Thursday, July 1, 2010

What happens when the Wilson's go on vacation...:-)

We had an absolutely fabulous 3 days vacation!  What a fun filled time!!
We left around 7am Monday morning.....and got to Spokane, WA around 2 pm or so.  We checked into our motel and then went to visit my friend/pen pal, Gwen, from Australia who was visiting the US.  We had a good 2 hour visit and then went back to the motel and got something to eat.
Around 8:30 am, the next morning, we picked up Gwen and headed downtown Spokane to Riverfront Park.  What a beautiful park!!!  We took Annie, our dog, with us.  The park is animal friendly for the most part except for the inside attractions and a few other things.  
We were so fortunate to find a parking lot right across from Riverfront Park.  We walked across the road and saw a HUGE Red Radio Flyer Wagon.  The tongue of the wagon is a slide.  Of course, we all, with the exception of David and Gwen, had to go down the slide.
Then we walked to guest services and got our day passes....for myself and the girls.  David and Gwen didn't want to ride the rides and the one or two things they did want to do, they just paid admission.
Our first ride was a Gondola ride across the Spokane Falls.  How beautiful!!!  First Gwen, Zoey and I rode and then Nicki, David and I I wanted to see her reaction to the ride.  :-)   This photo shows it as right up next to the falls....and it really isn't that close.  But, you get the idea.  The ride was included in our day pass.

Next we went on the Looff Carousel!  David opted to sit with Annie with the four of us girls rode the Carousel.  Again, the ride is included in the Day Pass.   Zoey and Nicki loved the Carousel horses.   I have to admit, it's been a long time since I have ridden the carousel and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  We had planned on coming back by and riding it again but time just got away from us.

The girls fed the Garbage Goat and rested a little bit before heading over to the Pavilion. 
We arrived at the Pavilion and rode some of the rides. (all included in the day pass) David, Gwen and Annie watched from the arena surrounding the was in the shade under a canopy.
We rode the Tilt a Whirl, Scrambler/Sizzler,Octopus/Spider and Strawberry Go Round.....the girls had a blast!!  I guess they didn't know Grandma LOVED those rides as a kid.  These rides are not the super scary ones.....and that's OK for the three of us chickens :-)  There were some we didn't get to ride as time was running out and there was just so much to see and do.  
Then, we went to the IMAX Theater and saw Wild Ocean.  We wanted to see another one...but we missed it by 15 minutes so went to this one.  
I have to admit....I felt sorry for the dang sardines in this cinema.  But, the theater was cool.....and it was nice to sit down for awhile. was free with our day pass :-)
Afterwards, we met David back by the Clock Tower and we all had some snacks that I had brought along.  
Then, we all decided that we had enough 'fun' for the day and we decided to head back to Gwen's Cousin's house.
BUT...before we did that, we took a drive out Newport Hwy to see where Cat Tales was located, as we were going there the next day.  Then, we went to a small strip mall and went to Fashion Bug....they were having a big sale.
The next morning, we went to Cat Tales.  What a fantastic place.  It's not huge....but you can spend several hours there, easily!  We just enjoyed our time viewing the large 'cats' that they have.  There are picnic facilities so that a family could take a lunch, if they wanted to...but we didn't plan on staying that long.  As it was, we actually did spend 2 1/2 hours there....and could have had lunch...but we opted not to.
 While we were there, the local news station was doing a piece on a baby tiger.  We were standing right next to them while they were filming.
Read the story!  And, click on the Video Gallery to see the dog and tiger interact.  We were watching them as they filmed this story. 
If you want to view more video or see more updates, you can click on the following link:
Afterward, we took Gwen back to her Cousin's house and said our goodbyes.  We were leaving Spokane and heading towards home.
We had snacks in the car until we got to Colfax, WA where we stopped for an early dinner at Arby's.
Then it was off towards Walla Walla, WA.....we took a different route towards home just to see some different scenery.  The rolling Palouse Hills were so pretty.  The scenery got even better as we headed around the lake on Hwy 730 where the Snake, Columbia meet a huge lake.  AWESOME!
We missed our turn off to take us through College Place and Milton Freewater...where I used to live YEARS ago...and I wanted to show the girls....but we didn't realize we were on the wrong road till we were half way to UmatillaBiggs Junction, we'd be about 2 1/2 - 3 hours from home.   While we were still on I-84....a state policeman flew by us going really FAST....we guessed at least 80-100 mph.  We figured there was a wreck ahead.  But....when we got to Biggs Jct, about 9pm.....we hadn't encountered anything so we figured it was on up 84 somewhere.
About 1/2 hour onto Hwy 97, all traffic was stopped!!  We were about 3rd or 4th in the line of traffic.  We were told nothing except that there was an 'incident' about 7 miles up the road and all traffic was stopped in both directions.
We sat for awhile trying to decide if we should turn around and head back to I-84 and take an alternate route...that would have added several hours to our trip, but then someone came by and told us it would be another 2-3 hours and traffic would be flowing we decided that we'd just catch some sleep and head home on the same route we were on.  We were only about 2 hours from home.  
So, that is what we tried to do. was definitely uncomfortable with four people and a 65# dog in a Kia Optima.  We counted over 26 cop cars (local, state and county) blowing by us during the night........and I am sure there were more that had gone up that way before we ever got on that road. 
I finally got in the back with the girls...and let the dog have my seat up front with David.  The girls and I put a large quilt over us and thankfully I had had them bring pillows along.  We slept in between cop cars blowing by us.   Zoey got a case of the giggles....not sure why....probably part from being tired and part from the weird sleeping arrangements....LOL  but we all ended up giggling and laughing because of it.  Her laugh is contagious!!
About 3am....( 5 1/2 hours after we had stopped) we were awakened by blowing horns.   The police vehicles were all coming back down and some were honking their horns to wake the long line of trucks/ they were going by.
At that time, we still had NO CLUE what had happened.  But, we were just happy to be able to head for home.  We got home about 4:45 am...just as it was getting daylight.  We unloaded the car and all headed to bed!!!   AHHHHH our own bed!
When I got up at 11 am....I jumped online to see if there was any news of what had we still hadn't seen or heard anything about the incident.
This is what I read in an e-mail that I get from Alerts.  It was posted around 2:40 am:
News Release from: Oregon State Police
Posted: July 1st, 2010 2:40 AM

