This weekend was perfection. Quiet, rainy, just-us perfection. Which made it incredibly boring to the rest of the world. So instead of telling you about how nice my weekend was with books, babies, and husband, I will do some pictures of our trip. I plan on putting a lot of trip pictures up this week. Like those people in the 1960's that came home from vacation with all sorts of vacation slides with which to bore the neighbors silly. A blog makes it possible to bore a lot more people at the same time. Except you all aren't such a captive audience... Do you want to come to my house? You could sit in my living room and I could show you our vacation pictures, carefully explaining each one.... No? Well just look at every picture. Note the details. Read my descriptions. Know they are fascinating. Even beyond what would meet the eye!
We will start with a few leftover Fargo, ND pictures and segue into Idaho pictures with an idyllic (rainy) interlude of Montana.
Music at the Douglas'
Gilbert at the piano
Aunt Geri and a snuggler
Tanya encouraging the kids in their plate art
Gilbert and Ryker
The kids made a delicously messy fort in our room.
Looking at something on the computer, and Philip and Gilbert taking a nap.
Aren't they cute?
Then we drove all night, through moonlight, into Montana. And daylight brought us this...
...still cloudy, but mountains. These pictures don't do Montana justice. It was beautiful. And slightly rainy, so very dramatic clouds and mountains. At this point though, we were sleep deprived and the thought of stopping the van to take pictures was too much to bear. So this is the best we could do at 75 mph.
We stopped in Billings, MT for breakfast. I was thinking we would go to a little diner or something, but we couldn't see one. So we went to McDonalds. (Tangent--McDonalds is unfairly vilified in my opinion. They do a good job of breakfast, and for a quarter the price of IHOP-like places. Which we stopped at later in the trip. IHOP was a complete waste of money. Just stick with McDonalds.) The McDonalds in Billings was a fascinating place to eat breakfast. It was filled with old guys. And since McDonalds replaced the little diners, I found this to be true across the country. Good ole boys and a few good ole girls that have a little time, getting into the habit of coffee and talk in the morning. Billing's McD was full of cowboy hats, basball caps, carhartts, talk of weather, cows, which year this happened, countered by "naw, that was the same year that...." Say what you like about McDonalds, it is definitely filling a place in the American sociological ecosystem. It might not be quirky, cute, or local, the profits are all going to some huge global corporation, but it maintains a vestige of the American diner it once was, when it fills up with locals.
Cows, mountains, and low lying clouds.
A rainy windshield.
Arrowleaf balsam root.
A plant I am not sure of.
Mountain Avens. Old Man's Beard
Another white flower I don't know.
Our view of Elsie. If she fussed, we gave her more toys. It wasn't always effective. But it bought us a few more miles.
This is how they grill in Idaho. With zebra print umbrellas.
There was a sudden and quick hail and rain storm.
Aunt Nila and Blaide
Cousins. Austin, Kyle, and Justin.
Sister-in-laws. Housten and Lindsey
Rainbow. With a very vivid purple.
Blaide is cute and Housten and Exeter crack me up.
Elsie, all tied up in a lei.
Austin with some chillun's.
Lindsey was a big hit with the kids.
Nila and Exeter
Cousins. Kambric, Orianna, and Lily
Art project after the park. Lindsey is pretty great, letting us use all her things.
Gilbert wanted to paint the Curious George that Lindsey drew.
And then he got a little impressionistic.
Kambric was into the big and bold strokes
Bob and Elsie
Blaide looking cute
Kambric and Gilbert
Sorting out Blaide's paint. Which he was lavishly applying.
Then we went to Couer d'Alene lake and resort.
It was sprinkling a bit, but oh so pretty.
While we were walking this (the longest wooden boardwalk in the world. Or something like that) Owen texted us that they are having a boy. Momentous stuff!
The water was choppy, and since it is a floating boardwalk, it was moving a lot. The kids loved it!
These trees are maples. Really. They prune maples into topiary shapes. Ha!
A farmgirl store. With these darling calf pictures by Diane Whitehead. I am sort of kicking myself that I didn't buy one. But.... what were the chances that it would make it home intact? It seemed slim.
More of the farmgirl store. These aprons hanging there, were $80. I kid you not. Clearly, farm girls in Couer d'Alene are wealthier than farm girls from NNY.
The candy store where we let the kids choose $30 worth of candy. Ooops! It lasted them several days....
But it was a fun store!
Aren't these absolutely adorable?
The carousel in the toy store
Lindsey held Elsie through a spaghetti dinner and somehow did not get covered in spaghetti. She has skills.
Then a night with Kyle and Jessamy. It was Kambric's last day of preschool.
These cousins had a good time together!