Friday, October 17, 2014

My Heart is in Portland

After our super fun 2nd Birthday Trip this summer, I vowed to start actively paying off credit cards and spend more of our hard earned money on traveling with my family.  We had so much fun and Lemon is at such a fun age, I just can't believe this era of going on fun trips as a family is upon us - I can't wait!

This Fall Break we decided to head to Oregon to see my dad and visit friends.  We hadn't been since Lemon was conceived (in October 2011, for reals, "Made in Oregon" for sure!) so it was time to go back.  We used to go every summer, I'm actually from a small town outside of Portland, and my heart will forever be in Oregon because it's where I grew up.  We also haven't seen my dad since May (he spends hot Arizona summers there) and I missed him terribly, and two of my friends that are like family to us are there too - it was just calling to me.

So, I booked a flight for all of us and off we went!  Lemon was awesome on the plane, we just loaded up her iPad with new apps, our DVD player with some new Disney movies, got her some kid-friendly headphones (I highly recommend these), brought tons of snacks and she was great!  We told her that we were going to see hippos (at the Oregon Zoo) so on the plane she just kept saying she was taking a plane to see hippos - totally the truth.  She loved flying, looked out the window with Ian and was a really good girl, I was impressed.  My mom said I was a good traveler too so maybe that's where she gets it from! ;)

Our photo-bomber!  Eek!

When we got to the airport we realized we had to take a shuttle to our car rental place so that was kind of annoying with all of our bags.  Then, even more annoying, is that car rental places don't install the car seat for you, so after spending 3 hours on the plane and just wanting to get to the place we were staying, Ian had to wrestle with the car seat for an hour!  Ugh!

We got an Airbnb rental for our trip and it was AWESOME (it was our first time doing this and we had a great experience)!  It was in NE, but pretty far south so almost SE and was the bottom level of a house but not a basement, actually an old garage we think.  It was one bedroom, had a full kitchen and the bathroom and living areas were super cute.  It was all remodeled and really livable, we loved it and it was great for a toddler too!  Lemon loved the steps (one step only) and would say, "One, two, threeee" and then try to jump off - so cute!

The weather was not as cold as we thought it would be.  Definitely jean weather in the mornings but it was so hot in the afternoon, even hotter than in AZ because we've had so much rain.  It really wore us out, we weren't expecting it to feel like summer still!

My dad came over first thing after Lemon's nap to meet us and go for a walk, Lemon remembered him and loved hanging with him!

After a lovely dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Vita Cafe, we were so tired and off to bed (after hanging with my bestie, Matt, of course!).

The next day we planned on going to Saturday Market (on a Sunday) but it opened so late that we thought we'd head to the park, then put Lemon down for a nap, then go.  We went to the cutest park at Mt. Tabor and Lemon had fun playing with the other kids.  Such a gorgeous setting!

Saturday Market was ok, it was pretty hot, Lemon just wanted to play in the fountain (and of course I didn't bring a change of clothes) and with all of the traffic it just wasn't very baby friendly downtown.  My friend Meaghan met us though, which was fun, and then we all headed back to our place to put Lemon to bed and hang out.

On the train!

On Monday we were off to the Oregon Zoo to see hippos (and got half off tickets with our Phoenix Zoo memberships)!  Lemon was so excited!

She was a little nervous when we finally saw them.  There were two, in the water, and they scared her a bit I think.  Ha.  We went to the San Diego this summer but didn't get to see the hippos, I will never make that mistake again.  She liked them a bit better when we went back later and saw one out of the water.  Still freaked though, a little.  


Being elephants with Matt.

Another one that freaked her out!

She has been talking about sea lions non stop since our trip, this guy was pretty cool!

I have blogged about Matt many times on here.  I love him.  He is my brother from another mother and we've been friends for 36 years, our whole lives.  Just search his name and you will see just how much I talk about him.  He is the reason a piece of my heart will always be in Portland.

After the zoo, and a nap, we met up with some people at a gluten free, vegan bakery downtown called Petunia's.  Even though the treats were delicious, we weren't impressed with the management at there.  After inviting 2 other families, buying a ton of sweets (and feeding them to our kids), we were basically asked to leave by the manager because my 2 year old, a friend's 5 year old and a one year old were "climbing all over" and "disturbing other customers."  There were 2 other people in the bakery and our kids were not out of control, they were just being kids.  I posted about it on IG and the manager of Petunia's responded with a very personal attack towards me, and Lemon, but instead of responding in public I messaged her directly and deleted her comment.  This is my blog, just like that is my IG, and if we have a bad experience somewhere, it is totally my right to post about it.  The sweets were good but I definitely wouldn't bring your kids to this bakery, not kid friendly at all. 

We met up with Amanda and Theo from The Love More Shop and she was so cute!  The idea behind her shop is to donate towards the Love Fund that will send couples out on dates to nurture their love.  Every purchase goes towards the fund so check out her shop (and she will be featured on Moms on Mondays soon too)!

We also met up with my old friend Sam, who I grew up with in Hillsboro, OR.  I am so grateful for social media because it has allowed us to keep in touch all of these years and it was so great seeing her!

Marisa, Steve and Madison were also social media friends of ours from Arizona and they recently moved out to Oregon.  We actually met them when we were interviewing wedding photographers and stayed in touch since (5 years later)!  It was so good seeing them!

That night, Ian, Lemon and I went to dinner alone at Mac! (they have super good vegan, gluten free mac and cheese) and then met up with Mat again to hang after Lemon went to bed (at our place).  The next day we were off to the beach with my dad to visit some more friends!

The drive was long and full of traffic (both there and back) and I remembered why we don't just go "for the day."  Next time we are definitely spending the night!  But, the weather was beautiful (I can't believe I was in a tank on the Oregon coast!) and the fog was unreal, we had so much fun visiting with our friend (our old next door neighbors from the neighborhood I grew up in)!

We were exhausted when we got back.  Traveling with a toddler is definitely not a vacation, we were all soooooo tired.  I ordered a pizza from a local place, by our house, and even though it was so gross (the "vegan" cheese was just pureed cashew and the "gluten free crust" was just polenta!), I ate it then was ready for bed.  We hugged Matt (and Eris, the dog), said goodnight and get ready for our busy morning packing and cleaning up.

Lemon was great on the plane ride home, even though it was during nap time, and by the time we got settled at our house it was around 3pm.  We tried to put her down for a nap but it wasn't happening so we all just sat on the couch and put on a movie (and ordered Pad Thai).  It took us a couple of days to recover (basically the rest of our vacay) but I'm so happy we went.  It was so much fun to go as a family of three, to do different things and take Lemon to new places and to met new people (to her).

I hope to go on more adventures with my family and to see new places in the future, and return to Oregon once a year as well!  She was a great sport, traveled well, slept well and I had a lovely time!

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  1. Don't you just love Portland! We were there in June and had a blast! Looks like you guys did, too!

  2. How despicable that instead of offering to make it right with the customer the manager at Petunia's felt the need to attack a baby on social media. If I ever find myself in Portland you can believe I will not be visiting that establishment.

    1. Right?! Ugh so frustrating! It's a shame too because they did have good sweets!