The fun continued right away on Wednesday morning (after my run) with breakfast at a Boise staple called Goldies. (I just wanna mention...I feel like Brennan knows everyone in the town. I swear that everywhere we went there was someone who came up and said hi to him, and Goldies was no exception, he knew one of the baristas!) Anyways, Brennan met us there and Cam's aunt even came over from work to eat with us. It was very good (I got pancakes, an egg and bacon) - although the coffee was not my favorite. Sorry, gotta say it - I am a bit of a coffee snob, I know. I think it was a light roast, and I'm all about the medium roast so the light was just too acidic and bitter for me. But whatever.
After breakfast Nana and Papa took me to a yarn store called The Twisted Ewe (yayy!!) while Cam and Brennan went to pick up Brennan's stuff. I picked up some great yarn for a great price (two of my three yarn selections were on clearance!), so hopefully I'll knit those up soon to show off.
Sidenote: One of my knitting goals is to buy yarn and create a project from each trip I take, and I've decided it would be really fun to make teddy bears out of yarn from each trip I go on! I have some stashed away still from my trip to England, so I'll be making at least two teddies at some point in the (hopefully near) future. I'm going to use Mad Man Knitting's pattern called "The Teddy Bear That Saved Me" - his story is super interesting. He went from homeless to having a roof over his head largely because he started selling teddy bears he knit! So check that out if your interest has been piqued!
By 1:30 we were heading out to pick up Stephanie (Brennan's girlfriend). We decided to go camping near a little town called Crouch - from there there's a road that takes you up the mountain and there are loads of little campsites off of it. We spent a few hours driving up and around (and then back down) looking for a good site near some hot springs. Here are just a few of the pictures I took along the way!
It turned out that the first site we stopped at was the best, but we really wanted to see if there was something better so we drove on a bit further and then got out of the car at another site because we heard we could walk to another hot spring. After a 30-ish minute hike looking for it we found it...a little ankle deep pool that was not worth the effort of getting to (though the hike was enjoyable). So we hiked back to the car and drove down to the first site. The only reason we didn't pick it straight out was that we couldn't drive all the way down to it, and had to walk about 1/4 mile with all of our gear because the Prius we borrowed from Cam's aunt would not have been able to handle the super bumpy, pot-holed road our little site was on. But we got all our stuff down, set up camp, ate dinner, and then headed to the springs. (Btw...we had this bread called a "Village Round" from a Boise bakery...holy crap. Best bread ever, I'm getting sad just thinking about how I can't go buy one.)
Here are the pictures we took over the next 18 hours we were camping...I took some and Hen took some. Also...bonus pic of my boyfriend who can use anything, including a rock to open a bottle of beer (or in this case, cider for his wonderful girlfriend):
|I was impressed. Opened without breaking, and minimal dirt on the rim...not that I noticed the dirt until it was in my mouth...eugh.|
|Our lovely little site (and my handsome beau wondering wtf I'm doing taking selfies in nature).|
|This river was only about 20 yards from our site, down a little hill. It was so refreshing to hear it babbling all night and waking up to it in the morning!|
|Cam found a rock to sit on.|
|Cheddar hot dog on a Village Round!|
|A few of the hot spring pools. We sat in the closer one for a bit, then moved to the smaller one (bigger than it looks) because the water was slightly cooler. We couldn't go in the ones closer to the bank because they were so hot!|
|Our lovely morning selves.|
|Henry stole my camera a took these next few...|
|Old fashioned selfie taken with a timer!|
|He found The Bigfoot!|
And all that takes us into Thursday morning! We were up fairly early to start packing our camp (while I made breakfast) so we could head into Crouch for coffee (necessity) before...White Water Rafting!
I was equal parts excited and nervous for rafting (and took a Dramamine in case things got really crazy and I got motion sick too). When we got to Cascade to sign in there were a bunch of pictures around of people without helmets - I couldn't believe they let people raft without them, and had visions of myself getting tossed from the raft and splitting my head open on some angry rock jutting out of the river. Luckily, since we were doing the harder course, we got helmets. Except it meant we had to do the harder course...
The course we did was called "The Rush" - a 'half day' (~3.5 hour) trip through class 2, 3, and 4 rapids down the South Fork of the Payette River. Our guide (whose name I cannot remember!) was hilarious. He started telling jokes ("because I tell jokes when I get nervous") right before the class 4s, and at one point on a class 3 he let us run straight into a rock, and only moments before we hit said, "Lean back!" and we just barely bumped it when we did. We were just barreling towards this giant rock and all of us were nervous (you could feel it) and then...*nudge*. After we went around it he said, "Wow! That thing came out of nowhere!" And we all burst out laughing. He was clearly very passionate about rafting and has been all over the country doing his own rafting and conducting tours through companies like Cascade...he talked about so many different rivers and they kind of rafting they offered, and basically said if you're near X, Y, or Z river, do it!
