All 50 Road Trip-May 19, 2018, Day 8

Portland, OR to Seattle, WA

I had thought that we would wake up earlier than we did this morning due to the time change, but it was 7 when we did wake up. We scurried around getting ready so we could head down to eat breakfast. This was our first Holiday Inn Express of the trip, and Robby and I were looking forward to the cinnamon rolls.

The big boys were the only kids to grab a cinnamon roll. I guess I have not trained the other ones right. And Graham didn’t eat the middle part of his cinnamon roll. Of course we asked him if he was done, and he said that he didn’t like the middle part of cinnamon rolls. What in the world? That is the best part.

The boys took two loads and loaded the car. Once on the way to breakfast and once afterwards. It just took minutes, and we were in Washington state. While I jumped out with Graham, Campbell, Keaton and Whitman to take their pictures, Robby found a surprise stop for us.

We were right near Ft. Vancouver NHS. I thought I had looked for all of the National Park sites, but I guess I had neglected this one. We went in the visitor’s center, and then half of us walked while the other half ran to the Fort.

The National Park Service just amazes me. You wouldn’t think that there would be that much stuff at a fort like this. It was full of blacksmiths, woodworkers, and other period dressed folks. The woodworker man took us a around a little bit and showed us the fur room. The kids loved touching the animals.

We were able to do the Jr. Ranger book, so the kids earned another Jr. Ranger badge  before we left. We could have stayed there for another hour probably and didn’t even get to visit the airplane museum nearby. We had places to go so had to get back on the road.

In the car, we listened to a podcast about the fort and then another about being lost in the National Parks as we ate a snack.It didn’t take too long for us to get to Mt. St. Helens. We had read a book about Mt. St. Helens so it was all pretty interesting to the kids.

We went into the museum area and perused the pictures. There was a seismograph that that recorded when you jumped, so as you can imagine, we made quite a scene there. We watched the film and took a picture in front of the cloud covered mountain.

As we left the parking lot, we turned to check out the license plates. Robby saw Hawaii. Of course, everyone screamed and squealed. After finding Hawaii, we only have 8 more license plates to find.

We didn’t stick around too long because Nonna and Pops were getting closer and closer. After we left, we filled up the gas tank and then stopped at Burger King to buy some frozen lemonaids for the kids. Occasionally, we have been writing a sechedule on the marker board. Reagan requested us to do it today. I am sure they enjoy having kind of an idea of what is going to happen next.

We hustled up to Mt. Rainier and quickly realized that we wouldn’t have time to see too much. We stopped at a viewpoint. The girls went potty, but when Robby took Whitman he noticed the sign that said flushing toilets were 3 miles down the road. He quickly decided that drive would be worth it.

Worth it, it was. We were able to get stamps for our National Park passport books along with seeing a pretty awesome suspension bridge. We walked over it once and then drove across it. It was really spectacular. In fact, Robby has decided that he wants to return and stay in Mt. Ranier’s Inn.

Our windshield wiper has been a bit contrary with one piece popping up (not off) for the last few days. While taking one picture today with the windshield wipers on low, the whole wiper popped off. Robby thought he had fixed it well, but as we were leaving it flew off in the middle of the road.

We debated but did turn around. Then MacGyver fixed that wiper with a zip tie. It was still spitting rain so we hoped that it would hold, at least for the rest of the day. And yes, we have a zip tie with us. Masking tape, sharpie, zip lock bags, knives, air fresheners, quarters, extra large rubber bands, you name it, we got it! So far on this trip, we have done quite well on our packing. Robby did remind me that we have driven to California twice and Maine twice and many places in between so by now we should at least have some things figured out.

I passed out lunch again. So far we have eaten in the car more than we have had picnics (5 and 4, yes I am keeping a tally sheet.) Today’s lunch was rather large since we were finishing off our bread, opened chips, cheeses and meat.

It took us about an hour and a half to make it into Seattle. We were tracking Nonna and Pops’ flight trying our best to make it there before they did. Robby dropped me off at the hotel with all of our stuff which is a lot-those zip ties have to go somewhere.

I worked on organizing things for tonight and for the cruise. Robby and the kids rushed to pick up Nonna and Pops. They said that they had not been waiting long and their flights were decent. I pretty much finished repacking everything and sat down to work on a list or two when the others came back.

The hotel had cookies which the kids all enjoyed before we headed out for supper. Robby had found a neat supper place-Italian Family Pizza. It was super good, and the pizzas were super huge. It was fun getting something so large. We had a big cheese pizza, a small meatball pizza, a salad, made with a whole head of lettuce, and 3 cannolis. The food was decent but the atmosphere was just perfect.

Now, we had planned to go to downtown Seattle to walk around Pikes Place Market. However, it was raining making a walk pretty messy. We will postpone our excursion for possibly tomorrow. Robby did tell the kids on the way back from the hotel that they could swim for 30 minutes tonight….except we didn’t know this hotel didn’t have a pool. Everyone handled it very well though.

Keaton and Campbell spent the night in Nonna and Pops’ room. Everyone had their showers while we worked on some laundry and worked on repacking the car. Packing for this trip has proved difficult since on a road trip we are limited on packing, plus for the cruise we need dressy clothes in addition to warm clothes for Alaska. Normally, we do laundry almost every night on a trip, but there isn’t any laundry on the cruise.

I believe that all my people packed 4 changes of hot weather clothes, a jacket, bathing suit, 4 extra socks and undies, 2 pairs of cold weather clothes, 2 dressy clothes. That adds up to about 32 pieces of clothing (counting pairs of socks and not individual ones) for each kid. That is at least 204 pieces of clothing plus mine and Robby’s clothes.

That means that after the cruise, I will have 204 pieces of dirty clothes to clean and repack before we hit the road for another week. Seriously, that is why I sometimes feel like I am about to have a panic attack. We will be staying in this hotel when we return. They do have free washer and dryers along with an ample number of washers and dryers.

Repacking for the cruise proved much easier that I expected so hopefully, when we come back repacking with be easier. Whitman went to bed a happy boy because there was a minecraft update. He was so, so happy about this and wanted to tell me all about it. Tomorrow is a big day, so hopefully all the crew will sleep well.

Current Dennie Kid State Count (May 19, 2018):
Reagan-needs Alaska
Anderson-needs Alaska
Graham-needs Alaska
Campbell-needs Alaska
Keaton-needs Alaska

Whitman-needs Alaska, Montana, North Dakota

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