Connectivity issues derailed my daily travel journal. And just as I knew it would happen, memories started piling up and merging together and became harder to pick out as easily.
A long awaited zoo trip happened. With it came delight, bad attitudes, a hippo with its mouth wide open, and several nursing sessions in various places.
Portland playgrounds provided several wins in the obsolete equipment category. Things you can’t find in the plastic jungles of northern virginia. Squeaking metal merry go rounds in fields of tall trees. Real teeter totters. Weathered baby-friendly playgrounds. Big huge slides whose metal blinds you with reflected sunlight.
With kids who become bouncy balls trapped into small small containers if you don’t wear them out every morning, you need to get out a lot. Even so, it’s hard. Really hard to take them anywhere indoors without soul sucking, mentally and physically exhausting, kid craziness. I still can’t believe we made it here in an airplane.
Randomly in the middle of a vacation, with not much warning, we received the gift of a new U2 album. A soundtrack for our travels. Put on repeat and digested separately. That moment on the second listen where I fear I might not like it very much. After 5 years of waiting, you want to love it to pieces. We’ve had three children since U2 has written an album.
Swinging in your diaper because after another nutty restaurant experience, you peed all over your little shorts. Still looking pretty handsome in that little vest though.
Attempting to help a girl who can’t get her attitude about vacation activities under control, we tried to change our parenting tactics and provide a day of kid fun. Donuts galore in the morning, faces and hands crusted over in sugar crystals, playgrounds visited and played hard, a comic book shop with coloring books to delight little ones, and lunch out at a place with a kids play kitchen.
It didn’t really work for the attitude problem. But it was still fun.
Early morning goodbyes in crisp air. The same air that welcomed us joyfully at the beginning of our stay in Portland, but somehow heavier with hugs goodbye instead of hello.
New hellos with grandparents on the coast. A garden bursting with life, and a home I grew up in, swept with changes, yet still familiar.
Overindulgence in coffee and beer is mandatory on vacation in Oregon. I’m hoping the stimulation from the coffee is helping me burn off the beer belly. As I type this, I’m enjoying some Stumptown from a French press and listening to the new U2 on the ipad while the kids do their usual morning psycho freak out thing. Each listen brings more familiarity and appreciation. Some albums are like that. Others go down easy the first time and then reveal themselves as one dimensional as you listen again.
Some people are like that too. Have you ever noticed? I don’t think that many people are ever actually one dimensional, but sometimes the first person I think is the most fun in a group winds up becoming a disappointment with more exposure. I’m not sure what this has to do with my vacation though.
Feet met sand with haste under warm September sun. Don’t tell anyone, but the Oregon coast isn’t always rainy. These September days have been warm and clear.
Little bodies left the beach sunbaked, water soaked, and covered in sand.
An idyllic nap in fresh white sheets, afternoon light streaming through lacy curtains, and a delicious baby face with eyes closed in my old bedroom.
Sad things like a memorial for grandma give way to joyful reunions with sisters and cousins.
Hawthorne added someone to his very short list of people who are allowed to hold him. It was love at first sight. He turned from the boy chasing me around and hiding in my legs from the memorial attendees, into the boy leaning against his cousin’s legs and reaching up to be held. Soon the girls were equally as enamored with his sweet inviting personality, and willingness to play with them. Most 11/12 year old boys would have spent the entire time around adults and little girls with their heads in a video game. Just another reason it would be nice to live closer.
I don’t have any stories about this shot of my dad in his shirt. It’s just awesome. Don’t be fooled by his F your S up face. He’s actually really nice unless you look at one of his daughters the wrong way.
For the second time here in Oregon, time spent with others went so surprisingly well that I actually felt sad right after. This was fun! Let’s do it again when we can make it back in a couple of years and everyone has changed and grown up some more!
The girls earned their very first payday by helping grandma in the garden yesterday, and they each have three dollars that want a hasty exit from daddy’s pocket. Pretty awesome. The adventure continues today!