Saturday, December 1, 2007

Summer of 2007 aka--best summer ever!

So, finally a blog update for Luke—this summer was beyond amazing. I was able to go to Starlight Mountain Theater for the first time and I loved it! We saw “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and “State Fair.” It was so cute and charming! The only negative was the wasps that were flying about during the first act. Other than that, I went to First Thursday (again for the first time) with Tyler. We didn’t buy anything, but we did get massages at this men’s barbershop downtown. It was really nice, plus, while I was waiting for Tyler, I talked to the shoe shiner man. Turns out he is a member of the Southern Baptist Church that used to come to our church and sing (they were amazing). It was interesting to me that he was extremely educated, but he enjoyed shoe shining.

For the Fourth of July, I went to Porcupine Races (talk about exciting) in Council. It was awesome. There were also saw races and a lawnmower dragster race. The porcupine races take place on the high school football field and then after they are done everyone goes around to pick up the quills. There is NO way that they get all of them. Anyways, what happens is the porcupine has a trash can placed over him and when the gun is fired, one team member picks up the trash can and the other has a broom and together they try to get Mr. Porcupine to move in the right direction toward the finish line. It was actually pretty funny. One porcupine even escaped from the enclosure and ran into the crowd. That night, I went to the Boise fireworks with Craig. They were so cool. While we were watching them, though, I was hit with this little ball. Turns out it’s a piece of one of the fireworks. The next weekend I went to the Vale County Rodeo with Kaley and Tracy and found out that I actually knew the people who orchestrated the Boise Fireworks. I thought that was pretty cool! The Vale Rodeo went hideously long but it was cute. There was mutton busting, a pig scramble, the suicide race and then other normal rodeo things. It was nice to be able to spend time with two of the people that I hung out with the most in college.

Back to the rest of the summer—I went on two family vacations. The first one was just a mini vacation to Park City, Utah (again a first!). We met my aunt, uncle and cousins and went on a mountain biking death ride. It was actually quite funny. The whole family went and we are all in different levels of “in shape.” The guide told us it would be a ten minute ride to the lift and 45 minutes later we made it there. To make it worse, it was pretty much uphill the whole way. We later found out that it was a ten minute car ride to the lift. At that point, my mom and cousin were ready to quit, but stupidly we convinced them to go on. At that point, my uncle decided that the guide didn’t really know what he was talking about, so my uncle chose a different path for us to go down. So we rode up the lift and then biked down on the trail that my uncle had chosen. Unfortunately, the trail was also beyond the skill level of some of the people there. I even walked my bike down some sections. My mom was a daredevil and decided to ride down one part but she didn’t know that it dropped off at the end. Needless to say, she went head over heels over the handle bars and was even more ready to quit. My aunt saw it happen and said she almost started crying because it looked so bad. Fortunately, no one was hurt but by the time we got to the bottom, I think only two people in my family enjoyed it. The next day was better when we took a day trip of whitewater rafting. I say whitewater rafting, but it really was just a degree worse than floating down the Boise River. One cool part was this bridge that was probably two feet off of the water. We all had to crouch down in the boat in order to go under it. The next day we went to the outlet malls and then headed home.

For our actual family vacation, we went to Crater Lake (for my daddy), the Redwood forest (for my mom), and to the Oregon coast (for me). We went camping the whole time and it was actually a lot of fun. Crater Lake was amazing. It’s the deepest lake in the US and it’s so incredibly blue! After that, was the drive to the Redwoods where my mom was a bit ridiculous. She ooohed and aaahed the entire time. It was actually pretty cute! We went through the Avenue of the Giants, walked through Rockefeller’s forest, but her favorite was Lady Bird Johnson’s Grove. There was one tree called the Dyersville Giant that was the largest tree in the forest but it had fallen a couple of years earlier. I stood at the base of it and felt so small. It is pretty cool how big these trees are. We also saw a presentation on the history of the trees, how they had been logged, and then protected. To support the cause of protecting them, we bought a Giant Sequoia tree which was about six inches when we bought him (we named him Mikey). He’s in a pot in the house and has actually grown a lot. The Redwoods are about 20 feet at the base and can grow hundreds of feet tall. On the drive back, we went by the Oregon Coast and stayed at Humbug Mountain State Park. We went and walked on the beach and there were seals playing in the surf. They were only about ten feet away. We watched the sun go down and the next day, we went to Cape Blanco Lighthouse. It was really cool because they let us into the light part and the guide explained a lot of the history since he had been in the Navy during World War II. After that, we took the long trip home.

My family and Craig also went to the Church Campout which was way in the boonies! The nice part was that it was near a hot spring. We camped next to the Benders, heard London’s first sermon, played in the hot springs and went on a death hike with the Woehlers. Seriously, I had no idea what I was in for but we climbed mountains, forded streams, snuck through bushes, and I was beat. The funny thing was that we took the new girls assistant dean who is from New York City. She thought she was going to die! Poor girl!

