Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

One of the great things about Portland, Oregon is Powell’s bookstore. Powell’s is bigger than a city block, located in downtown Portland, and filled with just about every kind of book you can think of. As a mom, I was pretty thrilled that out of all the fun things we had planned, the kids were most excited about spending their money at Powell’s. They wanted books. I wanted books too. Even Dave found a book from his amazing Boise State University poetry professor, Martin Corless-Smith.

After we spent the morning browsing through Powell’s, with Parker and Dave making a side trip to a great music store, Jackpot Records, nearby, we headed back to our hotel for a relaxing afternoon at the hotel. It was the first real down time we’d had on the trip, and we all enjoyed just kicking back. Dave and I went for a walk, enjoying a small escape from the demands of kids (which, by the way, do not go away when you’re traveling and may even intensify).

Traveling is fun, and we have kids who love to travel, which makes it easier. They’re also at an age where they can feed and entertain themselves on the road. We’ve traveled when they were younger, and it’s just never as easy when you have to change diapers, prepare bottles, or have little girls with tiny bladders who have to pee every hour on the road.

But it does take its toll…every hotel is it’s own adventure. Sometimes it’s total luxury and sometimes it’s barely more than roughing it in a campground. The hotel we stayed at in Jantzen Beach was fine…closer to the roughing it side than the luxury relaxation side of things…but as we were headed to dinner at the amazing BJ’s restaurant at Jantzen Beach, we got trapped in the hotel elevator.

Being trapped in an elevator was freaky enough, but making the emergency call and being placed on hold by the hotel front desk was shocking. When the door was finally opened (I think it was more the karma of the five people who squeezed in with us on the second floor instead of taking the stairs – we had Kyle in a wheelchair, so had to use the elevator) the night manager’s first words to us were “It would have opened eventually. It happens all the time.”

He’s still looking for the piece of his rear end I chewed off that night, I’m sure.

If you are ever in a similar situation, greeting people who have been stuck in an elevator – even for only ten minutes – the ONLY thing you should say to them is, “Are you ok? Is there anything you need?”

That’s it.

Please don’t tell the people with the child in a wheelchair that you put on the 3rd floor that the elevator does that all the time.

Once we were out of the elevator and over at BJ’s, it was fabulous the night before, even better because my aunt Lori and her husband and son, and my sister & her family who met us in Portland to continue our vacation together, joined us. Dinner was fabulous – and so was the company. The cousins were thrilled to be back in the same space again. I’m not sure how goodbyes are going to go, but all of the kids (ours and Tiana’s) are convinced that it is only a matter of time before we move to Utah.

Given that we’ve made three cross-country moves, I suppose it’s not out of the realm of possibility…

Oh, and let the kids swim at the hotel. It tires them out so wonderfully that they sleep well and go to bed early.