Friday, July 16, 2010

Last day in Idaho..

How quickly a week goes by. Today we were up early and making our way back to LA. But first a morning breakfast with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle and Aunt.

I was a bit groggy from my reunion the night before, however Olive was very focused on the Saltine wrappers Grandma had given her. So serious..

Oops, I spoke to soon. (I forgot the characters that were sitting at this table).

Uncle Justin and Aunt Bethany were wonderful with Olive. Thank you guys for inviting us to your special day!

And a couple hours later we arrived at Spokane international. Daddy almost got a speeding ticket but this very gruff officer decided to give us a warning. I was shocked, but very thankful.

Maybe the officer took a look into these brown eyes and decided to give us a break.. Fortunately we made our flight and had a lovely trip back home.

Back in Burbank, Olive had to text her friends and tell them about the trip. And how embarrassed she was that her mom was wearing a funky 'hunters safety' hat.

But it made it all the easier for Grandma Rachel to find us on the curb. :)

Great trip.

Thanks everyone for all the fun!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

House barn and puppets..

With our last weekend in Moscow, we decided to spend the night at a local little treasure, the house barn. We met the owner and her daughter, and they gave us a beautiful tour of the propery and the history of the project.

A labor of love, they have been building this house barn with all the old school techniques, meaning no nails, no steel, and no msgs. (well I dont know about that last part).

Anyways it was a beautifully restored cabin, brand new actually, but made to look like a classic. It was very cozy and very relaxing and the summer breeze through the place was perfection.

Olive wasted no time in scooching herself all the slippery hard wood. She was getting quite fast at going from room to room.

We had the whole place to ourselves, spacious and tranquil. You just wanted to lay in this bed and gaze out the window all morning.

And as soon as you stepped outside, you were invigorated by birds, butterflys and wildflowers. Little rabbits hopped along the rutted roadway and you couldnt help but sing 'Zip a dee doo dah'.

We later realized in seven nights we had slept in 5 different locations. But Olive slept well, which meant we slept well.

And with all our travels, we decided it was time to wash up a bit. And dont worry, no babies were thrown out with the bathwater.

Olive is quite the traveller, happily going with us through mountains, airports, tents and cabins. And she loves her baths. What more could we ask for?

Ok daddy.. No more pictures!!

And now it was time for the Highschool reunion picnic at the local Lena Whitmore elementary school.

Kids were tearing around and parents were hobbling after them. It was surreal to set foot on playgrounds that you once played..

And soon it was my turn to perform 'Go ask the MHS bear', a puppet show I had written that had characters visit all the local 1987 Moscow hotspots.

I wasnt sure how all these hyped up kids were going to respond to a simple puppet show, but the were fantastic! (and they laughed at all the right spots).

And with the help of my good friend Mike Morscheck, we had the kids engaged and helping out the characters. It was good fun.

Afterwords I brought monkey around for a meet and greet. Someone snapped this shot and I love it so much. It captures the feeling I get when Im doing shows like this..

Also got reacquainted with Mrs. Jones, a dear friend I had not seen in a long time. And Monkey behaved, which is good.

And after all that time in the hot sun, we met up with the newlyweds, just back from the trip to the coast, to catch up and enjoy some hot food and cool a.c.!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Idaho day 6

Waking up in a tent is a magical experience.. Youre a bit alarmed, sore, confused, and enchanted all at once. It makes you feel like a kid again too.

Rebecca and I were up early as we wanted to catch Olives expression when she tried to figure this one out.. We were both pretty giddy about it.. (Can you imagine what we'll be like for christmas?)

When Olive woke up, she was a bit thrown, but seemed more interested in her bottle than anything else. So I went back to sleep. Until..

..we started hearing these strange animals outside of the tent. Moaning and yelping, occasionally their furry shadows would glide over the tent walls. You could hear them sniffing and panting, and they were almost as curious as Olive was..

She was actually laughing at them, and was having fun trying to crawl around and get a glimpse at these wild beasts..

Eventually we caught sight of one..

Happy and giggling, Olive tries to make contact with the wild and savage wolverine.

Well c'mon.. What do you expect me to say..? We were camping in the back yard so I have to play it up somehow..

So we hobbled out of our tent and into the kitchen for a lovely breakfast and some hot showers. Rebecca checked emails and I read the paper.

If only all camping could be convenient, right?

And as this July day heated up, we decided to get a move on. So we headed outside to go meet the horses.

