Rice showers and squatting in the woods

Sunday afternoon, my family went to the wedding of a family friend’s daughter. She’s Indian (raised in Seattle), and he’s white, but the ceremony was all Indian. Everything was really lovely. I got some laughs before the ceremony started; my dad was sitting next to me, and for a while, was holding his friend’s year-old son on his lap. I heard a family friend behind me ask “Who’s that kid on his lap?” I put my hands palms-up, shrugged my shoulders and said, “Surprise!” All our friends within earshot were cracking up.

So, as we had all walked in, we were handed an Indian sweet and this little bag of colored dry rice. About 2/3 of the way through the ceremony, the priest (another family friend) told us that at three times during his next series of incantations, we were to toss a little bit of the rice up toward the bride and groom. My family was sitting about four rows back in an area with seven or eight rows, which meant that every time the tossing started, we’d get pelted in the back of the head by the rice throwers in the rows behind us. And then, some random person behind us (I didn’t want to turn around to look and give them the satisfaction) started throwing rice randomly at the wrong time! Yeesh. A few minutes later, the guy sitting next to my dad got up for a bathroom run, and on his seat was this pile of the colored rice! We were all like “Huh??,” wondering how/why it had gotten there.

Also, haha, one instruction you’ll hear at an Indian wedding that you’ll never hear at a Western-style one: “Put the coconut over there.”

View of the falls from the viewing deck

Monday (Memorial Day), my friend Chrissy and I headed to Twin Falls for a mini day hike. En route, we picked up Stacey in North Bend. We got a bit of a late start — noon — and due to the nice weather (mid-70s), the trail was pretty packed. But it was so great to be walking near the river’s edge, and then up to the side of the waterfall itself. There was a great, cool breeze coming off the water, and the falls and river were super full due to all the runoff. Midway up the trail, we walked down some stairs to stand in the mist of the falls’ spray. The wind and spray were so intense that when I faced the fall head on, I literally lost my breath. We hiked up to the top — I think just about two miles? — and then wandered a bit down the John Wayne trail, which is an old railroad track, now sans track. We sat on a random log off the path to have a snack. And then..

Stacey, Chrissy and Maggie in front of the
falls

I copped a squat in the woods to relieve myself for the first time in like 10 years (the last time was in India). I had been quite enjoying drinking from my new Camelbak backpack, and there wouldn’t really have been any place to squat in private on the way down. Then we packed up and headed further down the J.W. Trail, and…wouldn’t you know it — hit some Porta Pottys about 10 minutes later. Typical! Then we walked over some trellises/bridges with some great views of I-90 and the mountains, and crossed an area where people — even kids as young as three or so — were doing some rock climbing. Around 4:15, we got back to the car and headed to Stacey’s. Her house is amazing — it’s on one acre of land, almost literally at the base of Mt. Si (there’s only a road and some trees between her front yard and the mountain). We ate some more, lounged on her patio, tossed the slimy squishy toy to Chrissy’s dog Maggie, looked for goats on the mountain (“Goat Watch 2008”! we actually found three), saw a couple birds’ nests (one with little babies, one with eggs) and generally enjoyed the beautiful day. I think we sat out there for like two hours; it was a great way to wrap up the long weekend. Here’s a shot of the view of Mt. Si from Stacey’s yard:

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