This is Mt. Hood, where Timberline Lodge is and year-round skiing.
As you can see, he was very excited to be in the car again, but at least he didn't cry!
Why do I have a picture of my two fingers you ask? Well they might not look like it, but I smashed them in the door that leads to the pool at the hotel. You know the kind of door, big, heavy, metal. I danced around and did my best not to cry it hurt so bad. Dang, it hurts to smash your fingers! Now I know why kids make such a fuss when they do. At least I didn't swear out loud;) (never mind the chipped nail polish. in my perfect world, they would have been painted or manicured before I left on this trip)
This is what Portland looks like: trees everywhere!
This is pretty much how he looked the entire time:)
(This is the resort we stayed at in Welches, OR)
Poor kid, he loves the water and the day we had to leave was the only good day to go swimming, so we at least let him touch it before we left.
This shower provided hours of entertainment for Taj, who needs toys?
This shower provided hours of entertainment for Taj, who needs toys?
I just went on the worst trip of my life. In fact, I don't think I've ever experienced the amount of stress and fatigue in my entire life as I did on this trip. Last week Brannon went to Portland for another business trip and he told me that his boss said that I could go if I wanted to. So naturally, after Brannon left Tuesday morning, I called him and told him that I wanted to come up to Portland with him. Arrangements were made and Taj and I were booked for a flight to Portland the next day. I was sooo excited. All I could think was, "It's going to be so much fun to see where Brannon does business, and to take Taj on his first flight, and to see the beach, it's going to be a mini-vacation!" I got us all packed up the night before our flight and the morning of our flight I was showered and ready to go before Taj even woke up, which never ever happens. I was like "Yeah! I got this!" Our flight was scheduled to depart at 1:20 p.m., so after I had Taj all packed up, we hit the road. I wanted to get there early, you know, in case anything went wrong....and because I had to haul a 1 1/2 year old, a large suitcase, and a ridiculously large carseat around the airport by myself. I'm slouching in my chair with eyes half closed as I write this...I'm so tired. Anywho, we fought a man in an old long bed red Chevy truck for a parking spot in the economy parking lot...and, we won! He did his best to give me the stink eye, but all I could do was smile triumphantly at him. After all, I was the one who had to haul a tot and luggage at the same time, not him! Thank goodness for the leash that I have for Taj. It was the only way I could keep him close to me. Just getting to the shuttle bus stop in the parking lot was intense. I had to prop the ginormous carseat on top of my ginormous suitcase and manage that with one hand and Taj with the other. That carseat was just dying to jump off the suitcase and by the time we reached the bus stop, I was already panting and covered in sweat. We rode the shuttle to our terminal and I juggled the luggage once again, but thank goodness I didn't have to drag it that far. We got in line to get our boarding pass and Taj kept running under people's feet and playing with their luggage and we kept holding up the line and some guy behind me kept grumbling about how people don't know how to fly and everyone's holding up the line. I assume that he was refering to me and the monkey on the leash, but give me a break! That guy wouldn't have lasted two seconds in the same situation I was.
A kiosk finally opened up and I printed my boarding pass, assuming that Taj didn't need one because he would sit on my lap. You can imagine my heart stopping when I heard the lady checking me in say, Her: "Is he sitting on your lap?" Me: "Uh, yeah." Her: "Well I need verification of his birthdate. I need a birth certificate or immunization card, anything with his name and birthday on it." Me: just standing there with the world starting to spin around me, my heart rate increasing, just sputtering because I'm too shocked to talk. "I don't have that with me!" Her: "Well they won't let him fly without it." Me: "Okay." At this point it was about 11:30 and I suddenly remembered that my dad was on business in Salt Lake. I called him frantic, my heart had dropped into my stomach. I couldn't fathom the thought of missing a flight. I had only done that in nightmares and now it was happening to me! My dad was a hero. He drove clear up to my house in Kaysville, grabbed Taj's immunization record, and sped to the airport at 90+ miles per hour. Taj and I waited painfully for 45 min. for him to get there. The whole time I waited, I thought we would miss our flight and Iwas close to tears, but I had to keep it together...you know, for Taj, because he was already crying and I was sure that if I cried too I would have a total meltdown, so I bit the bullet and paced back and forth in front of the entrance. We hadn't been able to go through security yet and it was 1:00 p.m. when my dad finally made it. My dad came to a screeching halt in front of the terminal and came running with the record in hand. I quickly thanked him and then I turned and ran like the dickens. I had Taj in my arms and a big backpack bouncing on my back. I told security that I was going to miss my flight if I didn't hurry and they let me through to the front of the line. One security lady asked me where my gate was and after I told her she was like, "Oh, that's a long ways away!" All I could think was, "Of course it is!" Then when I got to the part where I had to take my shoes off and send my backpack through the x-ray machine, they were like "You have to take his shoes off too and his harness." "Argh! Okay!" I threw his shoes onto the belt, not even seeing if they made it in a tray. We walked through the metal detector and the nightmare continued. The man sitting at the x-ray machine was had stopped the machine with my bag in it and was calling for a bag check for a flippin juice box. I kept saying, "just throw it away. I don't want it!" and he kept saying, "No, it's okay. It will just take a minute." Well that minute turned into five minutes when he had to call for a bag check three times before someone came. At this point they picked up the juice box and were like "We need to test it." I was like, "No, just throw it away!" They were like, "No, it's okay. It will just take a second." At this point it was like 1:15 and I'm freaking out. When they finally cleared the juice box, I just shoved everything in my backpack, shoes and all, and I picked up Taj and ran and ran.
