14 August 2018
Cornelia had a good sleep in again, following her complete inability to go sleep until about 22:30 last night. Unfortunately this sleep pattern is making her quite unreasonable, especially in the mornings. For example, this morning she ordered three pieces of toast knowing full well that we didn’t have any bread. Ian, who had just finished his morning run, ran off to the campsite shop and bought the world’s most expensive loaf of bread. It was $8.50. I then made her three pieces of toast as requested, and she only ate one of them, almost throwing the rest on the floor when asked to finish her breakfast. There then ensued a general unpleasantness as Cornelia screamed, blew raspberries and generally misbehaved. Luckily, she only has to be warned about using her FirePhone or missing an afternoon in the pool with Tess later, for her behaviour to improve.
I was going to shower in the campsite facilities, but when I got there, they were probably the grubbiest I have been in all trip. I turned around and showered in our RV instead. We then needed to leave quite quickly as checkout was 11:00 and they charged you half a day’s rent if you had not vacated by this time. We left at 11:07, and got away with it!
We drove straight up to Mt Hood itself, passing some very tough cyclists who were climbing up the very long hill. The scenery there was beautiful, as you would imagine. We parked by Timberline Lodge where The Shining was filmed, and after a quick loo break for Cornelia, we headed for the chairlift which swings you all the way up the Magic Mile to just over 7000ft.
There, we threw snowballs at each other, watched the summer snowboarders and skiers and gazed out at what is probably a stunning vista. Unfortunately, most of the view was obscured by a thick haze from wildfires.
We all walked over to the rather grand-looking climbers’ hut, and I decided to run back down to Timberline Lodge. Meanwhile Cornelia and Ian retraced their way to the cablecar station and enjoyed a serene ride back down. We had agreed to have a race back down and I thought I was flying down the gravelly hill at top speed, but it appears that I wasn’t. I am totally perplexed as to how I ended up running at the same speed I would normally run a mile, if not even slightly slower!! In any event, I beat Daddy and Bugsy by a long way and was numberplate spotting for Ian when they finally made it back! (Ian has become slightly obsessed with looking for plates from different states. I bought him a game – basically a map with all the states marked on, and you just cross them out when you’ve seen a plate for that state – simple things ‘n’ all that!)
We had lunch outside the RV in the car park (classy all the way) using up the dry, crumbly, overpriced bread. I opted for cheese, crackers and fig jam from the Creamery we had visited on Bugsy’s birthday instead.
Then, hurrah, we set off to Portland to meet up with Cat, Pete and Tess who we had met the previous week in Crescent City. I tried to persuade Cornelia to have a nap, as she was so tired, and eventually she had half an hour which I thought would be perfect in terms of not too much to keep her awake at night, but sufficient to breathe new life into her for the afternoon.
I had a girly appointment at a salon that I had made the previous day, so Ian brilliantly navigated the narrow city streets (narrow if you’re in an RV!) and managed to park in a small car park right outside. I was only gone for 15 minutes, so Ian suggested taking Bugsy to get her fringe cut (“bangs” in the US) and I took her to the little barber in the same little precinct. When I asked the hairdresser how much it was, she pointed at her little sign which said $15 (for bangs). I pointed further up her sign which said $14 for a full haircut for kids. So she charged me $10 in the end. I was slightly annoyed as it turns out (on looking at it now) that her fringe isn’t quite straight! 🙄
We were now about half an hour later than we’d told Pete we’d be, so dashed back to the RV and made the 15 minute trip to their stunning house, set out of the City Centre and nestled away in a woody, quiet lane. Tess came out to greet an excited Cornelia and they raced into the house together immediately. Pete was also at home, and took us straight in, greeting us with wine and fruit.
He showed us round their elegant home, which reminds me very much of Clarey’s back in the UK. I just love the big open spaces and overall sophistication yet warmth of the rooms. Cornelia and Tess played in the playroom for a while, before it was time to get in the pool. Ian went in with her to supervise, and turned into a prune waiting for them to come out. Cornelia’s swimming is really improving, especially when she knows that it means she can play with Tess without Ian or me having to hold her all the time.
Cat arrived home after a long day at work, but this didn’t stop her from also becoming the perfect host within seconds. It is so lovely to see them all again and we feel so welcome. You never know quite how the “Please come and stay with us” will work out with friends you just meet on holiday, but in this case, it just couldn’t be more perfect.
McKenzie, the babysitter, had also arrived a bit earlier (with her own gorgeous baby, Hadley) and when it was time to shower and dress for the evening, she took over control of the kids and we had a grown up night out!
Pete took us to his local bar/steakhouse and we enjoyed G&Ts before we were taken to our table. The menu was amazing: I had scallops, then lobster and pea ravioli – really refined delicious food. Cat and I struggled with our wine choice. We had picked a Sauvignon Blanc , but it was cloudy and tasted sour. Neither of us wanted to drink it, so we call over the sommelier to check it. He said it’s meant to be like that and tasted perfect (belurgh, really?!), but kindly let us pick another. He brought over another two Sauvignons and although it was “fine”, we weren’t blown away by it. I am surprised, as it’s the first poor bottle of wine that I’ve had in a long time, blowing away my belief that I will just drink anything…! Unbelievably, Pete and Cat then insisted on paying. I only hope that we can persuade them to Devon and a treat them to an evening at Gidleigh!
When we returned home, that pesky daughter of ours was wide awake, quietly reading to her Gang. Cat, bless her, curled up with her and read her another story, but she still didn’t get to sleep until midnight. Thankfully, she wasn’t making a fuss, just lying quietly, but I definitely did NOT expect that! So much for the perfect half an hour afternoon nap!!