Family "Workcation" in Portland, Oregon
AKA: Learning how to travel with kids
This trip was the most “trying” adventure I have been on yet. And the style of this blog post reflects that. This post is less polished and “editorial” than usual – as was this trip (I don’t think there is even a single photo of me taken over this entire trip! Sorry I’ve been a bad Instagrammer! haha At least I posted some Instastories?).
This is the first work trip I’ve been on with my hubby. We had originally planned on leaving the kids at home with family. But life happened and things just didn’t work out – and I was not about to miss out on a chance to travel! I didn’t know what to expect in any way – I didn’t know if I would get to see my hubby at all while he was working or if I’d be all on my own.
One of the things that didn’t even cross my mind is how the time difference between Orlando and Portland would affect the kids. Silly to forget about in retrospect 🤷. Most of the week my kids stayed on Orlando time, which meant they would be exhausted by 5pm Oregon time and would then wake up dark and early at ~4am – no matter how hard I tried to get them to stay up and wake up later. Meanwhile my internal clock adjusted to a new schedule right away. So the struggle was real!
David would get home late every night due to work meetings, so we tried to let him sleep in as much as we could… which meant the kids didn’t see him as much as they’d like, and I had to be a full-time parent all on my own (🙇 to all you single parents). Thankfully, we did manage to get a spacious two bed two bath apartment within David’s lodging budget that kept me sane… a spacious place to rest is always my best friend on ANY trip (with or without the kids).
It was exhausting for the first few days trying to keep them from breaking something in the apartment (which still sorta happened), still having fun with the few toys we brought with us, and getting all the homework done… oh, and of course keeping myself from falling apart, too! We took my daughter out of school for a week for the trip so I had to make sure she stayed caught up while still managing a 2 year old that doesn’t like to travel. I don’t know how her teacher gets all this work done with all her students each day; teacher appreciation day should be every day!
I was basically on my own with the kids – without a car and no clue as to where anything was or how to get around (other than my feet). It took a few days to get me in the right mindset and come to terms with sleep not being apart of this trip. Since I thrive on having a schedule and agenda I finally realized I needed to a) figure out a plan that worked for me and the kids, b) make sure having fun was on our TODO list.
We found a few outdoor spaces to play in and spent some time enjoying just walking around exploring the city. Most days at some point we would meet my hubby for a coffee, even if it was a quick adventure it kept me from getting cabin fever and meeting up with daddy was always an exciting part of our day.
Portland is known for being foggy and raining. And it rained. A lot. Pretty much always. And sideways. But not like Florida’s warm sideways rain drops – more like a constant mist of cold wetness that soaks your entire body. So we walked around with our umbrellas, getting wet and cold and guess what… not a single complaint from the kids. Cadence, our 6 year old, walked more on that trip than she has in her entire little life and was a trooper!
My favorite day was when we took the Metro to the nearest zoo. There was so much to see and do there. It was dry, relaxing, beautiful, and fun. The only thing we really missed about the trip to the zoo was having daddy there to make us laugh. Even if you don’t have kids and you find yourself in portland I highly suggest stopping by for an afternoon.
I’ve learned a bit about myself this trip: sometimes I just need to change my expectations and see life through my kids eyes. Just going on this trip was such a blessing not many families are able to do, and I almost missed out on having a wonderful time exploring the world with my kids because I was so worried about “adulting”. We had so much fun exploring the city and finding new things around every corner. I’m not necessarily saying I want to travel with the kids without David there to help out, but next time I’ll be quick to remember what I’ve learned on this trip.