Just a short month ago, Donovan and I packed our bags and flew two states north to Idaho.
Going back to Idaho is always such a sweet trip for me! I grew up spending my summers in Idaho at my grandparents’ house. After graduating high school, I started college in the fun college town of Rexburg, ID. There I met so many amazing people, grew into an adult, and made unforgettable memories. Needless to say, I LOVE Idaho and it’s my second home-state. This trip was especially fun, because it was the first time since our wedding last year, that all of my siblings, their spouses and kids, and my parents got together.
We arrived at my grandparents’ in Idaho Falls at about 8pm. It felt much earlier though because during the summer in northern America, the sun doesn’t even start setting until 9pm. A few of us (and by a few, I mean 11 of us. Haha) went to our favorite ice cream shop, Reed’s Dairy, for world-famous ice cream. We then headed over to my other brother’s house who lives in the same city as my grandparents. We got to see not only my brother’s family, but also my sister’s family who was staying with them. The kiddies were already sleeping so we snuck a quick peek of their adorable, sleepy faces and spent the rest of the night hanging out in the basement. Some of my favorite memories are when we all just gather around, hang out, and laugh.
The next day was 4th of July! We had family pictures early in the morning and finally got some professional pictures taken of the updated Kirkham family (my maiden name). I say updated because it seems like every year in the past, there is always a new spouse or baby being added into the mix. In 2016 alone, we added both my husband Donovan and a baby boy, and since our last family picture, two other babies on top of that!
To celebrate independence day, my awesome sister-in-law hosted a family BBQ for our family and some extended family. We ate carne asada, chips and salsa, watermelon, fruit kabobs, and dessert. All the little kids played water games outside while the “big boys” played with my brothers drone. Soon enough the fiesta turned into a siesta and nearly everyone around me was passed out asleep.
Idaho Falls is home to the biggest firework show west of the Mississippi River, the Melaleuca Celebration of Freedom show. It’s a tradition we’ve done for years. After nap time, we headed over to our spot at a park, brought take-out for dinner, and played until the firework show. Since Idaho summer days are so long, the show didn’t start until nearly 10pm when it was finally dark. Those fireworks always amaze me!
The next day we headed over to my lovely Rexburg and went to a water park with the fam. I love waterparks, they’re so much fun! This afternoon was even better because we picked up an old college roommate of mine, Paola, and we got to hang out all evening! We ate Mexican food with my family, went shopping at the mall, and of course, ate more Reed’s Dairy ice cream.
Donovan and I were supposed to fly home the following day, buuut we were having way to much fun. We spontaneously cancelled our flight and decided to stay a little longer. We trekked over to West Idaho and went to McCall, a little town in the mountains north of Boise. We took a slight detour on our way to go see the Shoshone Falls. Huge waterfalls are breathtaking and frightening all at the same time!
The first night in McCall, I ended up getting really sick. I had a fever, chills, and a nasty chest cold coming on. Thank goodness for DayQuil that helped me get through and enjoy such a fun weekend! We did lots of sightseeing, fishing, hiking, and exploring the mountains. On one of our fishing trips, we were all getting so lucky that we had more than enough fish for our fish fry and started throwing them back in. Again another favorite family memory that night, we all sat around the campfire, enjoying each others’ company and making s’mores.
My cute teenage brother holding our baby nephew on our hike.
Although my favorite activity from that weekend – kayaking. We all went on a kayak trip on this gorgeous kayak trail. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a kayak trail?! We were surrounded by steep mountainsides with staggering pines. It was dusk, the weather was perfect, and the nature so peaceful. I didn’t take my camera with me on the kayak but regret it so much! I can’t describe how beautiful it was! We most likely would’ve seen moose come out for dinner if it weren’t for the adorable, squealing children we had with us. Such a beautiful evening and an experience like none other!
The 22ish hour drive home was rough. It reminded us exactly of why we prefer to fly! Besides it feeling forever long, it was a barren Nevada road, with nothing around us. It felt 3 times longer than it actually was. It also seemed that the moment we drove away, my cold kicked in even worse and I coughed up my lungs the whole way. As soon as we got home the following day, we didn’t even stop at our apartment. We went straight to Walmart to drop way too much money on a humidifier, Vicks rub, medicine, and cough drops.
Traveling is one of our favorite things to do, especially when it involves family. I’m so glad I married a man who loves to travel too. I’m also so thankful that after every trip, we have our cozy home to come home to.