Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 19: Portland to Springfield

Ron and I miraculously woke up hangover free this morning. Not sure how we managed that after a 10 hour day of drinking, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth (ok, I probably am, but I didn't today). Our drive back to Springfield for Elli's birthday party was a lot easier than I anticipated. Turns out that was about the only thing that was easier than expected today.

Our plan was to have the party outside at a cool Eugene park called Skinner Butte. Fabulous play ground with a sprinkler, lots of grass, and picnic tables. But no covered shelter. The weather was threatening, but the future weather map on looked promising. So, Ron and I drove over to the park to set up after the sprinkles passed by. Or so we thought. As we scoped out the park in the rain, we decided to buy a 10 x 10 shelter from a nearby REI. That's when everything went from bad to worse. The kids were riding their bikes to the park with their grandparents and got caught in a thunderstorm about a mile into their ride and sought shelter under an overpass. They eventually turned back to warm up and change into dry clothers. At our location, the thunder rumbled, the rain intensified and the power flickered in the REI. My sense of foreboding seriously deepened at this point. Ron's phone was ringing off the hook with different family members and friends asking what our rain plan was. I am a compulsive planner who inexplicably did not have a rain plan for her daughter's outdoor birthday party and I felt physically ill about it.

With our new rain shelter in hand, we drove back to the park to make a final decision. Ron's cousin, Lynnea, and her family were sitting in the parking lot during the torrential downpour waiting for us. That's when Ron had the great idea of asking Lynnea, who lives locally, if she knew of any indoor play areas. She and her husband quickly suggested Papa's Pizza which didn't require reservations days in advance or a room rental fee. A couple of phone calls later, the party was moved to Papa's Pizza and I didn't continue feeling like an inept mother. The kids wound up having just as much fun at the indoor play space and they got pizza to boot. Elli seemed to barely notice the change of venue and it was just as easy to catch up with friends and family at the pizza place as it would have been at the park.

After the party we headed back to Fred and Mimi's to visit with Adam and Hannah a bit more. Adam is leaving for a 2 month trip to China in a couple of days, so today was our last day to see him. I'm glad we got to spend a lot of time together before his trip. It was probably the most time we've had than any of our previous visits to Oregon. Yet another reason I'm so glad we threw caution to the wind and drove cross-country for the summer.

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