Thankfully, we have some friends that live in that area so we were equipped with a little bit of "go here, do this, DON'T go there, don't do this" and great places to stay! Here are exactly 29 pictures from the week...
Our first stop was McDonald's. I needed to stretch my legs and we all were long overdue for breakfast!
We dropped them off and had to take the mandatory "first day of camp" picture!
Then we met Mudgy the Moose and looked around downtown. We ended up having lunch at Chinese Gardens, buying some candy, and then spent our last hour or so at the library. I love libraries full of people and this one did not disappoint! They had this great deck (only accessible through a single door in the library) which I used to put my head down on one of the tables and sleep for a bit in the sun!
We headed back to get my brother and sister before having dinner at The Outback.
Our second morning began with RAIN. We drove around looking for a coffee shop. This morning marks the first hot hazelnut mocha I've had since winter and the beginning of my craving for the first fall thing. I started working on my travel journal and my Mom decided it was time to make a geocaching game plan.
One of our first successful caches of the day happened beside a walking/bike trail. We must have looked strange trooping around in our skirt and dress, but that would be us! Also...Notice her "minion", she made it to carry around the GPS. Everyone loved it!
We ended up at a playground which wasn't weird at all...NOT. She climbed up onto the bigtoy for a few pictures because she's awesome.
We headed back to the main park because I wanted to see the waterfront. The park was loaded with caches so we made our way around picking up a few of those. There was a guy sleeping in a heap on the stage like 10 feet behind me. He didn't even stir. Apparently there ARE weirder things than us!
Take this boy burying his sister with a SHOVEL for example...
We spent close to an hour SCOURING these rocks looking for a cache that contained a travel bug in it. We were just about ready to give up when my Mom decided there was more place to look. Low and behold, it was THERE!
Then we found ourselves in handcuffs. My Mom was a bit distressed.
With THOSE policemen, I was not. :) Please tell me I'm not the only one that finds old people cute?!?!
Our second day was coming to an end. We picked up my brother and sister and two of our friends and headed out to dinner. The consensus was: PIZZA.
Thanks to a quick google search (after MUCH debating) we found the perfect hole in the wall joint with a dinner that did NOT dissapoint.
We took the kids to find that cache that was so difficult to find. Now, they did have a better idea than us as to where it was due to our hints, but still...They found it in like 15 minutes!
They walked the boardwalk before heading to Tubb's Hill for a few more caches. On our way we noticed a little car practically driving into the water. Then we realized that they were looking at this little rodent thingy. I kept my distance, but everyone else made fast friends with it.
The next day was crazy hair day. :)
This was our third day and also the day that my Mom grew a little impatient with my obsession with walking around. We finished up the lower end of Sherman, attempted a multi cache, tried to go the the museum (which was always closed because of a golf tournament), we got Greek food for lunch, and then headed to a book store that was recommended to us by our new "friend" at the library on the first day.
We picked up my brother and sister again and decided to show them the library before heading back to our friends' house for dinner. They were not as appreciative of the library as we were...but, they thought this display was pretty cool.
That night after dinner we took our friends on their first geocaching adventure. This may or may not have included several parks and going into the woods after dark. We are those people. :)
The next day's theme was: dress like a character from one of your favorite musicals. Meet Crutchy from The Newsies and Chava from Fiddler on the Roof. :)
I stuck around to get a few pictures. Clearly, things were coming right along because their choreographer was quite pleased!
The rain came and it was FREEZING. We didn't want to waste our "last day" so we toughed it out. After a ton of geocaching, a trip to the visitor's center (no, you cannot get Gelato in CDA), and a bit more walking...We went to Hudson's for a late lunch.
Then it was time for a concert in the park. The rain had cleared up and the park was FULL of people. I decided that this city in the middle of nowhere Idaho isn't so bad after all.
These ducks LOVED my sister's bouncy ball. There were "don't feed the animals" signs all over the park, but I'm guessing those must not be obeyed.
My brother had to try out this trick too!
Then I made them pause for a picture. :)
We looked around for an empty parking lot so that they could practice their singing and dancing...After all, the big showcase was the next day! After cracking up the maintenance man, we headed back to our friends' house for a little more visiting. We ended up staying up way too late playing a few rounds of "Empires". A man in his 50's may or may not have chosen "Frozen Princess" as his alias. We may or may not have died laughing when my brother guessed said alias with a STRAIGHT face.
Friday flew by. We explored Hayden. Had lunch at "the best mexican restaurant" in CDA (which was actually in Hayden). And looked around at the "Hayden Days" bizarre being set up in the park. We got back just in time to sit and wait. My Mom started on one of the Rex Stout books that she got at Browsers and I made a little more progress on "The Last Tycoon".
The showcase featured songs and scenes from Broadway Musicals. My brother had several singing solos, a role narrating, and a part from The Scarlett Pimpernel.
My sister also had several singing solos, a role narrating, and a part from Wicked.
My favorite scene was the song and dance from The West Side Story ("America") which also convinced them that maybe, just maybe, The West Side Story is a little more exciting than they previously thought.
I laughed the most when my brother and the only other boy who came to the camp started FLEXING their muscles during a song from The Little Mermaid.
And then...Of course, I cried at one point too.Whenever they perform on stage there is always one moment that I get a little bit overwhelmed with joy and amazement in seeing them do what they love. That moment always catches me by surprise.
And...Then the "after camp" picture. :) We did spend the rest of the day with our friends and attended their VBS program before heading home and making the stupid but unavoidable decision to make the drive through the night.
As you can see...We vacation easy. I'm content to walk around, talk to people, eat at a few good places, check out local parks, used bookstores, and even the library. This was our first time geocaching our way through a new city and I have to say, it was fun and led us to discover parts of town that we would have completely missed!
I've got a few things on my "when I make it back to CDA" list and even better than that are the new memories that I get to enjoy looking back on!