We took advantage of Gareth's day off on the 12th and drove down to Portland for the weekend. I had a friend from New Jersey getting married down there on the 13th and I wanted to be sure to be at the reception. Becky has been a great friend through the years. She's Ryan's age, so a few years older than me, but we became friends around the time I entered high school. Our families had known each other for ages, our brothers were the same age, but high school is when we really got to know each other. And when Ryan and I got married, Becky came and helped us clean our apartment as we were moving in. We ate dinner together on a few occasions. And when I had Gareth, she helped find someone to watch him while I inventoried all our possessions before we moved across the country. She has frequently visited with my parents and my sister over the past several years. So, yeah, she's been a good family friend and I figured that since I could get to her wedding so easily I definitely should.
We stayed with another friend from New Jersey. Morgan and I are the same age and her oldest and Gareth are both in Kindergarten this year. I haven't seen Morgan since we went off to college, so it was fun to stay with her family. Gareth got along wonderfully with her girls, though they were a very noisy bunch. They just got some chicks, so Gareth got to pet and hold them a few times while were were there. He was very sad when it was time to leave on Sunday, asking before we were out the door if he could have another playdate with them soon (apparently playdates are two day affairs now).
Malcolm was amazing on the drive down - he didn't cry at all. He made up for it on the way home by crying for all but about 45 minutes. So I guess if you average the two rides then he cried about half the time, which honestly isn't too bad considering he's never been in the car longer than about 15 minutes.
I was hoping that staying the whole weekend would mean we'd get to see several things in Portland as well, but that didn't work out quite as planned. We meant to stop at Powell's as we came in on Friday, but Google maps took us down a street that never let us turn left - which was very necessary if you wanted to get to the parking garage for Powell's. So we went on to Morgan and Will's house instead. We did hit Powell's on Saturday. That place is huge and totally awesome. I love book stores and a book store that takes up an entire city block is just amazing. We only went to the kids section, and we still got turned around and lost trying to find our way back to the entrance. They even have a map for the store that you can pick up on your way in. I would've loved to explore some more, but Ryan's feet were tiring and kids were impatient and we were all getting hungry. Ryan did manage to find this book, which is by the same author as this childhood favorite. It was only a couple of dollars, so we bought it. It's a new favorite of Gareth's.
After some lunch we headed off to the reception. We were an hour late, but still had plenty of time to congratulate Becky as well as catch up with some of her family a bit. They had pie instead of cake and the happy couple rode away on a tandem bicycle. After they left we headed off to Ryan's old roommate's house for dinner. Gareth played very happily with their two year old, we had a delicious meal with our friends, and then we headed back to Morgan and Will's where we battled Gareth into bed way past his bedtime. Then we stayed up and chatted with our hosts for a few hours.
Sunday morning we were all a bit slow to get going. By the time we headed out we needed to get some lunch. After stopping to do that it was already two, so we opted to head home. But the drive proved very do-able, so we'll definitely head down that way again. The next time we go I'm hoping we'll stop and check out the Columbia River Gorge as well as more of downtown Portland.