We drove over the mountains, and about the time we reached the summit of Cascade Pass, Mitch began to speculate on why nobody had managed to put a tunnel straight through. Why not, he wanted to know–why couldn’t you just burrow right under the mountains and, abandoning the scenic route, forge a straight line from West to East, thereby cutting your travel time in half and causing your car a fraction of the stress it suffers by driving inconveniently over the perilous, windy, but no doubt gorgeous, mountain pass?
This is the kind of guy he is.
What, I answer, and drive to Eastern Washington in the pitch dark? Besides, the mountains are a bit heavy to keep from collapsing a wee two-lane tunnel.
Still, I am enamoured with the thought of some burrowing bit of machinery working its way forlornly through the base of the mountain range, digging on as the mountain methodically collapses the tunnel behind it, foot by foot. Nature, laughing mischeivously at the retreating back of progress.
This is the kind of girl I am.
We arrive in Chelan around noon on Saturday, with full bladders, wind-knotted hair (because we tend to drive any sunny distance with 3 out 4 windows rolled all the way down), and two different Carina Round songs stuck in our respective heads. We arrive victorious, and three hours early for check in.
This is an annual trip: every year, we meet Mitch’s family at the same resort in Chelan. Every year we grill salmon on Saturday night, meet each morning for continental breakfast, where I eat Fruit Loops and Mitch eats yogurt and we both drink lots of watery coffee. Every year we go to the same waterslides, and every year we squeeze into somebody’s room for dinner, balancing paper plates of salmon and pasta salad in our laps; every year I get sunburned, but still, every year I spend lots of time poolside with a stack of half-finished books and my fickle tube of SPF 45. We talk a lot, and play games.
This is tradition. And this is the kind of family we are.
Pretty much, that is a fair summary of this year as well. Talking, games, books, salmon–I did okay in the sunburn department, though, because I’m learning the value of Brimmed Hat + T-shirt + SPF 45 (frequently applied)= happy, if still paper-white, skin. I also switched to yogurt instead of Fruit Loops, for a change.
Every year, we walk down to the lake from our hotel (cross the street, walk down a steep, grassy hill, across a volleyball court, then twenty feet through a park and there, you’re at the lake) and stand out on a floating dock in the wind. It is scenic. Very pretty. But this year, at the top of the steep, grassy hill, I look at Mitch and say, This would be a good hill for rolling.
He laughs. I say, No, seriously.
He says, You first.
So I drop into the grass and roll. I gain speed and am soon travelling much faster than I’d have guessed possible from the top of the hill–but then, it is steep–and every other turn I see Mitch, tumbling down after me, both of us laughing like mad. Finally, I stop and he stops and we both lie helpless and giggling at the bottom of the hill, dizzy and stuck all over with lawn clippings. When we finally stand up, we start laughing again every time we catch each others’ eye.
On Monday morning, we pack up and drive home, tired like we are every year from too much sun, too much laughing, too many games. For a good part of the way home, we sing along badly and at top volume, like we do every year, to the soundtrack of Jesus Christ Superstar (not the Broadway production, but the movie, my favorite part of which is Caiaphas’ astonishingly low “we need a more permanent solution to our PROBlemmmmmmm…”).
And now we are home, back to kitties and homework and dirty laundry and the looming presence of classes and jobs, but I feel rested, all full of naps and finished books and sunshine. Ahhhhhh (and that is “ahhhhh” as in a peaceful sigh, not a scream). There. Ahhhhhh…