We all had a great time spending 5 days in the shopping and recreational metropolis and then another 5 at the cabin in Yellowstone, but I’m having a hard time deciding on what the true highlight of the trip was.
Was it buying 5 jars of Patak’s curry sauce at Super Target, because our “local” (read: day-trip excursion) Target isn’t Super? It barely scrapes by with Mediocre.
Then again, the entire afternoon I spent trawling two towns looking for a replacement contact lens with limited success tops my list of How-to-have-a-good-time-and-bring-out-the-best-in-people accolades. I haven’t managed to tear a lens in 5 years; well, it technically wasn’t torn, but had a minor abrasion.
After being rejected in no less than 6 box stores for apparently having a hard-to-find lens, we went “home” and perused the Yellow Pages. Imagine my delight when the woman said she had a lens, but the axis was 170 and not 160, but she’d give it to us anyway, free of charge since I was on trials, and all I needed was to have my eye doctor fax them my prescription.
After finding their office and waiting about 10 minutes, she returns to the desk and says, “I looked twice and the doctor looked too. We don’t have that prescription in stock.” Flabbergasted, I blurted out, “my husband phoned the office before we came here and we were told you had it!”
Her blank stare told me they’d probably rather have me pay the $28 a box (presumably like the other six people) and I walked out dejected and frustrated. Why would I want to pay for an entire box of contacts I didn’t know I was going to like or need? I have better things to pay my $28 to, like 0.1% of a tank of petrol.
Perhaps it was watching the boys and their cousins pretend fish in the designated non-permit required kid pond at Island Park. I noticed during our dusky sojourn that I was particularly appealing to our blood-sucking nemesis, the Mozzie. Why is it they’ll take my blood, but the American Red Cross won’t entertain me?
The next day, we stopped by in the morning (not early enough) with cast fishing lines, eager for Ian to catch a real fish. At 9 a.m., the fish had already decided they were having none of the hook and line lark and stayed well away, despite the words “catch and release” being thrown around. The highlight was watching Ian run off with his cousins to catch baby frogs, and succeeding; dampened only when Cameron staggered sideways off a small, square floating dock and Daddy caught him mid-leg before he had a chance to really submerge. He cried for a good five minutes. Incidentally, it’s amazing what chocolate-covered raisins will cure — fixed him right up.
Despite the unforeseen NUANCES having a puppy in our life has brought us, it’s been fun to watch him explore his new world outside of his former glass kennel. I laugh and down-right chortle as he navigates 3-inch tall grass with a bounding enthusiasm last seen in the eyes of a Miss Laura Ingles. It’s hilarious to watch him chase butterflies and grasshoppers, or discover that the UFO he is chasing in mind numbing jumps and circles, is indeed his tail. Sometimes he has run so fast towards me, tongue flailing in background, that he goes right over his whilkies and lands flat on his head.
A great memory was floating down a river in an inflatable raft in Island Park, watching the boys’ reactions to swooping fish-seeking hawks, a crane and jumping trout. It still bemuses me that Cameron had flown Transatlantic before he ever set tiny foot into a raft. The time of night was perfect, the sky was aglow with colour and the scenery was breath-taking.
Another dear memory I will forever hold in my heart is watching a man with an Eastern Bloc accent and his 10-year-old daughter edge past our car towards a stationary buffalo positioned in the middle of our lane. There’s nothing like the wonder of human curiosity to remind you of your own mortality. At one point, I had my thumb and forefinger positioned over the button to the sliding door, ready to save them for an impeding gore-fest. It just goes to show you, stupid knows no cultural bounds.
There is something to be said about pure water. There’s nothing like showering in natural spring water and having silky soft hair that behaves itself for once. I miss that already. It was like living someplace else, having to flip on the electric blankets at night and wearing warm jammies because it got below 40 degrees.
I love the Olympics and always have. I was gutted that we’d most likely miss some of my favourite events either entertaining the boys or during mid-travel back up to Idaho. I was delighted the day the (big) boys installed the satellite dish, rendering a beautiful, viewable picture, but then I burst my own bubble when I realised what I really wanted was some sweet WiFi.
We stopped at a popular spot so Ian could see the “stinky mud” (again) and I stayed back with the dog — it has started. After they got back, it was fun to sift through the photos of Ian, obviously offended by the smell of sulfur. I sat in the car and watched people of all ages play the license plate game, to and from the boardwalks. It’s funny to me how the focus of peoples’ comments have went from how cute our boys are to how sweet our dog is, and how practical strangers will come up just to ask what breed of dog he is or comment on his adorableness. It better not go to his tiny wee heid.
There was a conversation of sorts at the cabin that went something like, “Toby just ran off with my socks! Darn dog!” and “Come back to me when he runs off with your bra full sail in front of your father-in-law at 7 o’clock in the morning and I might have some compassion.” Days before we’d headed there, I let the dog out of his crate on the pretense of allowing him to relieve his bladder. Anything is fair game to this amber-coloured lightening bolt. I must say this though, he has improved my reaction times and reflexes exponentially.
And with that, we’re all home again, back to the place I love and hate all in one breath. And, I have a lot of reading and catching up to do.