Thursday, September 2, 2010

Adventure Numeral Uno: Portland Edition

Last week was adventure week for our family.

Jim drove up to Portland, Oregon to work for 11 days. Before he left home, Jim asked if the kids and I would like to keep him company on his business trip. We already had some stuff planned, so I told Jim "Maybe we'll come up half-way through." Maybe was the key word. Maybe is what I tell Tralee when the answer is usually no. IE: When she asks for the millionth time a day to go to the zoo I say, "MAYBE we'll go to the zoo." I used maybe with Jim because I didn't really think driving seven or so hours with a three-year-old and one-year-old would make for a fun time. However, I also knew being a single mom of a three-year-old and a one-year-old for eleven days would also make for a not-so-fun time. So I honestly thought "MAYBE I will go visit Jim half way through his trip."

The first weekend at home without Jim was the weekend of firsts. You know, the one where the kids and I were stuck in the house for three days dealing with pukage. When Tuesday came around, and everyone was on the mend, I was ready to get out of the house and explore. I decided that a trip to Portland to visit my main squeeze was a definite possibility. I knew driving alone with my babes would be an adventure, but I was up for it.

I cleaned my house Thursday morning (cause I like to come home to a clean house), packed up the car, and the kids and I left for Portland. I was a little frantic leaving, cause I was running behind schedule. However, we left eventually and surprisingly, the drive was a lot of fun. The kids and I took in the sights and sounds, stopped a few times to stretch our legs and eat some food, the kids watched some shows on the mini DVD player, we sang songs, and the three of us made our way into Portland around eight at night -- just in time to surprise Daddy at work before the end of his day. We were all so happy to have our family together again.

Jim took us to the hotel he was staying at, and when we walked in Jim told Tralee, "This is Daddy's house." She thought that was funny. Jim still had three more days of work, so that left three days open for the kids and I to have adventures on our own. Thank goodness for my phone's GPS! Every time I left the hotel with the kids I told them, "we're going on an adventure!"

The first adventure in Portland was a trip to The Children's Museum. Oh my!! So much fun for my babies! We got there after lunch and stayed until it closed. It was great not having a pressing schedule to commit to. I just let the kids play and explore, and boy howdy, did they ever! Here are some pictures from our first adventure:

First stop, brushing the dragon's teeth. Tralee called it a dragon. This dragon's teeth must be REALLY clean, cause Tralee came back several times to brush them.
We stayed in the water exploration station for at least a half hour. Tralee couldn't get enough!

Hunter's in the tree house below. Notice that he has bare feet? Yeah, thank his sister for that. She threw one of his socks out the car window on the drive to the museum. I caught her right before she was about to throw his shoe out the window. Thankfully, both shoes are still in our possession, but I didn't want Hunter to walk around all day with tennies on with no socks. That's just uncomfortable, so he went bare foot. It worked.

Tralee picked these flowers outside the tree house, and she and her new friend played with them inside the tree house for a bit.
By far, Tralee's favorite area of the museum was the vet clinic. They had cages with stuffed animals in them. You could pick an animal, put a leash on it, and then examine it, wash it, walk it, there was even a scheduling desk. Super fun!

One area of the museum was designated for children three and under. Tralee and Hunter had a blast in there. Hunter loved the fish tank and kept saying, "Fishy! Fishy! Fishy!" There was also an little mountain with water trickling down it. Hunter would put his hands in and say, "Wet! Wet! Wet!" I got asked by three sets of parents how old his was. When I told them, they were all impressed with how much Hunter was talking for his age. What a smart lil' dickins!

Another favorite area was the face painting station. Lots of other kids were walking around looking all cute with their kitty faces, or little rainbows drawn on their cheeks. Not my daughter! She wanted to paint her face all by herself. When I asked what she was her reply was, "I'm a monster!" The end result sure was scary, that's for sure!

My little monsters spent more time playing at the pretend bus station.

It's amazing how boys just instinctively now all the boy sounds. Hunter picked up a toy car, started driving it, and said over and over, "Vroom, vroom, vroom!" Such a boy!

There were so many other areas of the museum that I didn't even mention or take pictures off. There was so much to see and do, and a whole lot of chasing the kids around on my part, that picture taking wasn't high priority. When it was time to leave Tralee was disappointed. She refused to move from the spot below. Talk about dealing with a little monster! I finally said, "Maybe we can come back another day." I meant it, maybe we will. . . the next time we're in Portland. My maybe-statement worked. She finally agreed to leave and we were onto our next adventure.


Joni said...

That museum looks awesome!! What a fun way to spend the day and keep the little ones happy! You're such an awesome mommy! :)

Boom said...

I wonder if the they have amazing things like that in other cities, like Boise or Cleveland? Worth checking into. Great Post! Thanks!