Tag Archives: traveling

fam trip to chicago and indiana. in which we froze.

shawnnathompson_57_familyselfieJust a quickie post to drop off a few photos from our little family vacation to Chicago/Indiana last week.  Though I’m not quite sure you can call it a “vacation” when you have a 20-month old in tow.  It’s kind of like everyday life, but with a side of heightened anxiety, public restrooms, and jet lag.  It’s not exactly relaxing, is what I’m saying.  And don’t even get me started on flying with a toddler.  How can you really call it a “vacation” when you’re spending numerous hours suspended in a tin can in the air, touching body parts with total strangers, with a wiggly kid on your lap who is constantly rolling the tantrum dice.  I’m sprouting gray hairs just reliving it.

All that said, I absolutely LOVED our “vacation”.  No really, I did!  I never used to understand why parents would take their tiny children on trips.  I mean, they’re not going to remember it… right?!  But I totally get it now that I’m a ma, because it so so fun to explore the world and introduce new things to your little.  Even if Crosby won’t remember this trip, Casey and I will.  And we’ll remember how excited Crosby was at the Lincoln Park Zoo and how he shoved popcorn in his face at the Cubs game and danced his little butt off at our friend’s wedding.  Aaaaaand we’ll remember how he had a full-on meltdown in front of the gorilla exhibit because he ate the rest of MY Larabar and then was pissed that there wasn’t more.  (Crosby, not the gorilla. Though I’m sure the gorilla would have wanted my Larabar too.) But honestly, we had so much fun showing our little guy around one of our favorite cities.  And bringing him to his first wedding, where he impressed us with his killer dance moves that he no doubt learned from an episode of Daniel Tiger.

So here are the grainest, unedited iphone photos of our trip, if you care to see.  I took my nice camera along, but only brought it out once when we were at the zoo and maybe took 10 photos… and now I can’t find the cord to connect it to my computer.  So, I’m really sorry that you’re probably missing out on some high quality flamingo butts and blurry giraffe necks.  And by I’m sorry, I mean you’re welcome.

IMG_0695IMG_0719Guys. It was 44 degrees at this Cubs game.  And we were not prepared.  I had packed everything we might need for a rainstorm (#portlandproblems) but not nearly enough warm clothes for the tundra. I’m from the midwest, I should KNOW better!

IMG_0713 We only lasted 3 innings, and that’s mostly thanks to a box of popcorn that occupied Crosby’s facehole. His hands were freeeezing, but the kid just kept going.  He got his popcorn love from his mama, AKA the “Pepcorn Queen”.  (Just kidding nobody calls me that. But they should.  And maybe put it on a t-shirt? )

IMG_0711Processed with VSCO with f2 presetOMG. Look at the people behind us.  They were PREPARED, man.  Meanwhile, I had to buy a sweatshirt to put under my paper-thin raincoat.  And we had to buy a ridiculously expensive Cubs blanket for Crosby in order to save his appendages from freezing off.

IMG_0730IMG_0722 IMG_0748What does one do after sitting outside in the freezing cold for 2 hours?  They get ice cream, of course! Can’t pass up Jeni’s.

IMG_0735shawnnathompson_57_crosicecreamThe kid loves ice cream.  Also gets that from his mama.
I’m sensing a pattern.

IMG_0673We were actually super pumped about the 2 hour time change because in THEORY, Crosby should have slept until 8:30 Chicago time.  Which for us is like, all the dancing lady emojis.  But somehow, somehow, the little sheister managed to wake up at 6:30 every morning that we were there (AKA 4:30am Portland time).  I don’t get it.  It doesn’t make sense.  He’s so very lucky that he’s so very cute and sweet.

IMG_0683Sure, yah.  Take a nap.  You must be exhausted from all that getting up early and being pushed around and carried.

shawnnathompson_57_wakeupLook alive, sleep deprived!  Is our motto.  (No it’s not but it should be.  And maybe put it on a t-shirt?)

IMG_0784 IMG_0811 IMG_0807 IMG_0788IMG_0763 IMG_0770Loves of my lifetime.

 

IMG_0749Our airbnb had a walk-in shower, that Crosby walked into and turned on, on himself.  Lesson probably not learned.

IMG_0733^^Had to stop here, cuz duh.^^

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Where we ate this (lobster deviled eggs) and drank that (killer bloody mary).

IMG_0684And Cros almost slept through the whole thing.

