Portland Zoo with the Two Year Old

Mommy got the Day Off to see the midwife and do whatever she felt like (she baked) while Daddy worked and Grandma (that’s me) and Aunty and Uncle (M&M’s) took the munchkin to the zoo for Second Tuesday’s reduced price. IMG_4105

Upon arrival I thought it was going to be a torturous long drizzly grey *cold* day standing for hours at a water gushing up like a geyser at the first display we got to.  Welcome to a zoo where we don’t get to see animals because the 2yo is mesmerized by the water spurting high above her.  Glory!!!

Bribed with food she eventually moved past so we could search out lions and tigers and bears, oh my!!

Penguins

Penguins

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

Lizard

Lizard swimming

Polar bear

Polar bear

Crocodile

Crocodile

Marin spent a good chunk of time watching these big fish and turtles swim past

Marin spent a good chunk of time watching these big fish and turtles swim past

3 kinds of bats

3 kinds of fruit bats.  This was the largest kind.

I was shocked when this cat approached me the moment I stepped up to the glass.

I was shocked when this cat approached me the moment I stepped up to the glass.

Part of the otter display though he was gliding on his back on the other side of the rock.

Part of the otter+ display though he was gliding on his back on the other side of the rock.

Another favourite of Marin's was climbing on the animal statues.

Another favourite activity of Marin’s was climbing on the animal statues.

Marin and Grandma playing on statues of mountain goats

Marin and Grandma playing on statues of mountain goats

Not Without a Voodoo

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What’s a trip to Portland without a visit to Voodoo Doughnuts?  It was on our family’s Bucket List (no, we don’t actually have one written down) and although some of the kids tried Voodoo Doughnuts from a food cart on a Sunday bicycle ride with Rauchelle back in August* it just isn’t the same as waiting in line at THE storefront, to seeing samples twirling by in the display case, to see people for blocks proudly walking with their pink boxes.  It’s An EXPERIENCE, a Portland experience.

Not enough bikes for the large family to cycle downtown so we drove to the river and parked then walked along the Columbia and across (took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to cross the bridge), and walked some more.  Watched boats & cyclists.  Chased Canadian geese.  Played in fountains. Kicked autumn leaves.  Recharged with sugar.

Twirl twirl twirl

Twirl twirl twirl

LOTS of stops on the bridge just to look.

LOTS of stops on the bridge just to look.

The esplanade and green space along the Columbia is really nice to have in the city.

The esplanade and green space along the Columbia is really nice to have in the city.

Water, the endless adventure.

Water, the endless adventure.

Always a wait.  But this day we were in 'n' out in like 25 minutes!

Always a wait. But this day we were in ‘n’ out in like 25 minutes!

The Bearer of Good News

The Bearer of Good News

VooDoo Doll Doughnuts

VooDoo Doll Doughnuts

*one Sunday a month during spring/summer months the city closes to autos a cycling route so families can safely get out and about in town in relative safety and teach their children cycling in the city.

Multnomah Falls

Visited more than any other attraction in Oregon (nearly 2 million/yr) we added our crew to the statistics.  About a 20 minute drive from Rauchelle and Seth’s place we piled in our two vehicles and set out on a sunny Portland day to get us some scenery!

The upper falls are 542 feet while the lower ones are 69 feet high.  Measured ‘together’ they are the second highest year-round waterfalls in the USA, with waterflow the heaviest in spring with mountain snow melt.  In the winter the spray often freezes against the cliffs and is sometimes severe enough that a glacier-like formation occurs.  That would be cool to see.

For us, the falls are light and the day is perfect.  Marin fell asleep on the drive so her daddy stayed back with her in the parking lot while we moseyed up all the way to the top, pace set by our 38-week pregnant daughter determined to make it!

Restaurant, gift shop, information and museum.

Restaurant, gift shop, information and museum.

Easy view just a few steps up from the stone building.  Wheel chair accessible.

Easy view just a few steps up from the stone building. Wheel chair accessible.

View from the top looking down over the parking and highway and the Columbia River.

View from the top looking down over the parking and highway and the Columbia River.

We all made it....but not all into this picture.

We all made it….but not all into this picture.

38 weeks with Skittles

38 weeks with Skittles

Descending the climb.  Everything is wet from spray; Laars talks about the nano water droplets.

Descending the climb. Everything is wet from spray; Laars talks about the nano water droplets.

Seth and Marin join us.  She had been marvelling at the giant 'shower'.

Seth and Marin join us. She had been marvelling at the giant ‘shower’.

