Monday, July 26, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I love coming home after a vacation! Being a total homebody, my house is my haven, and I miss it whenever I'm away. Had a great trip, but hubby and I have agreed the next time we go away, it'll be just the two of us. That way we won't have to referee our boys all the time :)

On our way south we stopped in Portland for lunch at a Food Network Diners, Drive-ins and Dives ("Triple D") featured cafe. Our family loves that show, and hubby had scoped out places for us to try during the trip. So we ate lunch at the Blue Plate Cafe, and it was truly awesome. Had an amazing hand-carved chicken, bacon and grilled cheese sandwich with a chocolate malt shake from their full soda fountain. Then we stopped at Powell's Books, the largest indie bookstore in the US. (Katie, I went in to see if they had our books, but no dice. I tried!)

With full tummies we carried on to our final destination just outside of Sisters, Oregon. We found a real BBQ place in town and my hubby was in his glory. I think he moaned every other bite. The food was awesome, and even Little Weasel ate some of the pulled pork nachos.

In all we spent three nights at the Lodge at Suttle Lake, in the owner's private "cabin" (complete with granite countertops and a stainless steel kitchen) right on the lake. I only met the woman once when she was up here for an event with my stepmom, but she's been unbelievably sweet to me. Not only did she comp the cabin, she left us a huge gift basket stuffed with treats, and took us out on her speedboat with some of her family and a professional wakeboarder to give us lessons. Hubby and I were happy to stay in the boat, but our six year old is still talking about going tubing with Alex Scagliotti, the pro wakeboarder that just placed 11th in the men's nationals.

After an action packed day and buying us all lunch at the resort's restaurant, the owner invited us back to her house about twenty minutes away for a BBQ. When we pulled up to the house, hubby and I both said, "Holy...crap." Picture a gorgeous log home set on 15 acres with a panoramic view of 7 mountains, complete with an entire building full of arcade games, a barn and a fishing pond. Yeah. Pretty nice digs.

She cooked us all a huge BBQ dinner with her family. Not only that, she'd hired a professional fly fisherman to give the kids lessons, so my six year old (AKA Big Weasel) learned how to cast and loved every second of it. Hubby caught two fish on his first two casts, and joked "There's nothing to this sport." Then Big Weasel caught a little frog and brought it into the dining room where I was still eating my dinner--and let it go, not realizing it would run for its life. Everyone howled with laughter while BW and I crawled under the table and around the dining room chasing this frog. We ended up putting him back in the pond, safe and sound.

Our incredible hostess topped all this off with a campfire and S'Mores for the kids (who thought they were in heaven by this point) after a rousing game of soccer with the whole crew in a huge pasture under the full moon. And wow, you should have seen how many stars there were in the sky. Pretty magical, and I still can't believe the owner's hospitality. Unreal.

On our way up to Seattle we stopped at Jubitz truck stop outside Portland, but it wasn't the same as I remember from my childhood. Next I made hubby stop at Fort Vancouver, a Hudson's Bay Company trading post from the mid 1800s. I wasn't expecting my family to really care that U.S. Grant was stationed there years before the Civil War, but to my unending delight, BW got really into it. He asked a park ranger all kinds of questions and wanted to check out every building on the site, plus he showed a real interest in the cannons. You can bet I fanned that flame :) (I'm so proud!)

Next day we took the kids to the Museum of Flight, and had an awesome time. Saw some WWI bi and tri-planes, a few WWII jet fighters, the Concorde, an old Air Force One, and an SR-71 Blackbird (AKA "Jetfire" in the Transformers 2 movie, shown below.)
The museum also had an exhibit about space travel and exploration, and the kids had a fantastic time. We left with a whole bunch of aircraft models, including an Apache attack helicopter, Stealth Bomber, Chinook helicopter and a Medevac Black Hawk for me. It's perched on my writing desk right now to give me added mojo when I dig into revisions on my Medevac/PJ novel (Turbulence).

That night we met friends at a Moroccan restaurant downtown. The food was awesome, and the ambiance was pretty cool. BW even topped the meal off by getting up and performing with the belly dancer. (You may have noticed by now that he's not very shy, lol.)

After that we hit Safeco Field to watch the BoSox.
I'd flat ironed my hair and everything, but Varitek was out with a broken foot, and the BoSox self destructed in the 7th and 8th innings. Plus my kids were a complete handful. All in all, I think I saw a solid four out of nine innings. Hence hubby and I going on our own next time.

Yesterday we stopped at another Triple D restaurant yesterday on the way home. Voula's Offshore Cafe is just off the UW campus, and we waited over an hour to get in, then another forty for our food. It was okay, but I'm not sure it was worth the wait.

Didn't get much writing time on the trip, but I did work on my laptop during some of the driving. Got a synopsis and polishing done on a novella I've just submitted, so I'll keep you posted as to the status. Apart from the kids fighting it was an action packed trip, but I'm glad to be home!


Karlene Blakemore-Mowle said...

What an action packed few days you guys had! You sound like you need a holiday to recover from your holiday!
Ahhhh kids! aren't they just the delight of every parents life when they're crammed in a car on a long trip!!! I often threaten to leave mine home next time...maybe one day I will!

Kaylea Cross said...

Karly, I know exactly what you mean! We were soooo tired of doling out discipline and breaking up fights. Usually over stupid stuff too, like toys, differing opinions, etc. Sheesh. I swear if I'd had a hose with me I'd have sprayed them both just to make them stop arguing. And then to disrupt me while I'm watching the BoSox? That's like salt in the wound, lol :)

Katie Reus said...

Dang woman! You had your hands full but it sounds like you had an amazing time :) I'm like you, I always like coming back to my house! Glad you're back safe (and sorry your team didn't win!)

Kaylea Cross said...

Katie, yeah we had our hands full while we crammed all that stuff into the trip. It's high time hubby and I had some alone time, especially in light of how tough things have been on him the past month.

Love my kids to pieces, but sometimes I need a break, if you catch my drift :)