I simply cannot believe that I don't have any pictures of our time with Papa. I'm sure he will have some on his camera. Words will have to suffice for now!
Aunt Nikki picked Papa up from the Oakland Airport. The next morning I met them at their hotel in a rented car. We had a great breakfast. It was nice to catch up with Aunt Nikki (technically we're cousins that are a year apart in age, but its like we grew up sisters). She had only seen Trouble twice and had never met the other two. After breakfast Papa, the kids, and I began our 10 hour trek North to Oregon. We've done the trip once before with Trouble so we thought it wouldn't be so bad again. Um, yeah...lets just say the first thing Backpack did was throw up on the back seat. We smelled that the entire time we had the vehicle! Really the kids did okay, considering!
Our first pit stop was Aunt Bessie's house. It was record highs in Grants Pass. To paint you a picture: my Aunt is wonderful, older, a collector of fun knick knacks, runs a ship-shape-nothing-out-of-place home and she lives alone, but has many visitors of the adult age. The kids thought that place was a ton of fun! It was full of all kinds of great gadgets that mom and dad keep well out of reach of their grubby little fingers. I am sure to this day that my Aunt is still reuniting her inanimate objects with their homes. So in order to keep the little rascals entertained the first day we packed a lunch and headed to the park. Did I mention the heat wave? That, plus metal slides makes two unhappy kids wearing shorts! It was simply too hot to play outside. So what is the next best thing...shopping at Fred Meyers! The next day we played in her backyard with lots of water to keep cool. I love my Aunt dearly and I hope someday she'll forgive me for the high blood pressure she experienced while we visited. It was great to see her and catch up. For that I am thankful for!
From Grants Pass we drove an hour or so to my Sister-in-laws beautiful home in Roseberg. The kids were so excited to play with their cousins, to be in a house full of toys, and be surrounded by people their size. Adam and Regina are always the most gracious hosts and we were sad to leave the next day. It was great to stay up late and converse about the family gossip :-) Someday it would be so fun to live close!
From there we headed to Tigard where Uncle Al lives (Papa's brother). That night we watch a local high school marching band doing field performances. We spent the night and the next day met up with Aunt Becca (Uncle Al's daughter) for lunch at Gustavs. We were suppose to spend the rest of the day hanging with Papa, but Travis had some trouble at the airport in Ohio. So I spent the rest of my day getting him to Oregon and the kids watching TV. Finally after Travis was sorted out we headed for a nearby playground to play. We had fun setting up obstacles courses for the kids to do and playing on the equipment. That night we left Papa to pick Yaya and Travis up at the Portland Airport.
**Travis's airplane story**
This was the first time flying out of Cincinnati. I told Travis that he needed to go there to catch his plane. He got confused. One hour North of us is Columbus (which is were Yaya and us flew out of) and one hour south is Cincinnati. He drove North. Once he got there, he parked the car and was thrown off by the ticket agent that told him his flight was non existent. When he looked at his ticket he saw that he was in the wrong place. They wouldn't, at all, help him get on any flight out of Columbus. He could've even made a flight (that wasn't full) out of there to make his connection in Chicago. They said that if he didn't take the first leg of this flight, then his second connecting flight would automatically be cancelled. So they could book him a new ticket, which would've cost almost a $1000 to do!! He said fine, with a little help of some security guards, and left. No, he did not have his cell phone with him! So he had me looking up flights and waiting for him to call whenever he could get to an airport pay phone. They did find another flight leaving in two hours from Cincinnati to Chicago that would get him there for his connecting flight. So he got the van and drove, in record speed, the two hours down to Cincinnati. When he checked into the counter they said he couldn't catch the flight because it was due to leave in few minutes and he didn't have a boarding pass. He convinced the agent to look the flight up and it had a two hour delay for mechanical problems, so he made the flight...but he would miss his connection to Portland. The agent put him on the Portland flight to come in at noon the next day. Travis called to tell me this. I told him, when he gets to Chicago there is flight leaving for Portland that would put him into Portland that night, so find that gate and work your magic. Well he did, and the next phone call I got was, "I'll be in Portland at 11pm tonight". In the meantime I convinced Yaya to stay the night in the hotel with me, since I thought Travis wasn't making it in. So after all the fiasco, Travis made it in only an hour later then scheduled...without paying an extra penny!!
So that's my story and I'm sticking to it :-)