Not Striking Gold

It was another perfect Mother’s Day celebration at my parents’ house this past weekend. The weather was gorgeous, we ate grilled hamburgers on my dad’s new deck, and we played competitive games of ladder golf.

Mother’s Day 2023 was a blessing with beautiful weather, delicious food, and fantastic moms.

However, come to think of it, there may have been one thing that wasn’t so perfect.

As a kid, I dreamed about how cool it would be to have a metal detector. The way I saw it, there was buried treasure waiting to be found in every yard or park I stepped foot in. If only I had the right implement to verify where my fortune rested.

I do remember a particularly magical moment from my childhood when we had a family gathering at Pioneer Park, Walla Walla’s oldest and largest green space. We spotted a man with a metal detector searching near our picnic tables. Much to the poor dude’s chagrin, a few of us kids became his shadow and followed him around the area as he ran his device over the ground. I remember he had small digging tools with him and would artfully puncture the ground when he found a hit worth investigating. Although we didn’t find anything of value while stalking him, my fascination grew.

The years passed and I became an adult. Up until Sunday I had never placed my hands on a metal detector despite my dream of going on treasure hunts. Well, wouldn’t you know it? For my sister’s birthday in March she was given a metal detector—apparently she had the same aspirations as me.

Over the past couple months, she has taken it to the campground where her family stays, the park across the street from my parents’ house, and other various locations. On Sunday, I asked her to bring it over to the Mother’s Day celebration. She obliged.

Miranda gave me permission to “play” with her new toy. When I removed it from the trunk of her car, I realized that it wasn’t some rinky-dink metal detector. Rather, it was a high-tech piece of equipment with multiple settings and all the bells and whistles. Alright, let’s do this.

I took the metal detector to my parents’ yard and started to search for the gold that I knew always existed within the earth. Of course, much in the same way that I observed the man in the park years ago, I suddenly had my own kids and Miranda’s kids tracking my every move.

Unfortunately, sometimes the fantasy doesn’t quite live up to the reality.

Although it was exhilarating at first to move around with the detector, I kind of started to lose interest with it. It wasn’t that I was not registering hits with it—because I was—but there is only so much you can pursue when your dad has stricter “no dig” rules than the Utilities and Transportation Commission. And even if I did have permission to disrupt even a single blade of grass on my dad’s prized lawn, I wouldn’t really know where to start as pretty much the whole premises made the detector go off. Gigantic treasure chest that spanned the entire area or sprinklers and pipes? Sadly, most likely the latter.

It wasn’t long before the detector was off my hand and in the possession of the aspiring young buccaneers who had matched every step I had taken for the past 15 minutes.

I wouldn’t say that my time with the metal detector was a complete bust. I just think it was impossible for it to live up to my expectations that were years and years in the making. I believe if in the future I am able to conduct a “Round 2” in a spot where I can dig freely that isn’t tainted with irrigation equipment, I might have a better experience…and perhaps even find some gold. Don’t Blink.

Another Walla Walla Weekend

I have a lot of family that lives in Walla Walla. Included in that bunch is my cousin, Abby, who also happens to be a very talented hairstylist. She is so good at what she does that Sidney and my brother’s fiancée, Carrie, travel to Walla Walla frequently to have her do their hair. If this sounds familiar it is because back in August I wrote about a family getaway to Walla Walla that was motivated by Sid needing her hair done.

Since that family trip nine months ago was such a success we did it again this past weekend. Only this time we decided to stay TWO nights and we planned the trip with my brother and his fiancée. It was epic…

Before we hit the road to Walla Walla, we ate lunch at Taco Bell in Downtown Spokane.

In a complete 180 from the last Walla Walla journey, Sloan and Beau were excellent in the car (thank goodness)! The first thing we did after we checked into our hotel was go swimming. You had to reserve the hotel pool ahead of time (COVID) so the four of us had it all to ourselves.

We went for a swim in the hotel pool.

After our thirty-minute pool session we went out to a restaurant called the Red Monkey with Glen, Carrie, Abby, and Abby’s boyfriend. After a long week and nearly four hours in the car, it was nice to relax with some good food and conversation. Once our meal concluded we went back to the hotel and got the kids down.

