February 19, 2007

One of these days I’m going to pay for a housekeeper to come in while we’re out of town and clean the house from top to bottom, then turn on the heat a few hours before we’re due to arrive—and maybe have a crockpot simmering, too. That would be a nice change of pace from what we always come home to: a chilly, dog-hair-coated mess, with the inevitable disturbing aroma wafting from the fridge and the breakfast dishes growing mold in the sink.

Sure, I could try and clean before we leave, but preparing a thousand travel-friendly meals for Riley to methodically reject one by one keeps me pretty busy, you know?

Even though we returned to the predictable domestic disaster (hey, guess who left a load of wet laundry to fester all weekend long? High five!), it was worth it to have our little getaway. We had a great time in Bend, helped in part by the presence of JB’s parents, who were staying in town with a friend and were happy to hang out with their grandchild on several occasions so JB and I could run off and engage in hot, adults-only activities, such as eating in a restaurant without a kid’s menu.

I really think Bend would be a great place to live. If JB’s workplace had an office there—oh, man. We’d be there in a heartbeat. I love that whole area, especially the smell, that high country pine/sagebrush that envelopes you whenever you step outside. There’s so much new housing and yet all those planned communities look fantastic, not cookie-cutter ugly, but house after house of faux-Craftsman-style designs that remind you of ski lodges. And every damn corner of town has a knockout view of the mountains.

Maybe if we are really lucky we can invest in a vacation home there someday. It’s a long drive, yeah, but Bend’s got it all: skiing, hiking, camping, fishing, snow in the winters, hot sun in the summers, the High Desert museum (hello, PORCUPINE exhibit!).

Speaking of the drive, to my unending surprise it wasn’t that bad. I had a bottle of gum-flavored Benadryl at the ready (with some half-formed, hazy notion of squirting it at Riley from my position in the passenger seat, sending a sticky arch of fluid through the air until it magically landed in his mouth, instantly sedating him) but as long as I remained Johnny-on-the-spot with a series of distractions (at one point I produced a metal whisk I’d squirreled away in the bag of toys, and it was received with great pleasure, because it was a UTENSIL, one he’d NEVER SEEN, HOLY SHIT, and I bragged for maybe 30 miles about how I was such a fucking genius for packing a whisk, talk about thinking outside the box, plus, if we needed to? We could totally make whipped cream!) things stayed fairly non-screamy. I’m not ready to test my toddler-entertainment skills on, I don’t know, a 9-hour JetBlue tarmac delay or something, but we did pretty well this time around.

Photos!

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Looking out the car window on Highway 97.

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Riley chilling with some of the many, many toys we brought. Also, I can tell by looking at this he was about to say “BA!”.

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Go team DORK!

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Just one of the bazillion eye-poppingly gorgeous mountain views.

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The boys thumbing through that barn-burner, Maisy Drives the Bus.

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On a short hike near the Deschutes river.

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Drake park.

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The view from our condo.

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Driving home over the pass—this was the most snow we saw all weekend. Bend was nearly 70 degrees on Saturday.

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A few words about this photo: I did not actually consume that giant porkout piece of chocolate cake by myself (that’s half of a cake, which was presented to me along with a whole pie, for murky reasons I didn’t quite understand), and that’s not really a male stripper hired to gyrate in front of me while I died of embarrassment (it’s JB’s brother, who came by for a while on Saturday to wish me a happy birthday. While gyrating).

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Anne L.
Anne L.
15 years ago

Happy Birthday, Linda!

hello insomnia
15 years ago

Thanks for clarifying that it was your brother-in-law, not a male stripper. I was worried that Chippendale’s had downsized. Where would all the cowboys and sailors go?

justmouse
justmouse
15 years ago

a whisk…is fucking BRILLIANT! also…the Team Dork photo? my and my kid do the whole arms-up thing while saying “w00t!” quite loudly, and without warning. drives my husband crazy…as if he isn’t someone totally a member of Team Dork *rolls eyes* . and seriously….my brother in law has NEVER gyrated for me. EVER. you’re totally spoiled.

justmouse
justmouse
15 years ago

oh ya…and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Emily
15 years ago

Happy birthday! And after those pictures, I am even more mad that Husband will get to go to school in the beautiful Northwest whilst I summer in the Middle East. Why can’t Bush start a war in, like, New Zealand? Or even western CANADA, for fuck’s sake.

