Monday, May 04, 2009

Road Trip: La Grande

I have seen more counties in the last two days than I cared to, but it was all for a good cause: a wedding! The Boy and I set out on our road trip at 5:00 on Saturday morning from Corvallis and arrived in La Grande by 11:30am. We took one wrong turn (my fault), stopped twice, and ate about a dozen cookies on the drive. Venturing north to Portland was a breeze as no one was awake yet. We hit Highway 84 just as the roads were getting busy in the big city, but at least the traffic died out as we left Gresham. I drove the first leg to Cascade Locks where we stopped to stretch and walk for a few minutes. We had to deal with rain the entire way over, but for the few minutes we were at Cascade Locks, it was only drizzling. Neat little stop! The Boy drove us to Pendleton where we filled up the car with gas. We tried to find a place to eat, but it was not an easy town to navigate. We ended up pushing straight on to La Grande, opting for more homemade cookies instead of spending money at restaurants we couldn't find.

Central Oregon isn't my favorite part of Oregon by any means, and I've spent quite a bit of time vacationing there, so I had no great expectations for eastern Oregon. The gorge was socked in with a storm, and the road so long and straight with no trees... until we crossed Cabbage Hill, I was thoroughly unimpressed. La Grande, though, was pretty. They have more of the evergreen trees I love, and the Grande Ronde river is nice. It reminded me more of home than the previous three hundred miles.

We ate a horrible lunch at the KFC in town (why? why do I do that to my body? YUCK!) before picking up The Boy's tuxedo for the wedding. A short drive to the hotel for an early check-in, then to the church and reception hall to help set up. Doesn't seem so hard, right? By noon, we'd already been awake eight hours after very little sleep. The Boy stood patiently for pictures while I lazed around the church trying to help where I could. Advice to anyone who is an accessory at a wedding: take a book, a deck of cards, a roll of duct tape, and ear plugs. After three weddings in the last nine months, that's the best I've come up with. If you don't know what the ear plugs are for, then don't use them. I wish I'd had them though.

The wedding was beautiful. Not sure what else to say about it... it was a typical Protestant church wedding... there was a bride and groom, some tears, and vows exchanged. The bride wore white. The groom wore black. The pews were padded. I saw Bibles in the backs of each pew. Candles. Flowers. Stained glass. It was a nice wedding.

The reception was just as exciting as the wedding for me. I hadn't eaten anything but cookies and awful mashed potatoes in twelve hours, and the buffet had one food I liked: rolls. I realize I'm picky (I make no illusions about that), but when I don't eat pork and can't stand it when someone else puts salad dressing on my salad (sooooooaking it), it was a long evening. The cake was pretty good though.

By 8:00pm, The Boy and I were ready to drop. We waited until the bride and groom left, and then we bee-lined it for the hotel. Lumpy pillows, un-flannel sheets, and a noisy mini-fridge kept me up longer than I wanted. So tired! So cranky! So just wanting to go to sleep and not move one inch for eight hours! Alas, it was not to be.

We were up, fed, and on the road again by 8:30am. I drove us through snow and ice over Cabbage Hill on the way back (clear the day before!), and we lunched near Hermiston around 10:00am. The Boy drove us to Biggs (?) where we stopped to stretch and switch, and then I drove us to Bonneville Dam where we got out for some sightseeing. The dam is huge, much larger in scope than I realized at first, and we could have spent all afternoon there if it wasn't for me feeling awful.

After a late lunch at Sweet Tomatoes, another hundred miles, and stopping at a hospital for me, we finally arrived home about 6:00pm yesterday. I'm fine, by the way. Road trips and I have a track record now. It will be a long, long, long time before I travel to the east side of this state again. Hooray for not sitting in a car bouncing from side to side anymore. *sigh*

1 comment:

cm0978 said...

The last part of your trip reminds me of the "trips from hell" we went on when the kids were little. There's a story about a little spot on the map named Horse Heaven in Central Oregon..... miles from anywhere with a flat tire and two hot cranky kids. I took pictures to show how much nothingness there was around us, but somehow lost the whole film canister. Ah, but the memories live on....