Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Katie and I traveled to Manitoba on the 25th to attend her cousin Neil's wedding. For cost reasons we ended up flying into Fargo, ND, instead of Winnipeg, MB. Our flight was uneventful and Auntie Cathy was very gracious in driving down to pick us up at the airport - thank you Auntie Cathy! Dave rode down with Auntie Cathy and we all enjoyed lunch at BW3, did some shopping, then drove up to Miami, MB, where we would spend the night at Grandma's house.

On Saturday we had a nice leisurely morning in Miami and then headed up to Winnipeg for the wedding. The wedding itself was very well done and went off without a hitch. After the wedding, we headed to the hotel (the Winnipeg Radisson) for some pre-reception drinks and general partying. Since the hotel struggled to get our rooms ready, all of us had to crowd into one room - which made it all the more fun! The reception was great and included the standard activites: introduction of the married couple, good food, a few good stories, cake cutting, dancing, an open bar, and a midnight buffet. It also included a few non-standard features: injured breakdancing, a certain someone with ripped pants, chases around the ballroom, and lots of 90s music. In summary, it was a great time, right up there with any wedding I've attended!

Sunday we struggled to recover in the morning but made it to Uncle Gord and Auntie Cheryl's house for a nice brunch. After spending a few hours there, we said our goodbyes and headed to Stony Mountain to visit the Lucas family. We had a great dinner there and also got a chance to catch up with the family and play on the Wii. After dinner we returned to Miami where we spent our final night in the 204.

On Monday, we left Miami around 1pm and Auntie Cathy once again drove to Fargo to safely deliver us to the airport. The trip and flight were uneventful and put us in Boise just before 11pm. Of course we both had to work the next day... but the weekend was well worth it!

Congratulations Neil and Tara!!

Manitoba Pictures!

Friday, September 11, 2009

MVP Camping Trip #2

In 2007, we met our friends Sam & Joey Pilon, Karen and Shaun Mouton (all of Olympia) at the Crow Butte Park in south-central Washington. This trip, appropriately dubbed the MVP camping trip, was a great way to reconnect with old friends and made for an excellent weekend. Sadly, there was no such trip in 2008 but thanks to Facebook a 2009 edition was planned for Labor Day weekend. This trip also featured a new participant, Sam and Joey's 8 month old daughter Cecilia!

Due to last-minute planning of the trip, our camping choices were limited but we were able to secure two adjacent campsites at Memaloose State Park in Oregon, just outside of The Dalles. We had concerns that this would be a lackluster place due to it being one of the few unreserved sites left on Labor Day weekend (as of July). Upon arrival, we were quite impressed that our two sites were together, somewhat spaced from other sites, and wooded. The sites also had water and pretty good restroom ("washroom" for any Canadians reading this) access. The park does have some noise issues with a nearby rail line and freeway, however neither was disturbing enough to consider a major negative.

We had a great time meeting Cecilia, catching up, eating lots of food, drinking beer, taking it easy by the fire... all the usual camping traditions. Joey, Sam, and I took a brief hike down through some of the other areas of the park to check out the scenery. The Columbia Gorge is a fascinating place and is a great locale in which to spend a few nights outdoors! Before leaving we resolved to put together a 2010 edition of the trip.. possibly at Ohanapekosh Campground?

MVP Camping Trip #2 Pictures!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

McCleary Band @ The Idaho Botanical Garden

Uncle Gary's band The McCleary Band was playing at the Idaho Botanical Garden as part of the "Great Garden Escape" concert series. After leaving work and having a quick dinner at Subway, I got to the garden around 7:30pm. Katie was unable to attend as she was doing some baking in preparation for our upcoming camping trip.

Having never been to the garden before, I spent a little time checking out the various exhibits which turned out to be quite interesting. There is a large exhibit dedicated to the plants encountered by Lewis and Clark on their travels through various vegetation zones. Having seen many of the plants on hikes around Idaho, it was interesting to learn more about them. I think the Botanical Garden would be especially interesting to visit in the Spring and I definitely plan on going back when there is a little more daylight!

The McCleary Band was excellent as always and Gary was of course on fire. It was a good show that ended a little bit after 9pm in the darkness. The concert atmosphere was great and the entire event was very well put together by the Botanical Garden. They even had Highland Hollow beer on tap!

McCleary Band Pictures!