This has been the hardest time of my life. Business school was rough, but not having a job coming out of it has been a nightmare. I had been in Arizona for a few weeks interviewing and looking for a job, while Heather had the unenviable task of watching the kids and seeing them evolve into the shrill pill (Sophie) and "That's Mine" Molly. Our family needed a vacation.
When I think of the perfect summer vacation of my youth, I tend to go back to our families' time at Island Park, ID. It is about an hour outside of Yellowstone and it's a hidden gem in terms of summer vacation spots. So I was sooo excited when my Aunt Sybil offered her beautiful cabin on the lake for a family get-together.
I hitched a ride with Steve, Mom, Jen and Baby Brooks up to Utah to reunite with Heather and the kids. With just enough to sleep and pack another bag, we readied our family for the trip. We piled into our Buick to get some R and R, but got a little taste of hell due to a combination of our car's leather-clad interior, and an A/C unit that had stopped working just in time for summer. Winter may be good time to stay in and cuddle, but put me in a car with leather and no A/C and I was not a happy snowman. Sophie's demon shrill grew by 10 decibels with every degree increase in temperature.
As we drove up to our respite from the desert heat, more childhood memories came streaming in with each passing 'Pocatello' sign or farming silo. Some of the memories include riding ATVs on the well-beaten paths of Bill's Island, catching crawdads off the side of the pier, and driving wave runners on Island Park Reservoir. I was hoping this vacation gave the next generation of Williams their own set of memories to glean some sense of a happy childhood.
The first night there we took a later-than-it-looks walk with Sonny Dog and Pajama Molly, who was too excited to sleep due to Grandma, cousins, and the novelty of her surroundings. I'm sure our family thinks we are Nazi when it comes to our sleep schedule for the girls, but Molly got a nice break of 9 o'clock bedtimes (most nights) to get a few more hours of quality time with the fam. (She usually goes to bed at 7ish).
The next morning we went up to Mack's Inn to take a boat down the river.Once there, I asked my brother John, how likely we are to get wet, and he said, "You won't get wet - 99.9% sure." The choice of transportation was either a metal, flat-bottom boat or a tippecanoe. I asked him again if I'd get wet in the canoe and he said no. I almost got in after the reassurance from John, but finally picked what looked like the safer of the two choices with the metal, flat bottom. He was right about me not getting wet, but he didn't account for his boat in his calculations. His canoe tipped due to a dead tree that bisected part of the river. The sad part is most of the river is knee-deep, but that part happened to be chin-deep and John, James his son, and Brent were up to their neck in cold Big Springs water. It also happened to be Brent's birthday. As a gift, he got a new phone. This wasn't a gift given by a family member but from himself, because he happened to drop the plastic bag that was holding the phone in some rocks before he entered the canoe and the small holes in the Ziploc were big enough to ruin the phone. Despite the swamped canoe, this was one of the funner things we did at Island Park.