spokane tried roofies, and seattle had a wardrobe malfunction…

…but I think we’re glad to be home.

It will be telling enough to say that there are no decent pictures of Spokane landscapes. Not that there weren’t inspiring views: the snow-capped and cloud-shrouded mountains were beautiful, but goddamn, it was cold.

I took plenty of family pics, visiting Sunshine’s brother and his family. Check ’em out here.

The trip started out slowly enough: a flight into Seattle (courtesy of United’s voucher system, where we received a couple of free roundtrips for taking a later flight home from San Francisco–highly recommended if you can do it), picked up the rental boat (the Mercury Mountaineer?? It’s not Scottish, it’s shite, lad), and bombed the four hours out to Spokane.

Mostly, Spokane was about Sunshine playing with the kids, and me hanging around with my nose in my book. Jefe & E were gracious hosts, generous with their home and food and their tolerance, and there were some great conversations. We did a little tooling around Spokane Friday morning (Thursday mostly consumed by travel locusts), and headed out to Silver Mountain in Idaho (Yay! A new state off my list!) to do some tubing and hanging around in deep snow with Jefe. Sunday was a family day, wandering around downtown Spokane to see the Spokane Falls in Riverfront Park (and the Suction Goat!), eat some eats, and wander a bit around Auntie’s Bookstore (OK, but small).

Monday, we bugged out back to Seattle, to get a little more travel in and reduce the amount of manic go-go-go that could have resulted in waiting until Tuesday.

On the way out west, I grabbed this panoramic set of shots (‘shopped together) of the Columbia River (remember, all pictures are clickable for full-size):

I really wish we’d had more time to explore this area, as there were some amazing sights that I never really got close enough to get decent pictures of–oh well, mebbe next trip.

As we pulled into Seattle, the sky went from battleship grey to a clear blue, with views of the Olympics and Mt. Ranier peeking out peeking out like stray nipples on the red carpet.

By the time we got settled in our room, the clouds had mostly caught up with us. Still, we had an awesome view–check out the view of the hotel from the waterline (it’s the red building in the lower left–the upper white railing lined the balcony of our room–the Inn at the Market is awesome!):

Here’s a taste of that view:

Unfortunately, by the time we got to Seattle, the cold that had threatened us both all week really took a hold of Sunshine, leaving her with energy only for a quick jog down to Elliot Bay Bookstore–definitely one of the highlights of the trip!–and then back to the room for warmth and excessive room service.

The evening closed with this lovely little band:

The next morning, I let Sunshine sleep in (trying to give the Nyquil a chance to set in), and got some scattered shots:

Here’s a view of the Olympic mountain range with the sun just starting to rise in the east:

Of course, we only barely found the energy to go do the obligatory stuff: the Space Needle, a wander around the Experience Music Project (having been inside before, I did not bother wasting the mone again), and a walk down to the Seattle Art Museum’s Sculpture Garden–all of this, pushing Sunshine way too hard for as sick as she was. I think she and I both want to return to Seattle when we’re well and the weather might be a little closer to warmer…here she is, gamely trying to appear like she’s enjoying herself atop the Space Needle:

All in all, it was a good trip, and good seeing jefe and E and the kids, and in general, getting out of dodge is better than staying home, but we are glad to be home. Now if Sunshine could just get past her cold and get her video of the Suction Goat posted, y’all would have a full understanding…

Oh!? And I finally finished Anathem. Good book, I love how Stephenson writes, but it was a labor of love. If it wasn’t Neal’s work, I probably would have given up on it long ago (like I did with his System of the World series). I’ll post a review later–for now, it’s just enough to know that I’ve moved onto new books, like Charles Stross’ The Jennifer Morgue. More coming, me droogies!