Okay...I'll admit it, I was horrible about remembering to grab the camera when we did stuff on our vacation, so unfortunately you'll just have to have the written play by play as opposed to the pictoral evidence.
To be honest, we didn't really do much of note other than bum around and while I'm sure you'd all love to look at pictures of us at the Boise mall or at my brother's house in Kuna... yeah...
We left for Boise on Saturday afternoon around 11, stopping first to cash in our change that we'd been saving in a jar in the coin star machine at Smiths in Idaho Falls. We had saved a whopping $15 (actually more than that since they take about 10 cents of every dollar out). We made our way after we used our newfound wealth to buy some snackage at the store.
A few weeks ago when I was doing a Sunday singing gig in Blackfoot we found out that they had built an A&W in Blackfoot, so we decided to stop there for lunch and enjoy some fresh draft root beer (because we didn't stop when we saw it in the first place- hey it was Sunday and we were already tempting fate by not being in our own ward...LOL) . Our only disappointment (and by ours I mean Jeff's) was that they don't serve curly fries like the one in Logan does...or fresh cut french fries like the one in Logan does- however the burgers were awesome and lived up to their pictures on the board, which is rare for a fast food restaurant. (When we left I promised Jeff we would make a special trip to the Logan A&W the next time we go to Preston so he can get his curly fries.)
The drive was long but exciting- considering that our car decided to stall going 75 on the freeway....we are testing a hydrogen cell that Jeff built to make our car into a water/gasoline hybrid- it does increase our gas mileage but Jeff needs to figure out how to avoid allowing the water that bubbles up with the newly made hydrogen into the air intake valve of the car- a fact that became painfully obvious at that moment...Fortunately, it wasn't the first time my car had done this- my parents graciously paid last summer to have the fuel pump replaced in my car because it was stalling like that and eventually wouldn't turn over at all. Since I knew what to do (having lived through it as a driver) I was able to talk Jeff through what we needed to do to get mobile again. I asked him not to turn the hydrogen cell back on, but he did...and we made it. Sadly, we couldn't test it on the way home because so much water had been sucked up that there wasn't enough left to produce hydrogen in the cell. Don't worry- Jeff was back at the drawing board today trying to spiff up his little device...LOL
We made it to Boise (well Meridian if you want to split hairs) and met Aaron and his entourage at Wahooz. We managed to eat some dinner at the cafe there and then kind of bummed around with Aaron and the crew for a while. We played a few arcade games, but we were tired and weren't much in the mood to stand around so we decided to excuse ourselves while they all went to eat a late dinner and went to a movie. We saw Cowboys and Aliens.
When Jeff and I had first seen the previews for this movie I said that it was either going to be really, really good or super duper cheesy...I have to say it did have a somewhat cheesy storyline; however, the special effects were stellar and I was reassured of the power of a really amazing actor being able to make gold out of what could have ended up iron pyrite...We were actually really impressed. I think we both agree, though, that we probably would have enjoyed the movie more if we'd gone when we weren't so tired that we were practically falling asleep during the previews (ha ha- true story).
Sunday came and we went to church with Aaron and Holly. McMonkey McBean wasn't really cooperating though and I spent most of sacrament out on the couch laying down so I could breathe. Jeff sat with me and rubbed my back and my feet(which were horribly swollen). We ended up leaving after sacrament, but had a lovely afternoon visiting with Aaron and Holly and playing board games.
On Monday we decided to trek out to the mall. I'd only ever been to the mall in Boise once, and that was a short trip with Aaron and Holly, so I didn't remember much about it other than the awesome Sweet's Candy store. We used the Tom Tom to get directions- however, the Tom Tom hasn't been updated with new maps for maybe a year- needless to say, we ended up slightly lost. The Tom Tom was trying to make us go somewhere in the same vicinity as the actual mall, but across the street. We ended up calling Holly for help and ended up finding out that we were only 2 or 3 blocks away. We made it with her expert instructions and ended up wasting most of the day bumming around.
