*This is part one of a yet-to-be-determined-because-we-have-so-many-goddamn-stories-about-our-disastrous-trip-and-a-billion-photos-to-share number of posts about our trip to Oregon.
If I never had to visit Oregon again, that’d be great. In fact, when I last took the kids back in July 2013 I very adamantly vowed to never ever return. But then a few months ago my mom got engaged and offered to fly Shannon, me and the kids out to be in the wedding, and although I’m one for keeping my word and seriously considered turning her offer down in order to do just that, how am I supposed to tell my mom “Nah” to her offer to pay thousands of dollars to fly us out and her request for her daughter and grandkids to be part of her wedding? And I mean, Shannon and my parents had to meet at some point, right? Right.
So off to Oregon we went.
For 10. fucking. days. Which, yes, was way too fucking long and no, will never ever happen again. Not when the kids are this young at least, because toddlers and non-routine don’t mesh well. But really, probably just never again period, because Oregon and I don’t mesh well. And pre-Oregon-travel happenings and me definitely don’t mesh well. Everything was set to be different this time around, but three hours before we were supposed to leave for the airport it all fell apart.
We had an evening flight out of Dulles, which pissed me off because who the fuck flies to the west coast in the evening, but also left me hopeful that the kids would sleep during the flight since we’d be flying during their normal bedtime. That is, until I realized that flying west in the evening means chasing the sun, which means that nighttime never comes. Fuuuuuuuck my life.
Anyway, we were 1,000% on track with our “leave the house by 2:15 in order to get to the airport by 3:15 pm for a 5:44 pm flight” plan come Saturday afternoon. Workout was done. House was cleaned. Bags were packed. Kids were napped. Snacks were chopped, sliced and ziplocked and snapwared. 16 gigs of photos and videos were (accidentally) completely erased off the memory card instead of transferred to the computer. AWESOME. (The answer is YES, I was in a real special mood after that happened.)
Then RJ comes home early from work to spend a few extra minutes with the kids before we dip and tells us, “Traffic is really bad going north and south. You should probably leave soon.” It’s 12:45 pm. Fuck. We rush to get the kids ready and start second-guessing our original packing list, completely convinced we left something (or more likely, everything) we need unpacked. Oh well. We literally don’t have time for any of the last-minute get-ready things that are taking up all of our time at the moment.
Rushing to get out of the house by 1 pm turns into not pulling out of our parking space until almost 2 pm, which turns into not getting to the two-mile-away interstate until 20 minutes later, which turns into having to turn around and go back home after realizing we have no change for the toll road and also forgot the credit card I need to bring along because yeah right if I have enough cash on hand or in my bank account to cover the trip out-of-pocket, which turns into not getting to the airport until after 3 pm; not getting to security until 4 pm; not getting through security until 4:30 pm; and not getting to our gate until 4:39 pm, exactly 30 minutes before boarding is scheduled to begin. Not enough time to hit up the sit-down restaurant at which we’d planned on eating dinner (and consuming massive amounts of nerve-calming and stress-reducing alcohol), but enough time to grab something to-go, thankgod.
Shannon and Bri made it back with the food right when they announced that boarding would begin “shortly.” In line we went, two very impatient, hungry and tired toddlers in tow. After more waiting than necessary, the gate attendants announced the plane wouldn’t be boarding yet after all because why? Who knows. Neither the pilot nor the control tower gave a reason. More waiting, then an announcement that it’d be at least another 15 minutes before we boarded. Seriously? We parked our assess down on the ground right there in line and dug into our food. Four seconds later: “We will now begin boarding.” What the hell? We yank the kids’ food out of their hands and throw it back in the bag. Whining and crying and screaming about “you snatched that from me!” and “not nice!” abound. Whatever, IDC. Five minutes later we’re on the plane and the kids are preoccupied by way of extreme excitement over being on the plane.
Fast forward 20 or so minutes. Everyone is on the plane and in their seats. It’s a full flight and every single passenger is ready to go. Begin rolling out to the runway. Yay! Cue sudden random weather freakout and natural disasters in the form of tornadoes and Hollywood-worthy thunderstorms. Stop plane. Sit on runway for nearly three. fucking. hours. before being cleared for takeoff. Forward mom (in Portland) car rental reservation confirmation email. Text mom photos of credit card, driver’s license and insurance, and ask her to pick-up the rental car reserved in your name because the website says the airport Enterprise closes at 11 pm and you definitely won’t be at PDX before 11 pm local time.
Finally take off. Spend nine hours on a plane for a six hour flight. Weep with joy* (*issue a cuss-word-filled gratitiude-for-fucking-finally-being-on-the-goddamn-ground speech to no one in particular) upon arrival in Portland. Meet mom, who has keys to our rental, just past security exit point. Head to baggage. Get bags. Trek to rental car facility in the parking garage because hahahalololol the website’s wrong and they don’t actually close at 11 pm, and they also wouldn’t let your mom ‘check out’ your reservation and instead made her transfer it into her name and you must now transfer it back because she doesn’t want to get stuck with the bill for it (party pooper, because neither do you!).
Spend a fucking hour at the car rental desk trying to figure out how in the fuck they can’t find your reservation in the system when you literally have it in your hand, along with the keys to the rental car they already checked out to your mom. Wait for an unresponsive manager-on-duty to not respond to any pages issued for him before literally telling the employee “FUCK THIS,” packing your shit into the rental for which you have keys and leaving. Drive 20 miles over the course of 30 minutes because you’re not in DC anymore and it doesn’t take forever to get anywhere and actually, even if you were in DC right then it’d only take you 30 minutes to drive 20 miles because IT’S THE MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING NIGHT. Arrive at best friend’s parent’s house at almost 1 am west coast time. Calculate that you’ve now been up for 23 hours without sleep. Laugh a little bit about it in an “I can’t fucking believe but yes, actually, I can” kind of way. Crash, but only for a few hours because your body is still on easy coast time and even though it hasn’t had much* (*any) rest over the last day, it’s still 8:30 am to it and it is up. Try to fight it. Doesn’t work. Give in, and get up to start Day 1 in Oregon.
What. a. shit. show. I mean, when it rains, it goddamn pours, amirite? And because it’s Oregon, it never doesn’t rain. Except that it actually didn’t rain while we were there, which is so weird I might even consider it a phenomenon. But I’ll save that – and more “while we were there” stories – for next time…