Our little family has three different views of holiday light shows. Me, I’m in love… going to see lights was one of my favorite things growing up. I remember being a teenager and driving up to the highest hill in my tiny little town to look out on the city full of lights. It is awe-inspiring to me. My husband on the other hand doesn’t understand it. Now, mushrooms growing out of a tree stump is the most exciting part of his day, but holiday lights that twinkle and glow? He just thinks about how cold it is or how hard it must have been to put out all of the lights. My son is just now at the age where he seems to enjoy them.
When it came to deciding whether or not to go to the Oregon Zoo for ZooLights this year, me and the kid won out! And, I am pretty sure the hubby had just as much fun as we did. The whole family decided to head out to ZooLights for the Media Night and had a brilliant time!
We went on a week night at it was not too busy. The train line was pretty long, but it was my son’s favorite part of the whole thing. Personally, I loved the tunnel of lights! So pretty.
The coolest part about the Oregon ZooLights? It isn’t all “Christmas” themed! There are lots of animal lights, fiction story lights, and more. It was nice to enjoy the lights for the holiday without being inundated with Christmas. It also works out for the after-holiday crowd to still be able to enjoy the lights even though Christmas is over!
ZooLights runs until January 4, 2015. The lights open up at 5PM. However, you can get your tickets as early as 4PM. Check out the Oregon Zoo ZooLights info page for more information.
The Oregon Zoo provided my family with tickets to attend ZooLights media night this year. All thoughts are my own.
You thought I spelled it wrong in the title, didn’t you? “How”loween was the Oregon Zoo’s costumed, Halloween themed educational scavenger hunt. We visited different areas of the zoo to learn about many of the animals and get stickers and treats! Kiddo dressed as a crab and had a lot of fun roaming the zoo as one of the animals!
This past weekend I had the opportunity to bring my little guy, my visiting mom, and husband to participate in Howloween at the Zoo. The educational scavenger hunt was fun for the kid and kept us moving along throughout the zoo. It is no secret that I’m a fan of the Oregon Zoo. So, I won’t wax poetic.
I will say that it gets my vote as a fabulous way to spend the day with the family. I’d highly suggest renting one of their strollers if you have a little one. It saved us from having to schlep our stroller in and out, the kid thought it was fun, and it made the whole experience much better than the times we’ve gone and tried to walk around with a toddler.
Trick or Meat: See an Amur tiger get fed pumpkins at 10:31 AM on 10/31!
Zooliner: The Zooliner is BACK! Well, almost… the Zoo just announced that the Zooliner Locomotive is “on track” to be ready to be back in November. I’m excited that it will be back just in time for Zoo Lights!
Disclaimer: I was provided with complementary tickets by Portland Center Stage so that I may experience Dreamgirls before sharing my experience with you here on the blog. All opinions are my own. Keep reading for a discount so that you can see the show as well!
A little tidbit about me that you might not of known… I’ve ALWAYS been interested in theater. I love watching the lights go down, hearing the hush of a crowd, and being delighted with the talents of people that have prepped and worked all towards that performance. There is just nothing like watching live theater. I’ve never really been someone to act in a play. I auditioned once in college… let me tell you, an Irish accent is NOT easy. Though I was never really quite right for the onstage talent, I loved participating in the creation of a show and watching how everyone worked together to change reality for the course of a show. So, when Portland Center Stage asked if I wanted to check out their production of Dreamgirls I jumped at the opportunity. I’m so glad I did!
I had never seen Dreamgirls before, either on stage or in movie form. I knew that it was a musical about a trio of women loosely based on The Supremes. But, that is about it! Now I want to see the movie and any and all productions of this show going forward. It was such a treat, and not for the reasons I originally assumed it would be! If you are in the Portland area, and like musicals, then I’d highly recommend this production! But, don’t let your location stop you from reading on… you can always watch Dreamgirls the movie!
I expected to go into the show and be wow’d by some spectacular female voices. And, while I was wow’d by some pretty talented women (get to that later) I was unexpectedly blown away by some beautiful and FUN male-led songs! The beginning of the show the ladies didn’t quite have their voices yet. (Little did I know, because remember I had never seen this before, that was part of the plan!) I enjoyed the first number with the women being introduced to the stage. But, when Calvin Scott Roberts playing C.C. (Claridge Conrad) White and Rodney Hicks playing Curtis Taylor, Jr. began to sing Cadillac Car with David Jennings playing Jimmy (James Thunder) Early– WOW. I loved each and every song that these three men sang together. Each had great stage presence and really sold their characters all while hitting their songs out of the theater.
