Posted by: chlost | July 16, 2016

The Grand trip (as in grandparents/grandchild)

Getting back into a regular writing schedule is harder than I thought it would be. I am still filling my time with nonsense, writing a post in my head, but not sitting down to actually put it into the computer. Finally, this weekend I have some time and have no excuse for not writing.

Last weekend we took our middle granddaughter on a trip with us to Portland, OR. She had never been away from home for more than two nights by herself. She had never flown on a plane. She had never seen the ocean, or mountains.

We changed all of those things in one four-day weekend.

She is the sweetest kid. At age 7, she is the peace-maker between her 9 and 5 year-old sisters. Even she recognizes that. Her parents were a bit concerned about how the house would be without her there to calm the waters. She deserved some major on-her-own time.

The plane ride seen from her eyes was wonderful. She breezed through security (one of my concerns) and was very patient waiting at the gate. It was very exciting to see the planes outside the windows as we waited for our plane to load.


Merle usually takes the window seat, as I need the aisle for my knees and legs. But he relented to allow her to have the window seat. She felt quite special. She turned to us during the flight and told us “This is the best day of my life!”


The weather was pretty miserable the entire weekend. Cold, wet and windy. But we went to the beach anyway. I loved this sign on the side of a building:


The weather meant nothing to a seven-year-old girl at the beach for the first time. She wore her swimsuit under her clothes. A short time after this photo, she was in the waves in her swimsuit, and had a blast. She was not shivering or showing any signs of being cold, unlike me. I sat quite a distance from the water, with a jacket on, shivering as I watched her play in the surf. The other adults there probably considered reporting us to the authorities for allowing her to play like that.


We also visited a huge aquarium. It’s quite a place. There are indoor and outdoor exhibits, featuring things like giant crabs, octopus, sea otters, puffins and sea lions. But the major draw is this aquarium, which contains all sorts of sea life, including some sharks.


Notice the glass floor. You can see fish underneath you, as well. That freaked me out. I didn’t like walking on the glass. But it is really pretty cool as long as you walk to the side of them. There is an aquarium like this at the Mall of America, but she had never been there. She had a little camera and was running from one thing to another to take pictures for her family. These were small polaroid photos. She did a good job photographing, she has an eye for it.

The next day we drove up to Mr. Hood. It was another cold, cloudy and wet day, so we couldn’t see much. It would be hard to tell you were on a mountain except for the fact that your car went up a steep incline. But the lodge is great. The two-story central area has a huge fireplace, and there is a bar/restaurant on the second floor with a loft overlooking the lower level.  We sat by the fireplace, and enjoyed some hot chocolate and a sweet treat. She also loved the gift shop. That’s my girl.


The whole reason we were in Portland was to visit Merle’s aunt and cousin. His aunt was turning 96 years old. She is an amazing person, we love spending time with her. She still lives in her own home, alone. She drives, although limits the distance. She has slowed down a bit, but overall gets around like someone several decades younger. Merle’s cousin, her daughter, helps her out quite a bit. Our granddaughter and they had never met. Within a short time, though, they were enjoying each other’s company. It was fun to see the generations meet. We stayed in his aunt’s home. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see their neighbor, Sam Elliot or his wife, although they were expecting him to stop in sometime in the next week. Their adjoining backyards share some pretty amazing Douglas Firs.


It really as a wonderful trip. In two years, we will be taking our youngest (as of now) granddaughter on a trip. She has been seriously considering where she wants to go with us. It’s been a very special way to bond with them, and hopefully it is something that they will all remember long after we are gone.

In just about a month, we are expecting another granddaughter. So we will have seven years to decide where we will go with her. I can only hope that we are still up for another fun trip.

I can’t wait.






  1. With all the tragedy in the world today, reading this post was a welcome change. What sweetness in this story, in the photos, in the gift you have given your granddaughter. Your images and word resonate your deep love for her. Thank you for sharing this journey.

  2. The best day of her life! What a joy to hear that. I thing having those experiences trumps blogging any day.

  3. To have a child turn to you and say, “This is the best day of my life.” is precious, very precious! I worked with disadvantaged children for many years, and heard this many times. Nothing feels better!

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