This was something that we had had booked in for a while and we were so excited to see some familiar faces and experience the fun of Halloween in America.
From South Lake Tahoe, California we had about 950 kms (590 miles) or about 10 hours of driving, to get to our friends’ place in Beaverton, Oregon. After some reasonably quiet days we decided to do a big drive the first day so we drove just over eight hours into Oregon and spend the night at Eugene at Super 8 by Wyndham Springfield/Eugene (see our Wyndham Properties review here).
The next day we had a lazy morning and got some life admin done. Since being in Salt Lake City (six days earlier) we had been trying to get our SIM card with Boost Mobile to completely activate so our phone and data would be working. We had numerous conversations with their customer service team and visited three stores in Reno to try to get it working. Nothing had been working and they couldn’t work out why it wouldn’t active. After using our unlocked iPhone all through Asia with no problems what so ever, we found it very strange and could no longer deal with this company. We had firstly chosen this company because it had a good unlimited data plan, we hoped the boys could do more online schooling during our long driving days, but the ongoing hassle we were having just wasn’t worth it. So we checked other providers and found one, Metro by T-Mobile, with another reasonable unlimited data plan. Our accommodation was close to a store so I walked down and got everything sort and up and running within about 20 minutes. There clearly wasn’t something wrong with our phone like the previous company had tried to claim. Anyway, we were finally up and running and we had phone and data service in America.After check-out we headed towards Beaverton, a city just next to Portland, which was just under a two-hour drive away. We stopped for some lunch and a visit to our favourite one-stop-shop, Walmart. Halloween was only two days away and we needed to get some supplies, namely costumes and candy carriers. Braxton was keen to be a super hero and he found a Captain America costume he was happy with, Lincoln wanted to be a Fortnite character, Skull Trooper, so we picked up a skeleton onesie and some face paint for him. Logan and I didn’t really have a particular character in mind so we just found a couple of costumes that were left on the racks so close to Halloween and that didn’t cost us too much for a one-time use.
We arrived at our friends place and were greeted by Doug, a long time friend of Logan’s and the three of us did all flat together at one point in our twenties. We began to catch up and soon Amanda was home with their two children, Liam (4) and Annabelle (nearly 2). Doug and Amanda have been living abroad for a number of years so this was the first time we had met their children and it wasn’t long before Liam and our boys were playing together. Annabelle was a little shy and kept close to Amanda until she warmed up to us.
We had purchased our boys some scooters online and had them sent to Doug and Amanda’s, so they were keen to get them out and about. Over the next couple of days we explored the neighbourhood admiring the incredible effort some houses went to with their Halloween decorations. The four adults share a strong passion for a good bottle of wine (or two, or three) so we spent some fun evenings catching up over a few beverages. By the time the 31st of October rolled around we were all very excited for the evening’s activities. We had got ourselves some pumpkins and Doug had a good caving set that he was using to craft Liam a very cool Transformers pumpkin. We stuck to some pretty simple designs for our first attempt but it wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be and we were all very pleased with how they turned out.It was just after midday and our pumpkin carving that Lincoln began to say he was feeling very cold. This is not a common occurrence for him, it even took him a long time into the North American Autumn before we would wear more than shorts and jandals. He headed off to bed to take a nap (another uncommon event) and we hoped he would feel better by the time we headed out for trick or treating. Lincoln spent the afternoon sleeping off and on and having hot and cold chills even with a dose of paracetamol. He didn’t eat dinner and sadly did not feel like going out; the lure of candy and chocolates not strong enough to overcome his illness. It was such a bummer that he had this incredibly bad timing as he had barely had a sniffle since leaving New Zealand.
So while Lincoln slept I stayed back at the house to give out candy while Logan and Braxton went out trick or treating with the others.They had a great few hours out collecting a crazy amount of treats and seeing the decorations all lit up. Braxton was so excited when they got back and told me all about the incredible time he had had, but he also told Logan while they were out that he was very sad that Lincoln couldn’t go trick or treating, so he collected some extra candy for him to have once he was feeling better.The next morning Lincoln was feeling a little better and Logan thought he might try taking him out that night to see if anyone had any leftover candy, but he relapsed during the day and continued to sleep off and on. By the evening he still wasn’t feeling up to going out, even though he really wanted too, so we flagged the idea.
The day after this, Lincoln woke up feeling much, much better, but now Braxton had caught his dreaded bug!! We hoped he would get a good amount of rest in the car as it was time for us to hit the road again. After an awesome few days staying with friends in Oregon and experiencing Halloween in America, we were heading back to California where we had some exciting things planned.
Average Daily Spend for 5 nights – $153.05 NZD ($134.45 under budget per day)