Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Portland Recap

Having grown up in Chicago I think about snow nostalgically, especially when it's November and 80 degrees in the blazing sun here in LA. I was even planning on taking the boys to Chicago for Christmas this year. That was before this past weekend in Portland. More on that later.

When we got to Portland, my good friend from the Korea University summer program picked us up from the airport. She let us use her daughter's old car seat so we only brought the backless booster for H. Not traveling with a car seat really helps, especially these days when we're only taking carry-ons and a car seat would mean having to wait at baggage claim just for that item. We got a tour of southeast Portland on our way to Pine State Biscuits, but the line was too long and we made our way to Hopworks Urban Brewery, aka the Hub, where I had my first organic handcrafted beer. The great thing about this place was that half of it was a bar where kids aren't allowed, but the other half is kid-friendly where parents (at least the non-driving parent) can kick back, drink beer, and watch their kids play in the toy corner filled with a train table, dinosaurs, books, a chalkboard, and more. I wish there were places like this in LA. The food wasn't so great, but the beer, excellent! We later checked out the OMSI, where H and R ran around like crazy till I was about to pass out from exhaustion chasing them.

The next day we went shopping and walking in downtown Portland. Oh, did I forget to mention there is NO sales tax in Portland? We ate at the food trucks and got our obligatory Voodoo doughnuts. (I didn't get any Stumptown coffee, but bought some beans to brew at home.) When we walked into Voodoo, I smelled bacon frying for the bacon maple doughnut. Does it get better than that??? H ate mostly the topping off his doughnut, but I think he thoroughly enjoyed it. R was conked out during the entire walk.

Over the weekend we spent time on Mt. Hood for a family wedding at the Timberline Lodge, where the exterior shots for The Shining were filmed. It may have been the lingering presence of whatever evil was portrayed in the movie (I'm not really sure because I can't watch scary movies), but H and R were unable to sleep (screaming in the middle of the night) and we were all zombies the day after the wedding. Unfortunately we were in one of those bunk rooms and subjected other relatives to their craziness. Never again. Whenever we travel, we will get our own room. I don't know what possessed me to think that sharing with other people would work.

Sleepiness aside, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Portland with all of its sights and eclectic personalities. The boys especially enjoyed playing with their cousin C--Pump it Up Party anyone? But what we discovered is that H is no longer the same boy that was born in NYC and spent his first winter playing in the snow by Riverside Park. I thought Portland would be a great place for him to reconnect with nature, snow and the four seasons. We all discovered that H didn't share that goal. When we went to a playground after a light sprinkle (light by Portland standards), H went down a slide and got his pants soaked. He immediately started moaning, "I am not OK!" He said this repeatedly until I went to the car and changed him into disposable pants. (These boxers have saved us on several occasions. I would never use them for sleeping, though, they're just too expensive for that!) Then when we were on Mt. Hood and finally playing in the snow, after five minutes H started whining about his wet pants, "I'm wet, I have to change it. I don't like it." So a year and half in the LA sun has turned my snow angel into a beach boy. Say it ain't so!

I am going to abandon the plans to go to Chicago for Christmas and fly my parents to LA instead. I guess the only White Christmas we'll have is if we go to one of the pristine beaches in Dana Point where the sand is almost white. I think the hardest part is to admit that I had just as much trouble with the Portland weather as H did. I feel like a traitor to myself.

1 comment:

R said...

Gosh that H is so cute!