Friday, September 4, 2009

What I Did This Summer: Oaks Park

Only a few more days before Summer Break is over. (I'm perfectly giddy with excitement!)

I can't let the summer blog-season pass, however, without a pictorial mention of our annual trip to Oaks Park; a reward for the kids completing their summer library reading program.

By the way, I have the secret to the perfect Oaks Park trip. If I were to tell my my secret, it's very possible that the little enjoyment I receive from my annual visit to Oaks Park could become a thing of the past. A thing of the past, I tell you.

So, I will not tell you my Oaks Park secret.

OK, fine! I'll tell you. (Gosh, you don't have to get all snotty about it!)

We head over to Oaks Park about 3 in the afternoon. Ideally this would put us on the road before the height of afternoon traffic, but it sometimes does not. This is alright. We arrive at Oaks Park to a big crowd and long lines at the rides but this too is no problem-o.

You see, around 4pm, everyone starts to go home. They want to by-pass the traffic (they won't) and get home for dinner. The lines get shorter, the crowds thinner (less chance of losing the kids, which is kind of high on my priority list when we are at Oaks Park) and everything at Oaks Park becomes more enjoyable.

Benches have more sitting room so you don't have to stand and wait for your kids to ride the Frog Hopper 3 times in a row. The line for cotton candy is so short that you can buy a big bag and hide it in your purse before the kids get off the Rockin' Tug Boat.

We bring a picnic dinner and sit on the benches overlooking the gorgeous Willamette River. We eat and watch the boats go by while the sun lowers itself over the Portland skyline. (This is my favorite part.)

Then the lights come on at Oaks Park and everything turns magical. There is hardly anyone at the park at this point and the kids ride the rides over and over until the park closes at 9pm.

Then we zip home across the Sellwood Bridge, down MacAdam Avenue and then I kind of get mixed up and don't know where I am until we finally make it onto Highway 26 and are headed home.

I take a big risk in sharing this secret with you. If everyone were to follow my plan, my annual Oaks Park visit could turn into a crowded, kid-losing, no-bench-sitting, long-line-standing, cotton-candy-sharing nightmare.

I suppose I'm just in a generous mood thanks to the fact that school will be starting in 4 days.

You're welcome.


Emily Laing said...

I love it Afton! I haven't gone to Oaks Park for 2 years...mainly because I can't keep track of 5 kids on my own. My 2 oldest aren't old enough to be off on their own yet, so maybe next year.

Erika said...

Sounds so nice. I hate crowds so anything I can do to avoid them I do it.

Afton said...

Emily, I let Ethan go off by himself, which is why he's not in any of the pictures. I found some kids and rode rides with them. (He didn't bother to ask their names, however.)

We had extra passes and he had called everyone to see if he could find a friend to take, but no dice. He really wanted a friend to go on the big rides with, but I suppose it worked out anyway.

Afton said...

In my last comment "HE" found some kids. Not me.