This year for Thanksgiving, we took a road trip to visit family. We had originally planned on venturing to the Spokane area to visit with Rob’s family, then down to the Boise area to visit with mine, before heading home. We later decided that we could not make that happen, so our plan was to visit Spokane now, and Boise later.
Plan A was to take Waldo, but about a week before we left, we discovered an issue with his front tires. Plan B was to rent a vehicle so we did not have to worry about any car issues that may arise. Deciding we were too cheap to spend that kind of money, we resorted to Plan C: taking our own car, along with all of our critters. For those of you who have never traveled 12 hours in a car with five people, two cats, and a dog, you may be missing out on something…
Most people can probably make the 12 hour drive to Spokane in a day, but we are weenies. We made it about eight hours before it got dark, at which point we stopped to shop at Hi-Country Beef Jerky, then spent the night in Lincoln, Montana. I love small town motels, they do not seem to be as strict as large hotel chains. Normally there are occupancy restrictions, but not this place. They let all of us stay in one room with a double bed. And it was cheap! Thank goodness for sleeping bags and pillows in the car top carrier! (Funny thing is the kids were free, but we had to pay $10 for the dog!)
We got started in the morning just after the sun came up. It was hunting season, the there were deer everywhere. It made us glad we did not drive that particular stretch of road in the dark. As many of you may already know, Rob and I met in Missoula, Montana, so when we arrived in town right at breakfast time, we could not resist stopping at the same pancake house we used to eat at. Then we went into my old favorite new/used bookstore. After that, we drove through our old neighborhood, marveling at all the changes. The entire neighborhood was unrecognizable, all except for Rob’s old house, which was exactly the same, and Thermal Supply, where he used to work when I me him. A lot has changed there in the last 15 years…
Needless to say, we arrived in Spokane later than we had planned, but arrive we did. Rob’s sister, Mary Beth, and her hubby, Jim, were nice enough to let us stay with them. Their quiet and peaceful house was anything but for the few days that we were there. We had such a wonderful visit with them, though, and it is always so nice being there.
Our time in Spokane was filled with family visits, dinners, a little shopping, and a whole lot of talking, laughing, and catching up. Mary Beth and Jim cooked the most amazing Thanksgiving dinner while we were there! Rob knew I was a little bummed about not being able to make it down to Boise, so he secretly arranged with my parents and sister to come up to Spokane for a day! (Thank you, Honey!!!) So we had members from both families in one place for Thanksgiving dinner, which was absolutely amazing!!
Eventually, though, it was time to leave Spokane and head for North Idaho. We were on our way to Bonners Ferry, where Liam was born many moons ago. Rob’s brother, Rich, lives there, and he invited us to stay with him for a couple of days. Their brother, Jeff, and his girlfriend were there, and we enjoyed another amazing turkey feast! The brothers had not seen each other in a few years, so they spent the night visiting and catching up.
And last but not least, we headed into Montana to visit with Rob’s brother, Chad, and his family. Unfortunately we only had about a day to spend with them, but we had a really good time. The kids had a blast playing with their cousins, Alex and Nick. Liam had fun riding the snow mobile while the twins enjoyed riding horses. Rob and Chad had not seen each other in a few years, either, so it was nice for them to have the time to catch up.
As is usually the case when on vacation, the week went by way too fast. Before we knew it, it was time to head home. We were able to visit with Rob’s aunt and uncle on our way out, but we were pretty much out of time. We left on Saturday, thinking we would make the 12 hour trip in one day this time. We got a late start, though, and only made it to Butte, Montana before it was dark and we were tired, resulting in hotel room #2. (This one had two beds!) We woke up Sunday morning with 522 miles to go until we were home. About eight hours later, we pulled up to Waldo, thankful to have made it home in one piece.
We quickly learned that Waldo had been busy while we were away, but I will share that story with you tomorrow…
For now, I want to sent out a huge THANK YOU to all of our family. You took in not only the five of us, but our fur-babes as well, and we cannot THANK YOU enough. For taking time out of your schedules to spend time with us, THANK YOU! For driving eight hours just to see us for a few hours, THANK YOU! For making us feel so welcome in your warm homes, THANK YOU! For the laughs and the love, THANK YOU! You are all so amazing, and we love each and every one of you dearly.