We did manage to leave with a few souvenirs...we found a lovely white dress at the Baby Gap to complete our little one's blessing day outfit for $30 (Jeff ended up making up my mind for me to buy it. I kept going back and forth because I had every intention of making the skirt to go with the cardigan I already crocheted, but Jeff helped me realize that I can't make it until she gets here and he reminded me that maybe I wouldn't have to brain power, sleep, or patience to make it then.) He also made me buy a new dress for Sundays. Before this, I had a whopping 2 dresses that fit comfortably and 1 that I could squeeze into with some effort. I really didn't want to buy the dress because it was expensive ($50) but Jeff made me try it on and said, "You like it? Okay, we're getting it." I have to say I wanted to kiss him in the store when he half jokingly and half proudly announced to the store clerk that he was buying some dresses for his girls today. I always love him, but its moments like that that make me gush over with affection and love him more than I thought I could. We also walked away with a book for Jeff from the Border's Bookstore (that is closing and selling everything from 30-50% off) He was able to get the book Auto Repair for Dummies at a killer steal. (I actually happened upon him reading it tonight. He was super excited to have something else to use as a resource for his hydrogen cell project).
We decided to try not to use the Tom Tom to get home and went for a tour of Boise and Meridian. We stopped at the Sonic in Meridian about 5 minutes before happy hour (sad day) and we split a giant ocean water (happy day). We stopped at some stores and looked around (like Big Lots) and we ate dinner at the Texas Roadhouse later that night and bummed around a few other stores that were close by. We made it back to Aaron and Holly's house and were pretty exhausted but it had been a lovely do nothing day- which is what vacations are supposed to be about as far as I'm concerned.
While we were at the mall on Monday,we managed to find the Doc Marten's that Jeff had been wanting for $20 cheaper than we'd been able to find them here in Idaho Falls. They were still $140. I felt bad saying no on that day, but Jeff's financial aid for school hadn't come through yet and because ISU is notorious for screwing up financial aid stuff I didn't want to spend the money that day and then not have money to get home. Because Jeff is so good to listen to my concerns and try to be considerate of them we agreed that if his financial aid came through we would be back before we left to get them. Sure enough, Jeff checked the bank account on Tuesday morning and his financial aid came through. Long story short- Jeff also left with his beloved Doc Marten's that we had been trying to save for since April. I love my husband, he is so patient! I am happy he has his new shoes and he has been super excited about them since we got them.
Jeff also decided to get me some shoes too. I've been wearing flip flops since April (when my feet started to swell). I think I've worn actual shoes two times since and both times I ended up walking around bare foot for the rest of the day (or until I got home) because my feet were too swollen to fit back in them. Jeff was nice enough to see that since autumn is approaching, I may not always be able to wear flip flops. He had to talk me into the shoes again because they were more expensive than I'd wanted to spend (I was thinking more along the lines of $15 and the shoes we ended up getting we about $30) but they were worth it. They have memory foam insoles to help cushion my feet and prevent too much irritation if they start swelling. The sales lady at Payless was super helpful and sweet. She even helped me find the shoes in the color I wanted....and then there was my sweet husband saying, "Just buy them. You like them, just buy them." (Not many wives hear that from their husbands, and I reckon that it will be awhile before I ever hear it again, but it is so nice to hear him acknowledge that he knows my needs and that he knows me...if it had just been me in the store I would have walked away- no matter how helpful the sales lady was.)
We had though about going to the zoo later that day, but then we decided that maybe we'd head home because Jeff wanted to work on his hydrogen cell and had to be at home with his tools to do that. We were both exhausted...Holly ended up convincing us to stay one more night. So, instead of going to the Zoo, we ate pizza with Aaron and Holly and watched movies with Aaron and the girls while Holly was at the dentist. I made dinner that night- one of Aaron's favorite dishes (goulash) he was super excited, like a kid in a candy store. My Uncle Justin and Aunt Lanae stopped by with their little ones to drop off some clothes they had borrowed from my family here in I.F. for a wedding and missionary farewell this weekend while they'd been in town. We got to visit with them for a little while as Holly worked on sewing a new comforter for Lilly's new "big girl" room. Once they left, Aaron and Holly observed and acknowledged that night what Jeff and I already knew- we are old fogeys...we are exhausted by 8:30 or 9 and try to be asleep and in bed by 10 or 10:30 (baby permitting) we all got a good laugh out of how different we are- because Aaron and Holly said that they go lay in bed around 10:30 and are lucky to be asleep by 12:30...it was pretty funny to us.
