Road Trippin’ Across the PNW

Every once in a while I get an Urge to Go Somewhere.

Every once in a while I also have No Urge to Go Somewhere but Have to Go Anyway.

A couple weeks ago I had one of the No-Urge sorts of trips. I wasn’t enthused for a whole host of reasons but felt obligated, I guess, so I went.

I have to laugh at this sign every time I see it.

I have to laugh at this sign every time I see it.

You do know, I hope, that Washington is NOT all Rain and Coldness. Only the westernmost and northern parts are green and precipitous; the mountains create a desert everywhere else. Nobody who hasn’t lived in Washington wants to believe this, but it is NONETHELESS TRUE. The same rule applies to Oregon.

I took GooGoo with me on a roadtrip in summer 2011, which entailed 10 days of visiting family and friends, going to a Bible camp, and seeing sights and museums along the way. It went swimmingly well and we had a really good time together despite her general non-interest in long car rides.

This was GooGoo at about 18 months, roadtripping with Mommy. Look at that grumpface.

This was GooGoo at Wild Horse Monument at 18 months, roadtripping with Mommy. Look at that grumpface.

This trip of a few weeks ago is the first time I’ve gone far from home solo with both girls, however, and so I was a little worried about how it would go driving 5-ish hours there and 5-ish hours back. We left after church ended on Sabbath. I packed food we could eat in the car. GooGoo decimated a couple carrots’ worth of carrot sticks, a few pieces of flatbread, and some water. I got myself off on a wrong turn in the depths of urban Portland, but thankfully was able to get myself turned in the right direction. Along the way I had to stop to deal with GooGoo’s screaming and feed Lou Who. A little bit of bouncing about in the car while I was pulled over seemed to solve GooGoo’s problem, and diapers got changed, and we were off again.

I think the thing that surprised me most during the drive was realising that somewhere along the way GooGoo’s vocabulary has increased to a point where I found we were actually having conversations about what she was seeing out the window (Look, Mommy, snow! sheep! water! look! Go home. Where daddy?)

The last 45 minutes of the trip Lou Who was inconsolable. She cried and cried and I felt absolutely horrible, but I knew that if I was to pull over and take her out, she’d continue to cry as soon as I strapped her back in. I was so close that I just wanted to finish the drive, and it was getting dark and I don’t see well driving at night. So I kept reaching back to put her Nukky in her mouth and speaking comforting words to her, but I felt so bad all the same. I was glad to arrive and be able to cuddle and love and feed her back to happiness.

As soon as we arrived, GooGoo wanted the Beanie Babies out and then wanted to see Grandpa's phone.

As soon as we arrived, GooGoo wanted the Beanie Babies out and then wanted to see Grandpa’s phone.

So, the girls got to see Grandma and Grandpa over the weekend and everyone had fun, I think. I had a productive Sunday on Skype with my sister sorting through things she left behind when she moved out. My car was jam-packed full of stuff when I left!

Then I went to see a former coworker I’ve continued to be friends with and her two little boys.

Playing with her new friend

GooGoo had fun playing with her new friend

And then it was off to see other friends, where I was able to kick back and relax for a little bit. The girls were in general very happy.

GooGoo got to help with making sugar cookies

GooGoo got to help with making sugar cookies

Lou Who shows off her tooth

Lou Who shows off her tooth

GooGoo munching strawberries and chick'n seitan

GooGoo munching strawberries and chick’n seitan

I also got to go thrift-storing whilst there as well and scored a few Golden Books for GooGoo and some clothes for her and me.

The end result of the trip I’d rather dreaded? Everything went very smoothly and I actually had a very nice time, and the trip home was really easy. I stopped once to change diapers and feed Lou Who, once at Bob’s Red Mill to purchase Large Bags of Stuff, and then I didn’t have to stop again until I got home. I was so tired, having not slept well in a week, that it took a while to catch up on sleep sufficiently again. But it was also really nice to be back in my own space, on my normal schedule, with Mr Pine Nut and my cute feline furball.

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