Thursday, April 5, 2018

Family Vacation

Kanyon had some appointments in Seattle so we decided to make a vacation out of it.  When we vacation, its usually with our families or friends, so this was fun for us to have just our gang on this trip. Now that the Texas Montana route is such a regular for us, its amazing how short and easy 12 hours seems!  
On the road...



We were getting close to Spokane, Washington and Kory had the idea to stop at Gonzaga and see the gym.  We are Zags bball fans so this was a really fun stop for our crew.  


The gym was closed but we could at least see in.  I knew they were a small school but I was surprised at how small the gym actually was. 





We got to Seattle and went to a Mariners game....our seats were in the sun.  It sort of took the fun out of it of most of us.  


There was a lady sitting beside us that said if we go to one of the lower level seats in the back where there's shade and tell them our kids are hot the ushers will let us sit there.  With that advice, she literally saved the game for us! We got in the shade and everyone was able to enjoy the game and all the food! 



Q went lower by the field the last couple of innings to try to catch a fly ball...we had no luck. 


Go Mariners! 

This is how we roll. We didn't want to bring Kanyon's stroller to the baseball game so Good Ol' Dad helped get him through the long walk back to our car once the game was over.  


We went down to the market but the fish throwers were done for the day. Major bummer.  


Rae Rae's brother lives in Seattle and her other brother was there visiting so they offered to take the kids one evening so Kory and I could go to dinner.  They also told us where to go after dinner to see the best view of the skyline! It was so pretty! 


Josh, Jaylie June, Elizabeth (Ben's girlfirend), Ben, Quinn, and Kanyon after  a FUN night at the rock climbing gym! They had a BLAST!! 


Thankfully they took lots of pictures at the climbing gym.....

Kanyon+Climing gym= lots of work for the adults 
He literally told everyone we saw the next day (and for months afterwards) about going to the climbing gym.  These strong guys definitely made his whole vacation!



Elizabeth and Jaylie on the wall



Quinn and Ben on the wall












It was such a thoughtful and generous things for them to do for our kids (and for us!).  A great night was had by all! 
We had Kanyon's appointments the next day and those went fine.  We visited with a surgeon about potential orthopedic surgeries that may be on the horizon for us.  Its the first time we've had surgeries that are planned, so we are slowly navigating this topic and all of these decisions.  

After the appointments we hit the road to start heading back towards Montana and the second half of our vacation! These little road warriors were troopers! 


We left Seattle and drove through the Cascade Mountains and it was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!! I would do it again in a heartbeat and still not get enough of it.  We were racing daylight so we didn't get to stop and piddle as much as we would've liked to, but it was a gorgeous drive and we saw lots of fun things...including a roadside Bigfoot stand. This was literally a shack on the side of the road with some snacks and picnic tables and a set of porta-potties.  The claim to fame is that Harry and the Hendersons was filmed there....so we can check that off our bucket list.  (also, maybe we should've let Jaylie pee before we took the picture...my bad.  Another side note.  She did NOT go in the porta-potty bare footed!)



I can't blame Bigfoot for wanting to hang out there...it had quite the view.  


As we were getting out of the mountains we were driving through apple orchards that were so pretty! We were late in the day, so most of them were closed, but it was so neat driving through that part of the country.  This is me trying to take a picture driving down  the road, so it doesn't even come close...


We drove through Washington and landed in Idaho so we could go to a theme park! We've never really done the theme park thing, but it turned out to be a great day! There is a water park and a regular theme park so we did the water park first, then spent the second half at the regular park.  The water park was a little chilly with the wind, but it was a blast! 

Q was wanting to do every single thing we saw when we walked into the park.  Its a little tricky navigating this sort of thing with Kanyon because he wants to do ALL the things, but we've got to pick ones that are right for him. Not always easy for him to understand. First up for Q was the bumper cars.

J and Q on the helicopters...


