These have nothing to do with each other. One is a hike in Washington. The other is a theme park in Idaho. Except I did both last week. And so, one post it’ll be.
This is one of those hikes everyone does. It’s so popular it made the list of hiking trails to close during the height of Covid. Because so.many.people hit this trail. I’m guilty of being one of the many people. We hiked Rattlesnake back when we first moved here—with Mayah and Leilah—because it was recommended to us as one of the must do hikes. And even back then, in 2006, it was super crowded up top. Somewhere I have pictures of the sweet pups up there. But this was back before storing my photos in clouds and I don’t feel like digging. I hadn’t hiked it since, because crowds. I do everything I possibly can to avoid crowds. And I managed to do just this last week…
One of my hiking friends is always down to go super early. And so we met at the Rattlesnake trailhead at 6:30am. The funny thing is, we were going to meet at 6:30am and then decided we’d meet at 6:45am to give us a bit more time before leaving home. We both were there by 6:30am. Which I suppose if we had decided to meet at 6:30am, we would have both been there at 6:15am. I think we both live by the 10 minutes early is on time motto. Even though we were both 15 minutes early. Lucky for us, it was fairly dead. There were maybe six other cars in the parking lot? Which is nothing compared to a regular day hiking there. When cars are lined on the main drag because the parking lots are full, parking under the no parking signs.
There’s nothing major to note from the hike. It was up and back from the parking lot in about an hour and a half. Going up we passed a few people coming down, who were probably up there to enjoy the sunrise. There were two college-aged gals protecting a snail who was crossing the trail. They pointed out the little guy so we wouldn’t step on him. And as we passed, they were discussing whether they should move him from the trail or wait until he crossed on his own. I’m not sure what they decided but I love that they were looking out for the little guy!
Up top, there was only one other person enjoying the view. We looked around, took a few pictures, and called it good. It’s beautiful up there but I was in an up-and-back kind of mood, knowing I had to get home to play mom. Weekday hiking has to be efficient. Brian has that work thing that gets in the way. Going down we passed a few more people heading up, but it was still relatively quiet.
That view! Gorgeous.
That was that. Rattlesnake, check. Maybe I’ll hike it again before another 15 years pass by.
Apparently this is the year for me to take spontaneous trips. Cannon Beach back in March and Silverwood last week. We first went to Silverwood back in May 2019 and the plan was to make it an annual trip. Then Covid happened. We didn’t go last year. And we weren’t going to make it this year. Not because of Covid but because of an already over-scheduled summer. And as a crowd avoider, I refuse to hit up a theme park in summer when everyone else is out and about. And, I’m theme park particular. Silverwood makes the cut. I’ve already told the kiddos I’m ruining their childhood, by never taking them to Disney. I’m not a Disney fan, and have absolutely no intention of ever taking them to Disneyland or Disney World. Instead, we go to Idaho. Hahaha.
We were supposed to go to California, like we do every summer. Back home for Brian and me. It gives the kiddos a slice of what our summers were like, spending the days of summer swimming all day, every day in the ridiculous heat. For reference, it’s going to be 109 degrees in Sacramento on Thursday this week—the day we were set to arrive. Plans were changed two weeks ago… Bob and Tara sold their home, and their new home isn’t ready yet. They’re staying at their second home in the Napa area, without a pool and not ideal for our family to visit. Instead, we cancelled our flights and will go next summer when they’re all settled into their new home and the pool is ready for the kiddos. We were all disappointed but totally understand. And while I was looking forward to going, I’m secretly happy it didn’t work out. Moose isn’t doing so well—his time is winding down—and I didn’t want to leave him for long.
Without a trip to California, I rearranged our June and decided we could make Silverwood happen. First though, I checked the Coeur d’Alene area school calendars. Score. They were still in school on the 11th, their last day. I quickly harassed Brian to see if he could take off to Idaho the Thursday before, and he gave me the okay… at a snail’s pace. One of Brian’s endearing qualities, haha. I then booked a hotel large enough for six people; I had to fib about one kid. Traveling as a large family isn’t always the smoothest. But we manage. And finally, I arranged animal coverage. Even with spontaneous trips, I have things down. And bonus, our friends could go also. We were all set. Until the day before…
Brian often gets all worked up about work stuff. He said he wouldn’t be able to go anymore, that a deadline popped up. In my head, I was like, typical Brian, it’ll be fine. But I played along, and he agreed he could tag along but would have to work from the hotel Friday while I took all the kiddos to Silverwood. I said this was fine, knowing all would work out in the end. Like it always does.