They really weren't kidding when they said my gate was far away. I was practically hyperventilating because I was so stressed out. I did see Marti Skold (the weather lady) as I was running, but I had no time to stop and gawk. When I finally made it to my gate, I was dripping in sweat and we were the last ones in line. I thought the nightmare was over when I gave the lady my boarding pass and triumphantly showed her the immunization record so that Taj could board with me. Then I heard her say, "Didn't the ticket counter give you an envelope with a boarding pass for him?" By this time I was reeling. This couldn't be happening to me. She told me I had to go back to ticketing and for one second I thought I had to go all the way back through security to the very front ticket counter and I just wanted to die, but thank the heavens there was a ticket counter only like 20 feet away. I made her promise they wouldn't leave without us and finally, finally, we boarded the plane, after the pilot and the crew...we were very very last on the plane, but we'd made it. I sat drenched in sweat squished in the middle seat between two people with Taj on my lap and he was an angel. He slept most the way and didn't make a peep. I like to think the Lord was giving me a break because he knew I couldn't handle not even one more little tiny incident or else I was going to have a complete panic attack. So lesson learned here: 1. Show up two hours early at least for a flight if you have kids with you. 2. Don't forget the bleepity bleep immunization/birth certificate if you have a child who is under 2 and will be sitting on your lap. 3. You can board a plane first if you have kids and you can move through security much faster (don't stand in the regular line). 4. There are angels in the airport. I can't tell you how many women, yes women, helped me carry my luggage and helped me through security. They were heaven sent, thank you ladies!
Naturally, when we landed I thought worst part of our trip was over, but that night proved me wrong. Taj ran a super high fever all night and slept only two or three hours at the most, so both Brannon and I were dead tired the next day. The next day was even worse. I thought Taj seemed to be doing a little better, but he refused to eat anything and we couldn't go outside because it was raining and cold, so Taj and I stayed cooped up in the hotel room while Brannon attended his convention. At least they had room service or we wouldn't have made it because the resort we were staying at was in the middle of nowhere. I figured the plane ride had just made Taj's ears a little sore, but when Brannon came back to the room that afternoon, Taj started puking everywhere and his fever was back. At this point I was really saying, "we just should've stayed home!" So the free time we did have with Brannon was spent driving to an urgent care clinic and sitting in the doctor's office. The verdict: ear infection. Are you kidding me? Of all times and of all places, he always gets an ear infection when we go out of town. This was supposed to be a fun trip!!! We got his meds and he did a lot better that night.
The next day was beautiful outside, but of course it was the day we had to leave! We did manage the visit the Timberline Lodge, which is way cool (did you know that people ski year round up there at Mt. Hood? Seriously, they had a ton of snow up there, crazy!) The trip back home went a lot smoother, thanks to having Brannon there to help me. I'm going back next year for sure, this time alone. Taj is going to stay with grandpa and grandma:) I will say this about Portland...there are tons and tons of trees, everywhere! Big, fir trees line the roads and you can't see any land marks there are so many trees and everything is so green. It's a pretty place, so hopefully I get to go next year and get a better look:) Anyway, I was glad I got to go and someday, someday in the far future, this might be funny.