Dad has local students out to ride horses now and then. Today we met, Lisa(?), a very nice girl who was about to leave on an afternoon ride.

So it was perfect time for Olive to meet Toby.

At first, Olive was a bit shy, but what little girl could resist petting a pony?

And before you knew it she was up in the saddle and ready to ride. Is this a glimpse at the birth of a cowgirl?

After horsing around, we drove into Moscow to hang out with our good friends the O'Connells. It was a blazing hot afternoon and sitting poolside was perfection.. (well, some cocktails would have been nice).

Miranda, Olive, and I went off to explore the kiddie pool. I actually was pretty scared as kids and balls whipped by us everywhere. Spashing and kicking and cannonballing. Olive was dumbfounded at all these kids and laughter going on in one place. She must have thought this was the party of all parties..!

But all good parties have to end, so we gathered for one last shot and got ready for dinner. Thanks Riley, Miranda, and Pat. We had a great time (and sorry about the towel accident). :)

So we checked into this incredible house (see later post) and I was off to my 20th highschool reunion. It was bizarre to be walking up to this building that housed so many memories for me. But as soon as I entered those doors, and saw so many old, dear friends, it just became a lot of fun.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Idaho day 5 part 2

So we helped John wash and hitch up the wave runners..

And said our goodbyes..

And as we packed up, I had to shoot some goofy Monkey pics..

I figure Monkey and Squirrel would love this riverside lunch, wouldnt you?

And while I did my shots, O and Grandpa talked some soccer.

You dont see Dad smile much in photos, but if Olive is around, well thats different.

It was time to say goodbye to such a wonderful little cabin. I hope to return someday.

Dad and Jason ventured south, back to Moscow..

And we buckled up for a little northern sightseeing.

But one last goofy photo..

Ok! On the road again, heading for some local sites up near the Canadian border.

Our first stop was a fall area, where you had to hike to this very scenic spot. By the looks of it, we had a lot of ground to cover..

But first we prepared some lunch, and spotted a visitor. Olive was entranced.

So it was just us, a deer, and the cool breezy forrest.. Quite the lunch spot indeed.

I didnt realize it then, but Olive was probably marveling at all the giant trees everywhere she looked. She was having loads of fun.

So myself, Olive, and Rebecca (with her constant glowing smile) packed our bags and headed up the mountain. Thinking we had a couple miles ahead of us, we wanted to get this all done by sundown..

But within minutes the trail just ended and here we were. A complete misinterpretation of scale, that worked out to our benefit..

So we set up the tripod, and tried our first family photo. Understandably, with the squirrels, the gushing water nearby, and the roar of the forrest, the last thing Olive wanted to look at was my stupid camera.

It was pretty beautiful, and treacherous. Tree roots, jagged rocks, slippery sandy trails, but no one tripped, no cameras dropped, no babies went overboard.

Done a bit early, I recalled some locals telling us about a hidden, rare gem called 'the shoe tree'. It sounded just peculiar enough to garner my attention and our last expedition began.

So we drove around, and around, getting lost, re-checking maps, and tempers beginning to fray. Eventually I give up and we drive by some random unmarked dirt road, that Rebecca insists we take because of some 'gut' feeling she has..

I grumpily oblige, and just as Im about to say something stupid, we find the 'tree temple' to the gods of footwear..

The Shoe Tree!

Legend has it some loggers or settlers or someone decided to nail his clogs to the trunk of this young tree, and the tradition stuck. As you pan up the tree, the shoes get older and more decayed.

Of course one must pose with the 'shoe tree', but this was made difficult by an army of gnats, flies, and other creepy crawlies that were starving for human blood. Maybe these shoes are the last remnants of tourists they had devoured..

So we tried to get some nice shots but Rebecca was done with that, and I felt like a heel when I asked her to take a couple of me and monkey..

But to her credit, she grudgingly picked up the camera and braved the wild one last time.

Thanks honey for this great shot! Hope you didnt get bit too much.

And before the gnats could eat us alive we jumped in the truck and hightailed it out of there.

After a couple hours the mountains and forrests smoothed out to rolling hills and farmfields. This is typical of what Moscow is like.

Fields of peas and lentils as far as you can see. Soon we were rolling back into my hometown and off to Cathy and dads. They had pitched a tent for us so we could sleep under the stars tonight.

Excited (and exhausted) we rolled home and wearily crawled into sleeping bags as the crickets and forrest sang us to sleep.

Night night!