We explored in the museum, checking out the rock formations of the falls, the creatures and plants that populate the area.  We discovered that it was a Pacific Giant Salamander that Toveli spotted burrowed under the base of a big white mushroom on the bank.  We confirmed that Danaka was right, it was Liquorice Fern amongst the other 4 or 5 different types of ferns.  And Laars explored the topography of the area, pushing buttons to light up on the display model.

Two of Our Happy Girls!

Two of Our Happy Girls!

Gaelyn’s Along-Time-Ago View of Her Family

(Repost) I just came across this picture from over 4 years ago.  I don’t actually remember when Gaelyn drew it, but at least 2010 or before.

Why do some of us have teeth, and the rest don’t?
Does she really see as all as happy people?
Does Mommy really have rosy cheeks like she portrays?
Believe me, we all wear clothes in real life!

Been to an Online Party?

 

Wrapologist

Until a few weeks ago I would have said “NO! I haven’t been to an Online Party.”

But I went, and a friend from Toronto (I met her on the Baja 2 winters ago) joined me as a busy skeptic of the wraps.  She only attended because she trusted me!  Sweet.

That skeptic was THE winner of a free wrap that night so she’s now had it mailed to here and I’m anxious to see what her results are.

Well, there’s another online party tomorrow night (Wed 6:30PST) and you can join us from the comfort of your own home (even in your jammies with a glass of wine!).  Learn what the wrap is, what it does, and some of the other products that It Works carries.  There’s nutritional supplements for women’s hormones, and a fabulous line of skin care.

Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!  Join us to learn more about Those Crazy Wraps…..and maybe YOU’ll be the winner this week!!

Saying Goodbye Yet Again

Traveling, like all things, has its perks and its negative aspects.  One of our favourite things about traveling is meeting the fantastic people that cross our path.  But that means that one of the downsides to traveling is the friends and family we seldom see.

It’s good to RECONNECT.  But then we have to say SEE YA LATER again.

My nephew Emerson came out from Montreal, and he and his dad stopped in to visit on their way back from Tofino.

My nephew Emerson came out from Montreal, and he and his dad stopped in to visit on their way back from Tofino.

How was it that I didn't get a picture of a NEW friend, Beth and dd K?  But here our youngest three are with Sawyer at our old swimming hole, Spider Lake.

How was it that I didn’t get a picture of a NEW friend, Beth and dd C? But here our youngest three are with Sawyer at our old swimming hole, Spider Lake.

 

Christine and I've been friends for about 20 yrs.  She used to cut my hair, now she's just written a nursing exam so maybe she can take care of me in my older years.

Christine and I’ve been friends for about 20 yrs. She used to cut my hair, now she’s just written a nursing exam so maybe she can take care of me in my older years.

Schwartz were our neighbours in Sooke

Schwartz were our neighbours in Sooke

 

Layne came up island one more time and we all went over to the Ortweins for a final visit.

Layne came up island one more time and we all went over to the Ortweins for a final visit.  When we first met the O’s, we had 2 children and they had 1.  Since then we’ve gone thru 14 pregnancies (and a few miscarriages) and ended up raising 15 kids who virtually know no life without the other family.

Lisa Ortwein treated me to a hydropath and I treated her to decadent desserts at the Kingfisher Resort.

Lisa Ortwein treated me to a hydropath and I treated her to decadent desserts at the Kingfisher Resort.

That was quite a lot of chocolate!  and lavender ice cream.

That was quite a lot of chocolate! and lavender ice cream.  (To make up for all the fudge we don’t eat when we don’t go away to BnB’s for the weekend like we used to do!)

Beth Hirst, a beautiful homeschooling mom who teaches firearms!!  I met her through volunteering at the farm.

Beth Hurst, a beautiful homeschooling mom who teaches firearms!! I met her through volunteering at the farm.

C Hurst having final play time with some of our kids.

C Hurst having final play time with some of our kids.

 

Final See You Later with the Yaremcio's as they move to Salt Spring Island and we hit the road.  Here's Kyle and Cory with Shelley and I at the campfire.

Final See You Later with the Yaremcio’s as they move to Salt Spring Island and we hit the road. Here’s Kyle and Cory with Shelley and I at the campfire.

Kara and....

Kara and….

Anders, climbing trees with Puma (the still-kitten-but-getting-big)

Anders, climbing trees with Puma (the still-kitten-but-getting-big)

Hamilton's with the kids.  This summer was AWESOME, volunteering nearly full-time at the Hobby Farm.   Goes down in our memories as one of the BEST SUMMERs EVER!

Hamilton’s with the kids. This summer was AWESOME, volunteering nearly full-time at the Hobby Farm. Goes down in our memories as one of the BEST SUMMERs EVER!

Shelly and Danaka....just one more hug.

Shelly and Danaka….just one more hug.

And we're off for the mainland.

And we’re off for the mainland via BC Ferries