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Help me plan details of a proposed vacation to Oregon....?

 
 
littlek
 
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2009 08:26 pm
I'll be visiting my sister in Oregon in June (or so it seems right now....). She'll be having her second child in early May. She's asked for visitors to help out. I'm hoping that you all could help me brain storm ideas:

1) of what to bring to help out (they have books and toys a-plenty)
2) of what a stressed out mom of two might want for a birthday present
3) of things to do with my elder nephew for a few hours at a time (parks, kid-friendly cafes, etc)
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Mar, 2009 08:29 pm
@littlek,
One idea I had for things to do with Elder Nephew is to bring him to a working farm - is there such a thing in the Portland area? I'm thinking of a place we have in MA which is a working farm with vegetable gardens, horses, cows, pigs, goats, sheep, etc. It also is an injured wildlife sanctuary with several raptors, foxes, a skunk and some deer.

Anything like this out in OR?
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 04:54 am
@littlek,

2) valium / bottle of favorite adult beverage?
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 08:33 am
@littlek,
What to bring? Mostly just yourself, I guess. All that the new mothers in my wider family ever seemed to need was a maid for the household chores and a nanny for any older kids. I'd say you've got that covered just by visiting. Maybe screen for anything your Portland sister doesn't have that you found useful for nannying your Boston sister's kids?

Is your nephew old enough for a bike tour yet? Or if not, does your sister have a bike with a child seat? June seems like a good time for biking, and Portland is one of the few American cities that treats bikers as first class citizens of its roads.

About the present: Are you looking for something useful to prevent stress, or something fun to diffuse it? A good stress preventer, if your sister doesn't already have it, is a baby carrier backpack. You put one kid into it, carry it around with you, and have your hands free for the other.

I'll be in Portland visiting Blatham this coming weekend. If you'd like me to take a look at any particular place there, I'd be happy to.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 09:05 am
Yeah!!!! little k is coming to Oregon!!!

How old is elder nephew? I can probably come up with a million kid friendly ideas.
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 11:07 am
Number two on your list must be a visit with Blatham and Lola. They are great company.

BBB
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Mar, 2009 03:11 pm
Thanks for the suggestions all! Elder Nephew is a little more than 2. Neither of us are bike riders. And he's a little young for Mo, but E.N. would LOVE him. I'd love to see you Boomer. And I'd love to see Blatham and Lola again. Anyone else there? Pdawg was last time I was out, and butterfly. Both have since moved away.

I do plan on being nanny (and grudgingly maid). I think being out with one or both kids for a walk in the park will be a daily occurance.

Going out somewhere around the end of June to beginning of July.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Mar, 2009 08:28 pm
@littlek,
This evening over dinner, Blatham's neighbors marvelled that a lot of nice vineyards have sprung up around Portland over the last 20 years or so. Although I can't give you names and addresses at this time, this got me thinking: Maybe if the two of you can get some grown-up time with each other, a wine tasting might give your sister some stress relief?
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Mar, 2009 08:34 pm
@Thomas,
I doubt very much that she and I will have alone time. But, it's a good suggestion.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Mar, 2009 08:40 pm
@littlek,
Are there any Boston-area treats/specialties that your sister might have a craving for - food, beverage, special type of souvenir ?

There's probably nothing in terms of kiddie stuff that you can't pick up as easily there if you discover some type of game is missing. I wouldn't suggest using luggage space on anything like that.

Can you arrange to have someone come into the home to give her a pedi while you're taking care of the kids for an hour or so?
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 07:30 am
@littlek,
#2: A nap.

#3: Any children's museums around?
chai2
 
  0  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 07:41 am
@DrewDad,
As far as a gift, boring as it may sound, things she will really need on a day to day basis.

Diapers, diapers, diapers.

Those would be too bulky to travel with you, so the best solution would be a gift card to the local Target, the supermarket she goes to, etc.
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boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 08:46 am
Going out here to help her seems like enough to do for your sister, at least to me it does.

