A couple weeks before President's Day weekend, Tadd got a hankering for home. During a normal winter, driving to southeastern Idaho is not something we like to consider. But during a mild winter like this one, it's a great idea. We didn't tell the kids our plans until we started loading suitcases into the car on a Thursday afternoon. Ezra was excited, but groaned at the idea of the long drive. Caroline kept saying "This is a great surprise!" and hopping all around. Nora just grinned and said "Grandpa Idaho's house".
So, off we set. The roads were great. Ezra started asking "when are we going to get there" about 15 minutes into the trip and continued to do so every 10 minutes of the next 8 hours. Around Tri-Cities Caroline asked how much longer until we got the airport to continue the trip--hehe, poor girl.
We managed to stop only once on the side of the road for the necessary and then pushed on through to Baker City, Oregon for a McDonald's supper--much to the kids' delight. We know far too much about Pendelton, Baker, La Grande, Ontario, Burley, etc. As in--we know which town has a McDonald's, Taco Bell, Subway or a Safeway with a deli. We know which McDonald's have play lands (Pendelton) and which ones have been torn down in the past 1.5 years (Baker). We know which cities have outdoor parks with easy freeway access. We know where the deer like to cross the freeway. No need for a smart phone--we've stopped in all the tiny little in between towns a million times. This time we didn't need to find parking for a moving van.
Anyhow...after our supper the kids settled down with a dvd player in the back seat and the adults sat in the front seat worrying about staying awake the rest of the way. Long about Mountain Home we pulled off for another side of the road necessary and then I took over the wheel. Those last 2.5 hours felt like 35 to my sand papery, watery eyes. I am not the night driver I used to be. And my weary bones were so happy to settle into a bed at Grandpa and Grandma Idaho's house shortly after 1 AM.
We spent the weekend enjoying Grandpa and Grandma time, cousin time, friend time, taking in one of Teddy's basketball games, eating really yummy food, watching country sunsets, skiing and relaxing. I'll save the skiing for a post of its own.
I love this next muscle sequence. Do they look like their dads?
Of course, showing off turns to a little show off fighting...
which in turn leads to one crying and one saying: "What? I don't know what happened!"
Grandma made Nora some darling turtle cakes and we celebrated her birthday together.
Grandpa contributed some home made bubble gum ice cream.
Much to the delight of some. He also made some strawberry chocolate chip for those who can't appreciate the gourmet taste of bubble gum.
We had sleep overs and reading time.
There was hide-and-seek.
And these two got to know each other a little better.
It's tradition in our family to have a cousin about your age to fight with. We prefer it this way. Fighting with cousins is so much nicer than with strangers. It sort of looks like they are sharing the double stroller when really it was about to be ripped in half.
Our last night in town we were all invited to Uncle Don and Aunt Esther's for a Fairview Inn quality meal. Delish! Aunt Esther knows how to make the kids happy too!
We all ate until we couldn't breathe...but apparently Levi saved room for a little of his Dad's cheek.
Such a cutie. Levi, I mean.
A few pictures of these four siblings.
And Wednesday morning we loaded up and headed for home. We had to make a quick stop in Burley to pick up Tadd's skis (explanation in ski post to follow). The roads were wet and quite windy. But not snowy or icy until we hit Snoqualmie Pass. We made a few more stops on the way home than on the way there, but that was expected. And we even made it home before dark!