Sunday, July 5, 2009

On taking a vacation with a toddler (and a dog)

When I planned the Wilco show, I decided that I would take the whole week off and we'd do something as a family. I thought about a staycation but I've recently become obsessed with the website and found a cabin that happened to be open that same week in Eastern Oregon. After I booked it, I started having nightmares about bears and being trapped in the woods with no cell phone coverage. I didn't tell my husband that otherwise he'd get further validation that I was a freak.

I read the description weeks ago, but it wasn't until we got to our cabin, 6 miles to the west of Granite, OR, that I realized there was so much history involved in our short Eastern Oregon vacation. Our cabin was nice and cozy with electricity and running hot water ... just like I like it. We didn't have much planned. Maybe check out Olive Lake. Definitely head to Baker City for pizza for the BEST pizza in the state of Oregon at Paizano's. The only planning I did was a menu so we wouldn't go hungry -- God forbid.

We left Thursday morning after Lil B's nap and much drama about a properly packed car because we had packed too much stuff but it all worked out. Outside of Prineville, we realized that I was going to have to sit in the backseat and entertain Lil B. We playing a lot of games like "where is your (insert body part)." I'm happy to say, he know where his head is located after three hours. We settled into our cozy cabin and all went to bed early. Good thing we did, we got a 4:30 a.m. wake up call from you know who.

On Friday, after our 6 a.m. breakfast, we headed to Olive Lake. There we learned that "in an effort to operate the mines more economically, local waterpower from nearby Olive Lake was used to generate the much- needed electrical power." We also saw several segments of the pipeline along the road on the way up to Olive Lake and back to our cabin. We also saw a herd of Elk and a few deer too. My first Elk siting after living in Oregon for almost 6 years.

A pilgrimage to Eastern Oregon is not complete without a stop to Baker City for the best pizza in Oregon. I think it's safe to say, Kina and Whitey are good friends and they know how to show us a good time. Our visit was short, as the joint was a hoping with lunch folk but it was pretty meaningful as Lil B got his first taste of the pizza "gold" aka Thai Chicken Pizza. Kina suggested we head back on the Elkhorn Scenic Byway and I'm so glad we did. Fabulous views and a chance to Lil B to nap.

OK, about napping. We were horrible about it. He slept in the car for all of his naps in the car seat. And did I mention, we turned the car seat around because we knew he'd like it better. He did! I know we should wait but he's over 20 lbs. It's just easier. Today, when we got home, we paid dearly for the car napping as he didn't want to be in his crib. The trip also screwed up his night waking up. He was up at 4:30 a.m. scared of the strange place and snuggled with me. Cross fingers he sleeps soundly in his crib tonight.

Since we got up so early, we hike the Granite Creek Trail which was pretty. We found a ton of Huckleberry bushes but they were not ripe. The fourth of July day was spent checking out the Sumpter Valley Railway and the towns of Sumpter and Granite. Lil B went on his first train ride and we checked out a few mines. We were all so tired from 4:30 a.m. mornings that we were back at the cabin at 3 p.m.

Traveling with a 13 month is not easy but think of all the memories. It's better than staying home and doing nothing, right? I'm glad we're home. I must say, there was more we could have done like check out the lookouts and hiked more but we'll save that for next time!

To see photos from our trip, check this out!

Now, back to the real world.

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