Notice the frozen Potomac River to the left of the wing. Another great thing about this trip: we left all the freezing cold weather behind us and enjoyed 50-70 degree weather on the West Coast all week long.
And of course as soon as we got close, there were snow capped mountains in all directions. Gorgeous. Definitely a view I wish we had somewhere out here on the East Coast.
Eleanor did quite well on the airplane. We brought her a toy cell phone and a pair of headphones so she could watch movies on the ipad during the flight. Outside of a few short, albeit loud, meltdowns where she wanted to "get down" (in her words) and walk, she did very well overall. A couple of the surrounding flight-mates commented on how good she was, though I suspect it was more to reassure me that I didn't have to feel bad for her meltdowns than regarding her actual behavior itself.
The first night we arrived, we met all the family at the place Chris' parents were staying and had dinner together. That evening Eleanor and I headed to bed "early" which was actually quite late our time. Our first morning in Oregon (we were staying in the Bend area) we went to Smith Rock State Park, just about a half hour from where we were staying. It had gorgeous views and a few stroller-friendly trails.
We did much wandering on trails, and unfortunately, a little wandering off trails unexpectedly. Eleanor did a little napping and when she wasn't, she wanted to push her own stroller, which she wanted to do most of the trip. Basically every meltdown that happened while we were out on the West Coast were direct results of Eleanor wanting to push her own stroller in an area which it was either not safe or wise for her to do so. There were also a few boulders for the cousins to climb on. I took a picture of the first four up before literally the rest of the cousins ended up on top all at one time. It was quite crowded up there!
That evening involved an extended family (on both sides) get together at Deschutes Brewery. We were able to tour the facilities and Eleanor lasted about as long as we could expect her to, which was much later than she normally stays up, and three hours later than that due to it being on the West Coast.
Day two involved the guys heading into Bend to partake in Cycle Pub and the ladies heading to Sisters. Cycle Pub was basically a taxi-style bike where all the guys hopped on and pedaled. The driver steered them to 4 or 5 breweries around Bend where they filled up growlers, toured the city, and generally had a good time.
Sisters was a small town named after the mountains surrounding them.
We had ice cream for lunch in true Stratton fashion and though Eleanor was sleeping in this picture, she woke up in plenty of time to share my ice cream.
We later found a small park where we could relax and spend some time, and Eleanor pushed her stroller around. Shortly thereafter, she wanted to push it into the middle of the road and had another short meltdown when I took the stroller away and let her sit on the sidewalk to sort out her feelings. As you can tell, she was not happy to be strapped back into it later.
That night was the night of the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Eleanor practiced her heart out before the rehearsal officially started, carrying her flower girl basket of petals up to "dada" on stage and then back up the aisle to "mama." We even had a few successful instances of her scattering the flower petals in the aisle, which were more like her stopping completely and violently throwing handfuls of petals on the aisle saying "he moe" over and over (which if you can't remember, is her translation of "kaboom"). During the actual rehearsal itself though, she froze and would not go down the aisle. She ended up sitting down and I picked her up and we decided Chris would come walk her down on wedding day. The rehearsal dinner at Solstice Brewing in Prineville was great success, as Eleanor got her own water cup with lid (huge highlight) and cake at the end. It was cheesecake, and when it was announced, Eleanor immediately started yelling "Caaaaaaaake, caaaaaaake" at the top of her lungs and attempted to climb over the table. The waiters and waitresses clearly did not pay any attention to her because our table was served cake last and she was practically in a panic by that time. Gmom (or Gaby as Eleanor has taken to calling her) had to pass over pieces while she waited so she would stop hyperventilating. The other successful part of the evening was that the brewery had a small section of toys for Eleanor to play with. She had a blast during all her free time going down the slide and "cooking."
Saturday, our last day in Oregon, was the wedding. Pictures coming soon!