Sunday – Grand Coulee, Washington to Twin Lakes, Washington

      We had an awesome breakfast at Flo’s Café in Grand Coulee to start our day and I think I loaded up on at least four cups of coffee after my sleepless night making sure Gavin didn’t fall off the bed again. From Grand Coulee we wound up into the hills and into a mountain range where the landscape changed yet again to a thick forest. The drive was fun as it wound and wound its way through the Kettle River Range until we finally arrived an hour and a half later at Twin Lakes.

      Breakfast at Flo’s Café – Gavin found a stuffed bear there that he didn’t want to leave. And for the next hour he would randomly start crying and asking for bear. Then our way out of Grand Coulee, the boys in the car complete with Gavin falling asleep with his goggles on.DinerRoadTrip2012-4062Drive1

      This was the transition from dry countryside to mountain forests – it was crazy how you just all the sudden had a tree line.RoadTrip2012-4063RoadTrip2012-4065

      The view from the mountain road that wound through the Colville Indian Reservation in the Kettle River Mountain Range. Then our first peek-a-boo view of Twin Lakes.RoadTrip2012-4073RoadTrip2012-4076

      The resort we were staying at is called Rainbow Beach Resort and is owned by the Colville Indian Reservation. The cabins were redone some years ago and are described as “rustic” by their own marketing materials (and again why Jeremy told me to have no expectations). There were probably 30 different cabins along the lake front, with a few sprinkled in across a gravel road behind. The main cabin that our family was staying at was nestled up into the hill a little bit from the lake. There were about five docks that were part of the property that you could get to by walking between the cabins. Knowing that I was supposed to not have any expectations, I figured we were in one of the cabins across the road and away from the water.

      Boy was I wrong.

      I think we got one of the best cabins on the property for what we were looking for. We were right on the water, in between two of the docks in an area where the boats will not go, and there was a small beach at the waters edge that was perfect for the kids (a lot of the shoreline was just rocky). I felt incredibly lucky.

      Our cabin was two rooms with a small kitchenette, fireplace, and living area with a couch, tv, and table and chairs. Rustic as it is described must be used for the log cabin exterior and the décor inside. While things were not brand-spankin’ new, this would easily be in line with other houses we have rented for vacations in the past. They were smart putting linoleum throughout with all the time you spend in the water. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but we had a small porch that ran along the front and the main window was a perfect view of the lake.

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      And the view. And the dock right there. And the gorgeous lake. And the little beach. I am in. Hook, line, and sinker – I want to come back every single year.

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      We had such a great day. Our family had a runabout boat and we took the boys out on it. Jeremy took Carter inner tubing for the first time ever and he had an absolute blast! We went nice and slow and he hung on tight and thought it was so much fun. Then after that, Jeremy and I took a turn together and then individually. At one point I think I flew a good three feet in the air (when I was on my own) and then figured I should stop if I want to still be able to move the next day. When Jeremy was out there, cousin Chad (with some egging on from our kids) thought it would be a good idea to see how long it would take to dump Jeremy. HA! Jeremy did well, hung on tight, then had an epic bail that was very impressive.

      We spent most of the afternoon in the water with Carter – I tried to get him comfortable with floating in a life jacket and am once again very glad I got the boys in swim lessons. Gavin was still pretty tentative around the water after his experience at the Edmonds Ferry Dock, but he did wade in some and splash around. But one of the biggest hits for the boys were the fishing poles that we got them. They both had the best time casting in their pretend fish and reeling them back up.

      Swimming with Carter, then hanging out inside the cabin & out front:SwimRoadTrip2012-4083RoadTrip2012-4085RoadTrip2012-4081RoadTrip2012-4090

      The most perfect ending of our day was the suggested night swim by Aunt Sherry. Aunt Sherry is very much the matriarch of the family – she is the kind, grounded center by which everyone revolves. Her patience, her wisdom, and her absolute love for all her children and her grandchildren leave me in absolute awe.

      Plus I cannot express how awesome I think it is that she rallied all the kids together to take a dip in the water by the starlight. It is one of those moments where I paused and thought, “I hope I am always like that. No matter what – if it is warm and there is a gorgeous lake, I am taking a night swim.” So of course I was ready in my bathing suit and willing to take that plunge that took your breath away for a moment, then left you surrounded in a warm cocoon of water in the starlight. The laughing and joking that ensued following that breathless plunge was precious in its own and will be something I always remember. I feel so fortunate to become part of this family.

      Sunset across the lake:RoadTrip2012-4088

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      Just spectacular! Glad it was a great trip!!

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