Carrie ad Glen at the Red Monkey in Walla Walla.

On Saturday morning, the four of us ate breakfast in the lobby and then Carrie and Sidney headed off to Abby’s salon. The moment they left, I loaded Sloan and Beau into the car and we started our park tour. We first went to Pioneer Park, Walla Walla’s crown jewel. We played on the playground, fed the ducks, and admired the aviary. My Aunt Nancy also joined us which was really nice.

Sloan playing at Pioneer Park.

We then ventured to Menlo Park where we had the whole place to ourselves. Sloan dug in the dirt but also checked out the playground and ran around the basketball/tennis court. We then picked up Happy Meals and went to a third park, Eastgate Lions Park. The three of us sat down in the shaded grass and had a picnic. It goes without saying that Sloan found herself on the playground before she finished her lunch.

Sloan and Beau eating Happy Meals at Eastgate Lions Park in Walla Walla.

After the whole morning and early afternoon out in the sun, we met Sid at the salon. Her hair looked awesome! Now it was time for Sloan and Beau to have their turns in the chair. Abby cut both their hair and just like with Sid it turned out great. Glen, Carrie, Abby, and the four of us then met at a Chinese restaurant across the street where we had appetizers and some cold ones.

Enjoying some refreshments after a day in the salon.

It was then time for a return to Pioneer Park! Although instead of just the three of us, there were about 20 Resers enjoying the beautiful and sunny evening. We joined my aunts, uncles, and cousins for cornhole, food, and socializing. My cousin’s daughters entertained Sloan and Beau the whole time while Sid and I got to relax and catch up with everyone.

Carrie and Sidney playing cornhole at Pioneer Park.

Eventually we left Pioneer Park and set out to do one final thing that day. We went to the property that Abby’s parents own and saw her animals and rode her horse. Sloan loved riding Abby’s horse, Pricey, but she may have liked just playing in the dirt even more. Sid and I both took turns on Pricey and then we picked up ice cream and returned to the hotel.

Abby and Sloan riding Pricey.

The next morning we went to mass at St. Patrick’s. It is a beautiful church with a vibrant Catholic community. After mass we went to a restaurant called Clarette’s for breakfast. We met up with Glen, Carrie, Abby, Aunt Nancy, Aunt Judy, and my cousin Cody. It took forever to get our food but perhaps that was a good thing because it just meant I got to spend more time with my family. Besides, once we did get our breakfast it was worth to wait. My granola and pecan-dipped French toast was delicious!

Abby and Beau at Clarette’s.

With full bellies, we said goodbye to everyone and then checked out of our hotel and started the drive home. I talk a lot about how it has been nice moving back to Spokane and being able to do a lot with my brother and sister. Well, it is also nice how much we get to do with my extended family as well. They are all so smitten with Sidney and LOVE Abby and Beau. They all made my childhood so much fun and it is such an honor to be able to now share them with Sid and our children. What a weekend! Don’t Blink.

Family Weekend in Walla Walla

My children finally visited Walla Walla.

This past weekend, the four of us traveled south to spend family time in a town that meant a lot to me growing up. Sidney and I wanted to make some memories with the kids so we chose the spot where several of my aunts, uncles, and cousins still live for a one-night getaway.

Now, to say that it was a breeze traveling to Walla Walla wouldn’t be entirely honest. A drive that would normally take a little under three hours took more than four due to FIVE stops along the way. Hey, when you have a toddler and infant what can you expect?

Once we finally arrived we went to my Uncle Bob’s house where he allowed us to cool off in his pool on the hot August afternoon. It was nice to play Sloan’s imaginary games in the water while also catching up with my uncle. It was his first time meeting both Sloan and Beau.

Sloan had a lot of fun swimming in my Uncle Bob’s pool.

From the pool, we checked into our lodging. We played up the fact to Sloan that it was going to be an “adventure” staying in a hotel and she completely bought it. Sloan thought it was the greatest thing that we had a hotel room and became obsessed with the vending machine.

Sloan loved getting to stay in a hotel!

