Sunday, August 3, 2008
But, instead of eating ... we are going on a road trip! I am that kind of gal, and want Emi to enjoy taking off to find new and fun things to do (at almost the drop of a hat). Jeff and I came up with a budget our checking account could handle. Everything had to be in this budget: Gas, hotel, admissions to whatever, food, and all the little etc's that happen along the way. Emergency's (should they dare to occur) are not included. So with that in mind, I instantly thought of Portland. Not too far a drive, and I really want to see both the Chinese and Japanese Gardens (have for quite awhile now). So I sat down to planning and found all kinds of stuff to do in Portland. I know we will have to go back, there is so much to do there! (above: Portland Japanese Garden)
We leave early Monday morning, drop the doglet off at our great (GREAT!) kennel. Then a 'quick' 4-5 hours drive (depending on how Emi does) to Portland. Here is our plan (with a toddler, it's a loose plan!):
Monday: Portland Japanese Gardens
Tuesday: Oregon Zoo
Wednesday: Portland Children's Museum - specifically the Water Works Exhibit (and yes, I'm bringing an extra set of clothes for Emi)
Thursday: Portland Classical Chinese Garden
The zoo and the museum are for Emi, the gardens for me but I do think she will enjoy the gardens too. Monday and Thursday are travel days, with Tuesday and Wednesday being our long days of sightseeing. My thought is to hit both places in the morning, back to the hotel for lunch, nap and swimming. However, if we are both loving where were are we will just stay. I am going to pack our lunch both days, we can either eat them out or back at the hotel. (above: Children's Museum - Water Works)
While it seems ambitious, I am pretty laid back and really, it's all about Emi. If we wake up Monday and she's not having a good day I will cancel or push back Max's kennel and our hotel reservations and play it by ear. But, unless she comes down with something I doubt I will need to do that. She loves an adventure and going bye-bye, but the long car ride should be interesting.
Okay, we really are eating (were you wondering?). To keep this under (or rather, at) budget, I am taking our food. Breakfasts are covered by the hotel (nice perk and I only looked at hotels that did this). Also, the rooms all have a fridge and microwave in them, that was also one of my requirements. I figure we will eat pretty big breakfasts as the other two meals will be a bit skimpy. Lunches and dinners I am bringing: whole wheat bread, smoked turkey, sliced cheese, peanut butter, strawberry preserves, yogurt, nectarines, grapes, bananas, apples, crackers, chunk cheese (to slice for cheese and crackers), and graham crackers for Emi.
I am also going to steam, rinse and refrigerate some frozen peas. Emi loves them cold as a snack and they are perfect for when she needs something and is in the stroller. The other thing I am going to do is to cook some small cheese-filled tortellini. Same thing, rinse and fridge them. They will make a good munching lunch or dinner. Depending on how the budget is doing, I may splurge on dinner out one night but maybe not. I am thinking that once we are back at the hotel, we won't be interested in going out.
I am very excited and it's killing me to wait to leave until Monday. But I really didn't want to do touristy stuff on the weekends and while most kids are still out for the summer, I think that there will be fewer crowds on the week days vs. the weekends. We shall see!
Signing off (Jeff has the laptop). But I promise to take lots and lots of pictures and blog about our adventure when we get back. Once I've recovered. :)
P.S. Oh, and for more (real) menu plans, head on over to Laura's. She ever-so-kindly hosts MPM each week.