Saturday, June 28, 2008

Adventures in the City

Thursday we decided to go on an adventure. With two children under 3, anytime we leave the house it's an adventure. We have Wednesday, which is milk adventure day. We take adventures in the stroller over to the grocery store for fresh produce. We sometimes take adventures on the MAX to go downtown, but for this adventure, we drove downtown as I discovered, just before our morning adventure began, that I was supposed to head over to the east side of town to pick up 5 chickens I had ordered a while ago freshly butchered from a local farm...but I couldn't pick them up until 4pm. Our other adventure was supposed to begin at 11am. Hmm...a whole day downtown?! And a lovely drive home in traffic?! And of course, I was running late, so packing was minimal.

Here was our first stop:
This is a new chlorinated fountain in the Pearl district downtown Portland. I had decided, last minute, not to keep looking for Søren's swim trunks, because it was so overcast, and I was sure we wouldn't really play in the fountain (How new am I to this mothering thing?!). The above picture is of the fountain on the low end.

Perhaps you can see it filling above?

Above it what it looks like full from a website on Portland fountains. For our day, imagine 15-30 kids jumping and splashing in it. My son included. So, we took off his soaked jeans. Then he fell in. So we took off everything but his undies, and moved onto a picnic lunch with a dear old friend who loves all things breakfast.

Here was my best attempt to cloth my dear son - because, of course, I did not pack extra clothes since we were not going to play in the fountain

I did realize we had coats in the car, and another blanket, so soon he was in a huge over-sized coat with a swaddling blanket as a sarong around his waist as we strollered down to Powell's Books. Yes, we received some double takes. But speaking of double takes, I finally introduced Søren to his namesake, and he took it quite seriously:

Søren & Søren

Then we enjoyed the art behind the fountain

Where someone approached us with coupons for Ben and Jerry's, which I almost didn't accept because, as you know, we don't eat sugar....

Well, we do when we have 3 hours to kill downtown and it's half off.
I photographed it as a confessional of sorts. It was strawberry for the boys, and Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch for me. It was too much, Søren didn't even finish.

Luckily, we found a berry festival at a farmer's market next, and the boys quickly slaughtered a pint of strawberries and raspberries while we read one of the used Beatrix Potter books we found at Powells. Naturally, as part of the festival, they were giving out free berry shortcakes to anyone who bought berries...but gratefully the boys only wanted the extra berries anyway (I however, did go ahead and eat the shortcake since the day was already shot).
By the time we finally were ready to go fetch our chicken, the boys were 3 minutes away from complete exhaustion:
Søren (oh yeah, and ducky joined us on all our adventures)

The wee Elliot, with plenty of berry evidence on his round cheeks.

How I wished I could join them,
but instead I did this...
and stared at this for a good long time.

All things considered it was a very successful adventure, and we came home with 5 lovingly used Beatrix Potter adventures from some of Elliot's birthday money, as well as a bonus, very discounted "Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses" by Søren's beloved namesake, which I simply could not resist. I think it will be next on the evening reading hour list once we finish the last of the Narnia series (we are currently in "The Silver Chair").


  1. Except for the traffic that sounds like a fun adventure which you navigated well. Is that Jameson Park? we love those fountains and yes it is WET.

  2. I adore the picture of Soren and Soren!

  3. Another great story in pictures! Tim and I just watched the movie, "Miss Potter," and it highlights how beloved those books have always been. I really need to get back to reading Soren...glad your boy could picture his namesake.

  4. B.A.G. - Yes it was Jameson Square. Do you guys get up here to play much? Perhaps we can have a fountain date sometime, and I will plan for the WET.

    Leah - Thanks! We do too, it's on the computer background now =)

    Deanna - Thanks for the movie recommendation! To which work do you need to return? I will look forward to hearing your musings inspired by it when you do.

  5. Love the name of your blog! I have a miniature tattoo of Ancora Imparo on my back. I got about 5 years ago when I was in college and studing Italian. It's true--- we never stop learning if want to!

    Cute blog!

  6. Ash - Thanks for stopping by, I love meeting others who are learners for life.