Sorry about that tangent. Less off-the-subject: Riley is growing like a MOFO, dawg!

kara marie
15 years ago

I leave laundry to fester in the washer ALL THE TIME. It’s really ridiculous. Sometimes, I have to rewash the load a few times to get out the stank, and then I’ll forget about it AGAIN for a few days. So! High five!

Happy birthday!

Josh
15 years ago

No one should go without gyrations a plenty on their birthday. Consider this my e-gyration for you. Congrats on surviving, Darwin would be proud. And where can I get a Team Dork shirt? I would pimp that bitch all day long!

Lavinia
Lavinia
15 years ago

What awesome pics, as usual! If you don’t mind my asking, did you guys stay somewhere private (like a friend’s condo), or was it a place that others could rent? That looks like the perfect getaway, and the view from the place you were staying – yummy!

Leslie
Leslie
15 years ago

Glad no one scrimped on the frosting!

And I love your pink chenille sweater. Is that something, say, one might find online? Maybe at an end-of-season sale?

jonniker
15 years ago

Mmmm…pie.

I’m so glad you had a great time. Happy birthday, Linda! Also – Riley looks way more like you than JB as he gets older. Take that to the bank.

jen
jen
15 years ago

haaaapy biiirrrrthday! :)

Mary O
Mary O
15 years ago

Looks like you had a fabulous birthday. Bend is beautiful, one of my favorite towns ever, too. My parents have a place in Sunriver (just a little south of Bend) so we get to go there sometimes. However, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything as beautiful as those pictures. Wow! That house that’s perched right on the edge of the cliff is amazing.

thejunebug
15 years ago

Happy Birthday, Linda! You’re a palindrome!

Katie
Katie
15 years ago

Okay. Really…what is with the half piece of cake? Is it just a big super duper slice as all birthday girls should get? Or, did someone just make half a cake? Happy Birthday either way!

Also? The Jet Blue thing? Hilarious. Terrifying and hilarious.

Beautiful photos! Riley is looking more like JB by the minute!

Trina
Trina
15 years ago

Happy Birthday!

I am so jealous. Like I said Bend is one of my favorite places. The sage smell just relaxes me, not to mention you get the best of both worlds. Warm in the summmer, snow in the winter. Small town but just big enough to have some major “chain” stores. I think everyone should go there at least once.

Lesley
Lesley
15 years ago

It kills me to look at that slice of cake, being on a diet and all. If it had of been me, I would have eaten the whole thing. Happy birthday!

I would like to move to Bend too. Gawd, that place looks like a slice of heaven (a slice of cake?).

Love Riley’s cheerleading arms.

Trina
Trina
15 years ago

PS We always stay at the Inn of the Seventh Mountain. LOVE IT. :)

m
m
15 years ago

Happy Birthday!

33 is the Jesus year. Good things, really good things happen. (And no, it doesn’t end with a cruxifiction!)

Also, never heard of Bend but holy crap does it ever look beautiful. Sounds like you had a perfect birthday, gyrations and all.

Liz in Australia
Liz in Australia
15 years ago

The thought of my brother-in-law gyrating in front of me is not one which I personally care to contemplate. But that said, that is one handsome hunk. Of cake. And is that a lemon meringue pie as well? *swoon* Happy birthday!

stan
stan
15 years ago

So envious of your weekend away in such a superb location. Makes me realise I *need* a break RIGHT NOW! Glad you enjoyed yourself and photos are wonderful… as usual!

Gentry
15 years ago

If I lived near you I’d totally come clean your house and leave a freezer full of my Lasagne o’ Doom as your birthday present/thank you for writing such a fab daily read.

Alex
15 years ago

Firstly, Happiest of Birthdays to you!

Nextly, maybe I’ll move to Bend when I leave Hawaii. You present quite a sell, and one of my best girlfriends lives there to boot. Hm. At the very least, I think a visit is in order.

Swistle
15 years ago

I’m glad you’re back! It’s a sad, sad time when I know there isn’t even a POSSIBILITY of a Sundry post.

Brother-in-law gyrating as he presents pie AND cake? THAT’S a birthday.

