Monday, September 7, 2009


Several weeks ago I took a little vacation to visit my good friends from seminary who live in northern Idaho. I have been there before, but haven't visited since they bought their new house and had their first child. It was very exciting to one, get away, but also to finally meet little L for the first time!

I arrived in Idaho late one Friday afternoon. As soon as I set foot outside of the airport I thought I was in heaven. It was overcast, and the temperature was in the 50's. A nice break from the 90+ I am used to living in the South. This was the great start to what I knew would be a great weekend.

That evening I went to dinner with my Idahoan friends (who are actually both Mississippians, but I met them in Texas), and got to meet L. She's hilarious! At first she didn't want anything to do with me, but we soon became good friends.

Saturday morning Jana and I got up and decided to go to a local farmer's market. While there we were inspired to purchase a few items and make a delicious pasta dish and a local favorite dessert. Jana and I had a great time tag-teaming in the kitchen for these two Sunday treats.

After the farmer's market we went to town and took a stroll on the world's longest floating boardwalk. Little L met a local duck and had a up-close-and-personal visit. We thought about taking a hike that afternoon, but ended up meeting the husband and some of his co-workers for lunch in a nearby park. After lunch we met a gentleman who asked us for about $0.87 (it was a very specific and low amount) to buy some gasoline. As he was walking off, he yelled to his friends "Let's do this," which we thought was funny and it then became the theme for the week.

Later that afternoon Jana and I went for a very short hike by ourselves and sat on the lake's edge and chatted for about an hour. It was so good to just sit there and catch up on life. She's one of my dearest friends, and it had been nearly two years since we'd had the chance to hang out.

Sunday morning we woke up and went to church where my friends have been serving for the last 3-4 years. (I forget how long...) Then Jana and I came home to make our yummy creations. After lunch we decided to go on that hike. Jana convinced her husband to go with us, so we packed up in the car and drove to Farragut State Park for a hike around Lake Pond Oreille. Now, for those who know me well, you know I'm not very "outdoorsy." However, I give it my best go when I visit Idaho, and I really, really enjoyed the beautiful scenery and outdoor recreation this part of the country has to offer.

Monday was a stretch for me. Jana had this great idea of going tubing down a river that's located about an hour from her house. I have been tubing and rafting before, but now I'm old and set in my ways...and the thought of doing something adventurous just kinda scares me. I'm not a risk taker, and try to avoid anything that might resemble "going out on a limb," physically. (Tennis is an exception for me. I try to go full-out on the court, but its not like I take dives or anything.)

So, Jana and I packed up the car and headed to the river with one of her friends. Now, let me get back to my first Idaho reaction. The weather had been quite mild for mid-August. In fact, one morning I woke up and it was 46 degrees outside. Needless to say, we knew the river was going to be cold. It doesn't help that the morning of our adventure I made Jana turn on the gas logs in the fireplace so I could sit in front of it and drink coffee...with a blanket around me. I was freezing!

We get to the river, and its a gorgeous day. We stick our feet in the water, and yes, its quite cold. However, we decide to go for it. After a short picnic we buck up and get ready to jump in. The tubing novices that we were, none of us were quite sure of how to climb in the tubes and get going. After a bit of fumbling, though, we were in, wet, cold, but having a blast.
I have to give props to Jana for being so adventurous. She's pregnant, but that doesn't slow her down a bit! The river ended up being pretty slow, and despite a few close calls with "too much booty on the rocks," it was an easy, and relaxing trip down the river. We had a GREAT time, and I'm glad they convinced me to go.

My extended weekend in Idaho ended too quickly. Unfortunately, we all have to go home and go back to work eventually. But, it was one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating vacations I have ever taken. So, despite the shortness, it did its job. Now, just have to wait until November before I get to see my beloved friends again. This time, they get to see me in my new town and new home, and I can't wait to show them around!

Side Note: One of my biggest hesitations about participating in woodsy, outdoor activities is the presence of snakes. I am terribly, terribly afraid. However, several locals convinced me there were no poisonous snakes in that part of the country, so I felt better about going off into the woods and floating down a river. Don't think you'll catch me doing that in Mississippi though. Too many horror stories about encounters with these killing machines.

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