Road trips with Mim are always fun. She is one of the only people I have in my life that I can say anything to-absolutely anything-and I know she will take me seriously and never get offended. Sometimes I even tell her things I wouldn't tell Scott. So when we go on these trips, we talk and talk and talk. And when we're finished talking for a while, we're completely comfortable with each other, enough to sit in silence and just think to ourselves.
We always get junky food, but this time I planned on eating healthy instead, so I packed some sandwiches and carrot sticks and flavored waters in a cooler. The second we started driving, though, we decided FORGET THAT, we're just going to eat junk. The cool thing is that we've both been working on our eating habits, so even though we ate badly, we didn't eat as much as we normally do, and we made sure we had something healthy every day, like a giant salad at a truck stop (somehow truck stops always have the best salads. It's a mystery). So as soon as we started driving Friday afternoon we decided we wanted tacos, so we went to Del Taco and got a fiesta pack, and off we went!
We were cruising along, planning on getting to Sandpoint around 10:00 p.m., and then BOOM. Huge traffic jam:
It turns out a semi had crashed pretty badly-there were even news crews there. Whatever happened, we were sitting in 5 mph traffic for about an hour, so the driving time increased there.
We finally got out of it and started moving, and we drove and drove and we got to Pocatello. We had to "powder our noses" so we decided to stop, and we found a gas station. Mim started putting gas in the van and I went inside, and came straight back out because there wasn't a bathroom. Suck. So we went looking for another one, and we came across ISU, which is where Mim started going to school way back when. We went into the student union and used the bathrooms and then we decided to look around. We were going to go to the bookstore to get candy and an ISU shirt for Mim, and their bookstore was closed, so we were mad. We really wanted that candy. But we got over the disappointment, and walked around campus more. We found the physical sciences building:
Where we wandered around to see if we could find the math department. We didn't, but we did look at some of the chemistry labs and they were just so quaint compared to BYU's. We then left the building and as we crossed the street we ran into a man that Mim recognized as one of her math professors from 20 years ago! She remembered him, but he didn't remember her, which is understandable because he's had thousands of students over the years, but they had a nice little chat and then we went on our way (after adding another hour onto the trip).
We decided we still had a desperate need for candy, so we drove around until we found another gas station. We got our candy and then at the register we decided to buy a lottery ticket for a dollar just for fun (Utah doesn't have any lottery tickets for whatever weird reason):
and we didn't know how to use it so we messed it up:
and then we just scratched all of it off to see if we would have won anything if we had done it correctly and of course we wouldn't have won, so we just got five minutes of fun for a dollar and that was that.
We then drove around Pocatello for a little while and we found the old house we had lived in and it looked very different, and we found where I went to kindergarten:
Then we went on our way. We drove for many more hours and finally the candy wore off and we got incredibly hungry so we found a truck stop at around 11:30 p.m. and we had salads. The dressing came in these little pitchers, which I found amusing, so I took a picture:
You'd be amazed at what amuses you that late at night, especially after a sugar crash.
We then decided to call it a night and just finish the drive in the morning, so we blew up an air mattress in the back of Mim's van and put tons of pillows and blankets back there and we just drove over to a dark corner of the parking lot and went to sleep.
In the morning on Saturday we woke up, got more snacks ( I had a cherry pie for breakfast) and started driving again. We got into some really beautiful scenery as we started to get into more of the mountains:
We got to Sandpoint, and while we were driving around looking for a good bathroom where I could wash my hair, we came across Dub's, which is where Mim had her very first job when she was a teenager, so of course we had to stop and take a picture:
After that we drove around until we found a McDonald's because they always have really nice bathrooms with nice big sinks, and I washed my hair (I was a total slob, so this was a very good idea) and we changed into our cute family reunion clothes, and then we had a little snack and we were back on the road. We had to cross a mile-long bridge at one point that goes over a very deep glacial lake, and being over deep water scares me A LOT so I was kinda cringing, and then Mim made it worse by telling me about 20-foot sturgeon that live in the bottom of that lake and then I was all freaked out that the bridge was going to collapse, we would fall in the water and the giant fish would eat us and it would be a horrible death. We did make it safely across the bridge, but I couldn't stop thinking about scary giant fish, especially because she also told me about some divers over in Japan. Three divers went down into very very deep water (it was an exploratory dive) and only one of them made it back up, and he was so freaked out he wouldn't tell anyone what had happened except that there were giant Koi that deep and I assume they ate the other two and now I am afraid of fish. Awesome.
We got to Riley Creek and we had an awesome reception, since nobody knew we were coming and Mim hadn't been to one of these things for like 20 years and I had never been to one at all. It was very funny to hear Mim called "Cousin Barbi" because to me and everyone else I know she's just "Mim" and I forget that that's her name (and yes, she did date a guy named Ken once, but it was only one date). There was food, but nothing looked good so all I ate was a cookie, but I wasn't really hungry so that was ok. I sat around and talked to a lot of people I had never met, and some of them were ok but I am sad to say that most of them were very rude, very racist people. I don't understand how anyone can be racist in this day and age, and I'm embarrassed that it's my extended family, but I suppose that's just the way it is. Sad. But I didn't want to start any fights (and there have been fights in the past, actual fistfights) so I just kept my mouth shut until it was over and Mim and I got in the car and then we talked for a long time about how horrible it is that people still think like that.
After the food I swam in the lake. It was disgusting. I like pools. There's chlorine in pools, and you can see the bottom, and there are no creatures. Lakes have mud and plants and fish and slime and it was gross and gross and gross, but I got over it. My uncle Mike was kind enough to let me take a shower at his house after we all went back to Dub's to get ice cream (I had a hot fudge malt, my favorite ever), so I didn't have to be forever contaminated with nasty lake water.
At one point my cousin Mark congratulated me on my upcoming wedding and I was confused and said "I'm already married..." and apparently he had thought I was 17 and I was going to get married. And then later in the day I was teasing one of my little cousins and I said "Well I'm a grownup and you're not" and Mike was like, "You're not grown up, you just think you are" and I said "I'm pretty sure I am. I have a degree, I've been married for three years, I own a house and two cars, I have a professional full-time job..." at which point he said, "Wait, how old are you?" I told him 24 and he said that he had thought I was 16. So apparently, I have a baby face. I suppose someday I will appreciate this, but for now I want people to think I'm an adult, not a teenager.
The final festivities were finally over around midnight, when we left and started the drive back. We got as far as Cour D' Alene when we decided to sleep. We were so tired out that we slept very very well and when we woke up in the morning we went to the same diner we had gone to last time we made this trip and had breakfast, and then pie, because it's a tradition to have pie at a diner every time we make a trip. The cool thing was, we had the exact same waitress that we had last time.
The pie was delicious, and then we started driving again. There were lots of rest stops and munchies stops and we stopped to have dinner, but other than that we just drove and drove and drove. We were getting very close to my house when we hit ANOTHER TRAFFIC JAM. For crying out loud. Just when we're exhausted and totally ready to be home and almost there, we had to sit in traffic for another hour.
I did make it home, though, so I went straight to sleep and then got up bright and early Monday morning to go to work. I'm surprised I didn't fall asleep at my desk. I'm still recovering, but it was totally worth it because Mim and I had so much fun.
Something funny: we forgot the band saw.