30 miles in five hours

It's been two days, since we've checked in here. Yesterday was spent on the road from Seattle to Spokane, Washington, where we met up with Rico's high school chum, Bob. 

I love meeting Rico's friends, I love hearing the stories they share. In case you're wondering, many of them end with "man, we did some stupid, $#!+."

No arguments here.

After ice cream, a swim at the Holiday Inn in Spokane, and way too many Dateline horror stories, we fell asleep, only to be woken up at 3:00 am to wildfire smoke creeping in through the a.c. vent.  It wasn't so close that we had to evacuate, but close enough to make a package of Marlboros seem tame. So we packed up early and headed out.

We all had goals for this trip, things we'd hoped to do - conquer Tower of Terror, meet baby Cole, run in the surf, spend a day at our dream job. . . and for the most part, we did them all.

But we all have goals, even the three year-old, and since she only had one day left to make the most of her third year, we figured today was the day to make her wish come true.

We spent the morning at Walter's Orchard just north of Spokane in Green Bluff, Washington, so Yoda could live the dream of picking fruit off of a tree (NOT a bush) all by herself. She needed a boost to reach some of the rich, red lapin cherries, but the golden ranier trees held enough sweet fruit to weigh the branches down just enough to allow her to pick as much as she'd like.

We picked and ate, and picked and ate some more, finally heading home with bags of ranier and lapin cherries, nectarines, raspberries, blueberries, and some sort of plumpricot hybrid. 

A few miles later, we and our stained fingers landed in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. We spent 90 minutes, playing in free splash pad, fabulous park, and gazing at the lake, which is crystal clear up to at least 5 feet deep (we stood on the shore, so that's all we could see). The city is adorable, and Rico decided that his next vacation may just be two weeks in the panhandle of Idaho.

Two hours later, we couldn't resist the plethora of signs for huckleberry everything, and stopped on the edge of Motana for a fresh huckleberry shake - $6.13, but completely worth it. 

We are headed to Missoula, where we will put our three-year-old to bed for the very last time.