RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Rose City

Posted on

Portland was very good to us. People were unbelievable friendly and we had some great food. Vegan this, vegetarian that.. Elaine probably took a thousand photos of her food and wished she had a bigger stomach. One of our food adventures was to Voodoo Donuts. We were blessed with almost no line and a craving for some funky donuts.

The weather was cooperative- our first day was blue skies and the next couple were rainy, gray, or misty. I got a chance to talk with a hotel maintenance man for a few minutes as Mason and I started bundling up for a walk in the rain and he had some great, but casual words of advice

Rain or shine, you’ve got to enjoy your day.

My shoes got soaked on our walk, but looking back that walk was one of my favorite parts of this trip so far.

It would take a long time to recap everything that we did but highlights were walking the city, getting an endless supply of good food, walking through Washington Park, driving the Eastside during Mason’s naps, and hanging out with Elaine’s cousin Rich, his wife Courtney, and daughter Sophia.

Here are a few more photo collages of food trucks, park walks, and of course Powell’s City of Books…

Portland, the City of Roses, Stumptown… call it what you will but we had a great time and thank you for a great few days.



Leg Warmers, Hotel Living, & Molars

Posted on

Hi! I thought I’d say hello and give you another update while Elaine is out for the evening in Portland and I’m in the hotel monitoring the baby.
I hinted to it the other night, but we’ve developed a nice routine of spending the first night of each town together and then each taking a night out to explore the town individually. It’s worked well so we can see more of the city and not be stuck in the hotel all night. I don’t know how other families vacation, but it is hard to sleep all in one bedroom when Mason goes to bed so early and you have to be mindful of every light thats turned on and noise.
Right now we basically put our pac’n play in the corner of the room and build a huge fort of pillows, suite cases and blankets so he can’t see us and try to keep some light out. Guess it works but I always wonder what the hotel maid thinks while our room is getting cleaned

Sometimes we have to do desperate things to have a semi-normal evening in the hotel. Elaine told me that on her night in the hotel in Corvallis she curled up in the bathtub with a book and a pillow just so she could read and not strain her eyes in the dim light. I am not that much better- right now it is 8pm, Mason just fell asleep, I have a nature sound noise on through my phone, and I’m typing away on a tiny screen for this post.

If I won the lottery we would stay in giant hotel room suites or connected rooms on every vacation. And I’d get an iPad for these blog posts!

In other news I thought I’d share that we bought Mason some leg warmers in Corvallis and they’ve done a great job of keeping him warm and helping him adjust to a colder climate.

Until this trip I didn’t notice how much of a Southern California baby he was until I realized that A) he didn’t have shoes and is usually bare foot every where we go & B) he has a lot of cloth pants and its never bothered me when his pants turned into capris.

We quickly learned how valuable leg warmth is and that layers are his key to cold weather survival. I now also see the value of shoes too. If you look back at our photos, you’ll probably never see one of Mason while he is wearing shoes, yet alone socks. That has changed on this trip and now he is in full body gear. He will probably go back to his hippy So Cal ways once we get back to Santa Barbara but he at least fits in with his baby peers in Oregon.

Teeth. Molars are hard. About a week or so before our trip Mason’s molars started coming in and everyone’s sleep has decreased. They must hurt really something bad because he has been upset (to say the least) in the night and more fussy during parts of the day. It’s crazy how strong he is when he is upset and flails his weight around. It isn’t every night, but almost every other one is a l o n g night. His teeth are moving and coming in but I don’t think any of us will complain when this stage is over.

We’ve had a great time in the Rose City and we’ll have some photos up in a couple days. But here is one of a banana slug we found on our walk yesterday near the Japanese Gardens… yes this is a random photo for this post but banana slugs seem pretty cool.


Beaver Nation

Posted on

Corvallis welcomed us to town with a beautiful rainbow and treated us well the past three days. We had a small hotel room near downtown and the river and did a lot of walking. In all, I think we walked most of the city and the downtown area daily. The weather cooperated for the most part but it did rain everyday and we bought umbrellas at a local thrift shop.

Corvallis also taught us that Mason is still allergic to eggs. Bummer. We were having breakfast on Wednesday and low and behold Elaine’s veggie fritter had a surprise egg ingredient. Luckily Mason started refusing his food and we noticed that he was breaking out around his eyes and cheek. We were able to get him some medication and he napped longer but otherwise got better quickly.

On a positive note we had a great meal at Gathering Together Farms (thanks for the recommendation Carly!) Located a little outside of Corvallis, it is a small restaurant located on a farm that grows most of the ingredients for their dishes. Mason had fun flirting with our waitress and scored a free squash and lots of smiles. With these photos you can see parts of the restaurant and Mason having his first sips of peppermint tea.


We had fun in Corvallis, walking downtown, the river park, farmers market, the campus of Oregon State, and even found time to find two geocashes. We each had a solo night out- Elaine went to a coffee shop and later went salsa dancing and I went to a movie. Elaine had a blast and I was wishing The Master had more pizazz

We left town this morning and made our way to Portland. Yeah Portland! We are taking lots of photos here too and I’ll get them posted in a couple days. Before that though, here are two more photos from Corvallis… Enjoy!



Bend, OR

Posted on

(This is Mark logged into Elaine’s account)


The first stop on our family trip to Oregon and Washington was to Bend and we got to stay with our good friends Tiffany & Dave who have lived there for about a year and a half. It was great to stay with friends, get tours and recommendations, and they even watched Mason for an evening and we were able to go to the Dechutes Brewery. In addition we got to see Lindsay, a former massage classmate of Elaine, and her family.

It was a beautiful time to visit Bend and I think we took advantage of our three nights in town. Tiffany took us to the parks, out to fun restaurants, and on a fun morning walk along the river (if you ask Elaine it was more of a hike). Trees were full of color- some looked on-fire with a deep red and aspen were still full of gold colored leaves.

Our final day in Bend started with a surprise… we woke up to snow! Elaine didn’t believe my observation, guess I can be a little sarcastic at times, but was over joyed to show Mason his first snow storm. We all quickly bundled up and went out to catch the biggest snow flakes I’ve EVER seen. Mason seemed a little confused at first but then seemed to catch on that being cold and wet by choice is a lot of fun.

Thanks again Tiffany & Dave! we had a great time and now we are off to Corvallis.

We took a ton of photos in Bend and here are a few…enjoy, Mark
















Padero Beach

Posted on

Hi! Wanted to share some photos from our recent trip to the beach. The stop was a little last minute and spontaneous but well worth it. We weren’t able to stop at Padero Beach for very long but the weather was perfect and ocean was quiet and scenic. It was a fun way to spend 30 minutes.
Mason had fun watching the birds (new favorite thing to do), walking on the sand, and dipping his toes into the ocean. Check out how blond he is getting! Enjoy the photos








Walking Video

Posted on

As promised, here is a video of Mason in the beginning stages of walking. In addition to some walking you get to see a few steps, a couple limp legs, some crawling, and a wave good-bye. Enjoy!

The Mason Shuffle… just dinner photos

Posted on

Yes, Mason is learning how to walk! I wish I could show you the short videos that we’ve taken, however I’ve spent the last hour trying to load a video onto our blog and it isn’t working. The internet can be a frustrating thing some times, but I’ll keep trying. Elaine will probably have to show me tomorrow.

I’ve also spent some time looking at photos trying to find one of him taking some steps, but it is unsuccessful… so instead here are some from tonight’s dinner. Sorry for the walking teaser but we’ll get them on the blog soon. Exciting times!