Aside from the paddling part of rafting, there was also a point to jump off a cliff into the water (only Brennan did it from our boat) and then another point where the river was shallow and the four of us (out of six on our raft) got out to "swim"...which means we coasted along, freezing, in our life jackets. I got in because of peer pressure from the other three, and regretted it right away. It was quite cold, and I did not enjoy swimming with my shoes on, feet being constantly pushed around by the current. And then you get hoisted back into the raft by your life jacket, which has a similar effect as trying to rub your ears off with a rock. (Ow.)
Right after that we headed down our last class 4, and there was one ecstatically frightening moment where we were almost vertical, and I was looking across at Cam (who was practically laying in the river from how the raft had tipped) and thought, "Oh sh*t, we're all going over." ...and then we didn't! We flopped back down to our original horizontal position and paddled on down the rest of the rapid, laughing when we got to the end about how we were almost violently plunked into the river by our objecting raft.
So overall? Fantastic. I definitely want to go rafting again. It made for a fun excursion, and it was cool to see part of Idaho from the river banks up.
Sadly, I don't have pictures from rafting...I obviously didn't take my phone or camera, and we decided against buying a $15 photo of ourselves looking scared shitless when we almost got tossed out of our raft on that last Class IV.
Thursday wrapped up with a very sleepy ride back to Boise where we stopped for dinner at a local brewery called Cloud 9 (props to Cam for staying awake and driving for the whole ride while the rest of us didn't...though I tried very hard not to nod off...). The food was decent - we had Blue Cheese Fries which were YUM and then I got a burger and fries...it was okay, but the burger wasn't my favorite. Cam, however, got a salmon wrap that I'd been considering and I really wish I'd gone with that!
After grub, we dropped off Hen and Steph and headed back to Nana and Papa's were we unloaded the car, showered off, and then I curled up in bed, hoping for a decent night's rest after two busy (and active) days punctuated by very little sleep.
I was disappointed by the sleep thing though :( I was overtired, and as a result I woke up quite frequently that night. Friday was a bit of a blur because I was lethargic and wanted to nap the whole day. But I decided to keep busy instead. We went to a donut place called Guru Donuts (where Brennan works) - they have different gourmet donuts. Between the few of us who were there we sampled 7 donuts - a root beer float, lemonade stand, cinnamon roll, maple log, strawberry short cake, old fashioned (like a cake donut, not the drink), and I can't remember the last one! They were pretty good, but I think the maple log was my favorite. It was basically just a long john (unfilled) with maple glaze. Mmmm.
After Guru we went home and I started getting some stuff ready for dinner...and I made a big dinner (everyone was coming over, so there were 10 of us). Pizza, pasta, beets, zucchini...I spent about 4 hours cooking while Nana kept asking if she could help, telling me she felt bad because I was doing it all myself. I kept telling her I like it, but that if she wanted to help she could wait until after dinner and do the dishes that were left ;)
Friday came to a close after some Clue, cards, and a good chat outside (with cookies and ice cream, to boot).
Everything wrapped up Saturday morning. Cam's aunt brought over more Blue Sky bagels (they are amazing, and their garden vegetable cream cheese has actual, real vegetables in it!), and then we headed to Target for the boys to get portraits taken for Nana (Cam, Hen, and their cousins). It was a pretty hilarious experience watching them try to fit everyone into the screen, and they ended up with a few less-than-ideal (but funny) photos.
After that, had lunch then we went back to N&P's and finished getting ready to leave (we played a few hands of 7-up to pass the time).
The airport was a very tearful goodbye. Cam and I don't know when we'll see Brennan again (he and his girlfriend are planning to go to New Zealand in November and we won't see them before then), so it was kind of hard realizing that goodbye would be the last for a while. And Nana always cries, and she's a crier that makes you want to cry too. So it was really difficult to hug one last time and then walk through the airport doors.
Our flights back were uneventful (bit of turbulance out of Denver) but we spotted Mecca at the Denver airport - and sipped from the fonts of the gods as well:
|Haven't seen one of these in years!|
|Dark chocolate and white chocolate iced mochas!|
Home (because it wouldn't be a normal post without a workout update)
Unfortunately I got sick from the plane. I was pretty lethargic Sunday-Wednesday, and I should have known yesterday when my body started getting achey for no reason that some kind of bug got trapped in my system (on top of *TMI* that monthly thing). We were on our way to the gym Tuesday and actually got so far as the parking lot before I called it. I just felt tired and woozy and so nauseous, so I knew a workout was out of the question. I was bummed...it's been over two weeks since we've worked out, and I only ran twice while we were away (not that it bothers me...it's not like I wasn't doing other stuff!).
Actually, due to the lethargy and having to twist my leg the way I did when we were white water rafting, I decided on Sunday that it would be a good idea to take this week off from running (since I have so many extra weeks built in to my schedule). So this week I'm just focusing on getting back into the flow (even if I am sick) and taking it easy. I don't need (or want!) to get over-stressed about anything.
And that's it for now...hopefully most of that proved to be enjoyable and worth waiting for! Until later, folks!