Our Day Adventure in Portland

I’m back! It’s been such a crazy season. I realized today I haven’t been on since March…maybe some of it is business maybe some of it “writer’s block” but regardless I’m happy to be posting again.

This past week I went on quite the day adventure with my sweet friend Angelica. Angelica’s a flight attendant and a really good one at that. Her go with the flow attitude and ability to adapt to her surroundings has always amazed me. I’d mentioned to her a while ago that if we ever got the chance I’d love to adventure with her in Portland. It’s always been on my travel bucket list and they’ve got the best donuts I’ve ever had. No guys I’m not exaggerating they’re literally the best donuts I’ve ever had. And I want to fly back for more. Or just move in right next door. That could work too. Although… maybe a block or two away would be better for my waistline…

ANYWAYS, we decided we’d make a day trip of it. On Monday morning at 4:30 AM we went to LAX to head off on our adventure. We flew standby which is something I’d never had the fun of doing before. It’s kind of an adrenaline rush! You just wait and stare at the screen and wait some more. And pray that someone slept through their alarm lol. We lucked out and got seats. When they called our names I almost squealed with excitement. Angelica and her son each got their own seat a few rows back. Because Littleman is a lap child my seat possibilities are pretty so somehow I lucked out and got premium seating! WHOOP! I walked to my seat and I think the poor man in the isle and woman at the window winced when they noticed a baby coming towards them. However, they were extremely gracious and I probably should’ve bought them shots because sitting by a kid is no joke.

Overall I want to say Little did pretty darn good. The only crying he did was when we were descending. I think his ears were plugged or popping…how do you even try to help a baby with that? I tried nursing but he refused so we bounce and crinkled paper for 30 minutes…we made it. But speaking of nursing, do ya’ll know how hard it is to do that in the middle seat? I learned that next time, to be prepared I’ll either have a bottle or enough snacks to make up for him skipping a feeding. I think I was a little overconfident in my public feeding skills.

When we landed I let him wiggle for a bit by the windows while he watched the airplanes come and go. A few minutes later I packed him into the Lillebaby and we were off! We took their version of the Metro so I wore little and just sat on the edge of a seat. I really honestly could’ve sat and people watched all day on their Metro. People are fascinating.

Our first stop was my dream donut stop, Voodoo Donuts. Ya’ll this place did not disappoint. I’d say it’s easily my favorite spot so far but Sidecar is still a VERY close second. Angelica doesn’t like donuts but being the lovely giving selfless friend she is she made the trek with me and even tried a vegan donut. Her consensus was good but a little too sweet. I got a maple bacon bar that was AMAZING. I also got their little voodoo doll one that was amazing until you got to the filling…I don’t like fruit filling it just doesn’t belong in a donut. I got Tim a plain glazed that he ate that night when we got home and he said it was “good but thicker in a good way”. We got Angelica’s husband this chocolatey peanut buttery one that looked and smelled pretty darn good so hopefully he liked it… I really should follow up. I also probably should’ve gotten more…I guess this is just my excuse to go back.

Our next stop was Stumptown Coffee. They’ve got one in LA that I’ve ventured too but it was still fun to stop at this one. Their coffee is REALLY good. I wish they had one closer to my actual home. Actually…I don’t. I’d be broke if they were closer.

After donuts and coffee we traveled to Powell’s Bookstore and wandered around the floors of books. This is another place I could’ve easily spent all day in. It was just incredible how many books were under one roof. When you first walk in they’ve got a fun little Oregon section with a lot of novelty items and souvenirs. So many stories and so little time. I’d highly recommend checking it out if you’re in Portland.

Next we went to their local Whole Foods, grabbed some food for lunch, and headed to Washington Park to see the Rose Garden. It was BEAUTIFUL. So many different colors of roses EVERYWHERE! There was also this really cool fountain structure that was near the entry of the main rose level that caught Jojo’s eye so we spent some time walking on it every way we could. One of the coolest parts to me about this place was their playground a little further into the park. It was surrounded by big lush trees and had an amazing structure for the kids to play on and get out some energy. Jojo loved it and Littleman LOVED watching Jojo and swinging on the swings. If you’re in Portland with kids definitely make a stop here. It’s also right by the zoo so you can hit that up too if you have the time.

We ended our day by heading back onto the Metro and heading back to the airport. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and waited to see if enough seats were cleared on this evening flight that we could hop on and head home. Man were we lucky this day! Not only did we get seats but a nice man switched spots with me so Angelica, Jojo, Little and I could all sit together. Little slept a majority of the flight so it was pretty easy for us on the way home.

