After a day of doctor appointments for me and Henry we left North Bend in the late afternoon. We'd hoped to get out earlier, but no luck. As a result we hit traffic in a bunch of spots adding an hour and a half to the trip. Blah!
By the time we got to Portland for a late dinner the kids were fried and so were we. That first night was mostly about getting settled and trying to get some sleep.
Most of the next day was spent apart. I hiked to McNeil Point on Mt. Hood and Amy ran errands including a trip to her spiritual home, Fabric Depot. Somehow we seem to get a postcard from the folks at the Depot announcing a 40% off sale just after we schedule our trip. I think maybe they really want Amy's business and schedule sales accordingly.
I got back in time for dinner, but I was again fried. (This time, literally. I got a pretty decent burn above the clouds.) I did the best I could to stay awake, but gave up when Henry decided I'd be comfy to sleep on.
So skip forward to the next morning when I have some recollection of what actually happened. Start with a trip to Starbucks with the girls. (I know, big surprise.) They've taken a liking to Strawberries and Creme Frappuccinos and since they were good enough to give me an excuse to get my own fix they got to split a tall.
After a real breakfast back at Grams and Gramps (oh yeah, that's where we were staying for the first part of the trip) we headed for the neighborhood garage sale. Oh, great. Sounds like fun, huh? Well, if not fun, it was at least successful. I found an external backpack ("Been to Nepal twice and to the highest point of Mexico!") that would be perfect to pack around the inflatable boat we now have for fishing with the kids. $3. Can't beat that deal.
Clara and Lilly were still buzzing from the strawberry flavored calorie infusion so they nearly ran Amy into the ground spinning and spinning between tables at the garage sale. Then they concocted a game in which Clara ran ahead, turned around, said, "Come on, Lilly!" and Lilly would run to her for a hug. Sheesh. Kids.
Naps were highly unlikely so instead they learned how to play tennis. Grams and Gramps love the game so Grams took the girls into the backyard and showed them the basics of holding a racket while someone threw a ball at it. Clara actually figured out she could hit the ball a mile with a little bit of a swing so we called it quits before someone got really hurt. Next time we're in Portland you can bet we'll be spending time on the courts.
Dinner was at Amy's cousin's place. Shannon and Chris have two girls, one just a few weeks older than Henry. Clara, Lilly, and Sierra had a blast running around in the yard and Clara learned how to hang upside down on a monkey bar. Every time she did it I'd think, "And now she'll fall on her head and..." but then she'd flip off without a problem. Lilly wanted to do it, too, but I figured I had at least two more years before I'd have to put up with that.
Henry showed off a lovely new hat that matched one Gramps likes to wear. They seemed almost indistinguishable from one another except Henry's tongue was normal in color. (Sorry, inside joke.)
The next morning we did our best to get out early, but wound up a little later than hoped for. We were due to meet up with family from my side. My cousin, Tara, and family had just bought a house between Grams and Gramps and downtown. My Aunt and Uncle made the trek in from way to the west of Portland (at least it seems like a long way) to meet up with us and play.
Tara and Brian have a son named Ty who loves tractors and trucks (who doesn't) and will clearly help manify Henry as he gets older. Clara and Lilly loved playing with him and reading with Aunt Bonnie. In fact, as we left Clara said she wanted to play more with Grandma Joan's sister and Ty.
Sadly, we had to leave after just a few hours, but we had a good destination. Goggi (Amy's paternal grandmother) still hadn't met Henry and was anxiously awaiting our arrival. She beamed when she was able to hold Henry and even more so when he opened up with a big toothless grin. We spent the rest of the day just hanging out and offering Henry to anyone who wanted to hold him.
Our last full day was a Monday, which was great because it meant our destination, the Oregon Zoo, was pretty much empty. The girls liked it because it was a zoo. I liked it because it has a real focus on the Northwest. Compared to our local zoo (Woodland Park) the Oregon Zoo seemed much more in tune with the local environment. (Yes, the local zoo is much larger and has very impressive exhibits with exotic animals from all over the world and that's cool, too.)
After the zoo we were all tired. The girls went down for (relatively unsuccessful) naps and Amy took her life in her hands by letting driver-in-training Aubrey drive her to the store. (No, not really, she is a very good driver according to Amy.) We ended the day with pizza and a gathering of another branch of the family including yet more cousins. Heck, we even saw the elusive Uncle Alan who stopped by for a few hours to meet Henry and chat.
Another night we were back on the road heading home. The girls did very well, though they didn't really sleep. At least they were content watching movies and putting Henry's cork back in when he spit it out. Thankfully, the trip home was a lot faster than the trip south.
Oh yeah, and Tokul got a chance to stay with Grandma Joan again. It was weird not having her around the house for the few days after we got home until she was reintroduced, but she clearly had a good time and probably caused more trouble than we've heard about, but that could probably be said of all of us after six days out and about.