Kaire
Kaire
15 years ago

I’m glad you had such a nice birthday! Thanks for the pictures, it makes my heart warm to see that area :)

Sara
15 years ago

Happy Birthday! WHOOt! (Are you Aquarius or Pices? Not that I’m INTO that kind of stuff… ahem.)

biodtl
15 years ago

Happy Birthday!

warcrygirl
15 years ago

Happy Birthday! Hooray for Team Dork!

victoria
victoria
15 years ago

You’re adorable. Your photographs are BEAUTIFUL and your haircut looks really pretty and you have a very nice family and yes, you ARE a genius for thinking of the whisk. A whisk! That is some excellent mom-thinking right there! Thank you for this great entry, and happy birthday.

Carrie
15 years ago

Yeah, I’m really impressed with the quick wisk thinking myself! Happy Birthday!

LisaL
15 years ago

Happy birthday! I have fond memories of being 33; I hope it’s a great age for you, too.
Wow, Bend is breathtakingly beautiful! I get so tired of the flat countryside in Indiana. If I see one more cornfield, I’ll go stark raving mad, I swear.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
15 years ago

My parents got us one of those DVD players for the car, which I’m sure is the only reason why my son wasn’t left on the side of a road with a sign saying “Will scream at you for food” on any number of occasions. It’s not foolproof, but it will give the child almost an hour of glassy-eyed contentment.

nonsoccermom
15 years ago

Happy birthday! Those pictures are beautiful – it looks like you had a great time.

Her Ladyship
15 years ago

Happy birthday! It looks like you guys were in just a stunning part of the country. And you had a stunning piece of cake.

Lawyerish
15 years ago

Happy birthday! You look supercute in the cake photo, if slightly disturbed at the brother-in-law gyrations. Also, I am suddenly indignant that I live in a place where buildings are considered majestic. Um. THAT, up there, in those photos? That’s majestic! I want to live *there*!

Anais
Anais
15 years ago

Happy birthday! =)

warcrygirl
15 years ago

Maybe you’ll get one of these for your birthday? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xXNoB3t8vM

Carbon
15 years ago

I always look forward to the beautiful pic’s you produce alongside the great banter :) Happy Birthday!

Tripping Daisy
15 years ago

Is that the funeral-director-brother? If so, I didn’t know funeral directors were allowed to gyrate. Happy Birthday!!!

HollowSquirrel
15 years ago

OH my GOD seriously, can you tell me where that condo is (is it rentable)? My husband would give a kidney to go there. It’s stunning! What a great weekend! Yay Team Dork!

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

Holy crap that’s a big ass house in the view from your condo. What a great place to live, be, and move.

Mommy Daisy
15 years ago

Your trip looks like it was SUPER fun! I’m glad to hear that the young one was good traveling too.

Maybe next time you can think about hiring a college student or someone to house-sit. Then they could clean and other things for you. Might be worth it. I know I always like coming home to a clean house. I always aim for that goal, but in the frenzy of going out the door it’s always a mess.

Amy M.
Amy M.
15 years ago

Happy Birthday!

What’s wrong with eating that entire chunk of cake? Not that I’ve ever done that, of course…

And thanks for the brother-in-law gyration picture. Another image of my brother-in-law I didn’t need and may have to discuss in therapy.

Beautiful part of the country! Must make it out there someday!

ang
ang
15 years ago

Happy Birthday! Alas I, too, have reached my 33rd year and… surprisingly it doesn’t suck.

Brenda
Brenda
15 years ago

Hope you had a great birthday! That cake looks yummy!
I live in one of those quaint mountain towns that every tourist loves to come to (in New Mexico) and once you actually live here, you never do all the fun things that people come here to do. We don’t ski and I can’t tell you the last time we went hiking. Never been fishing here. We do go to the casino’s occasionally when family comes to visit. Mostly we work…lol!

Jo
Jo
15 years ago

Happy Birthday! Glad you had a fab break, awesome photos as always :)

Becky
15 years ago

Great photos. Happy birthday!

Jem
Jem
15 years ago

Happy Birthday Sundry! You are looking beautiful as always!

Mrs. Breedorf
15 years ago

Happy birthday! Also, GO TEAM DORK! I love it.

Em
Em
15 years ago

Happy birthday … your Team Dork is so gorgeous!! Looks like a fantastic weekend.