Thursday, May 25, 2006

Astoria, Oregon

Day 5 began like a dream. We were awake before Tenley and were both able to shower and get ready before Tenley began stirring. We had breakfast and headed for the tender to shore in quaint Astoria, Oregon.

When Michelle looked out the window this morning she thought the captain had overshot his parking spot and took us all the way to Skagway, Alaska. It looked like Skagway, it was cold like Skagway, it was green like Skagway, clouds clung to the mountains like Skagway and Jeff was wearing shorts and complaining he was hot like Skagway!

Alas, we were in Oregon where the people would look like they just flew in from El Monte if you just peeled the moss off of them. Did we mention it was green here? We boarded the tender and took off toward shore. Tenley enjoyed the quick boat ride over and pointed out other boats and birds along the way. Once on shore we took a nice walk down the riverwalk trail to 30th street and the Fire Museum and Children's Museum. Not really so much a Children's museum as much as an indoor play area above the really neat fire museum. It cost a couple of bucks to enter and the bottom floor is full of old fire trucks, horse carts and photos of various fires in Astoria's history. There was a little kids fire truck with a steering wheel, radio and fire gear to put on. Tenley really liked this truck and pitched a fit when we told her it was time to see other things. Luckily Shel saved the day by pointing out there were stairs and that ended the fit real quick as Ten bolted off for the stairs with her hand up looking for one of ours.

Upstairs there were two rooms for the kids to do arts & crafts and to play in. We went in the play room that had all kinds of toys, play structure, cars, dress up, and a sail boat for the kids to use. Tenley played with everything. There was so much that she was in sensory overload for a few minutes until she decided what to play with first. We ended up staying for over an hour because it was pouring out and we had forgotten our umbrellas on the ship.

When it was time to leave because the rain let up a little, Tenley pitched the mother of all fits. Screamming, crying, hitting, kicking and generally hating us. When we tried to cover her head due to the rain she wouldn't even look at us. She frowned at us whenever we would look at her and she just sucked her thumb and pretended we weren't there. This passed by the time we reached the tender back to the ship. Afterall, we couldn't be too bad if we were going to take her on another boat ride. On the ride she made friends with some older folks behind us and just seemed to charm everyone on the tender. Upon our return it was time for a quick lunch and a nap for Tenley and Shel.

Dinner was formal tonight and much like the last formal night Tenley wanted nothing to do with her dress. We managed to get it on her and get her to dinner without too much problem. Dinner was nice and uneventful. The phantom old couple disappeared back to the buffet as they had threatened the night before. After dinner we took a couple of $6.95 and up pictures again.

Then I made a critical error in judgment. I took Tenley back to the cabin to meet the babysitter and left Michelle with a valid cruise card in the Art Auction. Uh oh! By the time I met the babysitter, peeled Tenley off of me and made my escape the damage was done. I was now the proud owner of a new print by a new up and coming artist. How nice! Since the auction was over by the time I returned this was also an unseen product. Let's see, $250 for a painting I have never seen by an artist I don't know. The hits keep coming. This could only be better if the babysitter tracked me down and told me that I had to walk Tenley up 15 more flights of stairs and pay for the privilege. Oh well, maybe the new print will go with the two we bought on our last cruise. Michelle informs me not to get my hopes up. They are as different as night and day.

After teaching Shel how to play checkers, which she gave the rating of "Stupid", we headed off to bed. And thus ends day 5.

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