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Bucket List Item #11 (Part 3 of 3): Visit 3 States. OREGON

We are in the home stretch of crossing the remaining items off of the bucket list and I’m pretty much using any available free time to accomplish a remaining task at this point. Yes, it is seeming daunting and yes, I have lied awake for hours many nights wondering how I’m going to finish everything.

To be honest, I confided in Zeb this weekend that it probably wasn’t a great idea to give myself this many things to hold myself accountable for during the first year of becoming a mother. Many of which are not baby-friendly and require arranging a sitter (AKA my parents) to watch Brynnley. In hindsight, I probably would not have committed to this many things during the year that I became a mom. But I did, and here we are – I’m not giving up on something I publicly agreed to!

This bucket list item was a three-parter. Even though I visited Washington in September and Arizona in November, I haven’t been able to officially cross this item off of the list until this morning as we drove home from Oregon.

We live in the Boise area, which is only about 50 miles from the state border between Idaho and Oregon. We decided to make it easy on ourselves and get in the third state with the easiest option available to us – Oregon – and stay in the “quaint” historical town of Baker City. My own standards require us to spend the night in order to count it as a true “visit” so I found an adorable hotel for our family of three right on Main Street. It’s called the Geiser Grand Hotel and I think if you ever visit Baker City, Oregon then it’s the best place to stay!

We timed the 1 hour 45-minute drive to coincide with Brynnley’s nap time, leaving around 3pm on Friday after logging off of work. She wasn’t as cooperative with my carefully timed plan though, and only napped for about 20 minutes. She usually naps for 90 minutes in the afternoons, so I worried this would cause an extra cranky baby. We also gained an hour crossing the state border, so her bedtime which was usually 8:30pm would mean she would be starting to meltdown closer to 7:30pm local time. I was quickly seeing how tricky it is to travel with a baby/almost toddler and I did somewhat yearn for how easy long weekends and little road trips were before last year.

Our little one was very happy when we checked in to the beautiful historic hotel and took her out of her car seat though :)

Baker City, Oregon is part of the Oregon trail with so much preserved history. The railroad came to Baker City in 1884, and the Geiser Grand Hotel was originally built in 1889 during a gold mining boom. It had the reputation as the finest hotel between Salt Lake City and Seattle. The Geiser family spared no expenses during the time it served timber and cattle barons, politicians, and even Teddy Roosevelt. It boasts the third ever elevator West of the Mississippi River. It’s architecture and style have been preserved in the three-story hotel with a full bar and restaurant, a stain glass ceiling, and four poster beds. Our suite had a living room with a fireplace.

We unpacked, set up Brynnley’s pack n’ play, and toured the building. We sat in the lobby bar and I ordered a glass of prosecco while Zeb enjoyed an old fashioned. Brynnley was a total ham, babbling up a storm and practicing her new trick…blowing kisses. We wanted her to get in a bit more of a nap before our dinner reservations, but after an hour of trying (including her pack n’ play with a blackout cover, a walk in her covered stroller, and another car ride) she resisted all of our attempts and was wide awake as ever. We knew we’d have to keep her entertained during dinner before she became overtired.

Dinner was delicious! I ordered the crab cakes with green beans and smashed potatoes. Zeb enjoyed a 12 oz boneless ribeye with a loaded baked potato that he attempted to share with Brynnley. The service was amazing and we really enjoyed the atmosphere. Brynnley say between us in her high chair and enjoyed her own puree and rice crackers.

We just retreated to our suite for the rest of the night because Brynnley was definitely ready for bed. She didn’t love the change in atmosphere and protested quite a bit, and I wondered if we made the wrong decision taking this weekend trip. It can be hard to travel with an infant, and as someone who loves traveling and exploring new places…that’s a hard new reality to transition to. I know it’s just a phase of life and I hope she will be a happy traveler with us before long.

In the morning, we decided to avoid struggling to get Brynnley to nap in the strange new place again and just hit the road earlier than planned. We packed up and found a cute local coffee shop on Main Street for some oatmilk lattes. We sipped them while walking around downtown and enjoying the cute artistic touches on each of the corners. We were on the road back to Idaho before 10am, and Brynnley did finally cooperate and nap for about an hour on the drive home.

I’m happy to have accomplished this bucket list with a baby, though none of these states were new to me. I hope to get to explore new unfamiliar places in the next year :)

Conference Championships!

As promised, here is my race recap from the Big Sky Track & Field Conference Championships. Portland State hosted the 2-day meet, but due to their lack of facilities we competed at Pacific University in the adorable farm town of Forest Grove, Oregon.

conference stadium

My 10k took place Friday night, in some pretty humid weather! It was semi-overcast and there was no breeze to cool us off from the warm temperatures. At the start line, we were told that there would be 2 “water stations” on the track for us to take cups of water. I thought, “Psh, I’ve never needed water during a race before, I don’t need any today!” Wrong. I took a cup on the second lap, and every other lap after that. The heat or humidity gave me chills during my run, and I used the cold water to splash myself every few minutes. By the end of the race, I (and all the other runners) was drenched! (I like to think the extra water weight added a few seconds to my overall race time, though I don’t know how realistic that is… ;) )

Thursday’s pre-meet run, Friday’s warm-up and cool-down, and Saturday’s recovery run all took place in the same area around the university. It was one of the most scenic and beautiful places but pictures do more justice than words do:

Conference Run aconference run bconference run cconference run d

My 10k was not my fastest, and I didn’t place as high as I had hoped. But I’m happy with my season and relieved that it is over at the same time. Today marks the first day of my two-week break from training and I plan on thoroughly enjoying my extra time :)

Our Women’s Team placed 3rd in the conference, a position we are all very proud of.  Needless to say, everyone was in great spirits last night as we went out and celebrated!

Conference Team 2013

Conference Team 2013

Some of my best memories of college will be weeks like these spent traveling to new places with a team of 50 amazing athletes, with great competitions and fun celebrations!

After the meet and awards ceremony concluded, we had a special dinner at Monteaux’s Public House in Beaverton, Oregon where we were presented with a special menu just for us.

Conference Dinner Menu (

Eating dinner at 9pm is definitely out of the norm for me, and I was starving by the time my sandwich came! Afterwards we walked through Hillsboro to a frozen yogurt place where they had a super unique toppings selection including “cheesecake balls” (like malt balls), blue cookie crumbles, “zagnuts” and apple pie filling!

Conference Team Dinner (

I now have a full 24 hours of traveling until I am Home Sweet Home. Which will most likely culminate in a post on healthy eating while traveling… ;)


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