We had such a great time on vacation I hardly know where to begin. I’ve got tons of photos and experiences to share, so I’m breaking up the trip details into multiple posts. Be prepared for photo overload!
It truly was the trip of a lifetime and we were so
lucky blessed to be able to stay with family (Mike’s sister, husband and 5 kids) who could show us the sights from a local perspective.
One thing I worried about was how everyone would handle the travel.
We had to be at the airport early, take two flights, sit through a layover in Denver, and then land in Spokane, WA. From there, we rented a minivan and had a four hour drive to get to where we were staying in the Flathead Lake Region. I wasn’t sure how they would hold up with all the travel, but they were champs.
We flew Frontier Airlines and had a great experience. The fact that the kids got to watch about 7 hours of TV on their free Direct TV was a big help (we upgraded to Classic tickets which gave us better seating, 2 bags checked free and free TV — I highly recommend it).
Once we finally made it to our destination, it was a joyful family reunion. The Montana cousins are older than our kids — their ages run from 15 down to 8, and ours run from 7 to 3. Despite the age differences, the kids had a blast playing together.
Cousin M (their youngest) and our Wendy were thick as thieves and looked like sisters separated at birth.
They spent many hours together, dressing up, playing with dolls and doing who knows what, but having a blast.
The cousins live in a truly spectacular area. While their property isn’t lake-front, it’s the next best thing.
I enjoyed this gorgeous view as I sipped my
coffee mocha (Karen hooked me up!) every morning.
Do you see that trampoline in the picture? It was the source of HOURS of fun for the kiddos. They had a blast bouncing, alone or together, it didn’t matter. Methinks Santa needs to drop one off at our house this Christmas!
Despite all the multi-age, multi-bodies bouncing, no one suffered any injuries worth mentioning while bouncing, praise God (there were a few knocked heads and owies, but nothing requiring medical attention).
Also seen in the lake-view picture is the cousins’ cherry trees. We had fun helping pick (and eat them).
Picking cherries was a fun treat for us, because we picked for a while, and then when the kids got bored, they drifted off to the trampoline or other amusements. The cousins however, were the real worker bees; they picked and “processed” cherries for hours.
By picking, processing and freezing, Karen stores up enough cherries to last just about all winter. Very impressive, especially since I spied ranier cherries at our VA grocery store for ~$4/lb this week.
Additional cousin fun was had in the form of playing on cousin J’s iPad or just goofing around. I took great delight in teaching the older kids how to play Spades — cousin I. is a card shark, just like his auntie K :).
I also reveled in their voluminous home library. I love children’s literature and plowed through their titles. Just about every day I asked cousin E. “What should I read next?” A couple of my favorites were The Princess Academy and 100 Cupboards.
In addition to books, we watched lots of fun movies with the cousins. The kids stayed up late every night and we watched: MegaMind, How to Train Your Dragon, Meet the Robinsons, and Hoodwinked.
I think the only group photo I got of just our families was taken after church one Sunday. We ate at Famous Dave’s — a popular choice with Montanans and Virginians!
This post gives a taste of the fun we had being together as family. But stay tuned, my next post will focus on Glacier National Park!