Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Getaway

We booked a weekend vacation at Schweitzer during their Fall Fest. Last year we made a day trip to Schweitzer Resort on Labor Day weekend and were surprised that it was a full fledged event. That's when we discovered there are huckleberries growing at the top of the mountain. But there was also a micro-brew tasting and live music in the village as well as some kid activities. So this year we decided to make a weekend of it and really enjoy ourselves. We arrived Thursday night (it always takes forever to get out of town doesn't it?) But we made it and woke up Friday with a plan.
The plan failed miserably. Being short on space to pack cargo we decided to rent bikes up in Sandpoint. Nobody would rent bike trailers for insurance reasons. After finding a few consignment shops and thrift stores and finding nothing, we gave up the idea. Then a new idea was born. Let's rent a boat! Daddy was shocked that I suggested such a fun way to use up fossil fuel fast. He dropped us off at the city beach and went right away looking for a boat rental. He found one and we were soon out on the water!

Sandpoint City Beach
The kids, (and I admit, myself as well) are always amazed at everything Daddy knows how to do. So he steered us out of the marina and under the railroad trestles and then under the long Sandpoint bridge until we were out of the lake and into the wide Pend Oreille river. The kids yelled, "faster, faster!" They loved taking off after being in a no wake zone. They also loved going over the wakes from other boats. My tailbone didn't. They were so excited. So here they are as we start the trip.
Oh the anticipation!
Even Boo was happy to wear a life vest.

Mom and Dad were having a good time too.

Then it was time to turn around and head back. We had boated for an hour and a half up to the town of Priest River. We went up a tributary and enjoyed looking at houses on the water. Some you could tell had been in the family for a couple of generations, each making small improvements. Then there were brand new second homes/ mansions too. Life seemed to be so relaxed and simple. When we turned back, it had grown much cooler and cloudier, but still beautiful.

We made a beeline back to the marina- see why below....

One marmot in the park
Two marmots in the park

Third marmot will not park and cries almost the whole way back!

Sunset at Schweitzer
Even to the top of the mountain she cried and yet the sunset was still amazing. Our little point and shoot obviously gives it no justice, but the sky had fire in the clouds.
The next morning was a new day. Time to ride the chairlift and pick huckleberries. This was my mission. I made it our mission... so we took a little nature trail at the top and found huckelberries. Watching Baby Dragon go from never seeing the berries to identifying them himself and getting clever picking them was my delight. I wore Boo in the Ergo pack and for a while she was content to watch us pick berries but then it became evident that if I didn't start feeding them to her that there would be a revolt. But c'mon, what's more natural than picking berries on a mountain and feeding them straight to your baby? Plus, it reminded us all of the book Blueberries for Sal. So satisfying.

We stopped for a family picture on the trail- Selkirk Range in the backgound and huckleberry plant in the foreground.

Coming down off our mountain high
A side note here: sometimes I think I have nursed a baby everywhere, but this was my first chairlift session.
The next day the weather was cool and rainy, but that didn't stop Fairy Girl from standing in line and shivering while waiting her turn for the bungee trampoline. Burr. But wasn't I good mom for standing with her while sipping my Rogue brew? Poor Baby Dragon was less than 2 pounds too light for the bungee trampoline. Next year little man- you can live it up. It is hard watching the oldest have all the fun.

The back flip everyone loves

We returned home Sunday evening. We decided on the way home that we should use our precious huckleberries to make scones on Monday morning. But before we had breakfast, Selah ran in to tell me that we have a plum tree and there were baskets of ripe fruit to pick. Our lot is full of surprises!

Here's a little sampling of our Monday morning harvest. Perfect fall colors!

The huckleberry scones found a companion in whipped cream. This inspired Daddy's two projects that day- or so I like to think.

Upon finishing breakfast, Daddy set off with his own plans and the two older kids left with Great grandma. I tried to plan our homeschool lessons, but Boo would have none of that...argh. Still how can you be mad when you just had a gorgeous brunch? Upon returning home in the afternoon, the kids found a new rope swing in the backyard! Daddy of the year award coming for sure! He also put trim around the windows of the playhouse which is less glamorous to write about, but oh so necessary to the remodel. So I guess that makes just about the best Labor Day weekend we've ever had!

Watch out Mom!