In the beginning I wasn’t entirely impressed with the songs that the women were singing. Little did I know… that was part of the play! As the show goes on the women really start singing. While they clearly had talent in the beginning, they just hadn’t hit their groove as a group! They had me hoodwink perfectly. At the end of the first act when Nattalyee Randall playing Effie Melody White belts out “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” I had tears in my eyes. All the women brought it on stage and I wasn’t disappointed by a single performance. The most exciting performance, for me, was by Mary Patton playing Deena Jones. (I don’t want to give much of the story away just in case you, like me, had never seen anything about the show. I want you to be as surprised as I was!) When Deena, one of the background singers of the trio is given the opportunity to step up as a lead there is a lot to discover. Patton plays demure, quiet and sweet Deena Jones so well in the beginning and hides her powerhouse of a voice during her first song as lead so well that I honestly didn’t see how this fictional group would ever be convincing as a popular musical trio. As she starts to take hold of her inner diva (just a bit) her voice suddenly takes over the entire room. It is gorgeous and powerful.
Portland Center Stage is offering my Portland area readers a chance to see Dreamgirls with a discount! Use the code “PDXBLOGS” to get $5 off any showing. Or, select a Tuesday show or the Halloween showing to receive your ticket for just $20! Click here to buy your ticket today!
The Typographers Dream is showing in the Ellen Bye Studio from Oct. 4 to November 16.
“The Typographer’s Dream follows the story of a stenographer, a geographer and a typographer. During a career-oriented presentation, it becomes hilariously clear that their personal issues just so happen to correspond with their jobs. As with his hit play The Receptionist, playwright Bock tackles the everyday environment of the workplace from a completely unique, and very witty, perspective. ”
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and today’s blog is in hopes of helping shed a little more light on the desperate need for more funding and research on pediatric cancer. Cancer remains the most common cause of death by disease for children and adolescents in America. Growing up my best friends family dealt with the impact of pediatric cancer on their world when her sister was diagnosed. A local girl and her family are experiencing the hardships that pediatric cancer brings with it and the community of Milwaukie, Oregon are banding together to help!
The local Milwaukie community is pulling together to host an outdoor family friendly benefit, silent auction and rock concert for a local girl living with a very rare brain tumor. Leah Merklin, a 4-year old girl has one of the rarest forms of pediatric brain cancer, primarily affecting young children, the brain tumor called DIPG is both inoperable and incurable.
On Wednesday, September 10th, local Milwaukie business owners, Portland DJ Ron Rouse, Chris Carpenter & The Collective, a local band, and Good Roots Community Church are joining arms to host an outdoor community fundraiser for Leah.
Banding together, local vendors are stepping up to offer locally sourced, delicious food at the event: Pronto Pizzeria & Kitchen will be selling grilled pizzas and farmer’s market fresh salads. Schoolyard Farms, a local nonprofit educational farm, will be offering build you own kid salads. Pepper & Salt will be selling butternut squash infused mac + cheese and lettuce turkey wraps. Painted Lady Coffee House will be selling hot coffee, Italian sodas, and homemade delicacies and Mix ‘n’ Match Creamery will be whipping up batches of their custom made ice cream.
There will be stenciled face art by Sweet Cheeks Airbrushing; handmade necklaces and headbands offering proceeds back to the Merklin family; and a bouncy house, henna tattoos and a stilt walker for the kids!
Ron Rouse, who works for Portland Fire & Rescue and is also a popular local DJ named DJ Rontourage, will be donating his time at the event. Local band Chris Carpenter & The Collective will be playing live music from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Event goers will be invited to pick out a favorite song from the band’s play list and the band will play songs for donation.
Finally, there will be a silent auction featuring locally procured items, with 100% of the proceeds going back to the family.
Connect with the Rock for a Reason Facebook event or connect with the Support for Leah Rose Merklin and Family Facebook Page!
I’ve been to a lot of wine tastings in my day. Heck, I’ve even hosted several in my job as a trainer at an Italian restaurant. However, this was my first time ever experiencing a wine tasting quite like this… the Pairings Portland Wine Shop invited myself and my fabulous friend Bee to try out their Pairings Basics tasting class so that we could share the experience with readers. I’m so glad I got to experience it!
I’ll start by saying that there is nothing typical about the Pairings Portland Wine Shop. As soon as you walk in you get a feel for the different type of wine experience that you’ll be getting. Instead of wines categorized by variety and price point, the wines sold throughout the store are paired with moods, foods, TV shows, music, weather, and more. When signing up for the Pairings Basics class, be aware that you aren’t signing up for a typical tasting either! You’re signing up for an experience of learning a lot more about what you like about wine and why you like it. You aren’t going to sit there listening to someone talk about the things YOU should be tasting or things YOU should be smelling. Oh, and you’ll only be tasting ONE wine.
That is what I thought too… but, you’ll be tasting that wine over and over again and trying it with different things. Without sounding completely over-the-moon about things… this was a revelation to me! It was amazing seeing how one wine was changed between the simple change of an acid or a fat. To me, someone who throws a lot of parties that include wine and food, it made me realize how I can modify a dish that just doesn’t quite match a wine the way I want it to!
The description of this class says, “you’ll discover the magic of wine and food pairing.” I think the class totally delivers on that description.
More about the Pairings Basic Class:
Wanna see Bee’s review of the class? Check out her thoughts on the Pairings Basic class at The Spicy Bee!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary class in exchange for my honest opinion of the experience. All thoughts are my own. I am a big believer in trying out and supporting local businesses as I am able and I think will interest my readers.