We packed up on Wednesday morning. Holly was surprised by how quickly we were packed and ready to go. We said our goodbyes and were on the road by 10. (Thanks again Aaron and Holly for opening your home to us!) The trip home was pretty uneventful until we hit Twin Falls... we were thinking of stopping there for lunch, but I remembered the crazy construction going on when we'd stopped there for gas on the way up to Boise so I told Jeff to keep going, I could wait to eat until we were in Burley. Well, we were glad we didn't stop because we saw traffic backed up from the freeway. As we were driving I noticed a flashing notice sign at a weigh station saying that the freeway was closed from exit 201-208. We made our way to the dreaded exits and saw that there was a lot of fresh paved road. I wondered if maybe it was an old notice, but as we approached the exit we saw the yellow signs that warned that there was a wreck ahead and, sure enough, the freeway closed and they detoured us off at exit 201.
We ended up driving what we found was an old highway between Paul and Rupert (by turning on the Tom Tom later)...we also found ourselves stuck in a traffic jam on that road for about an hour...we noticed semi trucks turning off onto the country roads- we started to wonder if maybe we should follow suit. Trusting that the Tom Tom would help redirect our route, we made our way off onto the country roads that surrounded that old highway, and managed to probably avoid being stuck in traffic for another hour...it turns out the wreck as a semi that had flipped and left debris all over the freeway and the traffic jam was due to the fact that Burley was already a little overrun and busy because there was a fair going on.
Needless to say, we ended up getting to lunch about an hour and a half after we'd intended to and we had to wait for quite a while because the place we were eating was packed by fair goers.
The rest of the trip was amusing. Jeff started singing along to music in the car (I love it when he sings...no joke...) and as we got closer and closer he started getting more and more excited. We both passed the time by making stupid, obvious observations and joking with each other about them (for example, we joked about being amazed because we actually saw a single person doing road work after a sign that said road work ahead...every road work ahead sign we saw was followed by long stretches of freeway that were blocked off with nothing going on... we choose to turn what annoys us into a joke...go figure). As we got closer, I mused that if I wasn't so tired and wanting to get home, I would try to convince Jeff to stop in Blackfoot at Jensen's Grove, just so we could stick our toes in and say we'd been to the beach. Jeff agreed that if he wasn't so tired, that would actually be a tempting idea...
We made it back, exhausted but rested (funny how that works) and decided to go out and swim in the pool here at the apartment complex where we live. It was lovely to stretch in the cool water after a long, hot car ride. We came back and decided to go out for one last hurrah. We ate a later than normal dinner at Chuck-a-Rama. I had actually never eaten there before and I must say they renewed my faith in buffets. (A few bad experiences at the Golden Corral in Pocatello had ruined me...gross!) They had a fresh prime rib, ham and turkey out of the roaster, a killer salad bar, and lots of other yummies...and who can resist all you can drink chocolate milk- I know I can't. It was divine.
All I can say is- I know our vacation wasn't filled with activities- it definitely wasn't our idea of what we'd originally wanted our vacation to be (if I thought baby would have cooperated, we would have ended up camping in Yellowstone), but what I can say is that it was a chance to vacate our every day life- which is the purpose of a vacation in the first place. I got to spend some awesome quality time with my wonderful husband before he has to go back to school, and I got to have wonderful experiences that made me appreciate him even more. I didn't need to zoo or amusement parks- I just needed him. In the end, it wasn't what we planned, but we were able to relax and forget about the rest of the world, and that is all that matters.
I love you Jeffry Nielson, and I am so glad I got to spend quality time with you. I'm glad we had nowhere to go in particular and nowhere to be. I'd rather get lost on a country road with you than stay in the finest hotel in the world.
Hugs and relaxation until next time darlings!