My husband is a very good person. He is a wonderful husband and father, which is not news to anyone who knows him. But he's also committed to the rest of his family. When word came down that his grandmother was about to celebrate her 94th birthday and neither his father nor his brother could attend the festivities, my dear husband made plans to travel to Oklahoma City for 4 days. I think the weather alone at the end of July would probably kill me, but he's clearly stronger than I am.
We dropped him off at the airport yesterday and then couldn't resist a peek at our fair city's celebrated newcomer nearby. You'd think we were hosting the Olympics or something. We went, we bought a few things to make our home more streamlined and Swedish (as if!) and it was a scene but now we can say we've been. Those folks do have a way with color and I fell in love with some of the fabrics by the yard, so I may well make the trek again one day. What I cannot understand is why, when one covers the entire the entire 280,000sf store and finally makes it through checkout and to the exit, there is no conveniently placed coffee cart outside the door. I think I would have willingly paid $10 for an iced Americano at that point to prop me up for the long journey back to our car. The boys were calling it "the IKEA death march".
All I could think of at that point was water and shade. We had an errand to run downtown and I decided to take the kids to one of my favorite childhood spots. The Lovejoy Fountain is tucked away in a part of Portland where the former shtetl was flattened by 1960's urban renewal. It was a spot I loved as a kid--there's water, of course, but it's also a space where one can scale heights, rest near a tranquil pool, get splashed by rushing water, and (not to be missed) float one's Crocs from top to bottom. The boys kvetched on the way there of course, assuming that the fountain would be dull. Our brief stopped turned out to last much of the afternoon. All the kids got soaked, the pigeons got a lot of mediocre Swedish oat crisps, and everyone was happy (except The Spouse who was stuck all afternoon in the Salt Lake City airport, poor fellow). I love it when my hunches are correct!
We picked up some Indian takeout and came home to fill out the meal with homemade naan, pakoras, mango lassi, and carrot halvah and spent the evening watching Lagaan, the best 4 hour anti-imperialist Bollywood cricket film you could ever hope to see!