We had breakfast and then went to the front desk to make sure it wouldn't be a problem if we checked out a day before. Nope, not one. Great. Then, thankfully, I asked about directions to the Chinese Classical Gardens. No no no, they said, don't drive down there. Seems Portland has the downtown area all torn up, I think it has something to do with their mass transit, but I am fuzzy on the details. But the long and short of it was, even the locals don't drive down there. I wasn't brave enough this trip to try the buses with Emi, diaper bag and stroller so I thanked the kind ladies for this info and we went back up to the room. I decided to get on the road right away and maybe stop along the way at The Dalles if Emi was awake at that point. So, we packed up and head out.
It felt nice to be going home, I was more than ready.
We did stop at The Dalles, but there wasn't much to see (could see the dam across the river, I had been hoping we could get closer). We did the little museum thing, changed a diaper and talked to the very nice lady at the information desk. She told us that along this corridor (Columbia River Gorge) there are 107 water falls, amazing hiking trails and camp grounds. She suggested a camp ground that she likes and her fav hike (Horsetail). I was thrilled at this information and made the stop more than worth it.
So we head on out again, after a stop for lunch Emi napped all the way to where Max was. We picked him and and then, home. It was wonderful to be home. I think all three of us were thrilled. Emi played like a crazy woman with her toys while I unloaded the car. Max played in his backyard and then slept.
Home. It's a good thing.
This trip may not have been perfect, but few are. There were glitches along the way, but also moments of pure joy and such fun. I am proud of myself that when I hit bumps in the road, I'd stop, regroup, and move on. I didn't dwell on the problems, and tried to make the most of whatever was going on at the time.
- Time and time again I asked myself:
- Why are we here? Emi
- Who is having fun? Emi
- What was the purpose of this trip? Emi
- Who will pay the penalty if you fall apart? Emi
I have also had emails telling me that I was so brave to take her, alone, on a trip. Some said trip alone and others, trip alone to a city I had never been to before. It wasn't brave. I do this kind of thing, it's very me. I want it to be very Emi too. It's a great big world out there, and I want to see it and share it with her. Right now, we are here, so here is where we will play. Life tosses interesting curve balls, you never know where you will be next. Sure, we expect to stay here several years, possibly forever. But, what if. I learned that lesson the hard way in Japan. We always thought we'd have time to go and do. Time ran out on us and we missed seeing things we so wanted to, and squeezed in things we should have taken our time seeing. Never ever ever again.
The leash. I used it at the zoo with great success. Emi seems to like it, for whatever odd reason. I love it, as I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I will never ever lose her (that is my biggest fear, my choking wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-must-check-on-Emi, fear and it has become almost irrational). I received several dirty looks which I have to think were leash related, I didn't get them before that. I also overheard one mother say to another I'd never put my kid on a leash, my girls aren't dogs! Yeah, well even an Olympic gymnast couldn't keep up with Emi when she has a mind set. I've had to ditch the stroller on a number of occasions to chase her down. I don't have to justify to anyone, keeping my child safe. And, I'm so done with worrying about it. It works, it's a tool at my disposal, I am using it. It is now part of the stroller kit.
I learned a lot on this trip, mainly about myself. I am stronger than I thought. I can do it. Whatever it is at the time.
- Lessons learned:
- Use the leash, period
- Remember to use the camera more
- Ignore other people, especially small-minded, mean-spirited ones. Their opinion of what I am, what I might be does not matter. (This is something I struggle with, daily.)
- Start planning our next adventure today