Open House Weekend Away

We listed our house for sale on Thursday this week. In just three short days we’ve had a fantastic amount of activity. Our realtor, Sara Gray, has been superb in helping us through the process of getting our home ready for sale. She recommended hosting an open house on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon for which Meg, Ro, and I packed up the cats and checked into a luxury hotel in downtown Portland. While a train of people have been busily viewing our house, and hopefully preparing massive cash offers, we’ve been enjoying the sights and attractions in the city. The hotel have been incredibly welcoming of our two cats, Dougal and Lucy, and even added their names to their greeting sign out front. Shortly after check-in they delivered a pet bed, a cat toy, and some other useful pet maintenance items. Much appreciated by two travelers who have just spent a few hours in the car with two crying cats and a three year old. Our arrival reminded me how much I appreciate both valet parking and bellhops.


Friday night was capped with a great meal at Rock Bottom. Within walking distance of our hotel, Meaghan and I took the opportunity to enjoy a few well-earned drinks (well, we think so!) while superstar Rowen ordered a build-your-own ice-cream sundae. We pretty much collapsed into bed right afterwards. The cats weren’t exactly happy to be in the bathroom all night, but it was a big improvement over their mini-jail-cell cat carriers and Lucy quickly appreciated the cat bed that the hotel loaned to us.


We started Saturday morning with breakfast at Mother’s Bistro where enjoyed pancakes, bacon, and hot cocoa. Definitely the start to the morning that we needed. We had a big day of adventure ahead of us. Since Rowen had never been to OMSI and since our hotel was just across the Hawthorne bridge we decided this would be a great opportunity to introduce her to the joys of the Portland science palace. Drink up that hot cocoa baby girl and prepare for your mind to be blown!


OMSI was full of its usual magic and was magnified more so when viewed through Rowen’s fresh perspective. One of our favorite areas was a sand pit that used a clever combination of a camera and a projector to overlay a topographic display upon the sand. The camera sensed the depth of the sand while the projector lit the surface with an accurate topographic representation. Digging valleys and piling sand into mountains, caused the topography to update in near real-time. Rowen very quickly understood the actions necessary to create islands, bays, and finally, as a special project, her volcano.


Our Planetarium show, Laser Robot Rock, was a brand new experience for all of us. I’d actually expected the explore-the-universe style shows that I’d seen there in the past, whereas this was a laser show accompanied by kid-style techno music. Not what I’d gone in hoping for but we had a good time nonetheless. Rowen was just thrilled to be there with us and was pointing out every time a new color or animation appeared on the huge overhead dome. We definitely have to go back for the moon and stars one though, if not just for me but because I spent most of the morning preparing Rowen for what she was going to see and now I feel I should really deliver. Oh, and yeah, because it’s my favorite thing at OMSI. That too.


A few hours later and we were pretty worn out. Time to head back to the hotel and rest for a bit. Our suite was very comfortable and provided ample space for us each to have our own area. Rowen invented a game wherein she could only step upon the orange hexagons found in the carpet design. Every few tours she would stop and dance in the mirror. She’s such a happy kid. The cats weren’t quite as in love with their accommodations, but given the alternative of sitting in their pet carriers while we drove from open house to open house it was certainly a tolerable option. Fortunately they both adapted fast enough to use the litter box right away and didn’t create any messes for the whole weekend. Thankful for little wins here.


Rowen’s sofa bed actually turned out to be more comfortable than our master bed. You never know what you’re going to get with a +1 sleeping arrangement in a hotel room but the Hotel Monaco knocked it out of the park. Rather than using the sofa cushions for the mattress, the entire base of the sofa folded out similar to the sleeper sofas in hospital postnatal care rooms (for those of you who have had that experience). Excuse the messy bed in the shot below (sorry, Meg). Didn’t take the chance to capture this first night and checkout came around far too quickly this morning.


Tonight as I type up the tales from our adventures I’m eagerly awaiting a call from our realtor hoping for good news about an offer on our house. We’ve had various snippets and updates from Sara as the weekend has progressed but we’re just now at the point where we need to decide. Last I heard we had a solid offer for a few thousand over our initial asking price. There have been rumors of a larger offer in the wings, but so far no confirmation. I’m happy to see that we got so much activity and honestly I’d be happy to get our asking price. That said, I’m understandably a little nervous. This is a big life decision and not one we undertake lightly. Fingers and toes crossed for good news!


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