So this is our first big road trip where we flew on a plane first. If you thought we packed a bunch of stuff for a road trip, boy, it’s even worse packing for a road trip when you have to pack for a plane trip too. I spent most of the weekend packing. We’re planning on camping on the beach while we’re here, so that added a whole new level of packing… a tent, sleeping bags, etc.
We got up this morning and packed a few last minute things, then loaded the car. Then we were off to the airport. We arrived an hour early only to find that our flight was delayed by an hour. Yay! Two hours in the airport waiting for our plane.
The flight was almost 4 hours long. And it sure seemed that long too. We take a similar flight to LA a few times a year, and I swear it seems longer each time. The kids were pretty good on the plane, though Lia did have a few “dragon” meltdowns. They were pretty short though, so whatever. I figured she would have a hard time sitting still with a seatbelt on for so long.
We finally arrived in Portland and trekked across the huge airport. The kids loved the moving walkways, which they were certain were actually race tracks. We picked up our 8 (yes, 8!) checked bags and headed to the rental car shuttles. Much to our surprise, PDX has the rental car facilities right in the airport, so it was a very short walk from baggage claim to our rental car. Score!
By the time we got on the road, we were all starving, so we stopped off at one of our favorite west coast pizza places, Round Table Pizza. We stuffed our faces, then hopped back on I-5 South toward Eugene. We booked a hotel room in Corvallis, but took about an hour detour looking for something worthy of a photo backdrop. We finally found a wheat field with nice backlight and a no trespassing sign.
When we finally made it to the hotel, it was already almost 9 pm Kansas City time… yikes! Our kiddos usually hit the hay around 7 pm or 7:30 pm. Since it was our first night, we had to have a bed jumping fest. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they all sleep in super late tomorrow!
Overall, today was a bit of a rough day. The first day of any trip, especially one that involves an airplane ride, is usually hard on the kids. They were pretty grumpy this evening, especially as it got later and later. Hopefully in a couple days we’ll be on west coast time and life will be grand.
Southwest Airlines: 5 stars – We always love flying Southwest. I was bummed that the plane tickets were so expensive, but I guess it’s not cheap to fly during prime vacation season. Our flight was delayed due to bad weather in Chicago, but they were great about updating information and got the plane off the ground as quickly as possible. The flight attendants are always super nice to my kids and in general it’s always a positive experience flying Southwest.
Budget Car Rental: 5 stars – I booked our minivan rental through Priceline and saved over $300, so I was pretty thrilled about that! Because the rental fee was prepaid through Priceline, it was a quick and easy transaction at the rental counter and we were on our way. The minivan is a new Dodge Grand Caravan (WAY snazzier than ours at home) and it was super clean.
Round Table Pizza: 5 stars – This is a chain pizza place, but we don’t have them back home. The pizza was great, piping hot and the service was fabulous. We were the only ones in the place, but they were still great.
Rodeway Inn, Corvallis, OR: 3 stars – I booked this through the Choice Hotels app on my iPhone. Check in was easy, but our room doesn’t have a microwave or mini fridge like it was supposed to. And the breakfast is a joke… no cereal or milk. Just donuts and muffins. We also had a hard time getting internet login info.
Things I learned today:
1. It is possible for two people to transport 14 bags, 3 kids, and a stroller across the country via an airplane and maintain their sanity.
2. No matter how tired the kids are, they are always up for jumping bed to bed when we get to the hotel.
3. There’s no sales tax in Oregon (I’m pretty sure I already knew this and just forgot).
4. If it’s called “continental breakfast”, it probably sucks.
5. There is never a “good time” to fly. No matter what, it’s going to be too early, too late, right in the middle of naptime or lunchtime. You can NEVER win this one.
6. No matter how many cookies you bribe her with, Lia simply will not sit in her airplane seat buckled in for the duration of the flight.
7. It’s a bad idea to take two kids to the bathroom on an airplane at the same time.
This is Ava pretending to throw a fit. Only Max and Lia actually threw fits in the car, so she faked it for me 😉 PS. Like following along with our road trips and want to have a fun adventure of your own? Check out our awesome Road Trip in a Box kit. It has everything you’ll need plus our step by step guide on road trippin’ with kids 🙂