After checking in, Sidney went with my cousin Abby to get her hair done. Abby is an excellent stylist and Sid was ready to get something done after more than a year since her last cut. During this time, my parents paid us a visit as they traveled to Walla Walla for the weekend as well (they started the trend) and my Aunt Nancy did too. After my parents left, Nancy, Sloan, Beau, and I went on a walk in downtown Walla Walla.

Nancy, Sloan, Beau, and I on our walk.

Later that evening, Abby returned a new wife to me! Seriously, Sid’s hair looked great! My Uncle Dick visited us and got his first glimpse of Beau.

Sid’s hair turned out beautiful!

We went to dinner at El Sombrero, a local Mexican restaurant right across the street from our hotel. I actually ate there a lot as a kid and it has only gotten better. Our meal was delicious and after we ate we returned to our room and went right to sleep.

We had a nice family dinner at El Sombrero.

Sunday started at the Maple Counter, a breakfast spot in downtown Walla Walla. Although we were split up because of social distancing, our party consisted of the four of us, my parents, Nancy, Abby (who was celebrating her birthday), and my Aunt Debbie. Just like with Bob and Dick, it was my aunt’s first time meeting Beau.

The Maple Counter in Walla Walla is a great breakfast spot.

Not too long after breakfast, Sidney, Sloan, Beau, and I went to Pioneer Park, an absolutely gorgeous and historic gigantic park in the city. We hit up the playground, admired the pond, and walked through the aviary. The Pioneer experience might have been my favorite part of the whole weekend.

Our stroll through Pioneer Park was a highlight of the trip.

We drove by the house my grandparents used to live in as well as the old family restaurant. As we made our way out of town, we made one last stop at Klickers, a store famous for fresh produce and really good ice cream. Along with peaches and cucumbers, we also got cones.

Sloan eating her cotton candy cone. I got maple nut.

Since Sid and the kids arrived in Spokane three months ago, we have spent all our time here. This past weekend was about getting out of Dodge and enjoying some family bonding. However, it was also about introducing our little ones to the relatives who love them so much. Walla Walla, thanks for a fun and meaningful 24 hours. Don’t Blink.

An Independence Weekend for the Books

This past weekend we logged some miles as we drove across the great state of Washington. My brother, Sidney, and I went hard on our Fourth of July trip as we went from pretty much the eastern most point of the state to the western most point to the southern most point. It was a great time.

Right before we even logged one mile on our awesome trip, we posed for this photo in my parent's living room.

Right before we even logged one mile on our awesome trip, we posed for this photo in my parent’s living room.

On Friday morning, the three of us left Spokane and made the 4.5 hour drive to Seattle. About 60 miles from the Emerald City we stopped in a place called North Bend and picked up my brother’s friend, Cassie. From there we bulldozed straight to our destination, arriving in Seattle at around 12:30 p.m. We spent the afternoon exploring the downtown Seattle area as we explored Pike Place Market and toured the waterfront.

We had fun in Seattle! The top photo is of my brother and I at the Waterfront. The bottom left photo is of Sidney and I at Pike Place, and the bottom right photo is of our crew.

We had fun in Seattle! The top photo is of my brother and I at the Waterfront. The bottom left photo is of Sidney and I at Pike Place, and the bottom right photo is of our crew.

Sidney was a little overwhelmed by the density of people we encountered while walking through the market area. It was shoulder to shoulder the whole time. She also got to experience the incredible diversity of Seattle as well. When it comes to exotic cities, Seattle is definitely right up on top of the list so it was cool to show her it all. As with the rest of the state, it was HOT. After looking around for a few hours, we needed to cool off. While walking back to our car we found a bar tucked in with the endless coffee shops. We dropped in and had a couple cold ones.

Sid and I in front of Pike Place.

Sid and I in front of Pike Place.

From there it was time to prepare for Kenny’s wedding. After a day in the sun, we desperately needed to shower. Thanks to Cassie’s connection, Sidney and I ended up getting ready in a Seattle suburb YMCA. We left the facility all cleaned up and Glen took us to the wedding venue.

Sidney and I all cleaned up in the Shoreline YMCA parking lot.

Sidney and I all cleaned up in the Shoreline YMCA parking lot.

