Summer Vacation Day 1

Yesterday was the first day of our Summer Vacation. If you haven’t already gathered from my twitter posts, Molly and I are driving out to visit the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks.

The trip was partly forced on us by the closure of her school for a week as the kids transition from Moon Beams to Rainbow Birds. Naturally, we couldn’t just leave Molly at hone while we went to work – “OK, sweetie. We’ll be back around 6:30; have some cat food if you get hungry!” – so someone was going to take time off to care for her. That someone is usually me, because Anna’s schedule is usually less flexible.

We took the Miata over on the ferry and left immediately after school. Unfortunately, that wasn’t soon enough to avoid the Snoqualmie Pass parking lot. Poor Molly got car sick and no one would let me change lanes to pull over in time; my little sweetie made a bit of a mess. But she’s a real trooper and was happy to get changed by the side of the road.

Once the traffic subsided, Molly enjoyed counting the stars as we cruised east through Cle Elum, Ellensburg, and Moses Lake. Of course, she was supposed to be sleeping. We finally made it to our hotel in Coeur d’Alene around 11:30pm.

After all that, she had the gall to tell me at 6:10am that it was morning time. “What’s for breakfast and when can we go to the water park?”

I think I’m in trouble.

After breakfast, we headed up Hwy 95 to Raptor Reef which is an indoor water park in nearby Hayden, ID. Molly spent 2 hours in the wave poor climbing onto and falling off of a raft tube. I spent my time either offering her something to climb, flipping over the raft, or tossing her back up onto the raft. That little girl can swim! Even when she fell off the tube into water over her head, she bobbed back to the surface and swam over to me or the tube. All without the slightest fear.

By lunch time, Molly was visibly starting to fade. So after playing with the water canons and sliding down the slides a half dozen times, we headed off to grab some lunch.

After a much needed nap, we headed into downtown Coeur d’Alene. It’s a cute little town all dolled up for the tourist trade. When I overheard someone say, “I’d love to live in a cute little town like this,” I wondered as I always do, why people don’t live in cute little towns like this. Of course, it’s kind of a no brainer for me: I’ve lived in a lot of cute little towns and have always been willing to favour quality of life over industry. I’m not certain what folks in Coeur d’Alene do for a living, but I bet they enjoy living here doing it.

Mudgy and Millie are all over downtown; we asked, but no one seems to know who they are. I’m not certain whether Mudgy is the Moose and Millie is the mouse (riding in the antlers) or the other way around. Either way, they’re pretty cute and Molly found them adorable. Here Molly is posing with Mudgy and Millie outside Figpickles Toy Emporium – an especially cool toy shop along the main drag. As I wandered around, one of the staff asked, “Have you seen our bathroom?” That’s not something you hear every day, but it turns out they have a star projector running in the bathroom. It was super cool; Molly wants one for her room.

We ran into our old friends Mudgy and Millie again at the waterfront park. Here they’re looking “out to sea”, perhaps awaiting the return of some friends. The wind had really picked up; in the background of the photo you can see the whitecaps on the lake. It almost felt like we were in for a storm; but I suppose my coastal instincts aren’t accurate here inland.

Our next to last stop downtown was at Tito Macaroni’s for dinner. Molly had declared earlier that she wanted pizza; I wouldn’t dare disappoint her. They offer a build your own pizza option on the kids menu, and naturally, Molly wanted to be a pizza chef. The results seemed satisfactory.


Just before heading back to the hotel, we stopped at The Moose Market ice-cream shop. Even ‘though she was tired and ready to hit the sack, Molly is dedicated to her dessert. I was proud of how she soldiered through and devoured the orange sherbet.

Tomorrow we head over to Salmon, ID for rafting down the Salmon river. It might be a chilly ride, since the forecast calls for 66°F even if it will be sunny. On the way, we’ll be stopping to tour an old silver mine.

I hope Molly will let me sleep in today. 7:10 am would be just fine.