Thursday, March 20, 2008

Aunt Jacquie's visit, part one

Last Friday evening we packed up our minivan, tossed the kids into their seats in between sleeping bags, beach shoes, and fourteen diaper bags, and hit the road for Portland. We were very excited - my very best girlfriend in the world (who Skippy and I have known since college) was due to land a little later that evening for a spring break visit.

So off we went, counting waterfalls along the way and explaining for the ten bazillionth time why no drinks were allowed in the Purple People Eater. We finally rolled into PDX just about ten minutes ahead of Jax's plane so we parked and ran inside, where the joyous reunion unfolded at about eight o'clock, complete with hugs all around and ear splitting shrieks of joy from my girls that I seriously thought might bring PDX security running. After a quick stop to grab her luggage, we headed out the door.

(Quick side note, Jax had a pair of shoes in the front zipper pocket of her suitcase when she boarded her plane in Chicago. By the time she got to Portland, the zipper had been opened and the shoes were missing. So to Mr. TSA Man somewhere in Chicago or Oakland who is now cross dressing my best friend's heels - shame on you, you pervert.)

Anyway, Jacquie's Chicago-zonked stomach was clamoring for food, so our next stop brought us to Burgerville. I would love to say it was because we wanted the first meal of her visit to be something genuinely Oregon-like but in all honesty, it's because it was the first spot we saw in a not-so-great part of the city that wasn't horrible fast food, was open, and had a well-lit parking lot. Plus they have awesome fries and milkshakes. We ate and we gabbed and then we hightailed it to our hotel for a late night swim, chucked the kids into their sleeping bags, gabbed a bit more, and promptly passed out. Kind of. As well as you can pass out in a hotel room with three adults and three kids when two of the adults snore, two of the kids talk in their sleep, and the baby insists on continuously popping up in his pack-and-play like a meerkat on speed for three hours. Good times. It's a miracle Jacquie goes anywhere with us, I swear. Somewhere around three a.m. she was probably wondering what the hell she had been thinking.

But Saturday morning we were up bright and early, ready to greet the day at about eight after a restless but adequate night's sleep. Jax and I took the kids for a surprisingly fabulous breakfast in the hotel (where Skippy not so surprisingly slept in a bit) and I'll be damned if everyone wasn't on their best behavior. After we filled our bellies, we took a swim and then packed up the van and finally said good-bye to Portland, heading down to road towards the coast at about eleven.

I must stop for yet another brief side note here, because I was very proud of myself this weekend for not being an insane minute-by-minute micro manager. When you have three small kids and a husband who works long hours, things like schedules and structure help keep you sane. And when I plan something and it doesn't go my way or we get off schedule, I get cranky. Like, crazy eyes hate the world cranky. It drives Skippy nuts. And I'm trying to be better. Sometimes you have to just say forget it and go with the flow - life's too short and all that jazz. So when we didn't roll out of town until the morning was practically gone, I didn't worry. The sun was peeking through the clouds in between intermittent periods of rain, everything was green, the kids were being good, and I had my husband next to me and my best friend in the car. Plus we were heading for the coast. Life was good.

After about an hour and a half of driving, the trees started to thin out a bit. We crested yet another hill and off in the distance there it was - Jax's first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.

Time for the baby to nap. I'll be back later!

1 comment:

kat said...

i think that chunk's been speaking to theron about the meerkatting :-)