The Weekend Commander Visited: A Birthday and A River Adventure

My dad and his adorable wife Liz, came to visit us over the weekend!  It was their very first visit to our home  here in southern Idaho (Liz's first visit to the state) and we couldn't wait to show them why we love this area so much.  The little boys and I had been looking forward to their visit for weeks.  We don't get to see our family in California much more than once or twice a year, so it's always a big deal and a special treat to get together.  

First off, let me explain that Commander is what my children call my dad, their Grandpa.  He's a retired Naval Commander.  It's the title my step-siblings (Liz's children) use to address him and the name just stuck.  It is definitely unique and pretty special to us--just like my dad!

Our guests arrived Friday afternoon.  It just so happened to be my dad's birthday.  The boys excitedly showed Commander his birthday sign and balloons.  Then Bron grilled us up some juicy steaks and we topped our meal off with an addicting peanut butter brownie cake.  Jed and Levi "helped" blow out the candles.

^^Happy Birthday, Commander!^^

With our tummies full and taste buds satisfied, we took a short jaunt down the road to Rock Creek Station to explore the old "cowboy" headquarters.  My dad and Liz immediately keyed into one of the things I love most about Idaho.  Because of our small population, there is less trash and hardly any vandalism.  There's also no need for extra fees or laws and warning signs.  It's freedom in the truest sense!  And it is wonderful.  From that freedom to beautiful scenery, this state is full of all sorts of hidden gems.   
^^The 19th century general store and saloon^^
^^Levi is such a happy goober!  Also, Commander helping Levi dip his feet in the creek.^^
^^An old cellar^^
^^Just plain precious.  I loved seeing my dad and Liz interact with my children.  There was so much love given and reciprocated!^^
^^Look at that joy!  Jed sure enjoyed the wind in his face on the short car ride home.^^

On Saturday we took a spontaneous trip down into the Snake River Canyon to rent some boats.  I'm so glad we did because our day ended up being one of the most memorable adventures I've ever had!  We wound up with one canoe and one kayak and headed straight up stream towards Pillar Falls.  You guys, this is my backyard!  It is drop-dead AMAZING!  I feel so lucky to call this my home.  There were so many fun and incredible pictures, I had a hard time choosing which ones to post!  

^^The Perrine Bridge, about 486 feet above the water^^
^^Commader showing Levi a tiny fish he caught in his hands^^
^^We stopped off along some rocks and jumped in!  Well, my dad and I did at least.^^
^^View of Pillar Falls.  Water flowed freely over the rocks making pools perfect for wading and swimming in.  I just wish we could have explored more!  Another day.^^
^^Jed was all smiles until he put his feet into the water.  The moss really bothered him!  Haha^^
^^Selfie with the whole gang!  (I should mention that Bron had a bike race in Tetonia that day.  Ooops!  The scheduling was my fault.)^^
^^Chillin' in the water with Commander and blowing his whistle^^
^^I took a turn in the kayak too.  Woo!^^

We seriously had sooo much fun.  There is just something about exploration on the water that makes me feel alive.  I love it.

After several hours in the sun, we were all ready to head back to the house for some quiet and relaxation.  I should also mention that Commander and Liz enjoy spoiling their grandchildren.  Earlier, they had bought both Jed and Levi a couple of boxes of Legos.  Jed received his very first box of real Legos.  You know, the kind kind that get sucked up in the vacuum cleaner Legos.  I should have known Jed would become obsessed with these smaller more detailed pieces.  He's a particular child and he zoned right in on his brand new toy.  Jed and my dad sat at the table for a couple of hours putting the boats and helicopter and submarine together--perfect Grandpa/Grandson bonding experience.

That pretty much sums up our first day together.  Thanks for reading along and be sure to come back for part two of our eventful weekend with family in town.


  1. Commander. I love it. What beautiful scenery and photos!

  2. Oh my gosh. Levi's hair kills me!!

  3. What a fun get-together. Happy belated birthday to "Commander." How nice you were able to be with him. You guys always have the best adventures; I love your ability to just live in the moment!

    By the way, Legos is my son's favorite toy right now. It becomes an addiction :)

  4. That is the coolest name for a grandpa!

  5. I love that your kids call your dad Commander! Once in the Navy, always in the Navy!

    And oh my word, those pictures from y'alls day on the water are breathtaking! I definitely want to get back to Idaho again one day for more than just a drive-thru.

  6. Oh my gosh I love this. Every detail! Sometimes I reeeeally wish we were neighbors!

  7. I love that your kids call your dad Commander. That's awesome!


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