Part two of our Oregon vacation. A lot of these pictures haven’t been edited at all because it’s honestly such an ordeal just getting this much done while my kids riot that I just need to get it DONE. On the subject of pictures, it both feels like I took a lot of them and somehow still managed to underdocument the whole experience.
We started our time in Portland on Clover’s birthday, which, somewhat randomly on my part, ended up being celebrated by a trip to Voodoo Doughnut. It’s a place native to Portland, and we had never been there before (maybe because I’m not exactly a doughnut person?), so we loaded the family up and drove into Portland.
It so happens that Voodoo has no indoor seating, and a line that seems to go out the door all day. Nor do they have an awning to stand under. And it was raining. Falling asleep in the car on the way to a “birthday celebration”, and then being inexplicably made to stand in the rain after being yanked from the car probably wasn’t what Clover had in mind when we told her “we’re getting you a birthday doughnut!”. Soon the spirit of adventure took over, and we all (us plus my mom and sister who is pictured above) had fun. Especially when we finally joined the indoor line, and escaped the rain and overly vocal loony homeless guy haunting the line sitters.
Before we went I really had no idea of what their menu was like, but once I started reading it I couldn’t help but laugh that we had basically taken our 4 year old to a naughty doughnut shop for her birthday. You can take a look at the menu here if you’re curious about some of the doughnut names. Lol. Just keep scrolling down and have a laugh at some of the names they’ve dreamed up.
One recurring theme of our trip was books. A few trips to Powell’s (full city block of floors and floors of books), plus small bookshops and the smaller Powell’s on Hawthorne. Powell’s was pretty exhausting with Violet though. We spent quite a bit of time in the kid’s section just trying to minimize the damage she could inflict and trying not to lose her. The kid is a handful! A sweet, affectionate, jungle animal.
We did McMenamins Edgefield with my mom. I’ve even got proof that I was there!
Somehow Clover’s coloring skills drastically improved while we were there. I’m not sure if it was all the practice she had before the trip from doing her brainquest preschool book or what, but she skipped from coloring wildly all over things to carefully staying inside of even small little spaces. We were kind of shocked when she finished her first restaurant coloring page in the beginning of the trip and she had a crazy good piece of work with some equally amazing drawings to go along with it.
Another piece of Clover’s birthday excitement was visiting the zoo with my mom and her friend. We had a great time and spent a few hours there looking at all the exhibits/trying not to lose our wild child as she attempted several disappearing acts.
They’ve got a new baby elephant at the zoo there, which was beyond freaking adorable. That little trunk…..too cute
Disappointment followed our trip to the national zoo because the kids wanted to see giraffes, and they had gotten rid of the giraffes there. Portland had giraffes. We were all happy. Because giraffes are awesome.
Violet is an odd one, and seems to be particularly fond of reptiles and amphibians. She loved seeing frogs and “ococriles”, and loved the giant snake that everyone was getting grossed out by. She ran up to the glass and exclaimed “I LIKE IT!!”, which made people turn and stare and ask if she was serious.
Another funny Violet moment at the zoo was in the last section where we saw marine animals, which included a friendly, acrobatic seal, sea lions, and some tidepool type creatures. Violet looked through the glass and said in her little two year old voice “mama, I see sea anemones!” crazy clear and perfect. I was like “what did you just say, child?”
I drank fully caffeinated cappuccinos several times in portland. Yes, I’m pregnant. But the coffee here is really good, and I literally cannot get a decent cap to save my life in northern virginia. All hail stumptown.
We were advised to check out the stumptown coffee shop in the Ace hotel, which ended up being double awesome. We were able to find it and park easily, and then we realized how close we were to Powell’s and other fun awesomeness in downtown. Coffee was amazing, and the building equally intriguing. Hipster gold.
Kids weren’t so helpful though, and insisted on acting like wild beasts with emotional problems while adults were trying to hold conversations in the dining area of the shop/hotel. We quickly consented to vacating before we blew the place up with screaming and flinging muffin crumbs. That led us to finishing our goodies in Powell’s coffee shop, and another little tour of the kid’s section there. My instagramming led to Kristin from skirtastop bloggy fame realizing that I was in close proximity to her job and her lunch time. We had planned to meet later in the week for fabric shopping, but she offered to walk with us to a yarn shop nearby on her break. Um, yeah!
We met at Everyday music and headed over to Knit Purl for some yarn shopping. Tim did the hard work of keeping our kids under control while I drooled over skeins of Malabrigo and Tosh.
In Portland, it seems that every surface must be decorated with artwork of some sort. lol. There are so many walls, pieces of machinery and poles decorated with band stickers, indie art stickers, penmanship, spray paint, etc. It makes everything look pretty interesting!
One nice day we took the kids to Grant park and Laurelhurst park to play. Grant is near Beverly Cleary territory, and there are statues in the park behind the high school. We’ve read some Ramona to Clover, who refers to Ramona as “Bamoana”, but for some reason she was really offended by our trying to show her the statues.
She got all grumpy for a minute and then suddenly decided to enjoy herself.
Grandma did OMSI with us. The kid’s room was a huge hit with the girls, and they happily bustled around doing this and that. Violet immediately wanted to do some shopping and cooking in the market.
Clover hit the water play area and experimented. Violet wasn’t far behind, and managed to completely soak her shirt within seconds of entering the area.
There was also a sand play area that they had a blast in, an art room where Clover did some painting and Violet ripped apart some lego creations other kids had left behind, and a wildlife area with hollow trees to play in.
The turbine room was pretty great too. There is a room with a huge air system that you can manipulate to shoot balls in and out of things. It was a huge chaotic mess that everyone got a kick out of.
We walked in the rain and found shelter here and there.
Ate more muffins and scones than we had ever consumed….ever. There is probably still a crumb trail all over the city from the Faul girl fun fest.
We lived amongst the hipsters, like these people here – Portland’s version of Justin Vernon, and his girlfriend who probably got that sweater at one of the vintage shops nearby…. and who appears to be Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords reading Dostoevsky in the background (at Barista on Alberta, – very yummy). Hipsters, I feel you. Never do I feel more “me” than when I wear a slouchy beanie and a hoodie.
Kristin met up with us to shop for fabric at Bolt and have lunch on Alberta. I was really looking forward to getting together! Kristin is super nice, and her little boy is scrumptiously adorable. Tim took the girlies down the street to a fun toy shop while I paced around Bolt in a fabric panic.
It was our last day in the northwest, and we enjoyed it to the fullest. I made Tim drive us around the city, and walk up and down the streets for long enough that I could fit some ice cream from Salt and Straw into my tummy after lunch at Pine State Biscuits.
We spent quite a bit of time in Portland with the google maps app out on one of our phones, just driving around listening to the alternative radio station and the Lumineers, and looking to see new places and find things to enjoy. The app led us astray twice while looking for parks, but other than that it was pretty helpful for two people who have no direction sense.
It was good to be home. I miss my family and the northwest. But there IS something very nice about having my own bed back, and my special cast iron egg pan to use in the morning. Now I’m off to peruse the real estate listings in Portland.