First stop of our visit was Spirit Lake for a day of party boat cruising. Coming from Arizona, the 80 degrees temps felt amazing to us, but the lake was a tad on the chilly side. We slowly motored around the lake, catching up, and enjoying a few ice cold beverages.
The next morning I taught my Dad how to make a deliciously fluffy Ramos gin fizz. After two batches (and one for the road....only for the passenger of course), Conor & I headed to Montana! His parents had recently furnished an apartment that they own right on the main street through town, Electric Avenue, so Conor & I had the luxury of staying there for the week. Being just down the block from the Garden Bar does have its advantages! We also had a great spot to watch the 4th of July parade. Bigfork gets really excited about Independence Day which works out just perfect for Conor and I!
After the parade, we all got together at the Keenan house for a fun BBQ and some firework watching. Their neighbors put on quite a show every year, so we just sit back and relax in the back yard as the sky lights up all around us. That's exactly how I like it! Bob made a big fire pit that we all gathered around with our wine glasses in hand. A wonderful day! Most of Keenan clan were exhausted after the day's festivities and hit the sheets early, but Conor & I ventured into the Garden Bar that night for a night-cap. Erik Fingers Ray was playing there that night, so we were not going to miss an opportunity to see him. A great Montana one-man-band, he performed at Marissa's wedding the summer before, and I couldn't get enough. We grabbed a drink, and quickly hit the dance floor! A perfect end to the evening!
The next day Conor & I did a little sailing on the hobie cat down off his parents' property. There was just enough wind that day to rip around the lake a bit. We did a lot of this on our honeymoon so it was fun to be sailing together almost exactly one year later!
Later that evening, we celebrated Sara's birthday down on the property. Take-out food from the Bigfork Inn, a few bottles of wine, and one big bonfire! It was a beautiful evening. Some friends and extended family even stopped by, so I had a chance to catch up with my new best friend Jim!
Me & my niece Aria!
Our time in Montana was flying by, but of course I had to see my best friend Amanda! We went to the Red Room with Conor's parents to see Amanda in action behind the bar. This basement bar is awesome. Small and cozy..."practically perfect in every way"! But I needed more of an Amanda fix, so she also came down to Bigfork one day to meet us for lunch and some champagne on the party boat! Where you find Amanda & I, champagne is always soon to follow!
Before we left Montana, we loaded up the truck with some ice-cream from Sweet Peaks on dry ice and headed to Spokane. We picked up the ice cream to serve at a couple's shower that my family was throwing for our good friend Andy Bloom and his fiance Karina. Their ice-cream is delicious and I was excited to share it with everyone in Spokane! Conor & I also made the invites for this shower and I was quite pleased with how they turned out!
The day after the shower was our 1st anniversary! We had a fun filled day which started with a round of golf at Circling Raven. This course is just down the road from where we were married, and Conor golfed there the day before, so it only seemed fitting that we head back down for a round together. It was a beautiful day, and luckily, I was having one of my better rounds! We even had a surprise visit from a moose during our round....exciting and scary all at the same time (he got really close to us)!
After our round, we cleaned up and then drove to Luna for a wonderfully romantic dinner. Luna is one of my favorite restaurants in Spokane and where we had our rehearsal dinner so that made it extra special! The food was incredible as always and made even better by an awesome bottle of Barrister wine. The restaurant was relatively quiet for a Saturday night, which made for a great anniversary date. Our first year of marriage has sure flown by! It has been an exciting year with many many fun memories.
We stopped by Rain downtown for an after dinner drink. This used to be one of my favorite small bars, but I have been a little disappointed lately as it feels like it changed and attracts quite a different crowd than it used to. However, I still ordered my usual (plum lemonade on the rocks) which was just as delicious as ever. Finally, we headed home for dessert! Yes, we froze the top tier of our wedding cake.... Neither of us are big cake people, but it was so tasty at our wedding that I had been looking forward to eating more of it all year! It was actually just as good the second time around too! Kudos to my mom for doing such a good job with the freezing process. We ended the evening with a bottle of champagne and are looking forward to many more wonderful anniversaries just like this one!
Before we flew back to Phoenix the next evening, we made another trip out to my parent's lake cabin for some more party boating. I try to squeeze in all the lake time I can while I'm home! My parents surprised us with our first Euros for our Italy trip (which is our anniversary gift to each other) left over from their own Italy trip. Very fitting for the "paper" anniversary! Inspired by the gift of paper, I got a little crafty and made this for Conor:
We sadly said our goodbyes to my parents and then made a quick stop at Deaconess hospital to see our friends Jason & Audrey and their brand new baby boy! He was so cute and tiny...especially his little fingers...awww! We left the hospital and drove to my Grandpa's house to drop off his truck and my brother was going to pick us up there and take us to the airport. On the drive to Grandpa's we were chatting about what a wonderful vacation we had and soaking in every minute of our time home and...
Then things went bad. Really bad. I opened the camper door to the bed of my grandpa's truck (not realizing that the locks were sticking out) and noticed that my golf club case was the only thing in the back! I immediately think: "I can't believe Conor forgot to load the car before we left the lake!" But instead I politely ask Conor: "Where is all our stuff?" I can still picture the look on his face as he dropped to his knees and told me our stuff must have been stolen! At the hospital? In the middle of a Sunday afternoon?! Oh yes, we had been robbed. Someone had broken into the truck! I will spare you all the scattered details of the next hour as we tried to figure out what to do. I still get angry even talking (or writing about it). Conor's golf clubs were stolen, as well as both of our packed suitcases; which we just happened to have bought brand new for Italy. To make things worse, I had just hit the Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale a few days before and had so many brand-new clothes, all with the tags still on! Ugh! We felt so violated. Many of our things had deep sentimental value, which still makes it hard to think about what has been lost. If I ever see someone walking around Spokane with my clothes on they will see the wrath of Laura! Especially the white dress I wore to my rehearsal dinner and our anniversary! :'( Needless to say, the flight home and the days that followed were long as we couldn't stop thinking about all the things we had lost and tried to piece ourselves back together. It was even more depressing to walk into our home and have nothing to unpack. Unfortunately, we did not get any help from the Spokane Police as they apparently cut their property theft division and didn't see anything turn up on craigslist or the surprising number of pawn shops around the area. We really felt hopeless for a few weeks with nothing seeming to happen with our case. But, with the support of our great families and some digging deep to realize that we were lucky to have only lost "things", we were able to pull ourselves together and start the long process of building back our losses. It is still tough sometimes to walk into our closet and not find that thing you really wanted to wear, but it gets easier as it becomes more and more of a distant memory.
It was good to get back to our little monsters (Macy and Charlie) after a crazy busy 9 days away, but the heat sure hit us like a ton of bricks immediately upon arrival! And we were quite surprised to see the aftermath of the massive dust storm that rolled through the greater Phoenix area while we were gone... What a mess! We are not going to miss those when we move up to Seattle...
That's all to report for this leg of our journeys, more exciting adventures to come in the next few posts! It seems as though we always have lots to catch up on!