Sunday, July 7, 2013

Spring Break Part 3: OMSI and Waterfalls

I know, I know...  But working 40 hours a week and then trying to spend the rest of the time as family time leaves little free time for blogging...  But, I am going to try and catch up a little more tonight.

Here is (sadly very late) the conclusion of our amazing spring break trip.  Friday the 5th of April (I know!  Give it up ok!)  we packed up, cleaned up the rental house a little bit, and headed north up the coast.  Our first stop was OMSI - the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland.

This is how Ellie chose to ride to Portland... Hat and scarf are always appropriate and fashionable when you're two and a half.

Ok, so if you're like me you hear Museum of Science and Industry and think BORING.  But, Steve first convinced me to give it a try when we'd been married for only about a year, and even then we looked forward to someday bringing our kids there.  OMSI is awesome!  We only had  a few hours to spend there before we needed to keep travelling home, but we had a lot of fun in those hours.  I will first say that Grandpa isn't in any of these pictures because he got to tour the submarine they have there (awesome I know!) which Steve and I really enjoyed on our first trip years ago.

While he did that, Ellie, Grandma, (and eventually Steve and Mckayla) and I looked around at some of the fun contraptions and play spaces they have.  Here Daddy and Ellie were using robots to play connect 4.

Ellie also really liked the ball room where they had different vents set up to shoot air and balls all over.

However, if there is one thing we have learned about Ellie, it's that she enjoys playing in the water.  We spent A LOT of time at these boat tables as a result.  You were supposed to create sail and paddle boats in them, but Ellie just enjoyed playing in the water with the boat parts and pretending they were actual boats.  Who needs to build something when you have an imagination?  This first photo is my favorite.  The wind to push the boats catching Ellie's hair and it being obvious how into the pretending she was.
 Yeah, she had fun.

 Next we stopped at an area with cranes and cars that were definitely a little too advanced for Ellie although she loved being around the other kids which usually meant she was in someone's way.  And then we stopped at the table with different nano technologies.  You could use magnets to collect and pull apart the particles in the viles and it looked pretty darn cool.
We spent some decent time here because Mckayla was seriously captivated.  I wish I had a picture that truly showed how intensely focused on it all she was.

 Then we headed to play with gears.  Ellie is smiling and Grandma Bennett here who was her main playmate throughout the day and yet I didn't get any good pictures of where I was focused on trying to get Ellie's face all the time.
 Steve and Ellie enjoyed watching people crank this Vandergraff generator and make people's hair stand up and lose little pie tins they were holding.  Ellie liked trying to crank it enough to get a spark to jump between the two metal balls.

 Next we had to grab some pictures in front of the famous Mythbusters shark.  They had another exhibit from Mythbusters too, but Ellie was excited about the shark (sometimes called "teeth" for obvious reasons) as she really likes sea life right now and has been on a marine kick for a while now.

 I almost wish we hadn't enjoyed so much of the rest of the museum because frankly a lot of it was too old for Ellie but she found things to like anyway.  The reason I say that is because with only an hour or so left to play, we learned they had added a toddler area to the museum since our last visit almost 5 years ago.  It was awesome.  Ellie played a few musical instruments before heading to check out the bugs and magnifying glass.  This girl is into bugs and spiders (except for the rare occasion where she's afraid of them) and she certainly gets that from Daddy, not Mommy.
 They had an awesome water play area with magnetic walls to create water paths, little fountains to splash in, and this water cyclone that took down and then spat out plastic play balls was a HUGE hit with all the kids.
 Well, Ellie enjoyed the toddler area, even if Mckayla gave up after obviously spitting up (reflux baby!) and zonking out.
 One of Ellie's favorite things in this part of the museum was a giant sand box for the kids to dig, bury, and just have fun in.
 She also loved the market place and kitchen they had set up.  She made all sorts of food for Grandma.
 After a rushed tour of the tots area, it was time for us to hit the road again.  We decided on the way home to take the scenic highway around Multinomah Falls and boy do I recommend taking this route!  We saw SO MANY waterfalls and each was beautiful!  I wish now Steve and I had known about this area before we had kids because I would love to have hiked every one of them.  Instead, we had rainy weather and two passed out girls in the car, so all we dared do was stop the car quick for a few photos if there was a good place to pull over.  One of my favorite memories of this trip is actually taking photos of these waterfalls.  I didn't have shoes easily available and didn't know that there would be so many to get out and look at, so at the first gorgeous waterfall I charged out in the rain in my socks to grab some photos.  By the end of this short route my socks were destroyed and I was hopping around barefoot to grab quick pictures instead.  But, it was fun, and we got some pictures out of the deal....  Here are just a few of my favorites of just a few of the waterfalls.

Like I said - big fat recommendation if you're driving that way.  It was seriously gorgeous.  On a totally different note, that wrapped up our fun and adventures over spring break.  We drove the rest of the way home and soon after Grandma and Grandpa headed back home as well.  I have to say though, probably one of my favorite trips and spring breaks EVER.  Thanks so much for hanging with us Lori, Curtis, Bridget, Grandma, and Grandpa.  WE LOVED IT!

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