Our weekend here started on Thursday, at least for me. My hubby's started on Thursday night at 6 pm. We had a busy time, but a great time. Our niece who is in the Navy, decided to spend 22 hours of her four day leave with us. We felt blessed. She used to spend every summer, and sometimes spring breaks, with us since she was about nine, but since she joined the Navy nearly four years ago, we haven't seen much of her. So, the time we had with her was very special. She and I spent part of the day reconnecting with my family, and my hubby's mom. She hadn't seen her grandma in four years so wanted to make sure she got to see her on her trip. In the evening, we went out in the boat, and she went tubing and we had a great time. We were beginning to get get pelted in the face with bugs, so we called it a night and enjoyed a meal together. We shared a lot of laughs and memories. Time ended too soon when she left at 5:30 the next morning.
Our niece's parents came in and took her place as our company for the rest of the weekend. We traveled up north so my hubby and his brother could spend some time with their mom. We also spent two hours in the boat going from Sandpoint to the outer edge of Priest River and back on the Pend Oreille River. The 4th of July took us to the mountains to spend some time with both sides of our families, including my sister's stepson who made a trek over the Cascades to spend the weekend in Idaho. We enjoyed riding horses, catching up, trying to stay cool in the shade, and relaxing. We also enjoyed a little wildlife as we saw a turkey with six youngin's and a doe who we know had a fawn close by. A moose was spotted by the in-laws as well. And as always with the 4th of July celebration, we enjoyed good food. My dad had to introduce his version of s'mores to my hubby's family. They said they will never go back to regular s'mores again! To make my dad's version, you take two graham crackers, two roasted marshmallows, and a brownie. You put the brownie in the center of the graham crackers and marshmallows, and enjoy. Since I have a gluten allergy, I have not enjoyed this 'feast,' but I have been assured it's very tasty!!
We left my family behind as we headed down the mountain just a little before sunset. After getting my mother-in-law back home, we headed to the beach to enjoy the best fireworks show I have seen in my old home town. We did sit in what used to be our 'normal' viewing spot on the beach when we lived up there until three years ago. This is the spot where we used to know everyone around us because we had all lived there for a number of years, and we could catch up while we waited for the show to begin. This year, however, as I scanned up and down the shoreline looking at the thousands of people at the beach, I only found six familiar faces, including two police officers and one fireman that I knew. It was a weird feeling! I set that aside as they started the fireworks and I must say it was worth the trek down and back with all the strangers. It was definitely the best show I have seen there in thirty some years of watching fireworks.
On Sunday morning, we checked out one of the new dining establishments in town and enjoyed a good breakfast before we said our goodbyes, and went our separate ways. It was nice to catch up with everyone, and it was nice to enjoy time with our families as we celebrated America's freedom.