Portland, Skaters, and Pancakes

Last weekend, we went to Portland, and it was great. I used to hate the drive, but after you hit Irrigon, it’s quite beautiful.

[yes, the windows are filthy]


We left Lewiston/Clarkston around noon, but had to stop and get a Sonic lunch before leaving. The line was insanely long (it is Lewiston and a new fast food restaurant opening up means long lines for at least a week) so we didn’t actually get out of the valley until 12:40. The drive was great. The kids are really good little travelers and Charlotte slept almost the whole time. We got to Portland a little after 6:30 and had to stop at New Seasons. Because we always have to stop at New Seasons when we get into pdx.


Charlotte ate and then was happy as a clam.

[note the headband. It is covering up a *gasp* bald spot. I don’t even wanna talk about it.]


New Seasons is like a smaller Whole Foods. It’s very “neighborhoody” (whatever that means) and we love it. I think I like it so much because I will never run into anyone I know there, so every sucker there will think I’m totally a healthy mom whose children are crazy healthy — organic eaters, we are. When we aren’t. But it’s fun to try it out for a couple hours.



These, actually, we do purchase on a regular basis for our babies. But we get them from Amazon, in bulk. They are awesome. Plum is our favorite brand, but sometimes we splurge and buy Ella’s Kitchen. Either way, easy and delicious.


My kids love New Seasons because there’s a sweet toy section.



Jamie tried to get us to buy him a toy. What does he think we are? Suckers? (we are).


And after a cart full of really healthy things…..beer, toys, and baby food…..


…we headed to Chip and Carrie and Esme’s house.

Alice was excited.


Actually, we all were. Because Chip and Carrie are the greatest. Equipped with beer and skateboards, we were ready.




How could you not love someone who greets you like this??


Chip and Carrie are cool. Not like the kind of cool where they try hard and are just nice because they are supposed to be. No way. They don’t even have to try and be cool, they just are. I mean, how many moms skateboard? I’m totally jealous of her and will definitely be learning to skate soon.



They are so nice and have us over to visit every time we are in town. Which probably isn’t the most convenient or easiest thing because they have this beauty:


How gorgeous is she?




Even though they are busy with Esme and we probably interrupt every single part of her schedule, they don’t mind — they invite us over anyway. So cool.

And they have a ramp in their backyard. And Chip just happens to like to teach people how to skate, so Maria took full advantage.



We hung out at Chip and Carries along with another totally cool couple, Erin and Juey

She is 2 weeks from her due date and looks SO CUTE with baby Wyatt:


Who else came? Alex. Love him.



Alice got to see both her godfathers this last month…what a lucky girl!

And while the big kids danced their hearts out…



…while Charlotte hung out. As per usual. (perfect baby).


And after all that, we went to our hotel.



We settled in, the kids watched a video, and we all went to sleep. In the morning, we got up and headed to breakfast. But first, how cute is this?

[asleep, clutching Sophie the giraffe]

Totally model-worthy:


We waited patiently, watching for Josh and Liisa.


When they were spotted, the kids ran.



And showed off a little bit.


Maria wore her CHS dance team shirt (Liisa gave it to her).


The wait for Slappy Cakes was long. Like an hour + long. The kids were so good, though. We found ways to pass the time. Like imitate sweet signs:



Suck thumbs:


And be silly:



Then finally, we heard, “Danny — party of 7 and an infant?” They don’t mess around at Slappy Cakes and if you don’t get there in time, they give your table away. We were ready.

This place is awesome.


You get to make your own pancakes. Actually, it’s kinda lazy on their part, but it keeps the kids happy and occupied, and that’s totally worth the $6 bottles of batter.


Danny’s snake:


And who’s awesome swirl? One guess….yep, it was mine. Duh.


And what was Danny ready to eat? Candied bacon. Gross.



And after pancakes and other breakfast treats, we went next door to Choco Labs. They had chocolate mustaches and of course we had to try them out.






Alice? She got confused. It looks like a mustache….but looks like it tastes so good….


When Alice starts eating the display chocolates, we always know it’s time to leave. So off we went. We went back to the hotel and grabbed our tickets:


That’s right. VIP tickets to The Dew Tour. We are so lucky — Danny has met some really great people through his skatepark construction project and a couple of those people gave him passes to The Dew Tour which is a big skateboarding and BMX thing. Pro riders were there competing and it was so much fun. We met some of the skaters, and watching them in real life was really really fun. I’ve said it before, but there is something about the skateboarding culture that is the best — everyone is so laid back, easy going, and fun to be around. They don’t think twice about a family of 6 (oh my gosh, 6…) hanging out, watching skating. The ‘famous’ (that sounds so dumb to say) skateboarders stayed at our hotel and no one made a huge deal about it. They weren’t bombarded by anyone wanting autographs and they didn’t walk around like they were cool or famous or anything. Because that’s just how they roll (get it? skateboards roll? hilarious…). Anyway, we got to see some really great people do what they love to do, which is always fun.



See this line? We bypassed it. We were VIPs…whatev.


The guy in the yellow is Steve Caballero.



These are the guys we saw at the ‘legends skate jam.’ Pretty cool.


Steve Caballero, Chris Miller, and Lance Mountain. Just a sidenote, Danny and Dano met Steve Caballero and Lance Mountain in the parking lot of our hotel. They totally scored skater trading cards. Yes, like 8 year olds.



The kids were so great at the event. We brought the Ipad, so they were occupied (parents, if you don’t have one…buy one. Worth it 100%.)

After The Dew Tour, we went to dinner at Laurelwood Public House with this guy:


and Liisa. This place is the best place to take kids. They have a couple kids’ play areas. Awweeesooome.

The next day, I was brave. Brave and stupid. Danny went to skate with Chip at Battleground skatepark. I didn’t want to just hang out there so I took the kids shopping. I thought it would be a great experience, especially since it started with this:


I took advantage of the front row parking. And unloaded all the kids. We went inside and immediately they had to go potty. Okay, fine, no big deal. We went into Nordstrom because that is the only public bathroom at the mall that I would take my kids. So there I was, nursing Charlotte while the kids go to the bathroom (I can see the stalls where I am sitting, don’t worry). The kids start laughing and singing and then Jamie’s stall door swings open, while he’s using the bathroom (yes, there are people in there), Alice is yelling that she needs to “potty, too!!” and I can’t do a darn thing about it all because I have a baby attached to my nipple. Okay, so that passes and we are shopping and things just get more and more chaotic. I pulled some awesome parenting moves during that shopping trip. I pulled the ‘ole “pull your kid out of the stroller by one arm” (jamie) and the “tell your kids they won’t get lunch if they don’t stop” trick. Neither of them work, fyi.

But then we met Josh and Liisa at “Pause” for lunch.

[yes, pasta with butter and cheese is free. we should have all ordered that.]

Beets? Make it, Cenone.

Alice was happy to see Josh and Liisa again.



And so was Charlotte.


Another thumb-sucker. Love it.


Then we left.

How awesome are these backpacks?


I was actually going to order them this week out of Chasing Fireflies but found them in a store. They are so cool.

After a really, really fun weekend we were done. We didn’t leave Portland until about 5:30 and everyone was tired. See?


The ride home was great. It went really quickly and the kids were awesome (no surprise). We loved seeing friends and family, and cannot wait until our next trip.


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