Monday, August 07, 2006

Fun Times, Oregon Style!


Gosh. Such a very, very long time since I last posted. It's summer. I have three kids. I'm stumbling into bed at night. My skin is tight and itchy from the chlorine at the pool we visit daily, my fingers perpetually stained from snow cones and berries. The house is a mess (and I'm not just saying that...it is a m.e.s.s.), and I don't think my hair has been out of ponytails in weeks. But it's summer. And we're living it to the fullest. The kids aren't going to bed until 10 (or later!) and they're getting up late too. Breakfast is at lunchtime, lunch is dinner, and dinner is right before bed. Our best accomplishment by far is that Jack has finally learned to swim, in true Jack fashion. He went from not wanting to put his face in the water, to sprouting gills in the space of one day. Now when we're at the pool I can barely get him to surface. The boy is obsessed and oh, so happy with his newfound skill.


The last couple of weekends we've had a great time with day trips outside of the city. The first was our Super Salem Sunday, where we visited A.C. Gilbert's (the inventor of the Erector Set) Discovery Village. It's a super, super cool museum with quite possibly the coolest play structure ever; a multi-story labyrinth of twisting, turning passageways and a really long (like five complete twists!) twisty tube slide that is pitch dark. Scary and so fun! We played a rousing chase game of Zombie Mommy, despite the soaring 105 degree heat. That is, until I noticed Jack's face, which was deep scarlet yet strangely white around his mouth, nostrils and eyes. Can you say heatstroke? We rushed him inside for some air conditioning and water, poured in him as well as on him, and he was ready for more fun.

After the museum we took an excursion ride on the Willamette Queen Sternwheeler. Jack got to steer (wink wink), and wear the Captain's hat, and spy through the spyglass. But Max was too happy chatting with Uncle Cabel and soon-to-be Aunt Nicole to be bothered with such funny business. It was a super nice ride, for a super Salem day. And just as we were all about to completely collapse from the heat we had a lovely dinner in the lovely air conditioning at Nicole's mom's lovely house. Did I say it was lovely? I contemplated for a very long moment crashing for the night on her lovely air conditioned floor...


The following weekend involved a ferry and some trains. The Canby Ferry has always been one of our favorites. A short hop across the Willamette River, the ferry holds nine cars and is run by cables so there are lots of cool gears and machinery to watch as you cross. But that was just a side trip as our real mission was...


...the absolute coolest little train park on the planet. Shady Dell, home of the Pacific Northwest Live Steamers. It's a sweet little park in the middle of the country (Molalla, for those of you in the know) with great spots for enjoying a picnic and trains. Real, miniature steam trains that you can ride for the incredible cost of free. The ride is long, looping several times around the park (but not just the same track repeatedly), over bridges, past water, and it's ridden by people of all ages, as well as all shapes and sizes. It really is so cool, and so "Oregon," I can't do it justice at all. If you're local, just go check it out. If you're out-of-state, I'm sorry. I hope you have something this quaint and wonderful somewhere near where you live. I'm sure you do...

9 comments:

beki said...

Oh wow, it sounds like you're having a wonderful summer! Enjoy, enjoy!!

bromo said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEnj7KxcjgQ

Bessilu said...

It looks like a really fun summer!

julia said...

Oh, nice! I'm glad you're having such a wonderful time. Man, I bet (my) Max would looove that train park!

Angela said...

Will you adopt me? 8-)
What a fun, full, and happy summer you and your children are having! fabulous.

Crabby Amy said...

Hey Meegan...

you know I love your pics and I have to admit you have now inspired me!! :) amy

Chickenbells said...

Amazing fun! We actually don't have anything in AZ that looks like that much fun (and it's a little hot and muggy here too-hehehe!) Good thing you guys are living the summer to the fullest, it's really the best kind of life isn't it?

jojo* said...

Sounds like you all are having a blast this summer! The state of Oregon should hire you to write tourism brochures--you make it sound so wonderful :)

textile_fetish said...

You actually get a big chunk of time with little or no rain this time of year right? Heck yeah! Live it up!