Monday, March 16, 2009

Left out...

Recently I decided to eliminate all forms of caffeine, including decaf coffee, most teas & even chocolate (GASP!) from my daily life, as it was doing some really lousy things to my system. Now if you've ever tried to "quit" something you really enjoy, you know how hard it is, to stay with it. It's only been a week and a couple days, and already I'm finding myself craving a delicious mocha, or even just plain hot chocolate...

But what I'm finding to be the hardest part is the whole culture that seems to surround caffeine consumption. Take for instance: getting together with a friend. How many times have you been asked to "go get some water"? No, it's "Let's get coffee sometime, or get a Coke." And admit it, don't you feel part of the in-crowd, as you balance your triple-shot, no-foam, Venti cappuccino in one hand, and your laptop in the other???

I guess all I can say is, in the long run, I should feel better,health-wise, and my bank account will probably thank me. In the meantime, I will just have to be satisfied with enjoying the wonderful aroma of the coffee shops, while trying to find a decent herbal tea that doesn't taste like feet. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Birds of a Feather

As a parent, it's always a challenge to find something fun to do with little ones that doesn't require taking out a second mortgage on your house. So, when I find something that fits the bill, I need to make a better effort of sharing it with my other mommy friends.

That said, the other day we were looking for something fun to do, around town, on a day David had off from work. After checking out Oregon Live's events page, we found this great little field trip/ adventure near the Delta Park/Jantzen Beach area called the Macaw Landing Wildlife Refuge and Environmental Learning Center.

Along with its big name, the curator, Jack has an even bigger heart for these beautiful birds. In addition to the more than 90 macaws that call this place home, you will also get to meet all the goats, chickens, a donkey named Speckles and a great rescued horse named Atticus. When it comes to visiting the macaws themselves, Jack hands you a pair of earplugs, and if you're brave enough, you can walk right into their huge "flight", which is a fancy name for really big bird area--kinda of like a large shop. Now if you're not a big fan of bird flybys, or birds over your head, or you avoid the Lorikeet display at the Oregon Zoo like the plague (yes, Laura, I'm talking about you!), this is probably not the place for you. However, most people, after they get over the initial shock/noise, will really like this little gem of a place.

One thing to note: In order to give the birds (and the curator), a little semblance of normalcy, this is not a drop-in place. They do however, give tours seven days a week at 12 and 2pm, by calling 503-286-0882 to make a reservation. They also ask for a $5 minimum donation, per person, but I would bet once you visit, you'll find that's money well spent.

I'll leave you with some pictures from our visit---notice the macaw on the wall in the second picture---I happened to turn my back on him for just a second, and he decided my jacket was something to snack least it wasn't my hair!

Scarlet, the first macaw
at the Reserve

Kyra is not sure about that bird!

Happy Tuesday friends!