Another first was Mortimer’s which is downtown on 5th Street. I’ve always wanted to go because it features Idaho Cuisine, so one night Craig took me on a date. I was surprised at how small it was (maybe 12 tables), but it was extremely nice and I loved it.

I also got to go to McCall for a weekend, which was beyond amazing! We first went up with the Mitchell’s and stayed in their trailer park (it sounds weird, but it was actually pretty nice). We went swimming and just hung out with Bill and Kim. The next day, Craig, Mom, and Bill went home, while Kim, Dad and I went to IdaHaven. Dad and I went Whitewater rafting with Jamie, Heather, and Peter. There were class threes and a couple of class fours. Our boat was in the lead and we never lost anyone, but all three boats behind us did. There were a few wars with pulling/pushing people out of the boat. Then we went back to the camp. So, if you’ve never been there, IdaHaven is basically my version of heaven. My daddy had meetings in the morning, so I slept in, woke up and went wakeboarding for a couple of hours (the water was incredibly smooth and I was the only one that wanted to go), then went and showered and helped serve lunch. After lunch, I went wakeboarding again; Brandon and I went shopping at my favorite places in McCall; and then went out to Toll Station (another favorite). It was almost like I was back working at camp. That night I went and hung out with Carolyn, talked, read, and then went back to McCall to go to Fathers. Brandon and I stayed up late playing cards, got a couple of hours of sleep, and then headed back to the kitchen to help Carolyn. We spent three days there and I felt like I could have stayed for at least another month. The last day there, I summoned up all of my courage and took on a big fear – the Zipline. The zipline is at least 80 feet up and even though I worked at camp for two years, I had never done it. Before you start, you basically have to take an oath that once you start there is no other way back down other than to jump. So, while your feet are still on the ground and you feel nice and safe, you promise that you will jump. It’s so much different once you’re at the top. For me, the worst part was the climb up because it just seemed to go on FOREVER. Once I got to the top, Heather L unhooked me from the belay line and told me that I could lower it back down to the bucket at the bottom. I must have had this completely terrified look in my face because then she said, “Or Johnny can do it!” She was training Johnny on what to do since he’ll be doing it next year. I basically stood up there hugging the pole while he took care of everything. Anyways, once everything was hooked up, she told me to jump, and it was so nerve wracking. I did ask her if there was any way she could push me and she said that she could rig it so that the cable will jerk you off the platform but she’s only done it with 7 year olds. So, I did it! You can’t hold onto anything, you just jump off this platform and free fall for at least 30 feet before the cable catches you. As soon as I jumped, the fear was gone and it was SO cool. I loved it! Anyways, I’m still proud of myself for doing it.

The day after we got back from IdaHaven, we went to the Caldwell Night Rodeo on “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” day. All of the proceeds go towards breast cancer research. I LOVE the CNR and it is the best rodeo that I have ever been to! It’s so fun, and the announcers always egg on the war between the Rowdies and the Civies. This year I was a Rowdie!

After that, was the Western Idaho State Fair. I absolutely adore the fair—I love the food, the people, the vendors, the ANIMALS, the rides, basically everything about it. Brandon and I started out early in the morning and saw all the animals and vendors and then he had to work. He took me home and I met up with Jamie, Craig, Johnny, and Lori and we left to go back to the fair. (Basically, I spent the entire day there). We went through the crafts, went through the petting zoo again, saw a couple of shows (one guy dived from 80 ft into a 10 ft pool), and went on a couple of rides. By the way, the petting zoo was beyond awesome. There were goats with 4 horns, a Texas longhorn, a baby buffalo, a water buffalo, a yak, and so many more that I can’t remember. We even got to milk a cow (another first) and I must say that I could potentially have a career as a dairy farmer if medical school doesn’t work out.

The summer was almost done, but Kaley and I did get in another trip out to her aunt and uncle’s house in Spray. I love going out there because it’s in the middle of nowhere and it’s so relaxing. Driving in, Kaley nearing high centered her car (I’m sure she was swearing when the bottom was scraping). Saturday night, her uncle took us fishing and I had so much fun! I even caught the largest fish. When we got back to the house, he battered them and fried them, so we were able to eat fresh fish.

That’s pretty much the highlights of my summer. I went hot tubing with friends, walking with Donna, garage saling with Zach, lunch with Darren and saw the new house, found new hot springs with Jamie and Chad, and floated down the Boise River (and very nearly died), went to Graples, played Extreme Pit (best game ever!) in the dorm, went to crazy Cleo's, and just hung out with family. While it may be boring to read, it was certainly relaxing to be able to just chill and not worry about school. Too bad it’s over!