It was Monday, June 14th and Jake nonchalantly mentions "Did you have any plans for this coming weekend?" In response I say "Not really - why?" He just answers with "Don't make any." So it was then that I realized it was my birthday weekend and that he intended to surprise me! Wahoo!!! What a lucky girl I am to have such a (there-is-no-adjective-good-enough-to-put-here) husband.
The week carried on as normal, until Thursday night when he told me to "Pack a bag." Ooooh! This means that we are not only going to go on a little adventure, but that we are staying the night somewhere! Awesome!!! So of course, I pester him to find out where, and how long, and what it was all about --- But to no avail. He's a very good secret keeper! He told me the bare essentials of what I needed to pack and that was it.
Friday (my Birthday) he called from work and said to be ready to leave by 4:00, because that is when he would be home. I had been constructing my birthday cake all morning and hoped that I would be able to finish it in time!
He made it home at 4:00 as promised. Just in time to watch me put the finishing touches on my cake. A few more curly-q's stuck in place, and I was very proud.
And then it was a big whirlwind rush to get out the door. He kept saying "we don't want to be late." Of course I wondered "Late for what!?" and it was all sorts of exciting. He threw a few last minute things into the trunk and we started driving. About 20 minutes from home, he looked over and mentioned that we would be making a stop to get fishing licenses. Yeah - we were going fishing!!! I love love fishing. But wait... I did not bring my purse and could not get a fishing license without my I.D. Could I be any dumber? I told him that I didn't have it and he did a crazy U turn and sped home. Why was he in such a hurry? How could we be late for fishing??? Anyway, we grabbed my purse and then started again. He said we would have to skip the stop and just get licenses later. ooops! Even the best laid plans.... :)
So, we were driving from Rexburg in the direction of St. Anthony. I kept trying to figure out our destination, but I just had to wait and wait as we kept passing town after town. The suspense was killing me - and I admit that it made the drive very fun. A little over an hour in the car and we pulled into Island Park. YES! A little place called "Mack's Inn" right by the river. We checked in, but didn't even have time to put our stuff in our room - It was dinner time! Once I saw the reservation tickets I knew why Jake didn't want to be late. Just up the road was a little playhouse where we had an awesome Prime Rib dinner complete with all the trimmings. Baked Potato, beans, corn, roll. Then cookies and icecream for dessert!
Now that I was overly stuffed -- and overly spoiled-- it was time for the show to begin! The servers who had done such a great job at dinner took the stage to put on a play. We thought it was extra cool that they handled the food, and the entertainment. The show that night was a spoof on the Pirates of the Caribbean, which I enjoyed immensely! Laughed my head off actually. The script was full of Disney references and other familiar movie quotes - It sounded just like daily conversations that Jake and I have that are completely composed of quotes. We loved it! At intermission they called me up on stage and everyone sang Happy Birthday to me. (Awww, shucks.) Then the cast came down into the audience and sold HUGE cinnamon rolls. How we managed to eat anything else after that dinner is beyond me, but we did and they were delicious! We bought ours from the character "Jack Sprat (Jack Sparrow)" and he hung around for a while making us laugh.
After the show we explored the area a little bit. We took a walk down by the river at sunset (awww.... so tender). We found some stumps to sit on and watched the sky as it gradually turned bright orange. There were cool birds perched in a few places around us and it was a seriously picturesque scene. After a few minutes we spotted a big black spot about 500 yards down stream - it was a cow moose! There was no one else around and we felt like someone put us in a National Geographic magazine. It slowly started wandering upstream toward us occasionally snacking on marsh grass. The water would drip from his nose and sparkle in the vanishing sun and oh how I wished I had my camera!!! We spent a good hour watching her, and by this time she was fairly close. She got out of the river on the opposite bank right across from us and she wandered into the trees. We decided we should probably go because the light was all but gone. We got up and started back, but noticed the moose coming back into the river again! It was crossing right in front of us! We held really still and watched as she moved up onto the bank where we were headed. Uh... it was almost dark and it started to make us nervous. We cut all around the back way to our hotel but as we came out of the trees (just in front of the cabin) so did the moose! She must have been really curious because I think she had been stalking us. At this point we were only about 15 yards away from her-- much closer than we wanted to be. She just stared at us. Snikees. It was very quiet except for the breeze and we probably stood there staring at each other for a good 5 minutes before she turned and headed back toward the river. wowza! We quickly went inside and watched from our window. Whew, that was a close one! I will not soon forget this birthday!
