I don’t know much about receiving lemons, but I do know that when you get a chance for spur of the moment travel, you should take it.
Over Labor Day weekend, that’s exactly what I did. While I’m normally a planner (months in advance), I decided to mix things up with a sudden (for me) trip to the pacific north west.
I flew into Spokane, Washington, then hitched a ride with my parents to Bozeman, Montana in their Airstream camper, with a few stops along the way. We also met up with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew as well, who traveled all the way from their home in India for a vacation.
It was quick, a little stressful (namely packing and getting flights that didn’t allow a carry-on), and fun, though I did miss my husband, who couldn’t take off work to jet off. My time on the road was beautiful and interesting and left me wanting more.
Here’s the first leg of that trip, centered on the beautiful, artsy, and fun Spokane, Washington.
Day 1: Home to Denver, Denver to Spokane
After a quick few hours of work and filling my car with gas, I was on the road to Denver. My home is about three hours away from Denver International Airport, so I gave myself plenty of time to get there and grab a handy parking and shuttle service I found on Groupon.
DIA is my very favorite airport. Though I was missing my favorite travel buddy, it was nice to be back with the giant white tents and funny references to the airport’s conspiracy theories. Security was a breeze, and before I knew it I was on a tiny seat in the back of a turbulent-heavy Frontier plane, wishing I had the sense or budget to have flown on practically any other airline.
Spokane for the Night
My parents met me at the Spokane airport; my dad was helping a random airport employee pick up plastic parking signs that had flown away in a gust of wind. Even in a different state, you can count on my dad being one of the nicest guys in the room. Or on the road, I suppose.
We went straight to downtown, cramming in some sightseeing in a short time frame. We wandered through an annual festival taking place downtown, filling the air with music and a million different food stand aromas. We admired the waterfall and bridges (thinking of Chad, of course) and modern structures. It was busy and charming and we wished for more time.
My mom picked out a really nice wine bar for dinner that night, and we enjoyed a delicious meal complete with fancy cocktails, soup and salads, and a shared dessert. My parents then walked me to a local bar (luckily, because I would’ve gotten lost on my own), where I met one of my good friends from college.
Madi and I met at Baby Bar, a nine-by-nine room in the back of a burrito place. The lights were red, the bartender was nice, and the drinks were heavy-handed. Madi was the Editor in Chief at the newspaper when I was number two and now attends law school at Gonzaga, and so our conversation involved everything from reminiscing to cheering for our current lives (our year in charge was a tough one), catching up with as much as we could in two hours.
In the morning, we packed up the site and went on our way, leaving Spokane behind as we quickly crossed into the Idaho border. Though my time in the city was brief, I found myself promising to return—next time, for more than a handful of hours. Spokane, thank you for your hospitality.