As we drove through Idaho and Oregon, I realized that I'd never been to the western side of Idaho. I mean, I've only been to the eastern side a handful of times (Lava Hot Springs, Bear Lake, EFY at Ricks, on the way to Yellowstone), but this was my first time seeing places like Twin Falls and Boise. Along the way we saw several signs indicating that a certain town featured an "Oregon Trail Interpretive Center". While we didn't actually stop to see any, the running joke was that it was probably just a room with a bunch of old Apple computers where you could play the video game. :)
Anyway, despite a bit of rain, we made it safely to La Grande, and headed to bed. I was awakened bright and early (emphasis on bright) by the sun shining in through the window whose blinds I had failed to properly close the night before. Given that my window was on the east side of the house, the rising sun found me and got me up for the day in plenty of time to take a quick jog through town.
After a shower and some repacking, we hit the road again, crossing through the beautiful Blue Mountains and dropping down into some nice farmland. Eventually we reached the Columbia River that marks the border of Oregon and Washington, and not too long after reached our destination: a Courtyard Marriott in Richland, Washington. (FYI: the other 2 cities that make up Tri-Cities are Pasco and Kennewick).
Driving through the Blue Mountains
After checking in to one of our two rooms, we found where Jon's family was staying and happened to catch a glimpse of him and Elisha, his bride-to-be getting some pictures taken. After that we took a short walk along the river (the Columbia River again, apparently it loops back) that looked to be pretty swollen with spring run-off and carrying a fair amount of debris.
The Columbia River
Soon enough, we headed over to the temple for a very nice sealing, and then some quick photos afterward. At this point it was nearly 3 and we hadn't had lunch yet, so we found an Olive Garden nearby and stuffed ourselves. Then back to the hotel for a nap, and then off to the reception only a few hours later for more festivities, including a full dinner, which was maybe a bit much for one day.
The Columbia River temple
Getting artsy while we waited for the couple after the sealing
The new couple!
The reception was held at the Moore Mansion in Pasco, outside on the lawn and it was a perfect evening to be out. Not too hot, not too cool. In addition to the dinner, there were some speeches, a guitar solo from Jon, an uncomfortable (for Alicia) boquet toss, and some dancing. Finally the new couple hit the road, and we headed back to the Marriott for a some time at the pool/hot tub. Eventually we called it a night, knowing we had a long day of driving ahead.
My road trip crew
Picture with Jon
We drove the full distance back from Tri-Cities on Sunday, and really not too much to say about it. We were all so full from the day before that, after a brief stop for breakfast goods at WinCo, we made it all the way home without even stopping for food. I finally got around to eating again at 9:30 that night.
I was very grateful that the next day was Memorial Day and that I didn't have to be at work. It was nice to sleep in and just relax, and start catching up a bit on things that I'd neglected while I was gone.