Monday, May 4, 2009


We made a bittersweet trip back to the States in mid-April. We don’t necessarily miss the States in general, but we miss you friends and family. The purpose of this trip was for family visits and to get Dan to another one of his training sessions for work. We decided to fly to Germany and stay the night there so that we could do the 11-hour flight from Frankfurt direct to Portland. This may surprise you, but Amelia was rather easy. She either slept or played, and of course made eyes at all the men on the plane (she seems to like staring and laughing at grown up men, especially Grandpa Kevin).

The end of the long journey brought us to Grandpa Steve and Grandma Pam’s house. There Amelia got to meet and play with her grandparents and lots of new cousins. Unfortunately, we weren’t in Portland only for a family visit. We attended Alec’s memorial service in Portland and while it was a beautiful event full of tears and memories, it was also quite emotionally painful. Nonetheless, it was important for us to be able to participate, and also to have Amelia there to say good-bye to the uncle she never got to meet.

We parted ways at that point with Katrin doing more visiting in Oregon with Amelia meeting and spending time with her great-grandparents, grandparents, great-aunts and uncles, cousins, and lots of friends. Then they flew across the country for further visits in Washington DC where fellow passengers described Amelia as “the best flying baby ever,” since she either slept or smiled and laughed the whole way from Portland to New York.

I (Dan) was supposed to uneventfully go to Detroit for a training session but decided to pass out on the plane from Salt Lake. Taking the cautious route, the airline decided to make a pit-stop in Denver and get me to a hospital. Talk about a plane full of unhappy campers! Anyway, after many tests and then a few more, the doctors pronounced me free to go which got me to Detroit only one day late. Apparently the stomach virus I had that day caused me to have low blood pressure and standing up on the plane caused me to pass out, but I suspect the stress of work and a memorial service and dehydration from lots of traveling all had something to do with it too. I’ll try not to do that again! Many of you found it funny that we travelled so far with a seven month old, but it was her dad that fellow passengers wished wasn’t on their plane.

Then we all met up in New York. It was quite a sight on the platform at Penn Station seeing Katrin pile out with a baby, car seat, stroller, suitcase, diaper bag, backpack and more. We decided taking a cab up to Peter and Jane’s apartment would be better than the subway. In New York we got to have a delightful dinner with my aunt and uncle, my cousins and Amelia’s cousins who are 20 months and 16 months.

The trip back to Portugal wasn’t quite as smooth as the way over, but considering all the smiles Amelia gave us throughout the travel, time zones, family events, erratic eating and sleeping schedule, etc., she sort of deserved to let off a little steam (sorry to fellow passengers, though the girls next to us swore they hardly heard her at all).