland: 

originally we planned to leave around 1 or 2pm for the 3 hour drive, because we have never had any issues with traffic driving to portland before (apparently that's because we've never driven there in the summer), but thatcher's boss quickly set us straight and said if we didn't leave by noon that we would be screwed. so, we did! the kids and i picked up thatcher from work at noon and we hit the road. 30 minutes into the drive we hit bumper to bumper traffic. ashford had fallen asleep, but our car stopping woke him up. yayyyyyy. it was also his first time forward-facing which we thought would make him a happier traveler, but i didn't notice any improvement whatsoever. 

we looked at google maps (thank god for technology!) and saw that the interstate was red for miles and miles, so we exited and began our journey of small two lane highways all the way down the state of washington. we made two stops on the way, one at a gas station and one at a deserted county park called prescott beach in oregon. it was beautiful, but i was ready to get a move on since we had already been in the car for five hours. 

we finally arrived at kathy and garry's a little after 6pm. it took six hours to get there. that is approximately five and a half hours of listening to screaming, fighting, whining kids. i realize this miiiiight be why parents do dvd players in the car, we will definitely be considering it in the future. 

i was greeted with hugs and a glass of wine at their house, so i quickly forgot about the torture session ;) i've talked about kathy and garry's house before and i'm gonna do it again because i am obsessed. every detail of their house's design, style, and decor is perfect. when you combine that eye candy with their gracious hosting, it's pretty much a dream to stay there. they made us delicious grilled chicken and shrimp for dinner. we got both kids to sleep by 8:30 and then the grown ups sat out on the (tiled!) patio, drinking wine under blankets (it was chilly!) and chatting. it was such a fun night. 

saturday morning we took the kids to a play ground near their house to burn off some of their energy (so, so much energy). we even got to walk through some woods to get there: 

this picture cracks me up!

we headed back to their house for a quick snack (note the patio!!!), 

then thatcher, the kids, and i did a park and ride into downtown.

 our first stop was a coffee shop that was recommended to thatcher by his friend ian (who we have met up with in portland a couple times, even though he and his family live in minnesota). it was called case study. i ordered a hazelnut latte and it was one of the best drinks i've ever had. they make their own syrups. so delicious! 

we walked through some plazas, and took the streetcar over the to aerial tram. we have seen it many times, but it was our first time ever riding it. it was really cool! i mean, if you don't like heights i would not recommend it, but it was a hit with all of us. it goes wayyyyyy up the hill to a hospital and the views were incredible.

 after that, we made our way over to the pearl district for lunch. we ended up going to bridgeport brewery. kathy and garry took thatcher and me there when we visited them in 2010 (pre-kids!). it was a very kid-friendly place! ashford actually was asleep in the stroller when we got there and slept through our entire meal! he woke up just before we were ready to leave, so we ended up staying a little while longer, so he could eat azalea's leftovers from lunch. 

after lunch, we found a playground that had just been built in the pearl district, so the kids played there for quite a while. 

next we walked over to this great water feature in a plaza (that doubles as a splash pad for kids), but it was turned off. we couldn't figure out why even after looking at the website. such a bummer! we decided to drown our sorrows in some ice cream across the street instead ;) 

by late afternoon, we were ready to return to kathy and garry's for a little rest. we came back to their empty house since they were out with some friends that evening. 

for dinner that night, we met up with thatcher's cousin lloyd who lives in portland, as well as his wife jamie who the kids and i had not yet met in person, so that was fun! we went to another brewery since they are all pretty kid-friendly and had a nice dinner and chat with them. we had been to another location of hopworks brewery last time we were in portland and it is awesome, because they have toy/activity areas for kids. genius! 

sunday was pretty low-key. we said good bye to kathy and garry around 10am and headed to washington park, which we had been to before. it's a huge park in portland with a rose garden, japanese garden, and even a zoo! it was a mob scene there, so we didn't last long. the kids played on a play ground for a bit, then we decided to stop at a grocery store and pick up some stuff for lunch before hitting the road for home. the ride home was almost as long as the ride there (5 hours vs. 6) and that was partly because our stops were quicker. it was grueling once again, but we all survived and it was definitely worth the long drive for all the fun we had while we were there. i'm not sure when we will go down again, maybe some time this fall! 

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