September 4, 2011

Summer Flashback: Anniversary

I spotted this tree house online, while searching for a place to stay for our trip out to Coeur d'Alene in July. When I showed Steve the photos he said, "We are doing that!" But at first, I wasn't so sure. I had imagined that we'd spend our first anniversary in a hotel or spa--you know, someplace with room service and a view of the lake. This tree house didn't even have running water! But luckily Steve convinced me to book it (spas are boring anyway), and we had an amazingly relaxing weekend up in the trees.

The treehouse is one of the "rooms" offered at American Country Bed and Breakfast, which is located just outside of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. I was most impressed with the cleanliness, charm, and hospitality of the hosts, Brian and Shar. And boy, do those two love their antiques and themes! Our treehouse was filled with details that reminded me of a small Montana cabin out in the woods. But the best part was the large deck, attached to the front of the tree house. Steve practiced music while I read The Colors of Hope. It was completely quiet out there, and the view of the tree-lined horizon was even better than a lake. :)

In the morning we walked down a path to the main house where a breakfast tray with fresh coffee and homemade bread waited for us. We sat in the sun for a bit, and then took our half-empty coffee cups back up to the tree house deck, while our hosts continued to prepare our delicious breakfast.

After breakfast we went for a leisurely hike around Mineral Springs and then came back for more relaxing, and later, a delicious dinner at a floating restaurant.

After dinner we checked facebook and noticed a status update by our friend, Greg Ehrlich. He was touring with the band, Allen Stone, and they were playing that Coeur d'Alene! We had to go.

The next morning, July 10th, we enjoyed another yummy breakfast, filled out the guest journal, and said goodbye to this happy place.

We spent a few hours in downtown Coeur d'Alene and got a kick out of the receipt we received after parking in one of the lots.

Another reason for our trip across the mountains was to attend a funeral service in Spokane for my great aunt and uncle (my grandpa's brother). We went to celebrate their lives (both had passed away within the year), their marriage, and the many ways in which they impacted the lives of others.

My great uncle Evan was my grandpa's only brother and they were very close (they are the men pictured above, in my blog header photo). When the boys were young (about 3 and 4), they had their own radio show, and sang on the Vaudeville circuit in Spokane. Their mother would dress them up in costume, mini tuxedos, and top hats, and they would sing and dance while she played the piano. Of course, these were the kinds of memories that came up over and over again at the service, in addition to touching stories about ways that Evan and Betty had selflessly sacrificed money and time to help others.

After the service, we headed to a park for a BBQ. I loved watching my grandpa catch up with his old friends. It's hard to believe that just a week later his heart would stop, and he would be in the hospital himself. It's been a long road since then, but my grandpa is much stronger, and still improving every day. I am sure his brother is very proud.

Throughout the day I found myself amazed by the beauty of friendship and family. Although there was certainly sadness that we could no longer enjoy the company of two beautiful people, there was also a sense of peace, and an understanding that family is not just for here, but forever.

I also couldn't help thinking back to the previous July 10th, our wedding day. It has only been a year, but we've already grown a lot I think--we're a team, and I feel so lucky to have this guy right by my side.

{July 10th, 2010}

{July 10th, 2011}

We drove home that same day, feeling pretty tired, but well rested at the same time. The sun was setting along the Columbia River, so we took some photos along the edge. I just love this picture for many reasons. The view is nice of course, but this is just so Steve. Cargo shorts, flip flops, posing reluctantly for another photo by his snap-happy wife.

This next one is pretty standard too. Pensive, eating a bag of tortilla chips plain. If I hadn't eventually taken those away from him, he would have eaten the whole bag.

I know it's cheesy to say, but the best part about this trip was simply spending time with this guy that I love so dearly. He's funny and kind, and even though he couldn't even set down the bag of chips for the few seconds that it took to take this next picture, I love him. Very very much.


  1. i love this so much. and you two crazy trudelles! i really like the summer flashback idea too, i feel like this summer was so busy that a lot of big things happened (and a lot of pictures were taken) without reflecting on them out here in the blogosphere. can't believe it is already fall! love ya rach. and as always, awesome pics. really like the hugging anniversary pic in the woods!