Friday, July 17, 2009

Oregon Part 1

Over the last two weeks I was blessed to be able to take a wonderful family vacation to Oregon.

"Oregon? You mean you didn't go to Disney world?"

No we didn't.

I know it's hard to imagine anyone going on vacation with small children and not going to a overpriced, cliche theme park, but that is just what we did.

"OUCH! Did she just say that?"

Yep I did. Disney world is fine and I've been there but it's NOT the only place to vacation, and frankly it doesn't even make my top 10 for cool stuff to do with your family.

Do I seem bitter? I guess in a way I am. When I started researching our family vacation over a year ago I Googled until my fingers hurt trying to find a fun place to take my family that WASN'T Disney.

Every time I typed a new set of key words I thought my brain would explode when yet ANOTHER Disney ad popped up. Truth of the matter is there is very little information out there about family vacationing. In fact there is so little information that I'm seriously contemplating writing a book, "The Anti-Disney Vacation".

In the end, we opted for a family vacation that included a visit with family and we settled on a trip to Oregon.

I'm going to commit post suicide here, skip to the end of the story and just say WE HAD THE BEST TIME! This vacation was better than I could have ever imagined.

Let's face it with 5 kids 3 adults (oh and did I mention we took along my father in law?) this trip could have ended disastrously. Enough said, any sane person can understand my reluctance to create a fairy tale picture in my head of how this vacation would go. However, even if I had, this vacation was better than any fairy tale I could have dreamt up.

Our vacation started out with us flying out of Indianapolis (IND) and into Medford, OR (MFR). For the purpose of this being informative I am going to stop here, and talk about flying, TSA, airports, etc.

First if you have the option to fly out of Indy vs Ohare or some other airport do it! In November of 2008 Indy opened their brand new airport complete with post 9/11 design. What does that mean exactly? It means TSA wasn't just thrown into some back corner where you have to stand in make shift lines and then go through a haphazard setup.

Let's just say that Indy got it right. Not only do they have several TSA lines, but they are broken up into 3 types of lines. The casual traveler, the experienced traveler, and (drum roll) the FAMILY LINE! The family line ROCKS my SOCKS off. First you go to a table where a TSA agent comes and helps you put your things in bins, there are benches for the kids to sit down and take their shoes off. The TSA agent handles almost everything as far as your baggage goes and your left free to handle helping out the kids. It is as pain free as going through TSA can be. Thank you Indy for making me not want to commit hara kari before my vacation even started.

Before we left I packed each child with a book bag complete with their favorite quiet activities, books, crayons, coloring books, etc. I also packed food, because if all else fails food will keep them content and quiet. It was simple food, trail mix and animal crackers but it worked like a charm. I also packed each child their own pack of gum to help with the pressure change. The bags were a hit! I wouldn't do anything different. They had no idea what I packed so when we got on the plane it was like unveiling a present. They loved it!

This is where I am leaving you today.... More to come.

What?! I have to leave you in suspense. I will however leave you with one picture, unfortunately none from the airport because our point and shoot is missing and I wasn't going to drag out my DSLR.

This is one of the kids at Crater Lake. Such a beautiful place!


Michael Lyon said...

Well done! What a blast we had!

Daddy Lyon said...

Great Ally! I'm glad you had such a great time. I think you should write that book, but maybe name itUn-Disney Vacations. You will, of course have to test out all the vacations you write about. I think DC would be a good one when Caide gets a little older, I know a good tour guide for that one. We are praying for Caide. Please pray for Daphne as she is being treated for salmon poisoning. I guess I shouldn't have put that last coho out for the fish. How is Caide doing with a cast? I shoulda just e-mailed you.

Anonymous said...

That last one was from Auntie Gayb.

Anonymous said...

Hurray! Oregon is awesome! I just found you from Beth's ff on Twitter and am already in lurve with the blog! Anyone who chooses Oregon over Disney is a winner to me!

Mrs. Cline said...

Sounds like a wonderful time. Can't wait to hear the rest!

Anonymous said...

dudette, you are going to leave me hanging with only one picture from the beautiful state of oregon? really? lol.

I can't wait to see the rest. Thanks for sharing the kiddos look cute like always.

B Dad