Sunday, July 13, 2008

VacayDay 6: Zoo-berry Day

I'd been waiting to go berry picking since we arrived -- Sleight's Berry Farm had Upick for 60 cents a pound (we could have gone earlier but at a dollar a pound) so I thought I'd like to wait until this one opened on Wed and get the smoking-est deal. The only problem? This day was crazy enough as it was -- and my SIL is diabetic and pregnant and very accommodating to her guests who want a good strawberry deal and then still go to the zoo. Thanks for everything, Carrie!

Anyways, apparently this place is basically patrolled by the Russians. The farm was supposed to open at 830 (we'd planned on arriving at 815) and when we showed up we were the last ones there (literally over 50 vehicles ahead of us).

I was in shock for two things --
  1. I think we were the only non-russian-speakers there--it just so seemed so random--how is the local russian community so valiantly frugal!! just impressive, I guess, if it didn't have some strange witness protection feeling to it.
  2. I had never been in a berry farm before. Berry plants as far as the eye could see :-) I wish I could live on a berry farm -- seems like some kind of fantasy. And if it is Upick than everyone else does all the hard work, right?
Anyways, I was a berry-pickin-virgin . . . didn't know protocol about if I can pick the good berries on the russian's row if I could reach em . . . I stopped doing that when one started crowding my territory . . . I didn't want to get yelled at in Russian. And I didn't know how many pounds all the bowls I picked had been. Carrie told me she'd show me how to make freezer jam. So, I was very excited - whatever berries were left I would just bag and freeze. Also having to be down and pick for so long . . . uhhhghhh! my back! I don't want to be a berry-picker when I grow up. Get those migrant workers some health insurance, for heaven's sake! It was just a really fun experience and I was just so excited that I brought my camera to make it bloggable!

We got back home and it was hectic as we pack lunches for our zoo day. The Portland Zoo is right in the middle of a forest (which isn't surprising because Portland is in the middle of a forest). They have a trainride that takes you to a park - we went down there and picnicked before riding the train back and starting looking at the animals. Mind you, we're here at the hottest part of the day because someone, ahem, had to pick berries in the morning! The kids LOVED the trainride :-) It was worth the extra money :-) And if you're on vacation it's not so fun to just kill yourself over every extra dollar you spend -- Darik & I talked about that alot -- we had to make sure we had fun and quit stressing or the vacation wouldn't be worth it . . . The picnic area had this cool elephant wall - so I think this is actually the only picture I got with everyone in it:

Can I just say 3 kids at the zoo is hard to handle? Still fun, but along with 2 extra cousins, they are slippery and a little cranky. Our first stop was buying little cups of sugar water to feed birds with. Probably would have been our favoritest spot if Ellie hadn't been so insistent the bird sit on her finger like in Cinderella that it bit her! Major meltdown. So picture taking ceases and I just don't think she could comprehend why the bird was mean and not like Cinderelly's birds!! So I held her and went over to a bird and very slowly got it on my arm. It calmed her down but she was still upset it wouldn't go on her arm! (sigh!) Three-year-olds!!!
A lot of the animals were hiding in their caves because of all the heat, but we did see some of the best ones: baby elephants!
fat hippos! I had to walk around to get this pic, it was funny the main viewing area only had a butt-shot view of them, it was pretty gross. And it was funny cuz it was like the hippos did it on purpose.

One of my favorite parts was ellie petting the hissing cockroach -- cool and gross at the same time. They had a little insect booth where the tarantulas gave me the creepies. We were having too much fun with bugs to take pics, though. That's an alligator behind them. It was really cool - one of my fave parts. Probably because I don't recall seeing one at any other of the zoos I've been to.

The bat cave also gave me the creepies!

Christian actually thought this dinosaur was real. I had to push him up to it -- his little feet were rooted to the ground. We only got the smile out of him after he was somewhat-convinced it was fake.
Our exhausted kids!


  1. Looks like you guys had so much fun. I love berry picking. I just made some freezer jam last week. Yummmy. It turned out really good.

  2. IT's so funny, there are so many similarities with our two vacations. We went to the zoo in SD too, and it was fun, but I'm with you, it's still stressful! I agree with you too about not stressing too much about money, these types of vacations don't happen everyday, gotsta live life!