Blaise and Laine had their last day of school on Thursday the 10th. They have a few last days of school from all the programs they attend. The Thursday program runs on the quarter system, so it’s always the last class of the school year. They were in class until 3:30pm, up at Tolt MacDonald. I had everything ready to roll when I picked them up at 3:30pm. All that was left was Brian wrapping up things with work. Brian had told me he’d be able to leave about 3:45pm. Which means 30-60 minutes later. Another endearing quality of Brian… his inability to predict accurate timeframes. Even Blaise and Laine have picked up on this quality of his, haha. Sure enough, it was close to 4:30pm when Brian emerged from his office. We loaded up and pulled out, hitting Starbucks on the way out to charge Brian for the almost five hour drive.
The drive was smooth. We stopped in Ellensburg for dinner, a classy drive-thru McDonald’s dinner. They really need to get with it on the vegetarian burger option. We kept on driving—while the kiddos ate—and drove straight to our hotel in Coeur d’Alene. It was close to 9:15pm when we checked in. Easy peasy. And nobody said anything about the extra kid. A friend worked at a snazzy hotel around here, and she said they never cared about extra people in rooms. I like to think most places don’t care. One of these days we really will need two rooms. Until then, I’ll continue to fib and feel guilty, and totally be in the wrong.
Maive was on a high. She has officially entered the tornado twos. I don’t like the whole terrible thing. Toddlers aren’t terrible, they’re just curious and energetic! All of the other kiddos were exhausted and hopped in bed, while Maive climbed all over them when she wasn’t running around like a maniac. I always book the bottom floor, kids and all. Brian jumped on his laptop to work on his deadline, in hopes that he would be able to make it to Silverwood with us. Maive eventually tired herself out; Brian eventually closed his laptop. We went to bed close to midnight, with Brian telling me he wouldn’t be able to go with us the next day.
Friday morning rolled around, and we were all up around 7am. Well, Maive was up, therefore we were all up. She made the rounds to each bed, waking up everyone. Brian had woken up at 5am to continue working on his deadline. And sure enough, he was able to go to Silverwood with us. Shocker. Haha. It was time to eat. The hotel offers free breakfast, which works out so well for our family. The hotel may be a bit more expensive but without having to buy breakfast, it essentially breaks even. Breakfast, check. Back to the hotel room to get ready to hit Silverwood.
Silverwood was open 11am-6pm the day we went. They have longer hours in summer, but crowds. We pulled out from the hotel at 10:15am, and made it to Silverwood about 10:45am. Having already purchased tickets online, it was super easy to enter. And bonus, we entered about 10 minutes before they opened. Kind of like Costco. They’re always open 10-15 minutes before they officially open.
Let the fun begin!
Once in the park, we hit the carousel before making our way to the kiddie rides and then roller coasters. Blaise and Laine had their sights set on the new roller coaster, the Stunt Pilot. It worked out well, having our friends there also. We had four adults for the seven kiddos, and we were able to break apart to tailor the park to each of the kiddos’ interests. It’s all kind of a blur thinking back, but we were all able to hit the rides we wanted—often more than one time since it wasn’t crowded. I mostly stuck with Maive, whom rode her first roller coaster. A small little train that went around an oval-shaped track maybe five times. She also rode on the elephants with me—and Brian thinks this was too much for a toddler—and the Tilt-A-Whirl. Eh, I didn’t even want to go on that sucker, getting dizzy and all. But I was the only adult with five kiddos, and Baby could only ride with an adult because of the height requirements. So it was either make her sit out or take Maive with Baby. I opted to take Maive. She loved it! Giggled and laughed the entire ride. It probably helped we were with Baby, who has a blast on all rides.