IMG_0693Until he woke up and shoved his face with french fries for a photo opp.

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IMG_0839On Saturday we drove to South Bend, Indiana to go to our good friend’s wedding at Notre Dame. It was beautiful and lovely… and we’re so happy for you guys!
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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll get back to eating my Garrett’s popcorn while Crosby takes a nap because I’m not sharing.

Happy weekend!


summer vacaseytion, over and out.

Hiiiieeeeee! Hi hello! I’m back as promised, with a (seriously long, good luck!) post about what in the heck we’ve been up to lately. And why I hadn’t written anything in so long. And really the only excuse I have is that my fam and I have been taking full-fledged advantage of the long work break that Casey has been on, which has meant a lot of traveling, a lot of exploring, quite a few family naps… and not a lot of blogging. It’s been kind of lovely to disconnect a bit but I’ve really missed coming here to share ridiculous thoughts and stories. I mean, I can only say so many stupid things to Casey before he just up and leaves the room or picks up his phone to check ESPN. But here, I can say as many stupid things as I want and you just accept me! Right? Right. Wait, right?? Right. Right? Riiiiiight…

You’re checking ESPN right now, aren’t you?

So cutting to the chase, our summer has been pretty freaking sweet. Until today that is, because today is Casey’s first day back at work after his 9 week break. I really have no right to complain or feel bad for myself, do I? But has that ever stopped me before? Nope. WAAAAAA! It’s just been so amazing to have this time together as a family. We’ve made so many fun memories this summer and to have Casey home for this long, especially with Crosby at the age he’s at, has been seriously awesome. I’m super thankful, but totally bummed it’s over.

Anyhoo, here’s the part where I detail pretty much every little thing we’ve been up to for the past few weeks. I feel a little indulgent for sharing all these fun adventures… but I also want to make sure we have these memories saved somewhere. So.  Read on if you please!

The Thompson Summer Summary (summery?!) comin atcha… in 3….2…

Week 1. As I mentioned before, we took the first week of #vacaseytion and basically ripped apart, and then put back together, our backyard. We’d been wanting to fix it up back there since we bought the house but never really had the time or the dolla bills to hire someone to do it. (I actually called one landscaping company and when I told the designer our budget she laughed. Hrmmph.) So we took it on ourselves, like a coupla studmuffins. We built a deck, finished a fence, tore down an old crumbling shed (ok, fine, we paid a man with a machine to do that) made a giant sandbox, planted grass, did a bunch of landscaping, and then spent 3 days blowing dirt out of our noses. I wish I were kidding. And anyways, it’s nothing fancy and there are still a few things we’d like to finish up, but it’s such an awesome spot to relax and hang out now.  Here’s a quick before/after glance…ShawnnaThompson_vacaseytion_2

Weeks 2-4. After all that manual labor, we peaced out on a 3-week trip to Minnesota. And as a reminder, we drove there. The verdict? Guys, it was great! The dogs did great, Crosby did great, it was great! I’m not even being sarcastic. For the first time ever. I mean listen, we all got a little stir-crazy from time to time, and the drive to Minnesota was definitely easier than the drive back. But all in all, it was actually pretty fun. And I didn’t even eat any french fries or corn nuts! I KNOW, RIGHT?! (PS would anyone be interested in a blog post about our tips for a long drive with a baby? Yes, no, maybe?)

We pretty much hauled ass on the way there (24 hour drive in 2.5 days) and stayed at little KOA cabins along the way. Which I would highly recommend! Especially if you’re traveling with little ones and/or dogs and just need a place to crash for the night. Each little cabin we stayed in had a double bed and a bunk bed and was just the right size for us. There are some cabins that have bathrooms but ours didn’t, so the downside was using campground-style bathroom/showers. But, as a pretty seasoned car-camper, I can tell you that KOA bathrooms are hands down the cleanest camping bathrooms I’ve ever experienced. Major kudos, KOA. Plus the cabins are way cheaper than hotels. Plus, it’s an experience! Plus, after you put your little one to bed you can sit outside at your picnic table and drink wine from a sippy cup and talk to your next door cabin neighbor about his time in Vietnam. MEMORIES. Are we sick of talking about the dang KOA’s yet?

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Once we got to MN we spent the better part of 2 weeks bebopping from family to family. It was amazing to be able to spend more than just a night or two with each of them, as we usually do on our trips back to the motherland. We actually got some good quality hang time with everyone. Let’s be honest though, everyone was way more excited to hang out with Crosby than with Casey and me, but we’re cool with it. I mean, can you blame them?

