Friday, August 6, 2010

A Visit From Jen or "How Many Eateries Can You Cram Into Three Days?"

In June before we left for California, Dave's sister Jen came out for a long anticipated visit. (She's only been telling me she would come hang out with me for, oh, four years now.) :) Jen came into town for a friend's wedding, but we were able to squeeze in three fantastic trips to Portland: two with kids, and one sans kiddos.

Day 1: We piled all six of us out of the car to get sandwiches at Bunk, earning stares from all of the hipsters eating there with the ruckus we created. We wisely got take-out and headed to the waterfront to eat our delicious sandwiches.
The kids heeded my warnings to stay out of the warning fountain for oh, about three and half minutes.
Then they got completely drenched and enjoyed themselves fabulously doing so.
We headed to the car with three of the four kids completely soaked and no towels to be had. I had the kids strip down to their underwear and wrap themselves in a couple of spare baby blankets in the back seat. Which would have been just fine except... that I had forgotten we needed to pick up Jen's friend Sheri (who would also be staying at our house) on the way home as well. Oops. Can we say, "Welcome to my circus!"? So poor Sheri had the exciting experience of riding in the backseat between two half-naked wet children of mine. (Incidentally, I hadn't connected that Sheri was not just a random friend of Jen's, but is actually the daughter of my mom's college best friend/roommate. I knew her as a kid and have memories of going on vacation to their house... small world!)

Day 2: Our second trip involved a variation of our Portland "Grand Tour." We started the day by grabbing some delicious lunch at little t american baker. Almost as an afterthought at the end, Jen bought a loaf of "Sally Lunn" bread (because I had made a comment that I bought it once on vacation in Williamsburg when I was 13 and loved it). It was insanely good. A major discovery! For the main attraction, we hit the Portland Classical Chinese Gardens. (Thank you, free library cultural passes!)
Jared and Camryn really enjoyed the pictorial scavenger hunt for kids. Addy, on the other hand, wasn't so enamored with the place. (She was actually fine most of the time. I think she needed a diaper change in this picture.)
I loved the elaborate architecture and even more elaborate names and descriptions. How about "The Celestial Pathway to the Hall of Permeating Fragrance"? Hmmm... maybe I should rename my upstairs hallway "The not-so-celestial path over unfolded laundry to the bathroom of permeating odor." Nah, it loses something in translation.
Don't we look thrilled to be here?
After enjoying our view of The Tower of Cosmic Reflections and taking off our shoes to try walking barefoot on the carefully mosaic-ed stones, we decided to quell our hunger at that, er, uh, venerable Portland landmark, Voodoo Doughnuts. We got bubble yum doughnuts for the kids, a Memphis Mafia and an ODB- it's covered in crushed Oreo's, peanut butter and chocolate. Yum!
Jen sampling "Memphis Mafia": a banana fritter covered in chocolate, peanut butter and chocolate chips.
We then took the kids to the playground at Washington Park and worked off our sugar rush.

We then took all four kids to Pok Pok for dinner. Yes, it was one of the braver things I've ever attempted. But we did it and we all survived and my kids even behaved reasonably well (Note: My kids can be bribed and Pok Pok had lime-ade, so all was well.)
Jen with Addy at Pok Pok thinking, "How the heck did we end up in this tiny restaurant with four kids even if we are outside on a patio table?"     
Day 3: Our trip to Portland sans kiddos was much less, er, exciting but every bit as fun. We had a fantastic lunch at Andina of Peruvian tapas.
Jen and I smiling benevolently over our awesome lunch with a random man in the background outside the window.
Exotic truffles and a caramel-filled cookie. Need I say more?
 We whiled away the afternoon at a consignment store where Jen found an amazing dress for $13 bucks and at a store with awesome vintage household decor. We finished the afternoon with a small snack at Papa Haydn.
Two words for you: Papa Haydn. That's right. Come to papa.

Okay, maybe it wasn't small or a snack, but it was insanely delicious and a fantastic end to a fantastic day. Sadly, we were only able to squeeze in eight Portland eateries in three days, but I guess that means that Jen will have to come visit again. :)

1 comment:

Susan said...

I have family coming later this month so I made a list of all the places you mentioned. I love trying new places!