Our Trip – Part II

Friday in Portland was a busy day. TAFRU was beginning that evening and I had some last minute items to take care of before reunion time, so after breakfast I did a few things at the hotel and we headed out in search of a GPS. We had gotten very spoiled using Dave’s GPS on his phone and after driving around trying to find the hotel the day before, we decided it wasn’t worth wasting time trying to find all the places around Oregon we intended on visiting. We even had trouble finding a place to purchase a GPS, so that was even more proof that we needed one. LOL!!! We finally made our way to a Fred Meyer and walked out with a TomTom GPS in hand. After sitting in the parking lot for several minutes trying to get it to work, Dave took it back into the store and return with another one. The first one was defective and we really did want/need a working system if we were going to get anywhere we needed to go on this trip. Fortunately, the second one worked fine and we were on our way to meet my cousin and her husband for lunch.

We met at Lew’s Dari-Freeze in Milwaukie, OR. Lew’s is a small diner/ice cream shop with some history. It has been around since the 1950’s and although it’s had a few different owners over the years, it has been a popular diner in the area all these years with annual cruise-ins being held there for several years. Obama also stopped at Lew’s prior to becoming president.

I hadn’t seen my cousin, Pam, for over 15 years and it was a wonderful reunion. Lunch isn’t a long enough period of time to get caught up on the last 15 years, especially with a 1 year old and a 3 year old in tow, but we did some catching up and I certainly hope we don’t wait another 15 years before seeing each other again.

After lunch we headed out to make some reunion purchases and managed to get back to the hotel with just enough time to freshen up and change clothes for the reunion.

Our TAFRU meet-n-greet began at 5:00 p.m. in one of the hotel banquet rooms. We had 12 families in attendance and the cameras got quite the work-out that evening. I would have to get out my paperwork to verify the numbers, but we had about 20 kids, about 15 of them from Toukoul in Ethiopia. Knowing these children went through Toukoul to their forever families was amazing and I found myself getting a little teary just looking at them run around and play together. Because I don’t want to share pictures of other’s children without their permission, I’ll only be sharing the one photo of Naomi I managed to get that evening that didn’t include other children.

She was definitely having a good time and trying her best to keep up with the other kids. A couple times she was sure she could run around with them and quickly realized that she wasn’t yet able to walk on her own, let alone run. That has now changed, but she wasn’t walking yet that night.

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