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Monday, August 27, 2012

One Trip, Two Relatively Harmonious Perspectives

Our Pacific Northwest trip is long gone, but we're just getting around to the obligatory post.  And I mean 'we' literally in this case.  Inexplicably, even incredibly, H.M. has been writing a bit.  It's all the free time, right?  Actually, it's not that hard to believe at all.  I've been near AWOL from CJMP lately, and I think she feels obliged to take up the dang slack.

Men.

Here's Majesty's take:

We are back from our first trip to the Pacific Northwest.   I am hoping this will be an annual August trip, but next year I hope we can plan it so that we see El C a little more.  He was mostly tied up in meetings and seminars, horseback riding or suicide rafting. Things weren’t as exciting on our end but we sure had a good time!  With highs in the mid 70’s with a bit of a breeze, we spent the majority of the week outside.

First off, I have to praise the babies; they did fabulously on the 4.5 hour plane rides!  Jack only watched about 20 minutes of a movie and then spent the rest of the time on an Avengers look-and-find book, playing tic-tac-toe with me, doodling with Daddy, or just talking about the clouds and whatever else he saw.

We landed in Portland, loaded up the rental car and headed up to the lodge in Washington.  We did a few little hikes, found a playground, a swimming pool and a riverboat.  We also celebrated Jack’s 4th(!) birthday with an M&M cake and a bird show.  Got to see an eagle named Patriot, some hawks and owls up close.

Jack will tell you his favorite thing was the paddle boat ride on the Columbia River.  He spent about 45 minutes of the 2 hour boat ride in the captain’s chair with Captain Tom.  Captain Tom is about on par with Santa Claus.  He taught Jack to drive the boat and let him push almost every button on the dashboard (or whatever you call it on a boat) and patiently answered all 170 of Jack’s questions.

On the way home we took a later flight, which was maybe half full so we had plenty of room to spread out.  Jack especially had a nice flight (see picture).

My brief take:

Suicide rafting is a bit strong of a term.  Yes, there was a fatality on that river this year (kayak).  Yes, we did talk our guide (the rafting company owner's daughter, of all people) into going down a notorious Class 5 waterfall.  Yes, the boat in front of us flipped clean over.  We didn't.  No problemo.

I won't even annoy you with talk of hospitible (non-Houstonian) weather, which I still covet deep in my shriveled little heart.

It was the weirdest week.  Great, but weird.  It was like the family and I had booked completely separate vacations, but everyone coincidentally settled on the same destination.  I would see work folk, and then spy Jack sprinting through the lobby.  I would be talking with someone, and hear Caroline screech.  Pretty entertaining.

On the upside, I came through on the pledge I made last year, sitting on an airplane:  ONLY BAD FATHERS SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THEIR CHILDREN FROM COACH.

And, as Majestad mentioned above, we've finally solved the mystery of what Santa does in the off season.  Yes, Virginia, Santa's a paddleboat captain on the Colombia River.  Yeah, he goes by  "Captain Tom," but he's not fooling anybody, man.

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

First off, LOVE the "Jack sleeping on a plane" picture. That one made my day. I am so envious of your trek up north. Each time I make mention to Greg of the possibility of us moving either to the New England or Pacific Northwest area (or Alaska), his eyes get a terrified look in them. Happy 4th Birthday, Jack! And Hello, Sweet Caroline (you know I had to do that).

El Comodoro said...

Heh. That made our day, too.

I'm constantly reminded by folks up there that I show up during the 3 months of perfect weather they get annually.

From October to June, it's rainy and wet "Nashville Suicide Weather" as REK would say.

And my hockey buds from the Far Frozen North all told me there's no way they would ever move back after being in Tejas.

Donna said...

How awesome! What a treat that the whole fam got to go. I'm all for work-paid-for family vacations!