The Eastern part of Washington is mostly desert. Lots of sunshine and a Big River running through it make for excellent farming areas. Spokane is the far east edge, right on the foothills leading into Idaho. So it's just hilly and green, but not too much further west, it turns into sage brush desert.
From there it starts to look like a big patchwork quilt. Some desert, some developed farm land, starting very dry and scrubby and undeveloped and gradually becoming more and more so, until at the western edge of the valley land, all the land, right up to the foothills is all cultivated farm land, green and crowded with neat rows of produce. So much so that the freeway fences even have signs as to the exact crop the driver is looking at through the fence. "Potatoes", "Tomatoes", "Corn", and "Wheat" all neatly lined up behind placards. It's eerie.
From there we hit the mountains again, the Cascades from the East. The Columbia River cuts the Gorge through and the natural amphitheater of the Gorge at George remains fairly awesome, especially the bridge drive across the mighty width of the running Columbia always remains with me well after we cross. The sheer expanse of water in the midst of what is rock and desert never fails to amaze me. Then up the winding ways with trees gradually growing denser and taller and greener and bigger, and suddenly, the hills are wreathed in mist and there are CLOUDs...
By then it's North Bend and the Outlet stores and a skip and a jump to Issaquah, busy with the Fourth of July. So busy that Toshi's Teriyaki is closed. That Taco Time is closed, and two of our Must Haves are denied us. Dang.
So we just head Home. Isabel has great sandwiches for us for lunch, Jet has cheese (cheddar) and raspberry sandwich and we eat out on the patio even though the thermometer reads 60 degrees. Better yet, it starts to rain on us! Yeehaw. Hee. The unexpected part is the thunder. It doesn't usually thunder here, but I suspect that the thunderbird that sometimes follows me is just having his fun while he can, and giving us the rain we wanted.
In the subsequent coolness, I go down in the basement, wrap myself in blankets and I nap for 3 hours. Three hours. I wasn't expecting that, but John was and he and Jet go on their own ride with George to demonstrate the properties of the attached bike for Jet.
Afterward John delightedly reports that after a big hill Jet says, "That was corn on the cob!"
I finally wake up, and the grandparents are joyfully occupied with Jet, so John and I go shopping at QFC. It's fun to see the brands we haven't seen for quite a while, and we pick up things like they're gold and just get them for the fun of getting them. As we check out, I use a King Soopers/Kroger gift certificate as if it were cash and it works after a quick consultation with the manager as to the procedure. That was quite nice, to not only not have to use our cash, but to get some from the coupon as well.
By then it was a bit warmer and the sky had cleared, so we had a lovely salad dinner on the patio. Jet asked about the herbs in the garden and we got to see the resident Hummingbirds come out to the feeder and chase each other off the proffered sweetness.
Jet discovered George and Isabel's fruit and vegetable garden. The sugar snap pea vine have long ago dried up from the earlier, hot summer weather; but Jet combs through them and finds a few, gently wrinkled pots. He loves hunting for them, giving them to each of us and seeing that all of us eat them with relish. Finally, he starts eating them himself. "Tasty!" he said quite happily. I may have to plant them for us next year.
Jet was very helpful for Isabel and he spread Dreamwhip on Jello dessert and then added raspberries and blueberries to make a flag. He ate his dessert with relish and declared, "Happy Birthday United States of America!"
After dinner, Jet got all ready for bed, teeth brushed and in his pajamas, but by 10pm PST (which is 11 MST) he said, "I'm too tired. I would like to go to bed, please." and he fell asleep while John was reading him The Mountains Crack Up.