I think the one thing I really learned is that I should’ve packed more. I know people usually want to pack less so having this in mind when I prepped our diaper bag I left a lot of toys and extra snacks home thinking we wouldn’t really need them. I wish I’d have packed more quiet toys like his rubber ducky, a book or two, his rubber teething balls, etcetera. I probably could’ve packed extra applesauce packets and teething biscuits too. But now I know for the next time we fly. It was one of the most amazing adventures and I am so grateful we got to experience Portland. A huge thank you to my sweet friend Angelica for taking us with her and for having such an adventurous spirit!!

I’ll see you again Portland, you were weird and wonderful and I love ya <3

So tell me friends, what are some things YOU have learned from flying with baby?

Clutter’s Park

One of my favorite things is watching Jojo watch the airplanes. Seriously, genuine joy and excitement just ooze from this kid every time he sees an airplane.

Today was my last Jojo Thursday so we took a special picnic to one of his favorite spots. We made some peanut butter sandwiches, cut up some strawberries and went on our way! But first, we made a quick pit stop at my favorite little coffee shop to grab an iced almond milk latte. Yum!

When we got to Clutter’s Park there were plenty of open tables but we opted for a bench so that Jojo would have more space to stand and walk on.

For about two hours we sat and watched. Every plane that landed was greeted with a very excited “OH!” The other park goers were really getting a kick out of his enthusiasm. Littleman was there too but he was a silent onlooker during our picnic time. I’d like to think that he was taking it all in 😉

I absolutely love this little spot. There are people taking photos, people just simply watching, people playing chess on the chess tables. It’s small and quaint and tucked away in the beautiful city of El Segundo. People there are just so darn friendly.  It’s perfect for a little picnic or a quiet moment to yourself. My only draw back is that if your kid isn’t super into planes you might lose their interest quickly. There isn’t a play structure or much roaming room. But Rec Park is nearby so you could easily pack it up and head there.

Overall I would totally recommend checking out this little park! Let me know what places you love to take your littles and why in the comments below!

Zimmer Museum

I have the blessing of being able to watch my friend’s son “Jojo” on Thursdays for a few weeks. Normally, I pick him up and take him to my house for a bit. He helps me with chores and/or watches one episode of Daniel Tiger. (P.s. that show is super cute and the anger song gets stuck in my head). Anywho, in the afternoon we meet up with other moms from our church for coffee and some park play. It is SO much fun and a highlight of my week. However, I got this idea in my head that I wanted to take Jojo to explore some new things because why not? So, today I convinced my friend Jenn to bring her son, hop in the car with me, and head to the Zimmer Museum.

Here they all all nestled in their seats <3

First things first, if I hadn’t read a Yelp review I would’ve never found this place. It’s inside of the Jewish Federation Goldsmith Center and there are no signs from the outside. So look for the Jewish Center and you’ll find the museum inside on the first floor. They have designated parking for the museum that’s free to use if you can nab a spot. The entrance fee for the museum is $7.50 for ages 1 up (but if you check in on Yelp you can get a free child’s admission). They’ve also got special deals so check out their site (https://www.zimmermuseum.org/visitor_info.html) Also note, Tuesdays and Thursday are field trip days…there were a lot of kids there when we first checked in. Had I known that, I might’ve brought him a different day.

Despite all of that though, when you walk in it feels as if you’re walking into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. You’re greeted with bright colors, a giant plane to be explored, and lots of dress up stations. And this is just the first floor! Jojo is a plane fanatic so we spent a good chunk of time upstairs “flying” the plane. He also got a big kick out of the green screen/dress up station they had. He even got to be on TV. It’s a pretty cool feature and totally fostered his imagination and creativity.

We convinced him to go downstairs a bit later. As soon as we made it down  Jojo went “WOAH!” The look on his face was priceless. There were multiple stations downstairs to be explored. In fact; I’d almost recommend starting there. There was a water play station, a pirate ship ball pit, an interactive ambulance, giant Legos and MORE. It was great. There was so much to offer. And it’s all in a relatively confined space so it was easy to keep an eye on the little. The water station ended up winning his love. Jenn and I even got to let our littles explore some of the water station features. The water station was complete with little water guns and targets to hit. (Don’t worry they’re attached to a counter so you can only shoot what’s inside this little plastic “shooting range”. It’s not super crazy soak city.) Jenn and I definitely joined in on the fun!

My ending impression was that it was totally worth the drive there and the  $7.50 I paid for entrance. However, I’m not sure I’d go there again. It’s just one of those “been there done that” things to me. I’d totally recommend checking it out at least once though! It’s a cheap fun day adventure and can keep your little entertained for a few hours. Do you have any kid friendly places in LA that you’d recommend checking out? Let me know in the comments below!