On Vacation

We spent our last week in Idaho, Montana, and now are back in Washington.  We first had a lovely weekend with my parents, sister Michelle, and the Johnson family (i.e. our adorable flowergirls and their parents).  We stayed on Priest Lake, a long-time Smith family favorite destination.  Here we are with two of the girls (Ava and Margo):

We tried to study up how the Johnsons had raised their delightful girls, as they’re about the most pleasant kids you could ever spend time with.

From Idaho we headed for Kalispell, Montana… in what should be a four hour long drive.  Well, eight and a half hours later and a beautiful drive (though unintentially more beautiful than planned), we arrived in Kalispell.  We learned to pay a little more attention to the one sign for I-95 next time we go through Sandpoint, Idaho.

We celebrated Kabyn’s grandma’s 80th birthday in Montana, and also got out for a few beautiful excursions.  We drove with Kabyn’s dad up to the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park, which was absolutely stunningly beautiful.  Though I wouldn’t totally recommend the drive up switchbacks from 3500 to 6500 feet of altitude on the side of the Rockies to any other 8-month-pregnant women.  A view is most beautiful when you’re sure all your organs are going to stay put…

We also got to dip in Flathead Lake, for another wonderful, clean mountain-fed de-puffing swim session.  And not to be forgotten in the recap of bodies of water we were refreshed by is the Whitefish River, where we stopped to cool off on a walk near Kabyn’s grandma’s house.

It should be noted that a trip to Montana is also a bit of a cross-cultural experience, for instance, there may be more trucks per capita than any other place you can travel in the US.  We also heard more than one conversation about how liquids just couldn’t get any tastier than Bud Light. 

We decided to take Highway 2 back to Spokane on the way home, since we had “inadvertantly” missed taking Highway 2 on the way into Montana.  13 and a half hours later, we made it home to our lovely house–in part thanks to more refreshment in a few more bodies of water.  We stopped at Kookanei Falls, where the view was stunning but the water too cold even for Alyssa to do more than dip a few toes into.  Further on our journey we stumbled across a big lake, although we didn’t know where we were swimming until after we got out of our dip.  It turned out to be Lake Pend Orielle.  To finish out our vacation week, after Alyssa left work today we jumped in Greenlake, which was easily declared to be by far the warmest but otherwise least spectacular water we’d been in. 

The moral of our vacation story was that if you want to tour the Western United States from lovely body of water to lovely body of water, and enjoy good time in the car together, come with us.  If you want to travel quickly we’re definitely not your travel companions.

As if all the great scenery and relaxing times weren’t enough, we of course watched the Olympics every night, and are counting Michael Phelps’ gold medals along with the rest of the country.  It seems our little daughter is getting inspired by Phelps’ victories, as she barely seems to stop doing flip turns against her mother’s muscles, organs, and spine.

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