Saturday, September 26, 2015

Another Bear Lake Adventure

You may or may not remember that we have some good friends who owned a house at Bear Lake.  You also may or may not remember how sad we were when they sold it.  Well, I have some good news.  We have a different friend that has a house at Bear Lake, so our Bear Lake adventures can continue.

This past weekend, we were invited up for a weekend of adventuring.  The old house was in Laketown, Utah on the south side of the lake.  This house is in rural Idaho on the north side of the lake.  We drove up after work on Friday, and by the time we got there it was very dark.  We were not expecting it to be quite as rural as it was.  On the way, we saw deer, rabbits, skunks and many a cow.  When we pulled up to the house, there were no street lights so it was very, very dark.  We arrived before the others, so we had to wait for them in the car.  Waiting in the car in the dark reminded me somewhat of the beginning of a horror movie.  When I told Robyn that, she was very unhappy with me.  It turns out that if I mention anything like that, she thinks she's going to be murdered, and then she's cranky at me for frightening her.

This is the cranky face she made.

Luckily, we didn't have to wait long for the others to arrive.  Once we all went inside, it was like a sleepover when we were kids.  We were all hanging out and chatting.  The only difference is that when I was a little kid I stayed up all night at sleepovers.  At this one, Robyn informed me that we needed sleep around 11 PM and we promptly went to bed.

I was super excited about our stay in this new area that I had never explored.  As I always do, I took my Saturday morning walk around the area to see what I could see.  Here are a few of the things from my exploration.
The horses thought I was a pretty big deal.  I pulled grass out of the ground and they thought it was amazing.

They were all begging to take a picture with me.

I found the last merry-go-round on Earth.  I even played on it for a minute.

I even met an Ent.

This emu also thought I was a pretty big deal.  He kept following me as I walked by his fence.
I didn't get to explore too far because breakfast time was quickly approaching.  But that was okay, because I knew that after breakfast it would be time to go to the lake and have more fun there!

Once we got to the lake, it was time for all sorts of festivities to begin.



Dancing (I think she was actually demonstrating how she paddled on the kayak)

Paddle boarding (P.S. doesn't it look like she's in the Caribbean?)
Yoga  (Because why would you do yoga on land when you could do it in the middle of a lake?)

Whatever this is.

I think one of the activities I enjoyed most was the conversation.  I sometimes forget what a well read group these particular friends are.  We discussed literature, politics, philosophy and all sorts of other things.  I've taken the liberty of making a professional quality artist's rendition of the conversation.

All in all, it was a great weekend.  When are we going to do it again?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Spokane Tourism

Did I mention I went to World Con?

It was a super fun adventure, and it was way cool to meet some authors whose work I've been reading since I was a teenager.  But every time I go anywhere new, it's important to discover some of the things that are available to see locally.  So here are a few of the things I had a chance to enjoy while I was in Spokane.

Coeur d'Alene
When my plane first landed I had a few hours before the convention started.  I had heard that Coeur d'Alene, Idaho was very pretty, and since it was only 45 minutes away, I decided to go see what I could see.

There's a big hill that juts out into Lake Coeur d'Alene.  It's called Tubbs Hill and it has a trail that wraps all the way around.  I decided that should be my exercise for the day.  It has some super pretty views of the lake, and it is a heavily wooded area with plenty of wilderness feel.
Looking out at the lake

Walking through the woods
The trail wraps around the hill, but there are lots of side trails that climb the hill.  Clearly, I wasn't satisfied just walking around it and I had to climb to the top.  I was really glad I did because there was a little fawn just a few feet off the trail.  I stopped and watched him for a few minutes.  He just looked at me and I looked back at him.  I like to think we shared a moment.

I'm pretty sure he wrote on his blog about how close he stood to a Jeff.  After I took his picture, he took a picture of me for his instagram account.

After seeing the deer, I saw some more wildlife.  I saw a flyboarder in his natural habitat.
I didn't get too close, because you know how dangerous this species can be.
After exploring nature, I made sure to head over to Hudson's to get a burger.  I'm offended at myself that I didn't get a picture, but I have to admit that it was one of the better burgers I've had in my life.  Here's the crazy thing.  Hudson's is known for not putting lots of stuff on the burger.  They just put ketchup, pickles and mustard.  But somehow, even without all the fixins, it was an amazing burger.


One of the evenings, I wanted to go visit the campus of Gonzaga University.  I always enjoy seeing different campuses, and Gonzaga was no exception.

St. Ignatius in front of College Hall.

A shot of college hall, standing right behind the statue.  (and made fancy with the help of Google.)

The campus sits right on the river and has lots of pretty green space.
One thing i thought was super cool was they had this area called the Gonzaga Grotto, which was an area where students could go and worship or sit quietly and reflect.  There was this statue of Mary surrounded by candles that had places where you could kneel.  I really wanted to get a picture of it, but there was a guy there praying and I didn't want to disrespect him.  I walked behind this tree so that I could put him behind the tree and still get a picture.

Of course, I couldn't go to Gonzaga without getting a picture of a bulldog.

River Walk
My hotel was across the river from the convention center.  It was about a ten minute walk to get there, but the walk was along walking paths that followed the river.  I had a car, but the river walk was so enjoyable and so easy that I preferred to walk rather than drive.

A picture I took from one of the bridges on the river.
A little bit past the convention center was Spokane Falls.  I made Mom walk there with me.  She was a little trooper, especially during the parts where we went up hill.
Mom standing on the bridge overlooking the falls

Mom diving into the falls

Selfies are important
Mom wanted to climb onto that rock.

The smoke was so thick from the nearby fires that you could stare directly at the sun.  (Though you still shouldn't.)  Naturally, I took a picture of the red sun.
I had to get a picture of me at the base of the clock tower.   Because every time I looked at it I kept yelling, "Save the clock tower!"  If you don't know why I was yelling that you clearly have no soul.  Your soul can be repaired by watching Back to the Future. (To see the top of the clock tower, refer to the black and white picture featured as the first picture of the river walk.)

Save the clock tower!
Giant Milk Jug
I totally ate inside a giant milk jug.  They had delicious milk shakes and delicious burgers.  Mom and I had to take turns running across the street to get pictures of each other.  That's how dedicated we are to making photographic records of our adventures.
Me and a milk jug

Mom and a milk jug
Spokane Temple
Whenever I go to a new city, if it has a temple, you know I'm going to visit it.  Mom and I really enjoyed doing a session in the Spokane Temple.
Moroni and freedom and stuff

I always get a picture in front of the sign
The madre and the temple

Flowers and the temple
All in all, it was super fun exploring.  I spent the majority of my time at the convention, but considering how little time I spent exploring, I think I got to see a lot of things.