(Editor’s note: unconventional apostrophe placement is for
clarity. Let it be.)
This is what I learned from our weekend excursion:
DO take the train.
Although Amtrak is no more likely to depart or arrive on time than your
average airplane, it is comfortable and pleasant. On the southbound trip we rode on a double
decker train with tons of leg room, a dining car, and a kiddie play room. Plus we got to stop in scenic Chehalis,
Kelso, and Vancouver, WA!
DO stay in a hotel with a swimming pool if you have
Conversation when we arrived
Little Bit: Mommy, I wish we lived in that hotel, so we
could swim in the pool everyday.
Jodi: I wish we lived there too, so the maid would clean the
place every day.
DON’T visit Chinatown. Although the tourist guides describe the area
as “refurbished” and possessing “splendor,” a brief walk through it proved it
would more aptly be named “Junkietown with faux Chinese script on boarded up
businesses.” In spite of the promise of the enormous
gate pictured here, once past it I had to repeatedly move my five-year-old from
side to side so that I was always standing between her and whichever
junkie/wino we were passing.
Note that the first thing you see inside the gate is the Adult Bookstore. Not a good sign.
DON’T eat at the pretentious, over-priced restaurant with
the easily forgettable name on the 30th floor of the giant pink
DO take the MAX light rail train to Washington
Park, which contains the zoo and
the children’s museum. The rail system
works well, except that we couldn’t figure out what to do with our fare tickets
after we bought them at the kiosk. Note
to Rockinbear05: the zoo has polar bears!
Don’t worry, Tigger took pictures.
Bonus: reciprocal membership arrangements meant we didn’t have to pay
admission at either place.
DO visit Powell’s City of Books. This excursion especially thrilled Tigger,
because Powell’s was mentioned in a novel she read recently, and she couldn’t
believe the place was real. Also, it’s
so big they hand out maps so you can find your way around, and how cool is
DO hug your children and thank them for being such
delightful traveling companions. To Portland
and everyplace else.