A female armed with a firearm surrendered and was taken into custody by Oregon State Police (OSP) SWAT team troopers early Thursday morning following a near 6-hour standoff on Highway 97 at the south end of Grass Valley. Additional information and names will be released later Thursday in an updated news release.

Preliminary information indicates on June 30, 2010 at approximately 8:28 p.m. OSP was asked to respond to assist Sherman County Sheriff's Office at the scene of a traffic stop on Highway 97 near milepost 28 during which a woman was armed with a firearm and shots were reportedly fired. Highway 97 and Highway 216 were closed to all traffic. OSP SWAT team members were requested to respond to help. The woman surrendered July 1st at approximately 2:00 a.m. No injuries were reported.

Highway 97 and Highway 26 will be re-opened by 3:00 a.m.
Wow....what a night!!!
The good news is that this morning, we are all rested and ready to go again :-)  The girls both thanked us for a FUN 3 days.
David went and got the mail and my TAC CATALOGS are in!!!!  WHOOOOOHOOOOO!!!  I am so excited!
Now, to get a shower and get ready for the rest of our day!!
We are all looking forward to the 4th of July....we have a ton of activities going on that weekend.
I'll upload some personal photos, we took, as soon as I get them uploaded to my computer.
Have a great day, everyone!!!


  1. Sounds like a very fun and very exciting time! Thanks for sharing, Char!!

  2. Char, David, Nicki, Zoey & Annie,

    What a fantastic sounding fun filled trip for all. I wish I had gone too! Now, That would have been a very...LONG trip.

    Sounds like you all had the greatest three days all together enjoying all the sights and fun. I am so happy for everyone.

    Thanks for sharing your trip with everyone...:)
    Jackie :)

  3. oh my what a trip...we love Spokane and have family there..but getting stranded on the way home...YIKES..I just picked up a TAC catalog from a demonstrator the images and accessories but was rather suprised how much smaller they have gotten ???....tell me...are they having a hard time staying afloat?...are there many active angels...I know the competition has changed with all the clear stamps and internet and digi's ..just wondering what is going on ...and wondering IF I should re-sign or not..not too many active demonstrators or so I can lack of of blogs and such unlike other companies..what do you think....?
    Deby (remember me....)

  4. Lks like you had a great time on your vacation. I never made it to Spokane while up there, looks like I may have to try it out. Can't wait to see more pics, esp of the girls having fun!
    Christina d

  5. Char, I was finally able to get to your blog and read about your trip. WOW! Sounds like you had a really good time other than the LONG stop you had on the way home.

  6. Nope, TAC isn't having financial problems.

    The catalog is smaller than most because we have three that come out each year. We have the main catalog...and then two smaller ones called Serendipity and Inspiration Avenue.

    I am sure we have lost demonstrators due to the economy....but we've gained some too. TAC doesn't compete against any other company......they do what they feel is the best thing to do for themselves and their demonstrators while giving the customers the best deal they can.

    If you look at the catalog...they have reduced prices on their stamps...while other companies have raised theirs!

    We have The Cinch this year...WHOOOOHOOOO and we also have COPIC CABOODLES.....Copic Sketch markers and matching cardstock called Caboodles.

    I love the new catalog!!!!

  7. What an interesting vacation, Char! Glad you and the girls had fun on all the rides and enjoyed your vacation.


Thank you for visiting me, today. I truly appreciate that you took the time to visit my blog. Feel free to leave a comment. I really like hearing from you! If you leave a comment, I will reply as quickly as possible. Have a great day!!