We played ALLLLL day and had a great time.  Rode lots of fun rides and everyone was happy.  Towards the end Quinn kept saying he wanted to go on a roller coaster that went upside down.  He's never ridden a "real" roller coaster like that but I figured now was as good a time as any.  The loopy one wasn't close to where we were and it was getting close to the park closing time so we opted for the giant wooden one (which I think was actually the same as the Texas Giant from Six Flags in Arlington).  Kory stayed with the other 2 and rode a few small rides and I took Q and headed to the roller coaster. I have't ridden a roller coaster since mine and Kory's second date many moons ago.  I was a little nervous....hoping my vestibular system wouldn't betray me! As we got closer and Q could see the roller coaster he started to get a little bit nervous but never wavered.  It told him it ould be great and that it is going to go really fast...like the faster than anything you've ridden before. He was all in! 



We took off and almost immediately I heard....NOTHING from him beside me.  I couldn't really see him because it was dark (and we were going a billion miles per hour) but I knew the silence probably wasn't good.  I kept making "fun" sounds and telling him we were almost to the end.  I'm sure it felt like forever to him, but in just about 90 seconds, the ride was over and we came to a halt and I'm pretty sure that boy has never felt such sweet relief.  When we walked off the platform, he got a little teary eyed mostly from relief that it was OVER.  He did NOT like it one bit,  he said he felt like it was going to break.  So we may give roller coasters a rest for a couple of years, but we at least have the first one under his belt.  And I'm happy to report that I fared pretty well.  It was bumpy, just like I remember the Texas Giant, and I don't know that I could do it back to back all day long like the old days, but I'm not being forced into retirement yet! 

We got to our car after 10 pm and we were DONE.  Our plan was to drive 20 minutes to the next town to get supper and a hotel for the night.  We got there only to find NO VACANCY and almost no restaurants.  We had a disgusting Jack in the Box meal in the car and kept driving trying to find hotels.  None.  Each town we came to was booked up.  It was getting later and later and we were on long stretches of isolated roads between towns so we were losing hope! At about 1 a.m. we crossed the Montana border and figured we could get a hotel in Troy, MT. A tiny little spot, but one we felt sure wasn't a summer hot spot for vacationers taking up hotels.  IT WAS FULL??!!! WHAT THE HECK?! Our next stop was Libby, MT at 2am and it was all booked up too. We found out there was a car show in town and it had hotels booked in all the surrounding towns.  We did find a nice lady in the lobby of a little hotel and she gave us bottled water and told us to park in her parking lot and we could use her bathrooms and anything else we needed.  So that's what we did. The kids woke up when we pulled in the parking lot and they were like "Is this our hotel?" our answer...."yes....and no." We put the car in park and put the boys each in a seat row and Jaylie got in the passenger seat with me, Kory leaned his seat back and that was our night.  The kids actually did great, Kory claims he slept pretty good and well...I slept about as good as you can in a car seat with a 5 year old in your lap.  But on the bright side it was FREE!


Morning light...and Juney is still out like a light.  When Kory and I woke up, Kory drove us to McDonalds and the kids thought it as so cool they were going to breakfast in their beds! And also IT'S KORY'S BIRTHDAY!!!! 


Our quest for hotel rooms got us about 4 hours further down the road than we expected to be so the next morning we were in no hurry at all! Our final destination that day was Kalispell, MT and Flathead Lake.  It was a pretty drive and we stopped to play in the river for a while.  Throwing rocks and playing in the water was endless fun! 



Happy Birthday to Daddy!!! 

This was my first time to this part of Montana, so I enjoyed getting to see things I've never seen.  It had been many years since Kory had been here so it was sort of like new to him too.  Kalispell has a Chick Fil A so you better believe we made a B-Line there as soon as we got into town.  After lunch we headed to the lake and it was gorgeous.  So funny for me to see mountains surrounding a lake! Not a typical Texas lake! 


The water was AMAZINGLY cold so there was no way I was getting in, but the kids had a blast! 




This is the town Kanyon's aide, Shelley, moved to so we met up with her and her girls for some fun in the lake.  



After a full day (including locking our keys in the car) we found a super cheap place to stay right across from the lake and then loaded up and headed up to White Fish for some pizza! 


This pretty much sums it up...


The next day we went to church in Kalispell then hit the road and headed back home. The whole way home I was seeing places I've never seen before, so I loved that!   We had the best time ending our summer together seeing new places and doing new things together.  


The next day was the Eclipse!!! Pants or not pants, Jaylie June wasn't going to miss it! 


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