I am finally writing about our amazing vacation we took back in July! I have a lot of family in Oregon and we try to make it out there to visit as often as we can. This year we had extra exciting reasons to head out there- my cousin was getting married, and most of my family there had not met little Kevin yet! So we packed our bags and flew cross country with our almost 2 year old… whew. It was quite the adventure! We were in Oregon from Thursday, July 17th until Friday, July 25th. We had an amazing (and occasionally challenging) time, making memories that will last a lifetime. I really want to remember the details of this trip since it will most likely be a while until we are brave enough to do it again, so I am going to break it down day by day to tell the story.
Thursday, July 17th
Rise and shine! Our alarm went off super early and we were out the door by 3:15 a.m. We had a long drive to the airport and a painful 6 a.m. flight. First we drove to Kevin’s sister’s house and then our brother-in-law dropped us off at the airport. We hauled in all our stuff (1 large suitcase, 1 small suitcase, 1 carseat, 1 stroller, 1 backpack, my purse, and Kevin’s little backpack- and I tried my best to pack light since I knew we could do laundry at my aunt’s house!), checked in, went through security and arrived at our gate already exhausted. I chose flights that had off-times, hoping for flights that weren’t full so we could score a seat for little Kev. Since he isn’t 2 yet we didn’t buy him his own seat because it would have been an additional $500+ (!!). This strategy worked, and we were able to have a whole row to ourselves AND bring his carseat onboard rather than checking it at the gate- score! It was nice to be able to keep him restrained in a seat that he felt comfortable in. He ended up sleeping for most of the 5 1/2 hour flight from DC to San Francisco, and only really had a hard time during take-off and landing. Nothing a lollipop couldn’t fix.
When we arrived in San Francisco we had a couple hours until our next flight, so we got some food and let Kevin run around and stretch his legs. We also connected with my dad and sister, who had just arrived there after flying from Philadelphia. I was happy to let them play with Kevin and thankful that they were on our next flight with us!
I was very nervous about flying with a toddler for the first time- especially since we had such a long day of travel ahead of us. I definitely over prepared and brought a lot in my ‘bag of tricks’ but was super thankful I did! I needed almost everything. We weren’t so lucky on our second flight and were not able to get a seat for little Kevin. I thought this would be fine since it was a much shorter flight (only over an hour) but I was so, so wrong.
I was counting down the minutes until this flight was over! He was totally unhappy, did not want to play with anything I packed for him, wouldn’t eat his fun snacks, didn’t want to be held or restrained, screamed and kicked the seat in front of us. Ugh. Nightmare. But we made it and I have never been so happy to get off a plane in my life!
After collecting all of our baggage we all went to get the rental car we were sharing with my dad, then drove into Portland to the house my aunt was renting for the week. We hung out there for a while but didn’t stay long because we were tired, and she had a lot to do since her son was the one getting married. We drove across the city to our hotel, checked in, unloaded all of our stuff and collapsed onto the bed… until we remembered we still needed to run for our running streak! I contemplated breaking the streak but Kevin talked me out of it. We got dressed, brought little Kev next door to my dad and sister’s room so they could stay with him (we didn’t bring our running stroller on the trip because we wanted a smaller one) and headed outside for one mile.
It. was. so. hard. My body felt like it didn’t work and we were starving. It was ridiculously slow and painful but we got it done. I took a quick shower which felt amazing after a long day of travel then we ordered pizza for dinner. It wasn’t even 5:00 at this point but to us it felt so late since there is a 3 hour time difference. I shared a pizza with my sister and we killed the whole thing. It was awesome!
I was ready for bed at this point but somehow Kevin headed out for my cousin’s bachelor party with my dad. I have no idea how he did that because the baby and I were both asleep by 7 p.m.! Kevin said they didn’t end up staying out super late, but I was impressed.
Friday, July 18th
Of course our toddler was up bright and early at 4:30 a.m… which is really 7:30 a.m. east coast time, so that’s late for him! 🙂 I was feeling pretty good because I had gone to bed so early. I knew one of the challenges with this trip would be Kevin’s sleeping schedule, being in a different time zone and with so much going on each day, but I just tried to go into it with a flexible attitude when it came to sleeping at night and naps. I was in desperate need of coffee so once Kevin got up we all headed out for a walk and to get Starbucks nearby.
Once I was properly caffeinated I headed out for a run with my sister. We had heard that you can do a nice 3 mile loop by running on the path along the river, crossing over the Steel Bridge on the pedestrian pathway, running along the other side of the river, and then crossing back over the Hawthorne Bridge. It was a beautiful morning and we took our time, taking in all the sights and enjoying the cooler weather. We ended up running 5 miles total, since the river was about a mile from our hotel. I felt so much better after getting a good run in and was ready to tackle the rest of the day!
