It's Been Forever

It's been a while, I know.  After the whole emergency surgery everything has been a blur.  Big Red returned to school, Crash & I caught a bad cold and before I knew it my mom was in town for her visit.

Mom flew up an entire week before my dad did.  We shopped and shopped and shopped.  It's what we do best.  Coincidentally, or maybe not so coincidentally, her trip coincided with my birthday and my gave me the best birthday surprise that being for the entire week whenever we went shopping she bought me whatever (within reason, of course) I wanted!  Woo Hoo!  Mom was stoked she got to watch the boys at swim class, go to the pool with crash, spend time with her grand babies and basically chill in Portland with your one and only.  We carved out some time to finally visit Pittock Mansion. Mom loves visiting historical homes like this; in CA it was the Gamble House and in Chicago it was the Frank Lloyd Wright house tours in Oak Park.  The Pittock Mansion has got to be one of the first historical type tours i've done since moving to this city.  It was beautiful and ornate and decadent, especially for the time.  I didn't know much about the Pittock's so I even learned some new bits of information.
Mom posing infront of Pittock mansion.  This is the rear of the house.

Even better photo of the rear of the house

This is the, one of the, views from the grounds.  This view looks out over NW Portland

The mansion was beautiful.  It was worth the trip and something i'd recommend for anyone wanting some sort of educational, historical tour of something Portland related.
My dad flew in about a week after my mom.  His visit was a quick 3 days, they typically are.  He's a busy guy and takes off as much as he can without having to completely rearrange his busy schedule.  While he was here we visited Evergreen Aviation, which a favorite of my family.  He was hesitant to go to a "museum" but in the end he loved.  He really, really loved it and it was obvious the place more than exceded his expectations.  I think he would have liked to have more time and maybe even catch an IMAX movie while there.  Unfortunately he'll have to wait for his next visit.  

The next big sightseeing thing we did with my dad in town was the Portland Japanese Garden.   The gardens are located in Washington Park, which is pretty damn amazing.  Its tucked away in the middle of giant pine trees and one could drive through the park daily and not even realize its there.  The grounds are beautiful, mossy and decorative with lots of water features including numerous waterfalls.  I handed my photo to Donx who ended up capturing most of the pictures from that day.
Mom & Dad at the Japanese Garden

Beautiful mossy grounds

The whole brood

T, Me & Big Red

Big Red & I

One of the many water features

Rock Garden.  So Zen!

The Mini Crew

Boys will be boys

T & Crash leaving the grounds
Whenever my parents visit I feel so bad.  I feel like I'm doing a disservice to my kids by choosing to live so far away from our family that they only see their grandparents a few times every year and our trips back to Hawaii seem so few and far between now.  With five of us it has become increasingly difficult to travel, it is so expensive!  I cherish these visits now.  Yes, I want my time with my mom and yes I want her to get the most out of her time with the kids we balance it nicely.  Having my parents visit are a great break for T and I.  We don't take advantage of the child care but we make sure to get out when ever possible.  So having her visit was great for us.  We got to go out in the eves to just grab a beer, hang with friends and even hole up in our bedroom to watch Breaking Dawn (yes, I just said Breaking Dawn!)

We had a successful visit with my parents.  It was relaxing.  I was able to get some work done for them.  I was able to have bonding time with my mom and separately with my hubs.  Next visit with them, I would like it if we could actually head back to Hawaii!

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