Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Island Park: A Place Close To Our Heart.

Island Park is the place where it all began for Ben and I. I heard about Ben before I met him through a room mate of mine. He had returned from his mission and was giving a returning talk at church and my room mate wanted me to go with her. In the summer, the Island Park ward has three sacrament meetings every Sunday and myself and two other room mates had been asked to sing at the 11am meeting so I decided to miss Ben's talk, oops! Also, Ben's mom had heard me give a sacrament talk a couple weeks earlier and had mentioned to Ben that he should take me on a date and of course he would have none of it being the obedient missionary that he was.

Well a couple weeks after returning home from his mission we met at a young single adult activity; I was caked in stage make-up and quite hyper which led me to touching Ben's leg during a game of sardines.... we were later married.....

One of the most delightful parts about returning to Island Park is that we returned to the fire tower, which is where our first date to Alaska began. Ben must have been a top wooer as I didn't remember the fire tower being SO high. Its an abandoned tower, so the first flight of steps has been removed making it a little tricky to get up. We started our first date by eating breakfast at the top with an amazing view of Island Park and carved our names in the tower. We carved them in the trickiest spot because Ben said he wanted to make sure that no one covered it- he was so sweet. Well, this time we added to our little graffiti. It now reads "Ben and Jess first date 7-31-04 Now married + Jack 7-11-08". Just for your info, the date then lead to a trip to Quake lake, then to the I-max theatre production of "ALASKA" (which Ben had tried to convince me that we were really going to the state of Alaska) followed by ice cream shakes and a hunt for a great date souvenir. It was an amazing date; the first of seven theme dates. Oh, Ben is such a romantic when it suits him.

Our Graffiti

The View from the fire tower

Yes, it is high

Ben's interpretation of Fire

My interpretation of Tower

OK, I will hold back on more reminiscing and continue with our trip. Mom and Dave took us to a beautiful lake and we went Canoeing. We revisited the wonders Yellowstone has to offer. Ben fished a ton and caught lots of fish with his step dad Dave. I ran 7 miles with out stopping and felt exhausted for the rest of the day. Jack loved being with his Grandma and Grandpa. He even said "Grandpa" it was adorable but after saying it twice it never escaped his lips again. Jack loved playing with his cousins and Aunt and Uncle. Rex, our nephew called him "Jacky" and Jack followed him everywhere as his little apprentice. I visited my old home; a delightful double wide trailer (Yes, I was trailer trash) to my sadness the roof had caved in. We played a lot of Skipbo and my dreams are coming true as I am evolving into a competent player: I hate to brag but I did win the majority of the games! Dave took us shooting: it was AWESOME! I shot a machine look a like gun. The boys were rather jealous of my aim as I hit a clay pigeon on my first try, it was pure luck. The entire trip we ate great food and lots of naughty snacks.

The beautiful Lake

Jack and me on the lake

Daddy and son

Jack with his uncle and cousin

Ben preparing to shoot guns. Yikes!

Looking fierce

When we returned home Ben and I wished we could have stayed the entire summer. Island Park was such a pleasant retreat. It was wonderful to be with family and strengthen our relationships. I hope we often revisit this special place.



The Brownings said...

It is great up there isn't it! Looks like you, me and Rella all got a picture with that gun in a very similar pose! Watch out for us girls!

Lesley-Ann said...

You romantic Jess ;) It looks like you had a blast, I agree Island Park is a lovely place, I too was there in 2004 to see you play Laurey in Oaklahoma. End of August I think it was, can you believe that was nearly 4 years ago? Oh I love your impression of the fire tower, couldn't you get your leg any higher?

Debs said...

Looks like you had a fantastic time - I loved hearing about your first date x

Lisa said...

Hey stranger! Glad you had a great trip. :) Give us a call when your crazy class winds down, we've been thinking of you guys.

Michelle said...

That was cute!! It was a fun trick, the boys miss their cousin already.

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