Well, some changes have been afoot for the Haggards. It’s been a year since the last time I wrote here and since we’re all about the drama, we packed a lot into twelve months. But I’m just going to focus on the last few.
In June, Jason’s job ended somewhat abruptly, and because it had taken up a lot of his physical and emotional energy for quite some time, he needed some major down time–to the tune of at least a month, probably two. With him freed up the summer months suddenly seemed like a world of opportunity for us!
We didn’t go anywhere particularly amazing. In fact, I guess you could technically say we just went to Coeur d’Alene, but really it served as our main hub, from which we did mini-trips or day outings. But here’s the best, greatest part of the whole thing– we were together, all of us. I didn’t realize how much I was starving for family time until we planned, and I waited with anticipation.
On June 29th, the kids were up at the butt crack of dawn, also eager with anticipation. Of course, it was several hours before we left because every year we need to outdo ourselves by packing more gear. This year we added a topper, hitch and 5-bike rack to achieve this goal.
We eventually pulled out of the driveway and headed east toward Grandma’s–the wind in our hair, the sun shining, and our lovely itinerary before us. First on the agenda was stopping off at the Columbia River Gorge. We met Grams at the interstate and caravaned down to the river. We had a picnic at Frenchman’s Coulee, all the while trying to shield ourselves from the sun, which we hadn’t seen much of at this point in the summer.
After lunch we drove just a few minutes to Cave B Inn & Winery, where Mom took the kids, headed back to her house and left Jason and I for a couple days. We booked a yurt at the inn, which I can say now by experience is a fantastic place to lay your head at night if you’re in the middle of nowhere.
Cave B is magical. I think I’ll probably use that word a lot to describe a lot of this trip. The whole dang thing was just so what I needed, in so many ways.
Jason and I spent three days in or near our yurt eating cheese, prosciutto, fresh fruit, wine and chocolate. In between that we meandered through grape vines, dipped into the pool, hiked, drove alongside orchards, and went on a long bike ride together.
Here’s some pics.
Yes, it’s that magical.
Here’s us on the first night, sitting outside our yurt filling our bellies and listening to the birds. I totally nailed the cheese selections this time–I’m still bragging to myself about it.
Eating again, this time at South, along Wentachee’s riverfront. Those stuffed jalapeños were really hot. I kept torturing myself because they were the vehicle for the melted cheese, which was amazing. I am noticing cheese is becoming a theme here. The margarita was also excellent.
View from the pool, but sparing you images of our skin, which was still pasty white at this point on the trip.
View out the top of our yurt. Not a cloud in the sky the whole time.
Of course I have to include bunnies, if I saw them, which I did. What I didn’t get a picture of was the frog who lived outside our yurt and croaked incessantly starting at exactly 10:30pm each night. I was so happy that even he was a bit magical to me. I still went outside and stomped around with a stick to scare him, though. It did not work.
Hiking trails below the winery. Finally learned about the stinging part of stinging nettles.
The bike ride down into Frenchman’s Coulee was the piece de resistance of Cave B for me. It was my first big ride of the season and what a place to have it!
Jason took me down a long hill and I swore up and down to him I wasn’t going to make it back up. But I did, and it was great. And I felt exhilarated and confident when it was all over. It really got me itching to do more rides over the course of the trip.
We do a lot of “best of”s in our family. So as we headed toward Coeur d’Alene, the kids and Grandma, I asked Jason what the best part of Cave B was for him. He said it was during our ride when I told him, “You know I’m really glad I’m doing this with you. Not just this ride, but everything.”
We needed that time together, that little slice of Creation to enjoy, and that hot, hot sun. And the cheese.
There’s more vacation story to tell, because this was an epic one. I’ll continue that in the next installment.