So I've been lying low and being very lazy, living in both denial and increasing anticipation of the fact that the kids will start back to school in less than 2 weeks. Crazy! A 9 week summer vacation isn't at all the 3-month season that I had as a kid. We were out of school mid-June and didn't return until after Labor Day. And we liked it that way, sonny!
I took the photo above at a rinky-dink little amusement park called Oaks Park, located a little southeast of Portland, Oregon. It's very retro, in a boardwalk/carnival sort of way. It even has a roller rink! My children loved it. I loved that my 5-year-old son, who can be a bit of a nervous nelly, mustered up the guts to ride on the kiddie roller-coaster with me -- and then rode another 4 times with his big sister. Such joy on his face!
I also loved that when I was standing there, taking the above shot of the colorful "Rock & Roll" spinny ride, the PA system was blaring Manfred Mann's version of "Blinded By the Light." Something about that song just sorta screams 70s summertime to me, and it was a good moment.
We were in the Portland area for 6 days, visiting my in-laws. My in-laws fled the arid high desert of Southern California for green, drippy rural Oregon about 20 years ago (before I was on the scene) and they seem to love it. As for me, I like Portland plenty -- especially the miracle that is Powell's bookstore, where I got to spend a couple of glorious hours alone one evening -- but I doubt I could take the weather for too long. I will probably always live in California, and if not, I would still opt to move somewhere in the southwest or south -- something in me just drifts that direction, as opposed to the chilly and bundled up north. Give me my palm trees!
This final week and a half before school will be a weird combo of lazy and ambitious: sometimes staying in our PJs until noon, sometimes me taking 2 kids alone to the beach, the local pool, the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Double scoops of ice cream still need to be consumed! Same for peanut butter sandwiches, eaten with grains of sand crunching in our mouths at a beach picnic.
As for Cherry Icee induced brain freezes?