Happy Friday! Who’s excited for Labor Day weekend? I know I am! After this whirlwind of a week, I cannot wait for three days of relaxing family time.
I’ve been a little MIA this week, so I figure it was time to catch up on a few things…
Last weekend, we took the kids into Boston for the KIDZ BOP Make Some Noise live tour at The Wilbur Theater…my kiddos’ first concert!
Are you sitting there wondering, Who the heck is KIDZ BOP? Ahh, you’re missing out. They’re basically four teens who record kid-friendly (read: no “adult” language, either obvious or implied) versions of today’s biggest pop music hits. So it’s basically by kids, for kids.
My kids LOVE them. As soon as we get home from work and school, they ask me to play the KIDZ BOP channel on Pandora. And I’m not gonna lie, I kind of like it too, much to Dr. G.’s chagrin. They do covers of all the kiddos’ favorites: Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and, of course, Taylor Swift.
We had the BEST seats at The Wilbur — our own box seats! The kids loved having their own dance club.
After two relatively quick opening acts, the KIDZ BOP gang — Matt, Grant, Bredia, and Ashlynn — came on, and they were so cute … and talented! Singing, dancing, entertaining the crowd with stories and jokes, and inviting the kids in the audience to ask them questions.
It took Buddy a little while to get into the groove, because I think he had a case of the too-cool-for-schools, but Mimi, on the other hand, was in her element. Watching her bust a move was as entertaining as the actual show!
They performed a lot of the kids’ favorites: “Uptown Funk,” “Shake it Off,” and a medley that included Katy Perry’s “Roar.” I think Mimi would have loved one more Taylor tune (our money was on “Bad Blood”), and a full Katy song. And Buddy was bummed that there was no “Honey, I’m Good”…although I’m not sure how you can KIDZ BOP-ify that.
It was a pretty short concert in all, maybe two hours, so totally manageable for little ones. The KIDS BOP Make Some Noise tour (presented by the Honey Girls at Build A Bear) is on the road through the end of December. Click here to find a tour date near you.
WELCOME TO PORTLANDIA
As those who follow me on social media know, and as I mentioned in Monday’s post, I spent the better part of this week in Portland, Oregon at a work conference. It was my first time in the Pacific Northwest and I absolutely loved it.
Portland is such a quirky city, with many different cultures and scenes and unusual…scenes. I saw a man dressed in a chicken costume ride by a unicycle. And a vacuum cleaner museum. And a vegan strip club (no, I didn’t go there, but I heard about it).
And there’s a fountain of the stag, the symbol of Portland, with a cast on it’s leg.
And signs like this, just in case you were wondering.
But my favorite parts? Food/drink and running. Naturally.
First, the food. Portland lived up to its hype as a vegetarian’s paradise…and this is coming from someone who ate 75% of her emails in a Marriott conference center (where snacks included vegan chocolate-covered almonds and a hummus/olive/pita snack bar and the famous Voodoo donuts and Stumptown cold brew coffee).
But the food I enjoyed when I ventured out post-conference? A-ma-zing.
A group of us had a lovely dinner at the Harvest at the Bindery, where we ordered a bunch of sharing plates of seasonal vegetables and salads.
… following by dinner at Pream Pizza, where I got to try a Portland delicacy — charred padron peppers (sorry, no photo because we inhaled them all).
Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to put on my elastic waist shorts when I got back home. Ooomph. But it was well worth it.
Although I hope I was able to counteract some of my indulging with running. My downtown hotel was just across the street from the Waterfront Park, which runs alongside the Willamette River. It offers a fantastic walkway/bikeway and bunch of different running routes, depending on the distance you have in mind.
Thanks to the time zone difference, I was up and ready to run at 4:45am. Unfortunately, the sun doesn’t rise there until 6:30am, so I had to wait quite a bit to get out to run (definitely not running in an unfamiliar city in the dark by myself), but when I finally got out I was treated to views like this!
Portland is also a VERY bicycle-friendly city, as evidenced by the hundreds of people zipping (and honking) by me on their bike on their commute into work. In fact, according to the City of Portland, 6% of commuters go by bike. Love it!
I’m excited I was able to squeeze in 11 total miles while I was there, including a 4-mile fun run with a group of people from my conference. It made me feel better, both physically and mentally, to start the day with some exercise before sitting on my rear and eating for seven hours.
I’m bummed I only got a sneak peek at Portland and I would love to plan a longer visit back to the area, tacking on visits to Seattle and Vancouver. I think this is a trip my entire family would love! Adding it to the list …
One More Thing…
Not to end on a depressing note, but in the spirit of catching you guys up, I recently found this poem called “The Long Goodbye” by Ellen Miller about the horrible, horrible disease that is Alzheimer’s. If any of you have a loved one who battled this disease, you know what I mean. I can’t get into the details right now without breaking down, but I will soon.
The Long Goodbye
It’s been a long time since we first felt the beginning to this end.
And today we pray before you; your family and your friends.
We’ve watched your thoughts get more obscure with every passing day;
As this heartless thing called Alzheimer’s made them fade away.
Gradually it took the gleam from those once so loving eyes.
To befall on such a giving man…it seemed so unjustified.
Stripping you of everything, leaving nothing in its place…
Except a look of sadness left upon your face.
As long as we have searched, through all the tears we’ve cried…
We’ve tried to find the reason for this long good-bye.
But now it’s time to take back all your memories…
As you are finally free from this cruel disease.
We pledge to remember the man that you once were;
A good hearted, giving man is all that will be heard.
And every night when we look up and see a certain star…
We will know within our hearts exactly where you are.
So on this day we say good-bye as you now depart.
Although far from our touch, never far from our hearts.
— Ellen Miller
Disclaimer: I received four complimentary tickets to the KIDZ BOP concert, but all thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.