Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to get to our 7:30 train to Portland. We have a goal to hit all 50 states someday and since we were so close to Oregon we thought it'd be fun to take the 3 hour train ride to Portland to 1) get another state in 2) visit Portland 3) see more of the Washington countryside.
Since we did have to get up early we decided to hail an uber from the house straight to the train station. We had breakfast at home, packed a bunch of food for the train ride and met our car at the curb.
Made it to King Street Station, got our boarding pass with assigned seats and made our way onto the train. She said "I have the perfect seats for you" I think she thought we were sitting at the tables, but that's not where our seats ended up putting us. But it was still okay. She was nice and gave us 6 seats even though we only had five tickets since the baby didn't need a seat.
It was exciting (at first) So much more room than an airplane! And the kids could immediately put their tray tables down, it was a fight with them on the plane making them wait until the captain approved the seat back tables down.
Girls were all set with coloring and Isaac had a 2nd grade workbook I'd picked up for him at Costco. We left the iPad's at the house and made it a device free trip (what were we thinking haha... no they did fine, forced them to look out the window at things... although not as scenic as we had hoped)
Made it about 30 minutes then they were all begging for food and snacks.... ARG pulled out the PB&Honey I had made them and they were satisfied for a minute. Set the rule of needing to wait another hour for more snacks.
No idea where these bridges were, just an hour outside of Seattle. Tried to look it up on a map, but not sure and couldn't really recognize an area where they would be... but they were pretty.
The ride was taking longer than expected, we began to get behind at each stop and then at one point the train stopped all together due to something on the tracks having to be switched out manually. Our 3 hour ride was turning into a 4 hour ride.
Getting closer to Portland, I think I see it!
No luck in Thomas getting a nap.
We arrived! Union Station, Portland, Oregon. Just after noon, ready for lunch.
There was NO food near the train station. We had studied the map before arriving and we knew this, but even the night before we hadn't landed on a place to eat. We decided to walk to the Pearl District and look for food there. There were a TON of homeless living and mingling just outside the train station. Pretty disgusting and they were all actively doing drugs or recovering. Slurring speech to us or passed out on the sidewalk, we just walked quickly and got through the part.
We made it to a quaint looking Vietnamese place and went in for lunch. I had a delicious Vietnamesee coffee.
Kids were being stinkers but glad to be off that train.
Gotta have the brussels sprouts wherever we go, so good!
As we left we noticed Mary had some random hive forming on her neck. Luckily it didn't last and it was gone within the hour, but took a picture of it in the moment. She would not keep her hands of things. Going down the road, picking up trash, touching every little thing. I used it as a teaching moment explaining to her why we don't touch things and keep our hands clean. She probably touched something and got germs or something on her skin which made her itchy. This helped a little, noticed she touched less.
We knew we wanted to go see Powell Books. It was a book store we had heard about, nothing super special other than a really big book store that had been there for a long time. So we started toward that direction.
Walked past the Love Joy Columns, seemed like something notable.
Made it and the store was about the whole size of the block!
(Mary was cold)
Everyone enjoyed looking at all the books and we had a basket full of books to buy at the end of our visit. Made for light travel the rest of the trip, hahaha.
We left there with just a little time before we had to be back at the train station. An hour maybe. Decided we needed to find some donuts. Kyle said for some reason Portland is known for their donuts... okay?
It was a nice day to be out walking.
Found a donut shop. They were about to close and didn't have much of a selection. They had mystery boxes for $5 which the lady recommend we get. The kids wanted sprinkles and she said if it didn't have any then she'd give us some. She said she'd just have to toss them out in an hour when they close so threw in another sprinkle one for the kids. We had our donuts and kept the rest for breakfast the next day.
Kids got to learn about cake donuts and real donuts. They started off wanting the cake ones but learned that the other are better :-) Time to head back to the train station.
It was a pretty city with lots of big trees in the city area. Once we got closer to the train station we had to go through the homeless crowd again, and the smell of weed everywhere, gag.
Some random eyeball artwork:
The homeless weren't RIGHT at the station, which was good, but they were the blocks surrounding it. Arrived earlier than our train was, had to wait a bit. They weren't as nice with the seats and only gave us 5 because it was a booked train. Many ladies around us were coming from Los Angeles and had been on the train all day. Kyle got placed next to the meanest old lady. I think she was a lady. She had a black hoodie covering her face the whole time and was huffing and puffing at Emma moving around behind her. Ah worst experience with that lady!
Good bye Portland....
Can't see it too well in this photo, but we could see Mount Hood in the distance! That was pretty exciting for me and Kyle... the kids didn't seem to care.
Finally got Thomas to sleep and Emma had conked out too!
Mary was working away at her Pinkalicous coloring book she got at Powell's books. There were some fun ladies sitting behind us, she was blowing bubbles for Mary and entertaining her. They got off at Olympia which opened up the seats a bit and Kyle could get away from that mean lady trying to sleep. Mary went back and sat in the empty seats.
Thomas slept for about 20 minutes. Emma slept the entire ride back!
Made it home just after 8:00... it was another 4 hour ride back. Long 13 hour day of traveling.
Next goal was finding dinner. We had looked up a few places but being after 8 o'clock every place seemed to be closed. We found a place walked to it, only to find out that it was not a kid friendly place. The sun was setting fast.
Found another place (getting haggled by a homeless man on the way) an Irish bar, we walked up and the door even said "Kid friendly" phew we were in the right place. Mary was fading fast, here she is sunken in the chair:
We ordered food, ate. Tried to get food the kids would eat. They were having a hard time eating anything it seemed, so not only was our sleep all messed up but they (especially Mary) were not eating enough. We called for an uber to get home quickly. It was only about $12-$15 every time to take a car and while it stunk to pay the money it beat renting a car and we could take multiple ubers a day and not equal what it would have cost to rent a car and pay for parking. I liked taking the bus for efficiency, but it did take longer and def not something I wanted to do after dark. We left the restaurant about 9:30, the uber driver was a woman wearing oxygen and her GPS was the voice of Cookie Monster. She was quite the character. She was sad she didn't have car seats but had one booster that we put Thomas in. Made it home and straight to bed. We were looking forward to an agenda free day the next day and hopefully sleeping in.