Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

Straight Shot West

I was actually up by 7, and we had breakfast in the hotel lobby. They had a waffle iron, though it was fake butter and fake syrup, it was still good, big Belgium waffle and I enjoyed it. *laughs*

But I'm still exhausted or didn't sleep as well as I thought I did. I mean... I woke up for the banged doors, the starting of the AC, and other stuff, but mostly just fell back asleep until about 6 am. Then kind of stayed awake for a bit, and fell back asleep, I thought. Thing was that when we got back into the car in the morning, I just went right back to sleep for another two straight hours.

I missed a bunch of Montana, but John got some excellent pictures. Sorry about the mess up of links and tags yesterday, guess that's what I get for posting at midnight...

Montana Wild Flowers
It was fun watching the swells just seem to get bigger and bigger and taller and wider, still green and filled with wildflowers. There were all kinds of little farms, horses and sheep, and nearly no people nestled between the creases and folds of the earth. Soon there were big foothills with snowcapped mountains behind them, and lots of road.

In the mountains, we hit some micro thunderstorms, where we could see the rain falling in a column under tall but skinny thunderheads, and when we drove under them we'd get microburst of wind and rain with drops the size of baseballs. Those were intense. The van handled beautifully in the wind, and John didn't have a problem with it at all.

We passed fascinating mountains like Tobacco Root and the Crazy Mountains, and ended up in Butte, Montana for lunch. Royses Burgers and Shakes turned out to be an excellent little family-owned restaurant, with their own menu of fast foods. Jet got the fish basket, while John and I each got burgers. The fries that came with my meal were enough to feed both John and I. The shakes the boys got were so thick they were far more easy to eat with spoons than a straw.

I got a Cherry Ricky: lime and fizzy water with cherry syrup, and I really enjoyed it as I've just been so thirsty with the hot weather.

What was really cool, though, was that Jet saw "Sheppard's Candy" across the street and he said, "I want to take Mom there, as I think she'd like to get a little chocolate so she feels better."

So we walked across the utterly torn up street, and went in. It was a local candy kitchen, they made everything in the house next door, and sold it right there. Caramels, dipped candies, fudges, brittles, and just enough trays to fill three glass counters. One of the things they had were "hard mints" that softened when sucked, and Jet bought fifty cents worth of them. I got a couple of their almond rokas, two pieces of different flavored fudge, and one chocolate nut caramel. All of them were really beautifully made when I ate them on the road.

I ended with a blackberry sundae from Royses, and it was the same size as the boys' shakes. They just filled a cup with the soft serve ice cream, and topped it with big ladles of blackberry syrup that had whole berries in it. It was really tasty.

Northern Idaho
From there we headed into Idaho, and the high mountains around Coeur d'Alene. It's just gorgeous country with huge trees, lots of mountains, and high passes and lots and lots of water. If you can tell, I am amazed by the water, still. *laughs*

We got to see a lot more of it when we reached Spokane, WA. Our hotel was on the West side of the city, so rather than go through and come back again, we decided to stop right in the city, by the side of the River. It turned out to be the Spokane River, which split right by the Riverfront Park. It was split a third time by people, to make a tributary that feeds a power plant right there in the middle of the city. There are bridges all over the rivers in the park, and we went across most of them to watch the water tumble, rock, and roll through.

Sliding Planes
This was my favorite shot of the water of one of the branches. You can see the other shots by clicking it and going to the whole collection. I kind of envy the folks that lived in an apartment building right above the water, though there was also a lovely seafood restaurant positioned perfectly to see as well, we decided not to eat there, as Jet really wanted to go to Maru Sushi. We'd parked across the street from the mall, but went through the whole park, seeing totem poles, remnants of the World's Fair in the 70's, and the enormous old carousel that still runs every day.

Maru Sushi was in the mall, and it was one of those belt sushi places, which worked out very well with Jet, as he could see all the food before he picked anything to actually eat. That worked out really well. He loved the orange chicken (laughs), as well a the unagi, a tamago (of course) sushi. He tried a baked mussel, a dragon roll (even though he didn't like the avocado too much), and bits of other things that looked intriguing. I got my saba, some masago, and plenty of crabb salad (laughs). Sometimes it's the simple things that I like best.

Maru Sushi
I also swallowed down a couple of soda waters as I was just so thirsty from the long hot drive, and the boys both finished a couple of drinks themselves. John got spicy tuna and chili oil on top of his roll, along with sharing other things with us. And the whole bill was far less than what we usually pay in Longmont. So all in all it was a very good meal at a very good price, and very very kid-friendly for our most picky appetite.

From there we headed right back to the hotel, and changed for the pool. It turned out that the pool was completely unheated. Jet just jumped right in. John actually took a while to get in. Both were very very patient with me and my funk. Finally, after laughing at myself for pouting and waiting, I jumped in as well, and it was quite the shock after the 90+ degree day. Ooof. Liquid cold all over, but it also felt really good. And it's something of a preview for the Lake in the Woods as well as the river rafting trip we're contemplating doing in a week or so. I swam 10 laps of the tiny pool very quickly, while the boys, whom had been in the pool for much longer than I went into the hot tub. It felt marvelous once I'd gotten over my initial mood.

The hot tub felt even better. We started telling Jet about the Polar Bear Club in Boulder, as they do it at the Reservoir on New Years Day, and inspired by that, Jet jumped back into the pool from the hot tub, and then got back into the tub. After doing it three or four times, I got curious and... *laughs*... Yes. I got out of the hot tub, jumped into the icy water and it really did feel icy! I yelped and laughed and climbed back out again. The hot tub felt *hot* again after even such a short immersion, but it was good.

And none of it was nearly as bad as I feared.

I used to remember that. I think I've backslid to that time when I was stymied by so many things simply because I feared. I don't have to stop. I know that. It was just really good to have Jet remind me in such concrete terms why there's nothing to fear. Just stuff that's interesting to do.
Tags: travel

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  • New Growth

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