It’s odd how vacations, which are supposed to be these terribly relaxing times, always start with a mad rush to get out of the house. From what I understand, once you have kids that rush never ends, but alas I don’t have kids yet. We left last night to go on our summer vacation and that rush was in full effect.
We really needed to get out of the house and on the road by 6 p.m., but I had to work until 6 and Jen had to work until 5. Jen managed to get all of her work done just a short time before 5, so she managed to leave early. I asked my manager if I could get out early, but it looked like a grim prospect since we’re short-handed at the moment. My manager allowed me to leave shortly after 5 when I had finished enough work that they wouldn’t be left in the lurch. So, I headed home – things were looking up for us to get out by 6. On my way home I picked up some dinner – chicken strips and jo-jos (potato wedges) and rushed home. Fortunately there wasn’t any bridge traffic so I made pretty good time getting home. On the way Jen called to let me know that her mom really wanted us to print out 5 or 6 of these family tree type things that I made for her family. Anybody that has tried to print high quality color prints with a 6 year old printer knows that it takes a while to get one page out, never mind 6. So, I told Jen how to start the process on the phone on my way home. I get home only to find out the the printer has gimped (grrr) and didn’t print right, so I had to fix it and make it work. So the prints are coming, final packing is happening, we’re eating dinner. 5:45 we’re doing good. Packing is done, dinner is done, prints are coming…6:00 prints are coming…6:15 one more print to go…6:30 done, let’s go!
So, we’re on the road, fill the car with gas, get on the freeway…ugh, rush hour(s) traffic. We push through the traffic and finally get to the open road. 3.5 hours later we arrive in Hermiston, OR. Along the way we crossed the Cascade mountains which are beautiful in the day nevermind crossing them at sunset, which puts the beauty of God’s creation on full display. Then we drove east south east into the Yakima valley – where a large portion of the Apples in the US are grown among other things. The Yakima valley is known by some as the Palm Springs of Washington. It’s a rather dry area and it’s surrounded by reddish brown hills with mountains in the distance. At dusk they change colors depending on the angle of the sun (I now understand where the term purple mountains majesty comes from) – it is again quite beautiful. If you’ve ever been through Washington state you know that west of the Cascade mountains is technically a rain forest – now largely cities, but still a significant amount of forest. On the east side of the mountains is rather arid and dry. So it’s like you go from Maine to Arizona in a matter of an hour. Also, in Washington (and the west in general) we have long sunsets, it doesn’t actually get dark until between 9:45 and 10, so you have the beauty of the sunset for an extended period of time – it’s a great benefit for photographers. On the other hand the sun rises very early – like 4:30 – so photographers wanting to get a sunrise have to get up really early.
Anywho…today we drive from Hermiston to Pingree, ID to visit with my wife’s grandparents. I’m looking forward to this visit since it is my first time. Jen tells me that it’s like they transplanted a little bit of Italy into podunk Idaho. Much of the town is bilingual and doesn’t use English unless they have to. It should be interesting to visit and see what it’s like. I’m looking forward to watching tomorrow’s world cup final (Italy vs. France) with a bunch of native Italians – it should be a fun time.
I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to get on the internet while I’m there, but I will check back the next time I can get on. I will be posting pictures on my Flickr account then. Until then…good day.