Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014 Vacation, Part 2: Portland

Finished with our excursion around Mt. Hood, we were back in Portland for a few days. Ember played tour guide and we did a combination of things we had done before and enjoyed, and new things.

We parked in one place and did lot of walking. We strolled along the Willamette River waterfront as well as hiking around downtown. Powell's bookstore was a must-stop place, of course.

I had always heard a lot about Voodoo Donuts but in my handful of trips to Portland, had never been there. The kids each picked donuts with cereal, Ember had a vegan chocolate one, mine was maple with bacon on top, and Amanda's was the best apple fritter I had ever had.

In the hills overlooking Portland is the International Rose Test Garden. It's a multiple acre garden where new varieties of roses are grown. There are some truly spectacular colors and shapes! I also like it because it's a great place to get up close pictures of honeybees doing their work.

Ember and I staged a picture together that was in the same location as one we took five years earlier.

We took the opportunity to snap some more group pictures, not all of them serious.

The kids decided to do some individual poses as well.

We finally got the kids settled down enough for a family picture, even if it ended up degrading into silliness.

That evening Ember took us to her favorite Thai restaurant. Finn isn't terribly picky, but sometimes he has his moments of stubbornness when it comes to trying new things - not this time!

The next morning we went to OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Lots of variety of things to check out and explore. We did the planetarium show and another highlight was a room with different contraptions that blew air out and had hoses to connect things together. There were soft blue balls that you then put in the devices and they got shot out from different places. We did a lot of aiming at each other from across the room. Below picture is unrelated: they had dinosaurs too.

There were a lot of hands-on activities. No surprise that Finn took to the Legos.

Julia opted to build with dominoes.

This one required some teamwork. I was tall enough to hold the blocks while Julia and Finn and a little girl figured out which ones to put next as they built an arch.

Her blond hair doesn't lend well to seeing it, but static electricity did make it stand up.

Our last evening in Portland, we went out to eat with Ember and Rob to one of their most frequented restaurants. We walked there and stopped for a quick pic on this mural in the middle of an intersection.

The kids chose an impromptu sprinkler romp after we ate while we hung out for a while at Rob and Ember's place. The next day we were headed to the ocean!