Kenny and Steve had their wedding ceremony on a ship overlooking the Seattle skyline. Specifically, it was on the MV Skansonia, a retired Washington State ferry. The ship was docked on the north shore of Lake Union and the view was absolutely beautiful. The ceremony itself only lasted about 15 minutes but it was enjoyed by all and done exactly to the specifications of Kenny and Steve. Once they said “I do” we enjoyed the reception and I had the privilege of chatting with old co-workers and friends from Missoula. I wish we could have stayed longer at the reception but we needed to get back in the car.

The top photo is of Sid and I with the gorgeous view from the ship as a background. The photo in the upper right hand corner is of the reception (courtesy of Kenny and Steve's photographer). The bottom photo is of the wedding party (courtesy of Kenny and Steve's photographer).

The top photo is of Sid and I with the gorgeous view from the ship as a background. The photo in the upper right hand corner is of the reception (courtesy of Kenny and Steve’s photographer). The bottom photo is of the wedding party (courtesy of Kenny and Steve’s photographer).

With Glen and Cassie waiting at the dock for us, we jumped in the vehicle and started to make the trek to Walla Walla, Washington. On the way we stopped in North Bend and dropped Cassie off. While Sidney slept in the back seat, Glen and I chatted the whole four hours to Walla Walla. We pulled up to my uncle’s house at around 2 a.m. and then crashed on his basement couches, exhausted after a long day.

Later that morning I awoke and talked with my Uncle Bob upstairs as we caught up after a couple years. Glen and Sidney then woke up and we went out and bought fireworks and other necessary supplies at the grocery store. We then went to my Aunt Nancy’s downtown shop where we met up with her, my parents, my cousin (Abby), Abby’s boyfriend, and Abby’s friend. Nancy and Abby showered Sidney with flowers and gifts.

All decked out for the Fourth of July with my cousin Abby in my Aunt Nancy's shop.

All decked out for the Fourth of July with my cousin Abby in my Aunt Nancy’s shop.

After our time at the shop, we went to Pioneer Park, a beautiful large green area in Walla Walla covered with magnificently old trees. On the Fourth of July, Pioneer Park holds a celebration with music, vendors, and food. We walked around and then settled in some shade and ate curly fries. From there we went back to my Uncle Bob’s and we swam in his pool for a couple hours and relaxed.

Some photos from our time at the park and at my Uncle Bob's pool.

Some photos from our time at the park and at my Uncle Bob’s pool.

A little later that night after we all showered we went over to my cousin Rachelle’s house for our big Reser Family BBQ. When Sidney and I arrived, about 20 people were on hand to welcome her to the family. They ushered us all into Rachelle’s kitchen and sang us “Happy Engagement” (to the tune of “Happy Birthday”). It was a great evening as Sidney got to meet my dad’s family and see what being a Reser is all about. We ate good food, played lawn games, told stories, and lit off a bunch of fireworks. It was perfect.

A photo of Sid and I at the BBQ on the left and then a couple photos of my bro on the right.

A photo of Sid and I at the BBQ on the left and then a couple photos of my bro on the right.

The next morning we all met up again for breakfast at a local restaurant. Once again it was a relaxing time where Sidney had the opportunity to get to know my family more. After the meal we took some photos and it was back to Spokane. On the way home, we stopped in another small Washington town, Dayton, so we could say hi to my Uncle Jim. Yet another relative I was able to introduce Sidney to. We arrived in Spokane at around 2:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon.

Me with my Aunt Debbie, Aunt Nancy, and Aunt Judy after breakfast on Sunday.

Me with my Aunt Debbie, Aunt Nancy, and Aunt Judy after breakfast on Sunday.

It was a crazy, fun Fourth of July weekend. It will definitely go down as a memorable one. I am so thankful to my brother who volunteered to drive us on our crazy odyssey. During that drive from Seattle to Walla Walla where Glen and I chatted about everything under the sun while Sidney slept in the back seat, I found it the perfect time to ask him a question. Nonchalantly I inquired whether he would honor me by serving as my Best Man next June. He accepted. By all accounts it was a wonderful trip! Not only did I get to see my good friend get married and not only did I get to see my family and introduce them to Sid, I also got to bond even more with my brother. Epic weekend for sure. Don’t Blink.