Speaking of Baby loving all rides, she rode a full-on roller coaster like a champ! She loved going fast, up high and dropping low. At the beginning of the day, I took Saige on her first official roller coaster. This didn’t go well. She is our cautious one, almost too cautious. She wanted to ride and I’m proud of her for going, but she has no interest in going on another roller coaster for a while. Baby though, she’s now down to do any roller coaster she can. Blaise and Laine were able to hit the Stunt Pilot and enjoyed the ride. Laine more than Blaise, although I’m not sure he’d admit this. After he rode the Stunt Pilot, he and Laine were in the very front of the roller coaster we took Saige on. I think being in the very front kind of scared him. After that, he wasn’t game to ride any more roller coasters. Fair enough. Laine though, she’s a thrill seeker. She talked Brian into taking her on the Spin Cycle. This ride, it spins while rocking back and forth, higher and higher, eventually going around in a huge circle, while spinning the entire time. And she and Brian hit the Stunt Pilot for a second time.
Stunt Pilot kiddos! They’re somewhere up there, upside down.
Saige’s first official roller coaster, not a fan. Blaise and Laine in the front of the coaster! And Laine and Brian on the Spin Cycle.
Some more kiddos on rides. We didn’t take that many pictures this time.
Blaise was able to do a few games, along with the other kiddos. It’s like gambling, you know you’re just wasting money. But it’s fun. And Blaise finally got a caramel apple! He’s been wanting one for a few years. But everywhere we find one, they can’t guarantee there’s no peanut cross-contamination. They guaranteed it here. Score!
The day flew by, with everyone having a great time… minus Saige’s breakdown after her roller coaster experience. But she pulled herself together quickly, and we all enjoyed the day Silverwood. We closed the park at 6pm and left for Red Robin. As we left the park and headed toward the parking lot, there is a long tunnel to walk through. Midway in the tunnel, Baby started saying, “Echo!” I encouraged her to howl, knowing it would sound cool in the tunnel. Baby wants to be a werewolf when she grows up, so she howls often. She was all in and started howling. And then everyone else in the tunnel started howling. It was a fun moment! If I were to go back to school for anything, it would be psychology. I’d love to understand in depth how and why people do what they do—including myself.
Maive was able to squeeze in a quick, 20 minute nap in the car to recharge on the way to Red Robin. Finally, an Impossible burger! We ended the day with the kiddos taking a swim in the hotel pool, while I put Maive down. She rallied until 9:15pm. A very exciting day for the toddler! We were all tired and asleep by 10:30pm. And we all slept until close to 8:30am the next morning. I think that’s the latest we have all slept in together, in all the years we’ve had kiddos! We quickly got up and going, so we could hit the hotel breakfast before it ended at 9:30am. We ate and pulled out of the hotel by 10:15am.
It was close to 3pm when we made it home. And it felt great to be back home. I love coming home on Saturdays so we still have weekend time left at home.
Until next year. Because Silverwood is officially an annual tradition now.
On Coeur d’Alene.
It’s a great place. I love how clean it feels, and all the neighborhoods and buildings—new and old—look like they are kept up nicely. I often look at real estate there, when I get in my I need change moods. But it feels… red. And very white. There are trucks and American flags everywhere. American trucks. And super big American flags. And it’s almost as if Covid doesn’t exist. Here, where the majority of people are vaccinated—Seattle is the first major city to vaccinate over 70% of residents—and yet people still wear masks. Even though I am fully vaccinated and can walk into Costco or Target—or anywhere else without a mask—I still wear one inside. Like (almost) everyone else who is vaccinated. To be respectful of those who aren’t vaccinated. And because we don’t want to look like we’re on the wrong side of science. I could be more blunt, but I’ll leave it at that. I’d say 95% of people still wear masks inside around here. In Idaho, I’d say 95% of people don’t wear masks. I was the only one wearing a mask when I checked into the hotel. And even at Red Robin where the employees are supposed to wear masks, most were wearing their masks under their chins. Super effective. So while Coeur d’Alene has positives, I don’t think I could ever move there. I’m probably never leaving the
Left West Coast. To each her own, as the saying goes. Coeur d’Alene is for others. I will happily visit.
And a Babyism.
Baby is a hoot. She makes up names for things she doesn’t know what they’re called, and her names are always spot on. She calls the driveway the car cement. I should be able to think of all the many other names she has for things, but they’re escaping me at the moment. It doesn’t help that the toddler is ink stamping my laptop screen as I type. But Baby, when we travel by car, we put the cargo box on the roof. Baby calls this the going somewhere thing. I love this! We were driving one day, and a car stopped next to us with a cargo box. To which Baby said, “Look! They have a going somewhere thing on their car also!” Hahaha. So of course, it’s now called the going somewhere thing around here.