Everyone slept in today, giving us parents a much needed break! We had a low key breakfast in the hotel room with food we had picked up at whole foods the night before, and met my parents down in the lobby.
One of the toughest things about leaving always is getting the final bit of packing done. The kids have a tendancy to pull things out of the suitcase or make a mess just as we're getting completed & then we're back at square one. Historically everone gets a little stressed out at this point. Finally, we wised up & I took the kids down to the lobby while my husband finished the final packing and got us checked out. That small optimization made things about 10 times easier.
We loved Jamison Park so much that we took the light rail back once more. My son could not believe his luck. After lots of fun romping, we had a snack (and lunch for my son) at the child friendly Sip and Kranz restaurant. We all sat on the patio eating fresh fruit with a nutella dipping sauce while my toddler had pb&j with goldfish and grapes... pretty much his favorite meal.
We have a solid history of lulling my son to sleep on a soothing train ride, so we took a long ride on the MAX line (which is basically a big loop). He came close to sleeping, but the activity of people getting on and off the train proved to be a bit too much today... at least he got a little bit of soothing downtime.
We jumped off the train at the Portland Art Museum's rental sales gallery (something I've been wanting to check out). As long as we don't overstay his attention span, it's easy to get our toddler to cooperate with being in an art gallery. If you think about it, art is just big pages from a picture book hanging on the wall. We engage him in conversation about what he sees, what he likes, what he thinks that the people or animals in a painting are doing. When he was smaller, it was fun for him to find all the dogs (or babies, or whatever) or to name things in the painting. We hope we're building a budding art enthusiast, but honestly we'd be happy with just a little time to enjoy the artwork ourselves!
We had another excellent dinner at Oba! Then changed everyone into PJs and got back in the car to head home. My son complained a little, saying that he wanted to sleep in the hotel room again (poor guy, there's just nothing he doesn't love about a hotel room.