Last weekend, we flew up to Oregon to celebrate my nephew’s graduation from high school.
This was the fourth plane trip for Claire (Vermont at 8 weeks old, New York at 6 months old, Orange County at almost 8 months old, and now Oregon at 13 months). She’s flown more than some people I know but it’s interesting how every trip has been so different because of her age. The first two trips she slept the whole time. This last trip, she didn’t sleep at all. She climbed back and forth on CJ and I. She read through the safety pamphlet (very responsible of her!). She tried to escape to the aisle to run around. And she watched some Winnie the Pooh on the iPad. On one of our flights, a mom, her 2 year old son, and her newborn baby walked past us (I should clarify the newborn baby did not walk past us, he was wrapped up in a Moby Wrap on his mommy :)) and CJ and I looked at each other thinking “How is that woman flying on her own with two little ones?!?!”. Anyway, she deserved a medal (like my sister does for doing the same thing back in the day!). It reminded me how much easier it was to fly when Claire was a newborn because she slept the whole time. The only difficulty was in lugging around (what felt like) 52 bags.
Anyway, back to the Oregon trip, we honestly didn’t want to leave. We considered extending our trip because we had so much fun but, alas, life was calling and we had to get back to it. We stayed at a hotel in Portland along the river and spent each morning walking along the water and enjoying the breathtakingly beautiful weather. We stopped at a coffee shop along the path that, one morning, gave us a free latte (which was amazing!). We saw a group of people gathering to ride kayaks down the river. Claire must have thought she was in heaven with the amount of dogs she saw on our walk. I got choked up at one point because the feeling of being back in Portland was so overwhelming for me (I grew up outside of Portland, for those of you who don’t know). We had random conversations with people in stores and it reminded us how friendly people are outside of California. Then, we went to my sister’s house which was filled with an auntie, uncle, and four cousins to Claire who played with her and showered her with so much love. It was such a wonderful display of the importance of family.
If there’s one thing I could change, it’s that I wish we lived closer. I wish we could hop in the car and see each other in 10 minutes. Luckily, it’s a short plane ride away and we’re not across the country. But even that plane ride seems like too much.
Until next time, Oregon. You will always feel like home to me.