It is not often that I get to be the fun parent- the one who takes the kids on adventures and lets them eat sugar cereal and donuts and ice cream and takes them to the pool. Which is exactly why at the end of summer I decided to take the kids (plus one bestie) on a little adventure. What better way to spend the dog days of summer than on a trip to Portland?

It was full of the requisite stops: Powell’s, Pearl Bakery, Blue Star donuts, food trucks, Salt & Straw (I could eat their Olive Oil ice cream every day!), Buffalo Exchange, Saturday Market… oh, and Target for school supplies. The bonus of traveling with older kids is that I could sneak away for morning runs along the Willamette, and even grab breakfast with some old friends at Bijou Cafe. Delish!

I suspect the kids would have been happy if we had stayed in a hotel in Tacoma as long as it had a breakfast buffet and a pool. But seriously, I gave them each turns navigating and learning their way around the city, figuring out how to navigate pubic transit (they mastered the Max and the streetcar) and find our way back to the hotel from wherever we were. Hopefully this will prove to be great practice for a not-so-distant European trip soonish.

I knew that navigating the city by myself with 5 kids and also trying to actually get some shopping done would make it challenging to also document the trip, but here is my best attempt. I also gave myself the challenge to “see” in Black and white and shoot with that in mind. Often giving ourselves limitations as artists stretches us to see things we wouldn’t normally see. Who knows? This might just become an annual adventure. Enjoy.

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PS- here’s a few bonus travel tips:

  1. Don’t even think about trying to browse the art book section at Powell’s with a four-year-old in tow
  2. Definitely make it to the hotel’s complimentary cocktail/ wine/ appetizer hour
  3. You might regret those laser guns you bought for aforementioned four-year-old, but they might just save your butt
  4. If you need to spend a ridiculous amount of money on lunch and the playland at Playdate PDX to get out of a downpour and get out some energy, just buy yourself a glass of wine and forget about it.

Gimme some sugar, Sugar!

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