Saturday, I woke up slowly and got ready even more slowly. The Holiday Inn Express (which I liked, especially the smell of chlorine which reminds me of swim team) includes breakfast, so I had some muffins and cereal and a glass of orange juice.

We then all piled into the car and drove to a nearby lake, Lake Cour d’alene. Dad booked up seats on a cruise of the lake, and while we were waiting I went for a swim.

The water was cold, but not as cold as Oregon, so I was fine. However, Calum and Mom were sunbathing, and Dad was driving back to the hotel to pick up some things, so I was alone in the water.

A ways out were the string of buoys connected by a rope that marked the edge of the swimming area. I decided that, with nothing else to do, I would swim to them. It didn’t look too far.

I didn’t have any trouble, exactly, because three years of swim team has made freestyle my strong stroke, but it was certainly harder than I’d expected. It was, first of all, a lot farther than it looked, and I hadn’t thought about swimming back as well. Second, I’d never tried to swim for any real distance with waves. They weren’t big, but they were big enough to get up my nose and in my mouth and give me grief. Third, I haven’t really swum since the beginning of April, so I was rather out of practice.

I was fine, and had no trouble, but I returned to the beach tired, which I hadn’t expected, and rather glad I hadn’t tried for anything more.

Soon it was time to board the boat, and we got seats on the top deck near the stern. The tour took us all around the edges of the lake, and a young man pointed out the more interesting features over the intercom.

Cour d’Alene means heart of the awl, because the local Native Americans were known for their sharp trading practices. The boat was called Morning Star in that language.

The lake had osprey, which built their nests on the various posts and structures poking up out of the lake. Ospreys have to rebuild their nests every year, because they rip the old ones up to get their young to leave the nest.

Some of the houses had no roads leading to them. These were summer homes, because parts of the lake did freeze in the winter. However, the lake did have a maritime postal service, five days in the summer and three in the winter, which was pretty cool.

One of the most interesting things we saw was a floating golf green. The rest of the course stuck out into the water, but this one green actually floated, and was on a platform that rotated daily so the game you played was never the same. In fact, if you have ever played Tiger Woods 2005, you might have seen it…

We went on a search for lunch when the tour was done, and stopped at a nice little family sort of restaurant called Perkin’s, where I got fish, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese, which I had been craving. Gooey, fake cheddar cheese covering overcooked elbow macaroni…I would have made about ten boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese had we had a stove…and ten boxes of Kraft…

After that we drove to a Border’s on my request, where I picked up Uglies and Pretties by Scott Westerfeld and Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin. Then it was to Target for a cheap chess set for Calum.

Mom and Dad were pretty exhausted – boats can do that to people – and Calum and I weren’t feeling too active either, so we headed back to the hotel for a break. Mom and Dad lay down for a nap, and Calum and I played chess.

The first game, Calum beat me by cornering my king with his rooks. I, not very good at understanding those sorts of things, nodded and challenged him to a game of checkers. It ended up with his one remaining piece versus all but three of mine. I won. :)

Then we played chess again. I, at some point, realized that my strongpoint was not employing devious and complicated and hopeless strategies, but in finding the flaws in Calum’s plans. That’s what I proceeded to do. I won the next two games.

We got bored, so we settled down to watch the extras on the X-Men DVD, each with one ear of the iPod earphones I had plugged into my laptop. They were cool, but they, too, lose their interest, so we woke up our snoozing parents.

We ended up playing minigolf. I lost against Calum and Dad pretty badly, which was okay because I got a hole in one on the first hole. :)

After the minigolf we went down into the arcade, and I watched two guys play DDR on one of the real machines. One of them – who kind of looked like Christa’s brother – was really good, like Rachel/Rachel’s sister/Bridget good. That’s pretty good.

I played, on my own of course, and was pretty awful. It made me laugh. They had a bunch of songs from all the games, and I was especially awful on Speed Over Beethoven. I beat Calum twice in air hockey, though, which made me feel a bit better.

None of us were really hungry because of the big lunch, so we decided to just go out and get ice cream. It took forever, and included a stop at some IGA, where I found these weird candies called Idaho spuds. They had a chocolate and coconut coating, but what was mysterious was the inside. Was it marshmallow flavored tofu, or coconut flavored marshmallow? Mom though egg whites…the world may never know.

We eventually stopped at this nice, Friendly’s-like restaurant called Shari’s. I got a sundae with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, and brownie. Calum got one with all that plus caramel and nuts. His was called the Turtle which, of course, made me instantly think of Rachel.

Then it was back to the hotel for some minor packing. Tomorrow was a short (short being less than five hours) drive of maybe three hours to Missoula, Montana. Fun stuff. :)


NOTE: Iona’s posts appear courtesy of Broccoli