Oh, where do I start? What an amazing trip to Oregon! Many friends/relatives following my trip on Facebook asked for details on how this trip came about and how it was planned. So I thought I'd tell the "story" of how the trip came to be...
When I first got word that my cousin, Marc, was getting married in March in OREGON, I thought there was NO way I'd be able to make it across the country for the second time in less than a year. I had just flown to Arizona for my cousin, Todd's, wedding in April 2010 and was quite sure that finances and time off would preclude me making another trip of that caliber. Then I got the official (fabulously funky) invite in the mail and a sweet, handwritten note from the bride that said she understood it was a haul but that she'd really love it if I could make it because I had made her feel especially welcome when she met our family the previous year. How can I say no to that?!? It moved me beyond words and I knew I had to be there to see my cousin make this genuinely fantastic woman his wife!
So I started thinking about how I would pull it off. My husband had zero interest in going to Oregon. So I figured I'd be going it alone. I definitely couldn't finagle another trip (like Arizona) without the kids so whatever my plan, it had to involve them. I knew flying would be expensive (not to mention STRESSFUL) so I googled some info on distance and travel times and thought driving might be an option. Of course that would be an adventure and when I think ADVENTURE, I think of my person, Tiff....so I texted her and asked if she'd be up for a 40 hour road trip to Portland, OR. She immediately "signed on". Of course she thought I meant Portland, MAINE, so she couldn't understand why it would take 40 hours but once we got THAT straightened out, she remained committed to my crazy plan and the excitement and planning began!
After doing some research and running some numbers, Tiff suggested the train option and I was intrigued. We came to the conclusion that it would cost about the same to take the train as it would to fly all 5 of us there, but in contrast, what an experience the train would be! I had reservations about flying with my children anyway and really didn't want Nate to get on a plane, arrive across the country 8 hours later and never fully comprehend how very far away from home we had traveled. So, we opted to pay for the adventure of an experience we could learn from and remember forever over the convenience of getting to our destination in 8 hours or less. As they say, the fun is not in the destination, but in the journey!!
Enter skepticism and overall negativity and you hear a whole lot of people telling you you're crazy for embarking on such a trip. Friends of mine thought 63.5 hours on a train with two small children sounded horrible. My husband thought I was insane for even wanting to do this much less for doing it via train. Someone even told me the whole plan sounded like three days of hell!
Needless to say it was none of the above. I am so thankful to have taken this trip and forever grateful to Tiffany and Brie for coming along! Not only would I never have had the courage to go it alone, but it quite simply wouldn't have been the same without them there! They are an extension of us and it just feels natural to experience these things with our family there! I wonder where our next journey will lead us....?