Only a few hours left before my birthday was officially over. Time for presents. I know... after all this I still get to open presents! How in the world did I get such a hook up? My Mom had sent a box of small gifts awhile ago and I had brought them with us. They were really fun to open - A giant Hershey's kiss, a cute notepad, some notecards, and some other very useful trinkets. Thanks Mom! Jake also had a few things wrapped - as if a three day weekend in heaven wasn't enough. :) First I opened a little tin box. It had a little piece of paper in it... A DENTIST APPOINTMENT CARD!!! Ugh! Booo! Hisss! Yes, he actually made me a dentist appointment and gave it to me for my birthday. He thinks he is SO funny! Second I opened two movies I have been wanting. "Meet the Robinsons" and "Kung Fu Panda." Awesome! I know, I'm a little juvenile. Last, but not least he got me a gift card to Michael's Craft Store. SCORE! Okay, I guess he deserved to have a little fun with the dentist card thing. sheesh...
The next morning we slept in and then went to a small cafe for breakfast. Again, TONS of yummy food. We got a table outside and ate our eggs while watching people float the river in front of us. It was happy and serene. We took our time about it, but finally headed up to Henry's Lake to do some fishing. This was an especially thoughtful gesture by Jake - He has never fished much and is not really into it. But he knows that I love love it and therefore went with me for my birthday. Does it get any sweeter than that folks? The sun was out and we found a great little spot. Jake had even asked around to find where the fishing was good. He must love me :)
We spent hours and hours at the lake. It turned out to be a beautiful day. The fishing... well... we didn't get a single bite. That's right, not one. And this is me being kind of frustrated about it:
We later found out that the bad fishing was because of the sudden change in temperature in the area. It caused the lake to "turn over" and when this happens the fishing is dead.
But we found plenty of other thing to entertain ourselves....
1- Playing with worms. They began to melt in the sun and became very gooey:
2- Getting hooks caught on our clothing. Jake had a small battle with a spinner:
3- Relaxing. "I'm glad that I live in the beautiful world, Heavenly Father created for me":
4- People watching. A small boat full of kids can be very lively:
5- Leaving our fishing poles unattended. By afternoon we were not even watching our lines anymore.
We came back sunburned, tired, and hungry - but that's okay because we were about to go eat dinner again! Same meal at the playhouse and just as good the second time around. hahaha. I probably ate even more this night! The play was different. It was called Robin of WrottingHam. (A spoof on Robin Hood.) The actors were once again hilarious and did a great job. Jake and I decided we liked the Pirate one better, but only slightly.
Time for our after dinner walk. We chose the opposite direction this time and headed for the bridge. When we arrived we were awed and inspired by the site! In the river, just in front of the bridge, hundreds of fish were spawning! Okay, maybe even thousands. So cool! Uh... of COURSE we grabbed our fishing poles. We checked with some locals to make sure it was legal first, which took way too long and used up our daylight. The good news is - it was legal! The bad news is - fish do not eat much at all while spawning. Drat! We learned the hard way that this was true. We would dangle the bait (worms, flies, spinners, even eggs) right in front of their noses. We would even bump them in the face with it and they were not even remotely interested. I guess they had other things on the brain. wink wink ;) So it was totally amazing to see so many, but a little frustrating that we still caught nothing. We resolved that we had to bring home fish from our "fishing trip" so we would wake up early the next morning.
Bright and early (6:00 am) we were up with our fishing poles in hand. Pretty dedicated don't ya think? I know... I was impressed and surprised as well. Back to the bridge! We just could not fathom the fact that we could see hundreds of fish and not catch any. So we concluded that it had just been the wrong time of day and they would surely have to eat sometime! Fishing is always better in the early morning, right? I even called my Dad, the master fisherman, to give me some tips. A few more hours of the ridiculous routine left us with zero fish. Amazing. bah! I am sure if my Dad had been there applying his own wisdom he could have pulled some out. But we could not! We went back to the lake.
We only lasted about two hours this time. Still Zero fish. We tried a river that also came highly recommended. Same story - zero fish. At this point, we just had to laugh.
We didn't want to give up, but we had to leave by 3:00 so we could get back and get ready for company. Jake had planned to have some friends over for a fish fry that night. uh.... except we had no fish. hahaha! We went over to their place instead and grilled up some steaks. Seriously? More good food? I have eaten so much this weekend! Mmmmm. Hello ba-donk-a-donk bum! We had my birthday cake for dessert and then watched a movie.
Arrived home so tired - but it was such a good tired. Slept soundly (with a little grin on my face.)
Thank you- Thank you- Thank you- for a truly incredible birthday.