Rhododendron Garden

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Last fall and winter, I joined a bunch of Meetup.com groups, in hopes of meeting people and learning about interesting places in Portland. One was a group called New to Portland Moms. Well! That’s exactly who I was (or who I was about to be)!

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They are a very active group, with outings most days a week. But most of the meetups are early in the morning. So when I saw an outing for the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden at a 11am (an hour past a feeding), on a Thursday, it was like, “Bingo! That’s perfect!” It was close by, I hadn’t been there before, it wasn’t too early, and I wouldn’t have to feed them there. Finally, an outdoor outing that I could feel comfortable attempting by myself!

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The garden is a lovely network of paths ambling among trees and around water, with lots of colorful rhododendron bushes everywhere. All seemed to be in peak bloom. It was a perfect day to stroll, just the right amount of warm. The paths were nice and shady to keep you cool. There are some small hilly sections that were a little bit of a challenge with my big stroller, but for the most part it’s easy to roam. There’s a large lake in the middle. I found a few moms from the group with their kids–all bigger than mine–and after a little loop of the flowered paths, everyone hung out on a lawn while the kids roamed and snacked.

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I laid out a muslin on the grass and took the babies out of the stroller. In less than two minutes, the fussiness started.

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They weren’t screaming or anything, thank goodness, or even crying very loud. It was just clear that they were unhappy. I tried to deal with it for awhile, and a fellow mom even held one baby for a couple minutes. But finally I decided that the hassle wasn’t worth it, and I packed them up again.

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So it wasn’t the greatest outing in the world, but it wasn’t the worst either. I guess I just need to take baby steps–ha!–in getting these babies out and about in the world.

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