Our first family vacation in 2 years and guess what?...I didn't take ANY pictures! UGH! I thought about it a few times and was going to go to the car to get my camera and never did. Before I knew it, it was time to go home. Well, so you'll have to envision the trip as I share it.
We've been talking about taking a vacation somewhere near by, where we could spend some time away and not spend alot of money. My idea of a vacation is relaxing where there is water and sun. The beach would be perfect, but it was too far and more than we could spend, so a pool would be perfect. We've been debating where to go since April, some of the suggestions (obvious ones) were camping in the mountains (UGH!) and such. Scott and I talked about Lava Hot Springs in Idaho many times, but honestly, my vision of that was a hole in the ground with bubbling water and trees and wildlife, no civilization for miles...you get the picture. The many times he would mention Lava, I would shutter... LOL! We decided we were going to go over the 4th of July, kind of a post-birthday for Scott/vacation. So, with the suggestion of friend, she told me to check the internet and see what it was all about. The INTERNET??! Who'd a thunk?! It looked GREAT! The hot springs were very nice, clean, not only holes in the ground, but more like hot pools. And they had an outdoor pool with slides on the other side of town (about 8 blocks away) and a river that you can ride with tubes/rafts AND they were having fireworks for the 4th of July. I thought, what the heck, let's give it a try. I spent hours on the internet looking up reservations and called a few places (many being super expensive, but wishing for a vacancy) and finally found one little motel who had just had a cancellation 5 minutes before. (Which by the way, the lady at the motel said we were SO lucky...they are completely booked by January!) As we came closer to the day to leave, I found myself getting more and more excited. We were only going 2 1/2 hours north to Idaho, but it felt like we were going across the country! I couldn't wait. The boys were getting so excited and I could tell they were anxious to get away as much as Scott and I! We check into the motel about 10:30 pm and it was so quiet. We decided to put our bags in the room and walk the town (which consists of mostly main street and a few side streets and the main area is about 8 blocks long). We walked and commented on how "cute" the town was and how great it was that you could walk everywhere. We really were lucky to get the room we did, as we found out later, it was diagonally across the street from the hot springs, it was right in front of part of the river and the center of everything. Friday, we got up when we felt like it (which is always the best part about vacation, isn't it?) and had breakfast. This was one of the highlights for my guys and they are breakfast guys and LOVE to go out to breakfast. Me, not so much, but I humored them anyway. We spent time at the pool, and after dinner that evening we went into the Hot Springs pools. I didn't really know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. They are very HOT and relaxing - ranging from 102 - 112 degrees. We stayed for quite a while and enjoyed a nice lightening/thunder rain storm while in the pools. It was really neat. Saturday we saved to run the river, the Portneuf river to be exact. It was so COLD getting in. We all left about the same time from the start and before I knew it we were all getting bumped and spun...it was CRAZY and wet! When we all met up at the bottom, we all had stories of getting scratched, bumped, banged up, etc. (we got separated not long after the start) but it was so fun! When we met up with Scott (the last one out) he had lost his flip-flops, t-shirt, glasses and wedding ring. Oh no. Luckily someone found his flip-flops, but his Copper Hills Grizzlies t-shirt was gone, but we can get another one. The wedding ring, well he lost "our" wedding ring years ago, this was his dad's and that can't be replaced, but my thought was how is he going to see for the rest of the trip. It was not even noon on Saturday with so much left to do. I started praying...really hard. We searched the end point and along the banks for as long as possible and decided that they were gone. What do we do now? See, Scott has a REALLY bad astigmatism. His glasses have to be ordered and they take 6 weeks to make them, so it's not like anything will do. We discussed our options and thought with it being a holiday that we would stay there and make the best of it. We told the boys to ride the river and meet us back at the motel. Our motel had a cute sitting area out front, right on Main Street, so we got a deck of cards and played while we watched people walk through the town. It was really fun and relaxing. (I love playing rummy, thanks to Ralph and Orin, it always brings back a sense of my childhood. The boys are getting to be good rummy players, too.) Later we went to the Hot Springs again and this time waited for the fireworks. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE fireworks! I love the smell, sounds, lights, excitement, everything! The fireworks show was great! They lit them off of the top of a "lava mountain" across the street. At the end, they lit a line of fireworks that looks as if the mountain is on fire and the lava is running down. I think they call it the "wall of fire". It was really cool!
Before we left for our vacation, the boys and I decided to say "whatever" to anything that would "spoil" our fun. So that became our motto: "Whatever"...and it worked! There were a few times when things could have gotten a little heated or especially when Scott lost his glasses, we decided that what happened, happened and "whatever"...we will do what we need to to continue to have fun. And we did.
I learned alot about myself and my family over this vacation. One of the most important things I learned (and wished I would have learned this sooner) is that it doesn't matter WHAT you are doing or WHERE you are doing it, the most important thing is that you are doing it as a family. We had more fun on this vacation than we have ever had...just the 4 of us doing "whatever". I love my boys, they are such great boys and fun to be around. They are smart, funny, thoughtful, polite, generous, strong, spiritually mature and aware individuals and *I* am lucky to be their mom. I have grown to love my husband so much more each day and am so pleased at his attitude after losing his glasses (how frustrated and irritable would I be if I couldn't "see"?) and being a good sport. (The saga continues...our eye doctor was out of town the monday after our vacation, so he had to wait until that Friday to see him. His old sports goggles were cut down to lenses we could put in old frames and he won't have his correct contacts or glasses for about 6 weeks.) It was a super fun vacation and we would all do it again in a heartbeat. Maybe next 4th of July?