I was provided with a Mazda 6 for the drive and a stay at Embassy Suites to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.
Earlier this month, Brad and I did our first true trip with Emmett. While we did spend a few days in Portland when he was first born, we’re considering this his first trip.
We have many more trips to the Portland area in our future. We have an open adoption with his birthparents, which means that in addition to our group text conversation, we’ll also be visiting them multiple times a year. I’ve started thinking through some fun things we can do in the Portland area as Emmett gets older. This weekend trip was to see them and enjoy a picnic with fellow adoptive families from our agency.
Planning for this trip was a bit different than the last time we were packing for Portland. We’ve started figuring out what all he needs to get through a day (and night), so his suitcase was actually pretty empty for the weekend. Fortunately, Emmett rarely goes through more than one or two outfits a day which is helpful when it comes to packing (and laundry).
While Emmett’s suitcase may have been on the lighter side, he still takes up quite a bit of room in the car for an 11 pound baby. Between the stroller, his suitcase, the diaper bag, and a carseat, I was wondering if I was going to have a suitcase in my lap for the drive. When we started loading up the Mazda 6, we opened the trunk and realized that it was HUGE and I knew that we might even be able to squeeze some shopping into the weekend with room to spare.
Brad and I decided to drive down Friday afternoon. The picnic was Saturday afternoon so driving down on Friday allowed us to see some friends Friday evening, and make sure that Emmett got plenty of sleep before a busy afternoon. We had thought through a couple spots where we’d end up stopping to either feed or change Emmett, and only had to add one more stop into the drive when he decided that he was over being in the carseat and needed a few minutes of being held.
After a wonderful experience staying at Embassy Suites back in July, we knew that it was the perfect spot for this trip as well. When checking in on Friday, it almost felt like we were coming home because it was so familiar. The front desk workers even recognized us and one of them mentioned that they were going to brag to a fellow co-worker how she got to see us again.
As we got up to our room, we set it up similar to the previous trip. We used the hotel’s pack-n-play for this trip and got it set up in the living room for bedtime. One difference from the last trip was that Brad and I were both able to sleep in the bedroom. He goes a bit longer between wake-ups than he did at a few days old so having him in the living room allowed us to hear him when he woke up, but we didn’t wake up with just a little stirring from him.
One thing that we couldn’t necessarily pack from home was his white noise because we have it playing through our Sonos System. One of my friends told me about the Rohm portable noise machine so we packed that with us and it worked wonders. We simply turned it on and placed it right outside the pack-n-play so he still had his white noise as he slept.
Both Friday and Saturday evening we also enjoyed the Embassy Suites complimentary evening reception. It takes place in the same area as the free breakfast, and features light appetizers and well, cocktails! It happens every night from 5:30-7:30 and since that also happens to be Emmett’s bedtime, it was easy for us to eat the appetizers, order a dinner from the hotel restaurant, and have him fall asleep in our arms.
Most of the time, Brad is responsible for the early morning wake-ups while I do the late night ones. Saturday morning Emmett was up bright and early so Brad took him down to breakfast to watch College Gameday while I got ready for the day. The Embassy Suites breakfast is no joke. In addition to the standard pastries, cereal, and oatmeal, there is a full hot breakfast buffet featuring eggs, hash browns, sausage/bacon, french toast, plus a made-to-order omelette bar.
We had a wonderful time at the agency picnic. It was great to chat with fellow parents who had been down a similar path, and also connect with Emmett’s birth family. He has changed quite a bit since June, so it was good to reconnect and continue building our relationship with them. We’re looking forward to coming back down soon to see them again.
Throughout the weekend, the Mazda 6 was an awesome vehicle. The Signature Edition included features to make it feel like a luxurious ride down and back along I-5.
The Pacific Northwest is in this awkward time of the year where you’re not quite sure if it is going to be a day where you need the heater or the A/C. For this trip, we simply set the climate control at a comfortable temperature and then utilized the heated or vented seats as needed. Vented seats might be one of my favorite features that have come out in the past few years and it will be on my “must-have” list for my next car.
Since we had some extended drive times, I would sit in the back seat with Emmett. One morning, I folded the rear armrest down to get the cup holder and was pleasantly surprised to see that it also had seat warmers and two USB charging outlets.
With the integrated Android Auto, it was so easy to bring up the navigation for our next destination. The addresses were already saved into our Google calendar events, so with just a few clicks of the button we were on our way. I also like how Android Auto now allows you to use either Google Maps or Waze for the GPS.
I wasn’t able to get a photo; however, the Mazda camera system is pretty cool because once you shift back to drive from reverse, you get a front view camera for a while. This is great for getting out of parking spaces and knowing whether you really do have enough space to make the turn, especially for somebody like me who struggles with depth perception (fortunately, I always assume an object is closer than it is when driving).
The Active Driving Display is also perfect for long drives. The driver can keep their eyes on the road while still checking on their speed; plus with the sign reading capabilities, the speed limit will also appear in the display. Of course, the turbo engine also made the long drive fun as well, who wouldn’t want turbo power while accelerating to freeway speeds?
Our first road trip with Emmett was a huge success. We’re looking forward to our next trip to Portland already.