Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 16: Portland, OR to Springfield, OR

Today was Elli's 5th birthday! She has been counting the days until her birthday for weeks, so she was beside herself with excitement that the day FINALLY arrived. While Elli watched tv with her cousins, I re-packed all our bags and then started making a big brunch feast, as per Elli's birthday request. I made her favorite: pancakes and sausage links. I also made home fries and scrambled eggs, but Elli didn't eat any of that. Adam and Hannah came over for the meal, too, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Elli opened some presents, including a digital camera from me, Ron, and Jonah, and then was sad that she didn't have more to open. Luckily, I was able to distract her with a demonstration of how her new camera worked. Look, shiny! She quickly started to snap everyone's picture and then admire the shot on the LCD screen. Crisis averted for the time being.

Once we all recovered from our post-brunch food coma, we re-loaded the car and headed down to Springfield. I thought the drive was pretty uneventful, but Ron was quite frustrated with drivers camping out in the left lane. It seems that Oregon drivers aren't aware that the left lane is for passing slower cars on the right. If my nephew, Gage, had been in the car, he would have been treated to several examples of Uncle Ron shaking his fist and yelling at other drivers, just like he did in New York City a few years ago when the Hammonds visited.

It felt fantastic to completely unload the car and unpack our belongings when we arrived at my father in law's house. Mimi and Fred have generously opened their home to us for the rest of our stay in Oregon. We won't actually be here for the whole 6+ weeks, but it will be our home base for all the short trips we have planned. In fact, our first short trip starts tomorrow. Ron and I will be heading back to Portland for a wedding, but the kids will be staying here with Mimi and Fred.

I think the kids were also happy to arrive in Springfield. We picked up Jonah's bike from the local bike shop where we shipped it to and he rode it up and down the street for about an hour. He even met one of the kids on the street, so he has a new friend already. We set up Elli's ride along on Mimi's bike and she already can't enough of riding, too. I hope they'll be just as enthusiastic about bike riding after all the riding they're likely to do this weekend with their grandparents!

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