One of my best friends in high school went to the University of Oregon for college, and I could never figure out why. She had grown up in sunny Southern California, but somehow she was willing to commit to spending four years in the middle of a rainstorm. Now I know the truth -- Oregon is sunny and beautiful. This was the best day of our vacation, without question. We again benefitted from a city's well-planned public transportation. We were staying with Leslie's cousin, who lived several miles from downtown Portland, but it wouldn't be a problem. We left the house early to catch a commuter bus which stopped at the base of her cousin's street, then transferred to a light rail before finally taking a second bus that dropped us within walking distance of our first destination: the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. OMSI had come highly recommended, and the kids had great fun watching an IMAX dinosaur movie, playing with puzzles, staging a television weather forecast, and pressing their noses against glass tanks filled with rats, walking stick bugs, tortoises, and hissing cockroaches. After spending the morning at the museum, we bussed back downtown and made our way to Pastini, an Italian restaurant which offers gluten-free pasta substitutions. Henry was in heaven. We spent much of the afternoon walking around the downtown area, ducking in and out of stores and eating frozen yogurt, and then the kids burned off some energy towards evening by chasing back and forth across Pioneer Square. Next we walked a few short blocks to meet Leslie's cousin at Powell's Books, probably the most amazing bookstore I've ever seen, and we each chose a book. (Mine -- David Halberstam's Breaks of the Game, a profile of the late 70s Portland Trailblazers.) For dinner we ventured off the beaten path and chose the Mississippi Pizza Pub, a hole in the wall that happened to feature gluten-free crust -- quite a find. Right on time, Kate had a meltdown while we waited for our pizza. She wanted to sit at a table outside, and rebelled when we chose another. Her growls -- actual growls -- attracted the attention of a young couple sitting nearby. Loud enough for them to hear, I warned Kate that if she kept up, she might scare the young couple out of having children. It was a very clever joke (all my jokes are clever), and the couple played along, laughing and making faces at Kate. When the couple stood to leave, the woman turned to me, patted her belly, and said, "It's too late for us!" She must've been at least eight months pregnant. For dessert we stopped in at Voodoo Donuts, a Portland favorite. Even at 10:00 PM the line went out the door, split evenly between tourists and hipsters. I ordered a bacon maple bar, but have to admit that I preferred the simple apple fritter. Looking back on the day, I think what I like the most was that we did normal Portland things as opposed to wandering from one tourist attraction to the next. We had thought about going to the Portland Rose Gardens, but I'm glad we didn't. Portland was a beautiful city, and I can't wait to go back someday. Next time it might even rain.