August 29, 2015

Family is closer than you think

It rained today, not much, but enough to soak the earth and release the sweet, fresh petrichor (thank you Doctor Who for teaching me there is actually a word meaning the pleasant smell after a first rain). Unfortunately, especially for us parched Californians, the rain did not last. That scent, however, seems to have permeated the air and stripped away that last hint of summer. 

Summer has always been my favorite season. An adoration of the schorching season, for most, is spurred out of the freedom it brings, ie. school's out for summer. For me, it has always been a little more. I love the potential of summer, a few months to just detach from reality and soak up all that extra energy from the sun.

Despite the long hours of each day here we are, somehow, already at the end of August. The past few months were spent as they were meant to be, in true unencumbered spirits and venturesome delight. All beginning with a week spent in Idaho with maternal family Jewel and I had never met, but were undeniably related to. 

Most of us have had that moment at some obscure family gathering where you meet someone you haven't seen since you were about two feet tall (a fact they notoriously point out) and after the gushing, you are left with a vacant familiarity.
To be honest, that was kind of what I expected from this trip to meet extended family we were only acquainted with through photos. 

That said, by some happy miracle (one known as genetics), this was the opposite of true. We met our Great Aunt Joy and some-number-cousin-that-we'll-also-call-an-Aunt Chris, and immediately fell into the kind of goofy ease we retain for close friends and family, or more specifically people we've decided will love us despite our weirdness.

I think the photo below illustrates just how well we all got on after being thrown in a minivan from a family road trip. 

This goofball moment was captured on our way to McCall, Idaho, right before a bathroom break was demanded. What do you want from five women traveling? My poor grandpa.  

The boonies of Idaho, however, were actually a pretty excellent place to make a pit stop, with the stunning scenery all around.  

Going from one remarkable setting to another, we arrived in McCall, a dinky little town with a population of just under three thousand, known primarily for its outdoor recreation. 

As a Northern Californian, I found it a little reminiscent of Lake Tahoe, minus the hoards of tourist. 

We spent our day in the quaint little town exploring and getting to know our family members a little better. This task, we realized, wasn't very difficult given our many shared interests. It was instantly agreed that everyone was down to go thrift, antique, and jewelry shopping.

There was also a consensus between Jewel, my grandpa, and I that Ice Cream Alley was a must. 

I would actually argue ice cream is never not a must, but I digress. 

After indulging with some delectable, gargantuan cones we went to catch up with the ladies.  

We found them around the lake, happy and fingers freshly bedazzled with new bobbles. 

The scenery was too stunning to pass up and a pretty full fledge photo shoot transpired. I'm just disappointed we didn't invest in matching t-shirts. 

After our photo op and shopaholic-ing was complete (for the time being) we headed back to the hotel for an evening in.

Well, some had an evening in. Jewel and I jacked the minivan to go cruisin' (we obviously looked super-swaggity-swag) and search for food. A word to the wise, if you want to eat food that you don't have to microwave in your hotel in McCall, go before 8:30 pm. Small towns are not one for late night eats (oh, how I miss midnight mexican food in San Diego *sobs*). 

Despite our miscalculation in gathering food, Jewel and I were pleased to witness one of the most glorious sun sets I've seen to date. The beauty almost drowned out the sound of our stomachs growling. 

After arriving back at the hotel with a medley of microwavable goods for our relatives, we all hit the hay. Well rested and ready for some continental breakfast to supplement the questionable non-meal from the night before, Jewel and I were up bright and early. By the time everyone else was joining the breakfast table, we were ready for our kayaking adventure. 

The lake was spectacular and we hardly wanted to leave. Eying the jet skis, Jewel and I implored our family that we would need to repeat the trip, a little longer next time. 

Saying goodbye to McCall, with face-fulls of fries, hamburgers, and shakes from My Father's Place, we got back on the road, making several wistful pitstops along the way.

By the time we arrived in Boise, most everybody was tuckered out. My own mother was probably also a bit on the tired side, but being used to Jewel and I's relentless energy, she indulged us a trip downtown for dinner. 

Boise is an interesting city, one I would define as very "up and coming". Its downtown scene is very on trend, full of gastropubs and other eateries, but outside of that is a medley of suburb areas that don't seem to mesh. 

I get the feeling, like Idaho as a whole, if you're a resident and you know all the hidden gems, then you just love Boise. I gathered this mainly because of how jovial the locals seemed to be, living their eco-friendly lives and mingling on the streets.  

The next morning, knowing the best way to start any day, we located a homey coffee shop, called Big City Cafe. We spent much of the afternoon exploring more of the city center, and my notions about the general vibe of Boise were only further enforced. 

With fresh flowers, happy townspeople and pastries the size of my face how could I not be charmed by Boise's atmosphere? Even with it's discombobulated landscape, there was a definite synergy to metropolitan area. 

Though I can't say I'll be moving to Idaho anytime soon, I will say that I enjoyed it. It was somewhere new to me, and that's something I always appreciate. I also admire that it was a place that seems to be taking conscious steps to better its community. 

While we had quite a bit of fun exploring a new city, the best part was really what I couldn't possibly capture in a snapshot, which is probably why much of our week long trip went un-photographed (very unlike me, I know). Listening to stories and telling stories with this kin we never knew was so wonderful. It's amazing how much you can learn about yourself when seeing traits of your own mirrored in someone else; more stupefying still is too hear about ancestors long gone that despite never physically entering your life, still define it in so many ways. 

The assurance Jewel and I made that we would go back to McCall for those jet skis was under false pretense. In all my sappy sentimentalism for a family I never knew but must've always loved, I'll admit that the draw of family stories and shared genetics might be a little stronger than that of some outdoor recreation. 

Yours, Kenna 

P.S. My sappy confession in no way means I would say "no" to jet skis, and in fact think we should always remember that more times than not, the correct answer to life's dilemmas is "both, both is good". 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...