Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Disneyland in the RAIN!

When I see this rainbow tiled floor I let myself start to get excited that I get to spend the day with my kids at one of my favorite places on earth. By this point the stress of packing food/diaper bags, getting there and parking is over and the fun is about to begin. I've started to become a crowd snob and plan my trips around times that will tend to have the least amount of people there. One of those times is in the morning, on a weekday, in the RAIN. If I wake up to clouds I try to open my schedule to take advantage of the opportunity for a possibly empty Disneyland.

Of course, we always have to hit up Harvey's favorite ride first: the horseys! I also love this ride because the line moves quickly. On top of being a crowd snob, I am a line snob. We hit up all the rides with either short or fast moving lines, or both. These include the carousel, the tea cups, it's a small world, pirates of the carribean, pinnochio, snow white, sleeping beauty's castle, the train, and winnie the pooh. I used to rate the success of our trip solely on how many rides we were able to hit up in the shortest period of time. I try not to do that anymore. I try to let myself enjoy the experience even if we just walk slowly down main street and take in the sites and smells. It's not easy though, sometimes the productivity obsessed crazy in me comes out a little.

I fought the princess obsession for a little while after having a daughter, but gave in a long time ago. Really though, how freakin cute is my little girl in her princess dress and rain boots. I mean...

Harvey Jay. My little boy friend. He's still only one year old in this picture. ALMOST two, but still one. He looks like he's four. He doesn't want to/get to wear foofy princess dressed to Disneyland, but he's just as stinkin cute... ONE activity that is NEVER on my Disney todo list is waiting in ludicrously long lines to see characters to 2 seconds (horrible invention). If you're lucky you can catch them walking around. But I have to give in every once in a while. It's all worth it to see the look on Wendy's face. 

Farewell Portland

I'm one of those weird people who LOVES flying (as long as I am childless en flight). I chalk it up to being extremely lazy at heart. 17 hours of uninterrupted reading, movie and nap time with an incredible view and people bringing me food? Yes please. Having a bladder of steal doesn't hurt either (My poor husband has to get up all the time - at least I get the window & he gets the isle, just like we want). I could have stayed in Portland longer, but I started missing my babies. Everything started reminding me of them. Not to mention the GIANT tinkerbell on the side of our plane, Wendy would have LOVED that. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day 3 in Portland: Forest Park

On of the activities I was most looking forward to doing in Portland was hiking in Forest Park. It's a 30 mile wide forest right in Portland with tons of beautiful trails. We got a little lost trying to find our trail head. Okay, a lot lost, but we weren't on foot yet so it was actually fun. We got so high up into the mountain it started snowing. Maybe it's because I'm a California girl who isn't used to snow, but there's just something magical about being in a quiet forest with snow fluttering down around you. I loved it.

Ryan & I were tripping out on how cool the scenery was. We've been camping a lot, but never in a forest like this. Because of the constant moisture and the climate there, every tree was SO green and covered in hanging moss. Not to mention the babbling brook running along the trail. It was like something out of a fairy tale or furn gully or twilight. 

On our hike we found an old, abandoned, stone building that was over run with moss and vines. It was rad. Ryan thought it was a little eerie, but I had to climb all over it and explore. We had fun trying to guess what the building had been, but I found out online afterward that it was just an old public restroom from the early 1900's (not as fun as what we were coming up with but still awesome). 

Right before our hike I found out I was pregnant with baby #3, and during our hike I found a pretty spot to share the wonderful news with Ryan. You can read a little more in depth about it HERE if you want to. :) After the hiking we tried to go to the Japanese gardens - closed. Then we went to the rose gardens - not in season. So we did what we do best and went back to the hotel for a long afternoon nap.

For dinner that night we ate at the food carts. Another fun fact about Portland: there are no fast food restaurants. I didn't see a SINGLE drive thru (which I would have been annoyed with if I lived there and had to get my kids out of the car all the time - as a mom, I wish EVERY store were a drive thru). Instead of fast food there are HUNDREDS of these food carts! I love the opportunity for ma & pop start up restaurants. Ryan ate at a thai food cart and I ate at a gourmet grilled cheese and soup cart called "Bread & Broth." It was delicious! And the colorful carts lining the street are so cute.

Day 3 in the Evergreen District AKA "another post all about food"

For breakfast on day 3 of our anniversary getaway, we went to a darling little restaurant called "Slappy Cakes." The wait was kinda long but WORTH IT. Each table has a grill and you get to choose from a variety of pancake batters (including vegan & gluten free of course), toppings and sides and whip up some pancakes right at your own table. 


The pancake batter came in little squirt bottles so I had fun making my pancakes into words and shapes, a little too much fun. Awesome concept, it just made me a little nervous to see tables with squirly little kids so close to the hot griddle. 

Day 2 in Portland

On our second day in Portland, we slept in to the glorious time of 8:30am! (It's such a parental-luxury to wake up naturally). We got ready and headed out to tour the Pittock Mansion. Just a lovely 15 minute drive through the forest and at the top of the hill sits a real live Downton Abby. Well, not the real one, but SO similar. It was breathtaking. 

*a tiny piece of my favorite room in the mansion

We took the guided tour and it was awesome! Maybe we're just getting old, but it was one of our very favorite things we did in Portland (if not THEE MOST favorite, for BOTH of us). I didn't get a lot of great pictures inside, but it was so cool to see how these amazing people lived at the turn of the century - at the cusp of old world appliances and modern technology. Throughout the tour I was reminded of Downton Abby SO much, I kept leaning over to Ryan and whispering, "This is JUST like Downton Abby." He might have been annoyed. I'd love to go back with a sister or mom or girlfriend who would get as giddy about it as I did.


The grounds outside the mansion were beautiful too. The house sits on top of a hill so you get a breathtaking view of the whole city. Everything is so green and covered in moss, I felt like I was in the secret garden.

After the Pittock Mansion, we went to lunch at a burger joint our Portland friends had suggested to us, called "Bread and Ink." I don't know what they do to the food in Portland, but it just tastes different. Like, there's just a higher level of goodness achievable there. Maybe it's because everything is organic, free range, grass fed, yadda yadda yadda... (there's even a joke on the satiracle show, "Portlandia," where the customers at a restaurant are introduced to the chicken before they eat it and told which farm it came from and what it's name is). But whatever their doing there, it's working!! I'm not much of a burger person, but hot damn those burgers were insane

Around the corner from Bread & Ink is the waffle window! We walked off our lunch downtown in & out of some little shops then came back for lunch dessert. (Every day in Portland, we had dessert after each meal, not just dinner. There were too many yummy treats to try). The place is literally just a window. But the waffles were scrumptious and filling and after eating so much we went back to the hotel and took a loooonng nap (is it sad how much we enjoy sleeping?). In Portland, we didn't eat until we were full, we ate until we were TIRED. We even skipped dinner that night, we were so stuffed. 


That evening we walked around downtown and went BACK to Powell's (three mile wide) Bookstore (we went there at least once every day).  I noticed a lot more "environmentally conscious" details, some of which are pictured above. I don't know why I got such a kick out of all the recycling, it was just everywhere. Then we went to the movies. Anyone who knows me knows I love going to the movies. So pretty scenery, yummy food, lots of sleep, and a movie- basically it was my perfect day.