Brian and I had a great time at his parents’ cabin on the lake. What a treat to have family who have homes on lakes (My parents live on a lake, and the home on the lake in Idaho is Brian’s parents’ vacation home).
Unfortunately Brian’s brother Robbie couldn’t make it, but his other brother Chris came, and we enjoyed catching up with him and hearing stories about his past few years in the Peace Corps in Senegal. He lived in a hut, and sheep would come into his hut in the morning to wake him up. Talk about rural! I wish we could have gone to visit him while he was there.
While in Idaho, we visited Yellowstone National Park. It’s about an hour away to West Yellowstone from the cabin, and we had a good time just driving around, looking at the amazing geysers, paint pots, and beautiful landscaping. I was still pretty exhausted and sore from the gluten-poisoning late last week, so we didn’t do much hiking. It was good for me to just spend time being and looking at the nature, instead of having to tramp around throughout it. We saw a lot of animals – a black bear, antelope, bison, elk, a hawk, and an eagle.
During the summer time, the park is pretty crowded, and especially if there’s construction, you can get stuck behind a lot of cars going slowly throughout the park. But I didn’t mind. It was nice to just take it easy.
We did some more fishing, reading, playing games, and movie watching at the cabin over the course of the rest of the week. Since I don’t have any vacation time, I did a few of my hours the week before, and then some after, and then some during the week. It didn’t fully feel like vacation because of that, but it was okay to do a little over 10 hours of work throughout the full week.
Brian’s parents spoiled us with lots of gluten free treats, like birthday cake, funfetti pancakes, brownies, and huckleberry ice cream (all gluten-free of course!). Huckleberry is one of the famous berries in the area, and in Yellowstone general stores, you can find huckleberry syrup, candies, etc.
A few of us went horse back-riding, which was fun, but a little slow. The horses just followed the one right in front of it, and unfortunately, they didn’t go very fast, since there were other kids in our group. The scenery was beautiful and it was relaxing, going through the meadows and trees. Brian and I enjoyed riding the ATV a few afternoons. There were two, but I still was pretty worn out, so I was content to ride on the back of Brian’s since it was a two-seater. It was a beautiful ride, going around different areas. We kept going on little trails that would have a loop at the end of them. It was somewhat symbolic to me, that we can pick an interesting path to go down, and it doesn’t necessarily lead in a dead end. It was just a nice journey down and around the loop. The adventures in life won’t ever “ruin” a path that you could have gone down. Enjoy the ride, and you’ll end up somewhere pretty good. **Life lessons generally come to me when I’m in nature, doing something like this.
Toward the end of the week, we visited an old cabin, the first establishment I think in Island Park (the town where the cabin is located). The man had created a beautiful cabin, specifically due to the amazing woodwork he did, using the bark of the trees. I loved it! I was feeling pretty tired, and had a lot of calls for work that day, so was debating going, but was so glad I did, as it was probably one of my favorite places to see. The place where he built his cabin is right at the mouth of the spring that creates the lake where the cabin is. I was surprised that such a small spring could create so much water in the area!
On our way home, we stopped at Mesa Falls to see a huge waterfall, and then went on to Rexburg for some sushi. Possibly one of the best sushi places I’ve been to in a long time, which was surprising! Pineapple Grill. They had all sorts of gluten-free items, so we were able to get some of the fancier sushi with the different sauces, which we rarely ever can find to be GF. We had a really late flight home to Oakland, and were able to stay with friends in Pleasanton.
On Saturday, we did some car shopping (since apparently now Brian’s company is not going to be providing him a car anymore!!), and then went to the house in Livermore to keep working on the backyard. Got to spend time playing games and making dinner with Kent and Valerie, and have lunch with a co-worker from Brian’s old work. While Brian was back, we had lots of good times with friends, and also went to a Tepper/Haas MBA get-together briefly at a new park area on the Peninsula that we hadn’t been to before (Coyote Point Recreational Area). We weren’t there very long, because we headed to check out a house/room that we may be renting. Please pray for it to work out! It’s a single guy from Apple, and he’s fine with the cats, and us being month-to-month at this point, until we figure out what’s next. (We started looking at apartments, and realized we don’t have any furniture to put in it, since we rented our house furnished until next May…). The backyard is really nice, and it has an entrance in the back directly to the room, which is great for our own privacy. I am really hoping it will work out, as it’s in Palo Alto, which is an amazing place to live (I love the downtown area! And everywhere there is really nice and safe).
The Little C’s:
Are probably missing Brian. I’m missing them, and am missing not being able to FaceTime with them — When I want to talk to Brian, I call; when I FaceTime, it’s to talk to the cats 🙂