My mom came into town last week to go on a road trip with Rach before Rachel moved to Corvallis and started school at OSU. Their first stop was Portland and I was lucky enough to be able to tag along!
This was my first night away from my kids. I totally missed them, but it was so very nice to take a break from motherly duties. A big thanks to my awesome husband who came home from work early so we could leave way earlier than planned and therefore, we were able to go to the temple before the rest of our trip. So, first stop, Portland Temple! It has been far too long since I've been to the temple, and to be there with my mom and sister was definitely extra special. I'm so grateful for the spirit of the temple and felt so renewed afterward.After the temple, we headed into downtown and ate at an Irish restaurant- Kell's. Holy delicious. We ordered the Irish Nachos, because... Irish nachos. Why wouldn't you??? Amazing.
I got a chicken curry with apples and cranberries over fries. Sounds totally weird, but dang tasty.
My sister got the shepherd's pie and it was soooo good.
After dinner, we headed to our hotel and just relaxed. Until I realized I forgot my contact solution. And my contact case. But I remembered my glasses!! Rach had some solution, but no extra case. We headed to Target (and got lost four times) and enjoyed the bigger Target.
Before we headed out for the day, I called Brad and talked to the boys. Man, it was so nice to hear them. And to hear them so excited to talk to me- I never get that :) After talking to my family and eating breakfast, the first thing on our itinerary was Powell's City of Books. If you know me, you know I love books so this was a for sure stop. We were really excited to go see this bookstore that is a block big. I really enjoyed it, but I did expect a little more... homey-ness? And cheaper prices. But I did leave with a book about the best hikes in Oregon to do with kids and a Bearenstein Bears counting book. Score.
The HORRIBLE parking garage. Even with our small car, we could not fit through in one turnNext was Penzey's Spices. We did this partly because of my dad. When my parents and sister visited New York last year, my cousin told my dad about the place he buys spices from and how much he loved them. The place- Penzey's. We loved it here- they had samples of all their spices and herbs and mixtures in jars where you can smell them... heaven. I did not expect to love that place so much. We all walked away with at least one thing- I got a bbq seasoning blend that we cannot wait to use!
Up next was the Rose Gardens. Until we got sidetracked with a sign for Pittock mansion. We decided to take a looksie since we were so close. We didn't pay to go inside, but we did walk around. Pretty impressive.
Onto the International Rose Test Gardens! Woooow... so many roses! So beautiful! We definitely need to head back to that area of Portland to explore more because there is so much more than the Rose Gardens to see.Brad and the boys were driving up to meet us, so we drove around for a while looking for nice houses since we were a tad early for meeting them. We didn't have to look far and found a charming neighborhood close by Washington City Park. We've always loved looking at houses and just chatting while we take a look. Never gets old :)
Once we were done stalking houses, we headed back to Washington City Park to meet the boys so they could play at the park. Of course, once they arrived, it started pouring. No joke. We got a couple swings on the swing and a ride or two down the slide before we had to run for the cover of the trees. The boys were upset, but the promise of food made it not too bad.
Our original plan was to eat at a place called Mother's Bistro, but lo and behold, we were about an hour early for their dinner menu to start being served. Blah. With three anxious little boys who had been promised food, we all scrambled for ideas of somewhere else to eat. I found a pasta place called Grassa not too far away, so it was there we went. Again, great food. The boys were able to watch the cooks feed the pasta sheets into the machine to make the pasta. They even got some free samples, lucky dogs. We ordered mac and cheese for the boys (because that's always a win and oh so basic)- James chowed down, Gavin maybe ate a bit, and Jack screamed and wiggled like a banshee. Delightful. After too much screaming, I had a good talking with Jack and had him sit on my lap. Before I knew it, he was scarfing down my pesto and zucchini pasta. Yay!The time had come to part ways- we headed south to stop by the temple again and then head home. Mom and Rach headed back to the hotel to start their adventure to Canada and then Seattle. When we got to the temple, the boys were so excited to see it. Gavin needed to go potty and right when we got to the fountain, he dropped everything down to go on the grass right then and there. Luckily I caught him before he could and he did his business properly in the bathroom. Sometimes, man... sometimes.
Jack's reaction to the waterfall- surprise, happiness, hesitance and yelling, "Wa-wa! Wa-wa!"It was a fun and much needed night away. Thanks to my mom and sister for thinking of inviting me and taking an extra day to have me there. A great thanks to Brad for coming home early, taking such good care of our boys and doing the two-hour trek up to Portland to have a little fun with us. You are all the best!
And just because it's adorable... James wore his new church sweater last week. Um, can someone tell this kid to stop growing up?? He is such a kid now! Love them all. Isn't James's pose so hilarious? Have no idea where it came from, but it's what he does now if I pull out the camera. Funny, funny kids.