the part where I took us all to Oregon

I have to write this down so I’ll remember that I did it. A month ago, I got on a plane in Santiago by myself with my five children. The plane took off about four hours late (1:30 AM, I think) so we were already exhausted. We flew 9 hours or so — kids slept, I sort of slept. We weathered the usual lines for customs and immigration in Dallas without a problem, but they make you re-enter security after that, which took forever. By the time we were finished, we had only a few minutes to get on the terminal train to catch our plane. We watched the clock nervously, and when we got off the train, we ran. We made it, but I had to bite my lip when the guy at the gate said, “What were you doing, sitting in a restaurant or something?” Really, after the all-night flight, airport logistics with the five kids, and jog through the terminal, I looked like someone who’d been relaxing?

After an uneventful second flight, we were kindly picked up by my mother-in-law and brother-in-law (two cars are required for this group with our luggage) and chauffeured home for an afternoon of rest, and also a family party. THEN, I got up the next morning and drove the crew 12 hours to Oregon. By myself. Armed with nothing but Dr. Pepper.

You know, the whole thing wasn’t really as bad as it probably sounds, but on the drive, I could tell I was coming down with something. I knew what it was, because two of the kids had already had it. And it was some sort of hideous virus — worse than a cold, and possibly verging on the flu. We still had a fun and memorable week in Oregon, and I am now a convert to the helpfulness of Dayquil, which quelled my symptoms enough that I could pretend I wanted to be out of bed each day.

We are so lucky because Oregon means Nana, her amazing house full of treasures (including one million costume possibilities), and cousins as well. Sophie and Mary were inseparable. Oregon also means the beautiful ranch, and a grandpa who was sporting enough to saddle up the horse, even though it was raining that day. It was cold-ish and wet for a lot of our Oregon week. Between that and my flu bug, I could’ve used a second week.

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