Tea with Tales and Tails

Three weeks in Idaho were not just filled with gun ranges, rodeos and county fairs (see those stories here!); it had a softer side was well. In between picking up casings and stepping over piles of farm animal poo, I squeezed in a bit of “girl-time.”

My best friend, who has a fantastic new job as a traveling nurse (I must admit to not totally understanding the logistics of the program, but love the fact that if we got posted to DC next, there is a chance she could take a gig on the East Coast and we could be neighbors for a few months) flew up to BOI to spend a few days of what turned out to be non-stop chatter and catching up. As we yakked endless with stories of her new job and my new home, we did find time to do a bit of shopping and not just any old shopping, but shopping with a mission- a Marine Ball dress! She and her husband are going to be in KL this fall, arriving just in time for the annual gala, so a fancy new dress was on the “to do” list. After wandering through the mall and surrounding shops, trying on shimmering dress after glittery dress, she eventually settled on a gorgeous navy blue gown that is going to be perfect for the ball. So pretty!

BFF dress shopping was at the start of my time home, but not content to get away with just one major shopping excursion, I book-ended my vacation with another (bigger!) outing at the very end. This one was with my older sister and two nieces, who needed new outfits for their trip to Washington DC. My sister won a national STEM teacher of the year award and as part of her prize package (yes, there was a whole package!) she got to go to the White House to meet the president and she figured the clothes hanging in her closet weren’t quite White House-worthy, so back to the mall we went! This time we were in search of a couple nice dresses for her various events, as well as for the girls who were invited to the awards reception.  After an entire day at the mall, I think they walked out with six dresses (two each), three pairs of shoes and enough accessories to have everyone sparkling just right.  I do think I created a monster though when I introduced the idea of “holding” a dress while you look at other shops. I don’t think this was on either of their radars and suddenly, tough delicious about which dress to pick were put on the back burner so we could continue to pursue the mall. Put all the dresses on “hold!” In the end, everyone came out looking fantastic. Another successful styling/shopping trip in the books!

Girl-time wasn’t all filled with swipes of the credit card though (luckily most of these were not mine!), as I did get to participate in this year’s annual teddy bear tea party, hosted by my mom for the little girls. This year’s theme was “Tea with Tales and Tails.” We invited the two youngest girls (first and second grade), who were each requested to bring along a favorite tale and tail. Both girls came bearing fantastic picture books and a fuzzy stuffed friend. After hauling out piles of animals from Grandma’s teddy bear stashes, we were ready for our tea party.  A few rounds of “crazy apes” (the dollar store version of crazy 8s), we were warmed up and ready for a lunch of Uncrustables and bananas with pink lemonade to wash it all down. This tasty meal for four was accompanied by everyone reading their favorite book from the pile. Our lovely tea party wrapped up with brand new coloring books and crayons for the littles, which were promptly opened and a fantastic session of coloring commenced.

Looking back, my three weeks in Idaho were actually a well-balanced calendar of “Idaho!” and girly-girl time. Guns were shot. Dresses were bought. Cowboys were thrown from bulls. Picture books were read just in time for back to school. Take a bit of this plus a bit of that, throw them together and you get the fixings of an All-American hometown vacation.

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