Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Road Trip Day Two: Oregon and Washington

We started off the day very excited for the activities today but it ended up being the worst day of travel I think I have ever had. 
After packing the van back up I walked around the hotel getting some pictures. 

We had some fruit/ granola bars for breakfast to hold us over until we could get to a place that had somewhere to eat.
I read a little bit in the car.

The girls worked on their things...

And as we drove along the road by the river I read to everyone from a book about the expedition of Lewis and Clark, as this was the river they ended up at and we would be visiting their fort later. 
We stopped soon at a McDonald's for some breakfast after a couple of hours. 

Then we were on the road again, enjoying the book and the beautiful views.

We stopped by The Bridge of the Gods and got out to take some pictures. 
I was SO happy in this moment. It smelled like Pine trees and forest and my childhood.

We were excited when we saw this rocky area because it was in the book we were reading.

We were headed to Multnomah Falls and as we got off the exit we drove past quite a few other waterfalls. The first one we saw we pulled over to go to but there was no parking. So we kept going.

So when we saw Oneonta Gorge with parking spaces we decided to pull in there. 
It was only a couple hundred feet from the parking lot to the bridge by the waterfall and we really wanted to get out and take some pictures. 
The girls didn't want to get out and neither did my dad. But I didn't realize he didn't want to and I didn't want him to feel like he had to stay with the girls so I didn't let them stay behind and he didn't either. A part of us wishes that we had followed those feelings but then another part wonders what would have happened if they had stayed in the car...
We were having a lot of fun once we got out so it is bittersweet to look at these photos. 
When they were taken we were happy and had no idea what was happening just around a corner of rock wall from us. 

As we were walking back from the tunnel my dad saw a car speed off like crazy. I didn't even notice it. Then as we approached the car we could tell that one of the windows looked weird.
Then we realized it was because it was shattered.
My mom is not used to carrying a purse and left it on the floor of the van with another bag of hers.
I had my backpack right between the two front seats by my seat.
Someone smashed the window, grabbed her purse and her bag and my backpack from the back seat.
The girls started crying and screaming.
They were terrified.
That in fact is the thing that made me the most mad about the whole thing. Not only did we feel violated and it affected the rest of the trip in ways I will write about as I go along, but they stole my daughters' innocence. They have never seen this side of human nature and it affected the way they looked at people the rest of our trip and since. They are much less trusting, more scared.
However, they handled it really well.
They were terrified at first, Maddy wanted to go home, they were afraid whoever did it was going to come back. But then as they calmed down and realized none of their things were taken they started looking for the good again.
Then one time I went into the car to check on them and Abi was praying for whomever did this because she felt like anyone who would do this to someone else must have a very unhappy and horrible life.
That was humbling as we adults were wishing all sorts of horrible things upon them.
Of course they had all my parents credit cards and a lot of cash- my mom uses a mostly cash system.
They also had a bunch of her other personal items, all her makeup, her expensive perfume, books.
In my backpack I had my extra camera zoom lens, my camera cords and chargers, my phone chargers, my makeup, my planner, my books, my glasses, and a lot of pens and other supplies. It was nothing irreplaceable necessarily but it was stuff that was important to me and since this was the first time I have ever been robbed I felt like I was missing something for the rest of the trip.

We called the police and had to wait for an officer to show up. It took a while.
During that time we talked to a lot of locals that were coming to hike.
This is how we first found out that this happens ALL of the time in this area of Oregon.
When the officer arrived she took our case and also told us that we would be the first of many.
She told us of a family from Australia that was broken into in this same spot and everything was taken- their luggage too. This helped us to count our blessings.
I have heard many stories since then as well.
The moral of the story- DO NOT leave anything in your car in the Multnomah Falls area near Portland in Oregon. It is a huge problem and there were no warning signs around telling you not to leave things in the car. Being tourists we didn't have the luxury of not having our car full of our stuff and I would imagine that is why they target this area.

So once the police report was taken care of we had to set about doing a bunch of other things.
First, we needed a new van.
This one now had no passenger side front window and there was glass everywhere.
Luckily we had the extra insurance since we rented it using the family program from my brother in law that works with Enterprise. All we had to do was show up and they traded it out for this one....

Before we left I figured I should get a picture of the old one with the broken window...

Then we had to go to the bank so my parents could get some money and work with the bank on their cards. My mom had no identification so they were worried about that, but luckily my dad did. The people we dealt with at Enterprise and the bank were all wonderful and helped ease the burden of this experience so much. 
Soon we were on our way again. 
We stopped at Dairy Queen to grab a late lunch but we ate in the car because the girls were too afraid to leave it with all of our things inside. 

We obviously skipped seeing the one waterfall we had gone to see but we also then skipped a bunch of Twilight related sites around Portland that we had planned to look at. 
Driving through Portland...

We did however decide to go to a few of the places that were still on our way to our next destination and try to make the most of the day.
Our first stop was in St.Helens where they filmed some of the Twilight movie and the Halloweentown movies.
Abi just fell in love with those last Halloween so it was fun to go there.
We went to the spot in front of town hall that has the giant Jack o' Lantern if you are there in fall.

some of the shops from Twilight...

Then we drove past the house that they used as Bella's house in the Twilight films. 

Driving across the bridge to Washington....

We were driving to the town we lived in when I was a kid ( a few times) to stay at the Navy Lodge on the Naval base.
It took us a while to find the main entrance as my GPS took us to a gate that wasn't open.
It was very late and very dark.
When we got to the gate we had to pull over to the side and wait for special officers to come because my mom had no identification.
They were able to see my ID and my Dad's military ID so they let us on but said she would have to get a new one or temporary one first thing the next morning.
The officer led us through the base to the lodge.
Once we there we were told that they had to cancel our rooms because they were used on one of the credit cards that was stolen. My mom had planned on paying cash so we didn't realize they were going to charge it.
Luckily they had two rooms still available so they gave those to us.
Mine and the girls room ended up being a really nice suite so the next day my parents checked out of their room and moved in with us since there was enough room.
The girls were excited that not only did our room have a 13 in it, but had a cute puppy and kitten on the key.

It was two bedrooms with an office in between.
This room had a pull out sofa bed, the television and a nice kitchen and dining area.

The second bedroom had three beds and a bathroom.

The first night we relaxed for a while and settled in but we were all exhausted. 
Even though I was so tired though... it took my brain a long time to calm down and relax enough to fall asleep. My anxiety kind of hit me as soon as I was in bed with the girls both asleep. 

We really did make the most of the day and we know we ended up being blessed in a lot of ways. 
But I wouldn't wish this on anyone. 
I can't stand the fact that there are people in this world that think they have the right to do this to others. 
I agonized over the fact that my planner had my kids' schools in it, our address, and a picture of them. 
I worried about what else might be in it that I couldn't remember. 
And I prayed, a lot, that our stuff would be found. That we would have a miracle and get it back. 
And I hoped that the rest of the trip would go smoother....


The Kings said...

what a day! As I read and looked at the pictures it brought back so many memories. But I think we did a good job of recouping and making the best of our vacation! And I am very grateful none of us were hurt!!

cheryl said...

I think we did too mom, especially with how it affected almost evertything. We can still look back and find some really great moments.