If your sister is still in the same area you should check out the Sellwood Pool:
http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?action=ViewPark&PropertyID=1130&subareas=4

Here's a list of area parks and what they have to offer: http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?ShowResults=yes&SubAreas=4

Staccato Gelato is a great coffee shop that is geared towards people with children. There's one at 15th and Bybee. On Saturday mornings they have a musician who comes in and plays for the kids.

Eastmoreland Park has a great playground.

Oaks park is fun and beautiful, right on the river. They have rides that even a two year old can go on but the big picnic area with all the old oak trees is fun all on it's own.

At that age some of Mo's favorite things to do were to ride the city bus, ride the Max (commuter trains) and go to the airport to watch the airplanes.

During the summer there are lots and lots of "U Pick" orchards open to the public. Kruger's farm (http://www.krugersfarmmarket.com/) even does concerts. Plus, it's just a few miles outside of downtown.

Hmmm.... what else......
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 09:06 am
Aquadoodle.

http://toys.about.com/b/a/aquadoodle1.jpg

Or those paint-with-water-to-see-the-picture-then-let-it-dry-out books.

Leapfrog DVDs. (Letter Factory in particular).
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Mar, 2009 03:54 pm
Boomer - that's a great list! And I bet EN would especially love riding around on the train.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 06:51 pm
@littlek,
Enjoy your trip!
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 07:15 pm
@Thomas,
Just figured out that this is where you're flying to. Have a lot of pleasure there, littlek. And report..
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littlek
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 03:39 pm
Hi from Portland! I love this place. Beautiful weather (cool at night and warm and sunny during the days), mountain views all around, waterfalls, cool clear lakes and rivers, awesome coffee, great food...... the list goes on.


Boomer...... you up for meeting? I fly back the 1st. I figure we could meet up at a coffee shop or a park (with or without kids). Let me know.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 05:40 pm
@littlek,
ACK! You're not staying very long. For some reason I had it in my head that you were coming at the end of July.

Yes - I'm free any time. Tomorrow Mr. B and Mo are planning to go motorcycle riding so I'll have most of the morning with no plans at all. Monday, etc. Mo and I are usually just hanging out at the house. You can come here. There are lots of little kids around and a playground at the school a half block away.

I'll PM you.....
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littlek
 
  4  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2009 10:40 pm
I love Portland! The Sellwood area is lovely. I walk around pinching and sniffing unfamiliar (or semi-familiar) plants to help me identify them. There are rosemary and lavender bushes the size of small cars, semi-tropical trees, and huge banks of bergenia or other classic plantings. There's even an ancient American Chestnut that survived the blight around the corner.

We walk the kids and dog, meeting the many neighbors and neighborhood dogs along the way. We've met chihuahuas, great danes, brindled mutts, and a mastiff. And, of course we met their owners too.

We hiked up a mountain (or what suffices for a mountain for me) to a small falls at Eagle Creek. There were massive trees, wildflowers, mosses, ferns, and huge rotten-banana colored slugs. Up by the falls there were river worn bits of lava - rounded, yet still pocked and somehow jagged.

And, today I met Boomer and (get this!) Mo, too! We spent the morning wandering around Sellwood. First we went to the wonderful Ugly Mug coffee shop. Then we went off through a beautiful, tree-lined neighborhood to a nearby park (pinching and sniffing the plants along the way). Mo had his new scooter with him and a rad helmet. My lil' sister and her two kids and husband were also with us (the husband for not very long). We watched Mo shoot hoops with some kids (he's quite good and extremely easy around strangers). We all hung out at the seesaws for a while, first sitting, then standing like surfers. Mo is adorable - I mean really cool.

Oh! There is a little food park - several small food carts parked on a signle lot selling their stuff. I absolutely LOVE one particular Italian stand and its chickpea sandwiches.
 

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