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We’re always on a sort of emotional rollercoaster when we leave MN. We love love being with our families, and we honestly love Minnesota (in the fall, spring and summer), but we also love love Portland and our life here. It’s just always such a weird feeling of, which place is home?

Though you know what some people say… home is just where the wine is.

“Some people” may or may not be me.

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On our drive back we stopped in Couer d’Alene, Idaho for a few nights and rented a house near the lake. That lake is killer, man. And our house was right across from it, with like, deer prancing through our yard and such. It was so beautiful, so relaxing, and so friggin’ HOT. Note to self: next time you’re booking an airbnb for your family in the middle of summer, make sure the house has AC. Rookie mistake.

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Week 5. After we got back to Portland from that long-ass trip, we unpacked our bags and just sort of laid facedown on our bed for 5 days. Not to worry, we took occasional breaks to see friends, barbecue, drink some beers, and feed Crosby. In that order, but backwards.  On repeat.

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Week 6. Next on the list of adventuring was taking Crosby on his first camping trip. So we got back in the car, packed with somehow more stuff for a 4-day trip than it had been for a 3-week road trip (??) and headed down the coast to a campground outside of Florence, OR. I gotta hand it to Crosby, he handled tent-life much better than we expected. (Would anyone be interested in our tips for camping with a little one? Yes, no, maybe? Who do I think I am, some kind of expert?) The area was amazeball central…. we explored some sand dunes, hung out around a lake, ate a bunch of campfire pizzas, I tripped over a rock coming back from the bathroom late at a night and got a huge gash in my toe… it was lovely.

IMG_1728 IMG_5115IMG_5080IMG_5089 IMG_5077 IMG_5116 IMG_5140From there we traveled back up the coast to the little town of Netarts where we had rented a house for the weekend with a few friends. 3 couples, 4 dogs, 1 baby, 13 freshly caught crab + approximately 187 bottles of wine. Perfect combination for a lovely weekend. Not lovely? Crosby’s 5:30 am wakeup calls. Especially after staying up way too late playing pass the pigs and zoomie zoomie (what up, MN drinking games!). Luckily our friends were good sports about having a 24 pound alarm clock waking them up on their beach vacation.

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Week 7. And so THEN! We again came home and relaxed and did some Portlandy things for a week… beer festival, splash pads, zoo, beach, beers, wine.

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Week 8. We packed it all up AGAIN for another camping trip. This time we headed to Crater Lake in southern OR. Have you ever been? Good glob it is beautiful! Seriously one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever been to. We camped near the lake and spent a whole day driving around it and attempting our asses off to get a decent family photo of all 5 of us, in which Crosby is looking and the dogs aren’t attempting to jump over the rim of the lake in order to catch a mother effing chipmunk. Epic fail.

But these views!

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RIGHT?!

We spent 2 nights camping near the lake, which was more than enough because holy COLD at night. The daytime was beautiful but it got down to the upper 30’s both nights we were there. Crosby was such a trooper, especially because he’s been teething like a b, but he woke up at 4:30 (!!!!) both days we were there. Not okay. Understandable, but not okay.

From there we went to Bend, OR for a quick overnight trip, which was really just an excuse to hit up a bunch of their breweries. Priorities, people. After that, we had hopes of staying a few nights at Mt Hood but the campground we wanted was full/Crosby’s toofs hurt/we were all kind of poop-a-looped, so we just headed home a few days early.

Week 9. Hang time, downtime and more chillaxing.  Nothing too exciting except one day we took a little day trip to Hood River to drink wine/taste beer.  (If you’re sensing a theme to this summer, let’s discuss it over a beer….)

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And that, as they say, is that.

I’m super bummed that Casey is back at work, but a teeny tiny part of me is also excited to get back on some semblance of a schedule with Crosby. Like I said, we really took advantage of this summer to relax and be on vacation (I took more naps in the last 2.5 months than I have in the last 5 years.) but now I feel like we’re ready to get into a groove again. I also need to feel productive again, like I accomplished something other than, hey I didn’t nap today! Weird. So here is me, putting in writing that I will (hopefully) be putting more things in writing in the near future. Whether you like it or not :)

Thanks for making it to the end!  And hey, what have you all been up to!?  I’ve missed you!