In early November, I attended a content strategy conference in Portland, Oregon. Since my company was already footing the bill for my travel costs, we decided to expand the trip and include Dan and the girls and some extra nights outside of Portland in Bend.
As soon as we got on the plane in Orange County, I realized that Lillian had a fever and was sick. The Motrin was packed in our checked luggage, so we had to wait until we landed in Portland before giving her any. She ended up having a fever for at least 4 days (we didn’t have a thermometer with us to confirm her temperature) along with a stuffy nose and cough. And…apparently, she also had an ear infection! Our kids have each only ever had two ear infections in their lives and they never pull at their ears when they are sick, so I rarely think about the possibility of them having them. I never even knew that Lillian had an ear infection until we had been home for two days and I took her to her pediatrician for her regularly scheduled 18-month appt. During our trip, she was, well, a handful, and now we certainly know why. She must have felt awful with an ear infection, being at higher elevations, and flying. We administered a 10-day dose of antibiotics after finding out about her diagnosis and her temperament improved greatly!
We arrived in Portland with a sick baby, luggage for eight days for a family of four, and two very heavy car seats. And we committed to taking public transportation while in the city! So, we loaded up into a MAX Light Rail car and rode it into downtown. By the time we got there, both girls were asleep – Viv in the stroller and Lil on me in the Ergo carrier. Dan and I had to carry the luggage and car seats two blocks to the hotel while doing our best to keep the girls asleep. We (sweatily) succeeded and even managed to check in and get halfway through a late lunch before the girls woke up.
After settling into our hotel room, we took a bus to Marco’s Cafe in Multnomah Village to have dinner with my friend, Susan. She and I were flatmates in England in 1999 when we were both studying at the University of East Anglia during a semester abroad. At the time, she lived in Texas and I lived in Ohio. We’ve kept in touch and visited each other over the past two decades, although we hadn’t seen each other in many years so it was really nice to reconnect in person again.
We had three and a half days left to spend in Portland proper and I had to attend my conference during that time. While I was at conference sessions, Dan took the girls to fun, kid-friendly places in the city. In the evenings, we went out to dinner and explored the city as a family.
After four full days in Portland (which we loved), we were ready to escape the city and explore inland Oregon. We rented a car and drove a few hours southeast to Bend, through the snowy passes, and checked into our VRBO house.
We spent the remaining four days of our trip hiking, visiting museums and breweries, and catching up with more friends. We absolutely loved Bend (like everyone else!) and are dreaming of ways we could move there.
Finally, after eight days, it was time to fly home. We really cannot wait until we can return to explore more of Oregon – or, you know, move there!