Boricua and I FINALLY made it back to what is basically Rivendell IRL, aka Sandpoint, Idaho.
As I may have mentioned before, we rotate visiting different places and family members and Sandpoint was definitely due for a turn but then hurricane María happened. So BLESS, big sister decided to get married!! From here on out they will be referred to #S&D on this blog when I am talking about them together.
I will hopefully get to post some photos from their gorgeous and stunning wedding on the lake (those words feel so trite they get used so often in the wedding context but trust me on this one, they're the right words) when we get to see them from the photographer! I was on duty as a helper and off-duty in terms of documenting wedding things. Sarah's friend is a super talented person who is also a professional photographer so that worked out nicely. ;)
I'd also like to write more about the actual wedding! I'm just using this post to share about being home. And in saying home, I do mean Sandpoint but I mainly mean, with my loved ones.
So. In order to keep costs down we flew to Seattle because that was much much less expensive than flying into Spokane. Then we took #bucketlist item the Amtrak into Sandpoint.
Boricua waiting for the train in Seattle.
Commuter trains are a different beast state side. You can see how few clientele. And we noted a very specific demographic!
We definitely didn't want to pay around $50 for them to hold our suitcases while we spent a few hours walking around Seattle, so we took turns - me to take some photos and Boricua to grab us some food. A microcosm of normal life, I would say.
I am not so great at midday, harsh light. I need to get better at that.
Our train is above. The train felt so old and roomy compared to the ones in Europe, even the LONG distance ones as opposed to commuter trains.
If we hadn't been so exhausted (we left our flat in London around 4_30am and by the time we left Seattle for Sandpoint it was around 10pm our time, with a 10 hour ride ahead of us that ended up taking LONGER, I could have enjoyed the view a bit more but I gratefully took a few photos of the very very beautiful pacific northwest and slept, and tried to stay warm. I thought we'd be okay at the end of summer with a light jacket but alas, lesson learned_ never be underprepared for freezing air conditioning even on an old train.
On journeys I like to think of all the modes of transportation it takes us to get from point A to point B. This time it was Uber to the Victoria Coach Station, Bus to Gatwick Airport, Plane to Seattle, Metro/Train to King Street Station, Amtrak to Sandpoint, truck to the Barn. For the record, next time I vote for flying into Spokane like normal people.
The Amtrak journey started off along the Seattle coastline and it was so pretty. I was also astonished at how beautiful Seattle was from the air! So green, and it felt a little bit older (in a beautiful brick building kind of way) and more preppy than a lot of other west coast cities, I think.
Then we started heading through the beautiful countryside that is forests and farms and mountains and hills. Really though #pacificnorthwest = love. We got there almost a week before the wedding started so Boricua and I happily helped with wedding prep in terms of getting my Aunt and Uncle's beautiful home, affectionately, #theBarn, ready to go. (Photo below is the animal barn by the way).
Boricua also helped with hay and power washing the deck. We don't use our real names on this blog but those who know us know what jokes went with that. #secondcoming #walkingonwater #isthatobvious ;)
With all the work, though, we really were spoiled. Boating, the FRESHEST food (we're talking homemade mozzarella and feta people), FAMILY time, the great outdoors, I could go on forever.
I have been telling Boricua how amazing it is to be out on Lake Pend Oreille (it's kind of redundant to say that because Pend = Lake but whatever. It's literally Ear Lake in French) in the summer forever (if our four years of marriage and five years of knowing each other counts as forever).
So I was so so so happy that the boat was fixed and in working condition for him to experience the joy that is boating. Sadly it got a little bit too chilly for joyous canon balls and tube battles but I did get up on the skis if only for him to agree that life on the water IS life.
The sweetest. I wish I could take her with me to London but I am outnumbered. Grandchildren are grandparent magnets and there are way more grandkids in Sandpoint.
And granddogs. This is Sam whom we adopted when I was still in high school. He was the cutest, roly poliest puppy EVER and he walked right up to us (my aunt, uncle, cousins, sister and myself).
We were really missing our Charlito Marie on this trip but in terms of cuteness and oxytocin it doesn't get much better than Sambo. They call him the drive-by licker. #cuteattack.
Link is the cutest too. Look at those EARS though! I have never seen a dog with more dedication to his passions, which in Link's case are chasing light and fetching. They are both so adoring of my tía and it is also the cutest ever to see.
Walking the Longbridge with Dad.
On the water where we should be.
For once, not a selfie!
The world-traveling senior.
The cool girl.
A national treasure.
This is where #S&D got married <3 <3 <3. We got ready in the treehouse and they got to stay there!
Don't mind me I'll just be over here trying to soak up enough Vitamin D to last through a London winter.
Why, you may ask, are there only photos of me water skiing? Good question. The truth is that it wasn't a nice comfy temperature for immersing oneself in the water, so I was the only one who did.
But I needed Boricua to fall in love with Sandpoint in the summer at. all. costs. It wasn't that bad after I was up anyway ;)
And fall in love he did! Not sure how much my water skiing efforts really had to do with it but every little bit, amirite?
It was soooo good to be with family.
As I have been pretty clear, I had a mission this trip. Another part of the mission of helping Boricua fall in love with the Sandpoint lifestyle was doing as many outdoorsy things as possible. The parks in London are absolutely wonderful but one misses the mountains, you know?
So we pumped up some mountain bikes and my tío took us down a really fun trail on Schweitzer. It was Boricua's first time and as usual when it comes to anything involving movement he was way better than me! I did a mountain biking class in undergrad (.5 credits of JOY). I'm not complaining though. As long as he likes it, I'm set! Here's a kind of embarassing video that el tío made, posting it anyway because this blog is principally a record, and this was Boricua's first time mountain biking. Ironically because he was the one who was following the expert my tío the most closely, he is the one with the least footage!
After the wedding I got to play and spend time with family even more after, sadly, Boricua left on a work trip. The boys were behind the Barn acquiring this really fun Ranger I think it is called? So #S&D and myself rode that up and down Baldy mountain. I have never been more covered in dust. It's a really fun "toy" though, it goes fast enough to drive on the road and I drove it to a lunch date with a very wonderful family.