After our run we showered and relaxed a bit while little Kevin napped and my husband went out for his run. I knew it would be a long afternoon and a late night so I wanted to try to get a decent nap in. After he woke up we grabbed some lunch from a nearby deli with my dad and sister. One of the things I LOVE about Portland and the west coast in general is all the delicious vegetarian options there are everywhere. This is a huge change from where we live, and was so nice for both little Kev and me since we both don’t eat meat.
After filling our bellies we got ready for the rehearsal and drove about 25 minutes outside of Portland to where the wedding was taking place, the Scappoose Creek Inn. It was a beautiful farm setting with a barn for the reception and lots of animals roaming around. Kevin LOVED having free space to run around after being confined to a small hotel room/plane/stroller for so long!
We were not in the wedding party, but my cousin invited us to the rehearsal to catch up with family and also to help out a bit with setting up chairs and things like that. After the official rehearsal part was over we all went to a local Mexican restaurant nearby for dinner. Dinner was DELICIOUS- along with the margaritas of course 🙂
Little Kev couldn’t hang for very long and actually ended up passing out on me in the middle of the loud, bright restaurant. I was shocked! But it was about 8:30 at this point which is super late on east coast time, so I was proud of him for staying up and staying happy as long as he did. We all followed his lead as soon as we got back to the hotel!
Saturday, July 19th
Wedding day! I started the day off with an amazing 11 mile run all around Portland. One of the things I love about Portland is how you can be in the middle of the city one minute, then in the middle of nature a few minutes later. The best of both worlds 🙂 This city is also FULL of runners, walkers and cyclists. I think there are more of us than there are cars! The bridges even have a bicycle counter to see how many cross each day and all year.
Kevin ended up meeting me at the end of my run, and I took the stroller so he could go on his. We walked around downtown and then headed toward the Saturday Market once he was finished running, which is a big craft/food/random vendor market that they have every weekend. Portland is GREAT for people watching, and this was no exception. Once again little Kevin passed out during all the commotion. I was just happy he was getting sleep, no matter where and when it was happening!
After we got back to the hotel we all showered and got ready for the wedding! It was shaping up to be a beautiful, perfect day and I was so excited to see my cousin get married and celebrate! The venue looked AMAZING and all the details were perfect. My cousin’s beautiful and creative new wife did everything herself, and she did such a great job.
After the ceremony it was reception time! Awesome food, dancing, delicious drinks, cute babies, a fun photobooth, a pick-up game of soccer, chickens, and lots of love. What more could you ask for?
Unfortunately, sitting in the backseat for the long ride home from the wedding on the windy streets made me feel pretty sick. They had an after party at a bar near our hotel but I wasn’t feeling up for it at that point, so we all went to bed. LAME! My dad and sister said they had a great time!
Sunday, July 20th
I woke up the next day feeling better and slightly guilty that I didn’t make it out to the after party. I went for an early morning walk with my boys to Trader Joe’s to pick up some snacks and some green juice. This is actually something we did most mornings we were in Portland, since our hotel room didn’t have a refrigerator and TJs was really close.
My aunt and uncle were hosting a brunch at their house later that morning, so we headed over there to spend a little more time with family before leaving Portland the next day. It was so nice to be able to spend so much time with people we don’t get to see often. I was able to see my aunt, two uncles, 4 cousins and all of their wives/girlfriends/kids- it was amazing! Once we finished up there we went to the hotel for Kevin’s nap and I went out for a run. I wasn’t sure what I would want to do, but I ended up running the 5 mile loop that I did with my sister earlier that week. Again, it was amazing and made me fall more deeply in love with Portland!
When I got back Kevin went out for his run, and then we got showered up and headed out for some fun! Kevin was dying to go to Cascade Brewing Barrel House to try their beer. We had fun tasting all different types of beer with my dad and sister. Kevin has really taught me to love and appreciate craft beer, and we like to explore the local breweries when we travel.
After our beer tasting we went across the street to eat dinner at the Green Dragon restaurant which is part of Rogue Brewery. It was good as well, but unfortunately little Kev kept having meltdown after meltdown so we were kind of done at this point. He had really been pretty flexible so far during the trip but I think he was tired of being confined in a hotel room and being out of his routine. I didn’t blame him! We love Portland but we were ready to move onto the second part of our trip- Bend, Oregon where my aunt and uncle live.
Monday, July 21st
Early Monday morning we packed up our hotel room and got ready to head out. But first we had a very important stop to make- VOODOO DONUTS! This place is famous for their unique and delicious donuts, and we had been dying to try them the entire time we were in Portland. Every time we went by the line was out of control, so we decided to try Monday morning before we left, which ended up being a great idea. There was no line at all! We were so excited.
I decided on the chocolate peanut butter donut, while Kevin and my sister each got a maple bacon bar. Kevin also got a maple blunt one, and we got a plain glazed donut for little Kev to try. The donuts definitely lived up to their reputation. They were DELICIOUS! I wished I had more once they were gone!
After we had our donuts we started our 4 hour road trip to Bend. Next up, part 2 of our trip!