Monday, August 8, 2016

Why Not Spokane?

Last week, my mom, my sister, and I took a trip to the great city of Spokane. Over the past year, a bunch of our extend family decided to all relocate to Spokane. And now that they've settled in, we expected them to host us. We spent the week reconnecting with my grandmother, aunt, cousins, and cousin babies (like second cousins or something? I don't know) and exploring Spokane.

My aunt's house was fairly close to the Spokane River that we would walk down to it in the evenings. Compared to the desert, this was something completely foreign to me. Trees, green, water. It was great.

We even saw some sort of water critter. {Sidenote: Mom, sorry to include this video. I love your commentary. If you want me to remove it, I will.}

Another foreign concept was enjoying meals out on the deck without instantly exploding into flames. Mojo was sad that I wouldn't share my breakfast with him.

While we did enjoy our down time to chill and catch up, my aunt tried to fill each day with some sort of experience. Day one was a visit to Lake Couer d'Alene, right across the Idaho border. We started down some of the trials around the lake and the kids splashed in the water. It was a beautiful and peaceful spot.

Our second day was full of the best peaches I've ever had. Apparently Spokane has a whole pick-your-own produce suburb of town. It's a loop drive full of farms that have almost every time of produce and late July/early August is peach season. I was so happy because peaches are my favorite fruit and it's so hard to get good peaches in Tucson. Ninety-five percent of the time, they're either rock hard or mealy. So we packed everybody up and headed off to the farm. We rode a tractor out to the peach orchard and filled four boxes full of peaches and apricots. We ate peaches straight from the tree. I don't know how my cousin's four year old did it, but she must have had at least four peaches. She would walk through the lines of trees with a peach in one hand and my sister's hand in the other. It was one of the cutest things I've seen in a long time, kid wise. After filling up on fruit, we spent a good amount of time petting sheep, playing in a gravel pit/sand box thing, and sliding down the world's most uncomfortable slide. Eventually, we worked out a system where my sister would load my cousin's kids at the top of the slide and I would catch them as they shot out of the bottom. Top it off with some fresh peach lemonade and it was a great day. And an evening of board games. My Catan luck has been terrible lately. No matter how good the odds, my numbers never come up.

On our last day, we 'rafted' the Spokane River. For some odd reason, my aunt decided as soon as we arrived that we should take a rafting trip down the Spokane. Of course, she didn't want to join us, but the three of us and my cousin would love it. On the way back from peach picking, we stopped at Target to stock up on supplies, like water-wicking clothes. When we returned home to book our trip, the trip we wanted to book was all full up. It took a couple of tries, but we finally got ourselves signed up for a raft. We would have been so embarrassed if we'd excitedly bought all these new clothes and couldn't catch a raft.

Because it was late in the summer, all the winter run-off had already occurred so the water level in the river was really low. Low enough so that you really couldn't call what we did 'rafting'. It was more like a leisurely five mile float where we occasionally paddled when all momentum was lost. Not that I'm complaining, it was a great time. We saw an otter and an osprey, not at the same time. We splashed in the cool, clear water. We tried to interpret the meanings of the graffiti on the bridges we floated under. We did survive some low, slow rapids, so I can say I've white water rafted, but only in the most official sense.

It was a great trip. Next time, we'll definitely be more prepared for all the outdoorsy-ness of it, but we survived.

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