Leaving Home – Travels with Baby

Leaving Home – Travels with Baby

My little Anderson officially has an out-of-state trip and hotel stay under his little belt. We traveled to Portland, Oregon over the weekend for a two-night stay and what we thought would be the perfect “starter vacation” for our little family.  180 miles and three hours in the car each way seemed very doable, yet still enough distance to call an accomplishment.  Though Anderson fared very well overall, the trip wasn’t without its moments – I had to come back with some stories, right?     

Well our main “story” happened on the way down, when we stopped in Lacey, Washington for a coffee/bathroom/diaper/feeding break.  You can’t do a 3-hour drive with an infant without a coffee/bathroom/diaper/feeding break.  We pulled into a Starbucks, and parked a ways away so I could have some privacy to feed in the backseat.  When we were done, I went into Starbucks to get my coffee while Aaron stayed in the car and changed Anderson’s diaper.  When I got back we were putting him back into his carseat and realized his new diaper was leaking, more like rapidly oozing yellow substance out of its sides and onto his cute little white (of course) outfit before our eyes.  We scrambled to get him back out of the carseat and back onto the changing pad before more damage was done.  I should have known the cute little skull and crossbones diapers were too good to be true.

When another diaper and outfit was changed, Aaron tried to remove the carseat from its base to adjust some things before settling Anderson back in.  This is when we realized the carseat wouldn’t budge from its base, an action which is typically as quick as the click of a button.  Um, yeah.  This was an issue, considering the carseat pretty much needs to go everywhere baby goes throughout the trip.  I quickly began racking my brain for the nearest Target in case we needed to buy a new carseat. 

Upon closer inspection, we realized that a black canvas strap from the Ergo baby carrier that had been tossed onto the floor of the backseat, was perfectly wedged between the carseat and its base, creating a seal that wouldn’t budge.  The only solution we saw to this dilemma was for Aaron to yank on the Ergo strap with all his might, breaking it free from the carseat.  This destroyed the Ergo as the plastic adjustment pieces that were connected to the strap shattered, thus deeming it unwearable.  Aaron may have further dislocated his shoulder during this heroic maneuver, however the carseat was now free.  You win some, you lose some.    



Amid all the hustle and bustle of the coffee/bathroom/diaper/feeding break, I forgot to put cream in my coffee. Yes, I feel this is a detail worth mentioning, if you’ve noticed a theme woven throughout my blog posts of the key role coffee plays in child-rearing. I poured a couple of inches of Aaron’s vanilla latte on top of my drip and called it a day.  Having a baby on board is all about winging it. 

We stayed at Hotel Monaco in downtown Portland and though they seemed to prefer dogs (there was a dog-shaped chalkboard in the lobby welcoming the MANY canine guests by name, and many a four-legged friend were spotted lounging with their owners during cocktail hour – sorry, Izzy), they were very accommodating to babies as well.  They set up our room with a playpen AND a crib, baby blanket, stuffed animal, and baby bath products. We had a two-room suite which I definitely recommend for separating baby time from grownup time.  When Anderson went to bed at 7 or 8, it was awesome to be able to close a door between us and watch a movie, etc…. without worrying about waking him.  Bringing his sleep sack and sound soother were also key to recreating his usual sleep environment.  He slept like a champ!

We pleasantly enjoyed FOUR meals out without any crying, and got out to see a few things.  We drove over to Troutdale to have lunch with friends, and drove a bit of the scenic Columbia River Highway.  We walked the five blocks from our hotel to Powell’s Books and I could have spent hours in their amazing children’s book section.  Anderson truly loves books and it was so fun adding to his growing library on our vacation. All in all it was a good trip – we were able to do things we wanted to do while still working in naps and feedings as needed.

Highlight of the drive home would have to be getting hit on at a Tacoma Starbucks while Aaron was dealing with yet another blow-out situation back in the car.  I really rarely get hit on, and definitely not at all since being pregnant and giving birth.  The guy in line in front of me, while waiting for his venti mocha chocolate chip with whip Frappuccino (yep, that’s a whole weekend’s worth of calories right there), decided to shake my hand, introduce himself and tell me not one, but two jokes.  In case you are dying to know, as I was, the difference between bird flu and swine flu is a “tweetment” and an “oinkment.”  I’ll tell ya –  If I wasn’t married with a baby, clearly I would have been won over right there.  Thanks, Tacoma Joe. It warmed my heart to know I’ve still “got it.”  🙂

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