Friday, August 31, 2012

Oregon Vacation part 1

We went on a trip to the Oregon coast this summer that really was amazing. we had a fantastic time, and it was relaxing and rejuvinatint and beautiful. So we have way too many pictures of it. We're going to chunk them up here for posting - these are our photos from the drive out and our early days in Portland.

Since the girls are still not huge fans of a car trip (though they have gotten SO MUCH better than when we first tried this at 10 months old!) we decided to try leaving at 4am this time, to see if we could get the to sleep through the first three hours.  We had mixed success on this front.  The girls did not sleep at the same time (though they each got a catnap somewhere in the first two and a half hours) but they were in great moods, thinking we were off on a really odd adventure to be leaving when it was dark out.  There weren't many cars on the road, and roadwork hadn't started for the day, so overall we'd do that part of the trip that way again.

We also stopped a few more times (including at Columbia Crest winery for a wine tasting and some get-out-and-run time) than we have in the past.  Our favorite rest stop by far was in Hood River, OR, at Draper Girls farm.  Here are the happy little ones, out of the car and in some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
And for comparison, here they are in the same spot last year - what a lot of growth!
The flowers and fruits here are really incredible - Christina couldn't get enough.
For their money, Clara and Elena are pretty sure the goats are the best part.

Sweet girls on the swings.

And a sweet Steve, too!
Mom and Leni, in the flowers.
We bought pounds and pounds of peaches to take on with us to the coast.  We just had to sample a few before we began driving again, though.  Clara decided she was a monkey (dog? cat? Hard to remember at this point) and we had to feed peaches to her.

Then it was back in the car and on to Portland!  We got in early enough to get to roam around and find dinner (at a great Italian place) and check in at a beautiful hotel called The Benson, where every US president since Taft has stayed.  The next morning we were up and at 'em to for the Farmer's Market, which we loved as much for its coffee and chocolate croissants as we did for any farming action.

Clara found us the perfect pepper:

Clowning around near the flora:
Even though we'd already gotten croissants, raspberries, and strawberries for our breakfast the girls could not pass by this cherry stand - Clara was brave enough to place her own order and got us some to snack on as we continued our walking about.

We spent a lot of time on the Portland State campus (where the market is held) and the girls had a fantastic time running "like horses!" along the greenways.  Christina and Steve were pretty charmed by the way that someone had given the Lincoln statue a little extra something.
Of course Old Abe would enjoy a Voodoo doughnut while in Portland!
Each member of our family got to pick a favorite Portland store to spend some time in.  Steve chose Canoe, Christina chose the Fluevog shoe store, and the girls both chose the toy shoppe.  Then it was time for our joint favorite - Powell's books!

We had an awesome lunch at Habibi, then moved up the street to the cupcake shop - they had this fun wire whisk statue out front!
...and many scrumptious cupcakes inside.

We hung out a fair amount in the Pearl District, enjoying shops, street art, food, and drink.

On our last morning, before driving on, we stopped for breakfast at Voodoo Doughnuts, something the girls had DEFINITELY not forgotten about since our last visit!
They both got the "dirt doughnut" - nice way to sneak oreos and frosting into your breakfast.
After breakfast we stopped at the Portland Children's Museum - we've always liked this spot, but they have added a new Animal Clinic exhibit since were last in, and we could not get enough of it.  Between the love of animals and doctoring there couldn't have been something better suited to Elena and Clara!

A few fun hours here, then it was off for one more hour of driving before we got to the coast!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The fair

Fair week is upon us! (Okay, it was a few weeks ago when we took the pictures, perhaps not now that I am posting). As always, one of our favorite parts of the fair is the rodeo.
Rodeo aficionado #1
Rodeo aficionado #2
And our trusty treat-bearer!  Fry bread, fried cheese curds, and lemonade!
We were in time to see the steer roping this time - the girls have taken to practicing this and re-enacting with their horses at home.  We prefer this quite a bit to the time we saw bull-riding and they re-enacted with us!

For the first time ever the girls tried out the carnival games.  This carnival-worker has twin girls himself, and there may have been a bit of that behind the fact that both girls were able to win prizes at this game. :)

When we were in the agriculture tent we ran into Emily, a cheerleader at a local high school that we had made friends with at a baseball game earlier in the summer. She recognized us and volunteered to take us on a tour of all her friend's animals, and so we saw many a goat, sheep, pig, and cow.
Emily's pig, Ari, won a purple ribbon!
We couldn't resist a picture of this poorly-sheared alpaca.  Enbiggen the picture to get the full effect of the sign!
The petting area was a hit again this year, with time to brush the pony and chase around wary turkeys and bunnies.

Feeding this sweet little lamb was certainly a highlight.
Finally, there were the rides, which in the kiddie-area all look amazingly similar to one another.  Yet, Elena and Clara approached each as if it were a new adventure - a great gift of their youth!