Monday, July 21, 2014

Redfish Lake

Redfish Lake, Redfish Lake Lodge in Stanley, Idaho

A few weeks ago, Daniel and I headed up to the Sawtooth Mountains with his family to enjoy a couple days at the lake—and what a relaxing paradise it was! We vacationed at Redfish Lake Lodge in Stanley, Idaho and it was the perfectly rustic, secluded, dream-worthy place we had heard all about. The 18-room lodge sits on Redfish Lake, and is completely surrounded by the rocky, jagged peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains. We were there in late June during the work week, so it was right before the big 4th of July holiday, and hardly anyone was there—it felt like we had the place all to ourselves.

We were up at the crack of dawn (well, I was anyways) each morning hiking, running, and exploring the hills. One morning, Daniel and I beat the sun and trekked 10-miles over a beautiful hiking trail that ended at a beaver dam. That trail began just off Redfish Lake Lodge, and I'd recommend it to anyone who's looking for an easy-going, forest hike. While we were there, we also boated, fished, lounged on the beach, and ate our fair share of ice cream—consisting of at least one soft serve cone (if not two) per day.

For meals, we enjoyed breakfast at the lodge's restaurant, dined at the lodge's outdoor gazebo for most lunches, and drove into Stanley each night for dinner. We ate burgers at the Bridge Street Grill, pizza at Papa Brunee's, and a very nice steak dinner at the Stanley Kasino Club. If you visit the Kasino Club, you must try their mud pie. It's out of this world—I get mud pie everywhere I go... I just love it—and this slice was top notch. It was big enough to feed four, but as you can imagine, I ate the entire thing by myself—and savored each bite.

See more photos from our weekend surrounded by the Sawtooths below.

Redfish Lake in Stanley, Idaho
Sawtooth Mountains in Stanley, Idaho
The beautiful Sawtooths in Stanley, Idaho.
Fishing at Redfish Lake in Stanley, Idaho
Fishing off our pontoon boat. I was the unlucky one who didn't catch anything but some good sun rays that day.
Redfish Lake Lodge in Stanley, Idaho
The guys, enjoying soft serve under the shade of the lodge's patio.
Redfish Lake in Stanley, Idaho
Redfish Lake, Redfish Lake Lodge in Stanley, Idaho
Redfish Lake in Stanley, Idaho
Redfish Lake Lodge General Store in Stanley, Idaho
Redfish Lake Lodge's General Store. There were many, many treats to be found inside.
Redfish Lake Lodge in Stanley, Idaho
Redfish Lake hiking trails in Stanley, Idaho, Fishhook Creek Interpretive Trail
This is Fishhook Creek, which runs right alongside most of the trails surrounding the lodge.
Fishhook Creek Beaver in Stanley, Idaho
We spotted a beaver!
Sawtooth Mountains in Stanley, Idaho
Fishhook Creek Interpretive Trail in Stanley, Idaho

If you're in the Idaho area and looking for a getaway spot that's rustic, romantic, and boasts some of Idaho's most beautiful scenery, be sure to check out Redfish Lake. I can't wait for our next trip back.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The 4th in McCall

Payette Lake in McCall Idaho

Since returning from BMT, I feel like we've been on one vacation after another—and I'm not complaining! This past week, we turned the 4th of July holiday into a four-day weekend and snuck off to McCall, Idaho to join my dad and his wife for the Independence Day celebration.

We fished—Daniel caught a monster!—we people watched at the Mile High Marina, ate delicious food (and plenty of ice cream), played cards, and best of all—we relaxed. For this trip, we decided to bring our bikes along—and boy, we're glad we did. We arrived in McCall and parked our car on Wednesday night and didn't touch it again until we returned home on Sunday morning. We biked everywhere we went, which was easy, considering that my dad's wife's cabin is a mile from the lake.

It was just an awesome and fun-filled vacation. Oh, and the firework show was amazing. If you're in the Idaho area for the 4th and are looking for a good firework show, Payette Lake brings only the best.

Fishing Payette Lake in McCall Idaho
Daniel did catch a much bigger fish as well, promise!
4th of July at Payette Lake in McCall Idaho
The mayhem on Payette Lake during the 4th.
4th of July at Payette Lake in McCall Idaho
Relaxing on the party barge before the big firework show.
4th of July at Payette Lake in McCall Idaho
Ready for the fireworks!
4th of July at Payette Lake in McCall Idaho
Our friends Casey and Erica joined us for the firework celebration.

What an awesome 4th it was. It felt a little different now—you know, since joining the military. It feels good. I am very, very proud to be an American, that's for sure. God bless the U.S.A.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

BMT: Graduation Weekend in San Antonio

BMT Graduation, Town Pass in San Antonio, Mi Tierra at El Mercado
Visiting Mi Tierra in El Mercado.

After graduating Air Force Basic Military Training, you are offered the opportunity to explore Lackland Air Force Base and the San Antonio area with your family for a few days before you head off to Tech School—or in my case—home. Luckily for me, I was able to go off base Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and I enjoyed every moment (some people aren't able to leave the base Sunday—it's an earned privilege).

Thursday after Retreat, I got to see all of Lackland Air Force Base, visited each BX to do a little shopping, and enjoyed one amazing—and giant—ice cream cone. There was even time to sneak in a much overdue nap... what a luxury that was!

Friday after Parade, we were released to venture out to San Antonio. After visiting El Mercado and dining on the most delicious Mexican food at Mi Tierra (their bakery is insane—you must give it a shot!), we headed over to the River Walk for a few hours to take in the sights, visit the Alamo, and grab some more grub. The River Walk was unlike anything I have ever seen before, and I absolutely loved it!

Saturday, we did a little more shopping at the BX's, drove around the city, ate even more ice cream, and eventually found ourselves at Sea World. I've been to Sea World a couple times before, but riding the roller coasters in my blues was something I won't forget anytime soon.

Sunday was a treat—I got to take my family to church! The trainee church service at Lackland is something that I will always cherish. Each Sunday brought with it happiness—and occasionally tears—and my last Sunday was something I wasn't going to miss. After church, we once again drove around San Antonio, only to find that things didn't get going in Texas quite as early as we had expected. The mall and most stores were closed until noon, so I treated myself to a manicure (it was heavenly!) and a nap. Talk about a treat!

BMT Graduation, Town Pass in San Antonio
I'd been waiting 8.5 weeks for a treat like this... it was so worth it!
BMT Graduation, Town Pass in San Antonio, River Walk San Antonio
Overlooking the River Walk.
BMT Graduation, Town Pass in San Antonio, The Alamo in San Antonio
The Alamo.
BMT Graduation, Town Pass in San Antonio
Relaxing on the River Walk.
BMT Graduation, Town Pass in San Antonio
Enjoying Lackland with my mom.

San Antonio—such a beautiful city. I was very grateful for the chance to explore it over the course of my last few days at BMT!

Sunday evening, I bid my family farewell and returned to the dorms to pack my things. Unlike almost everyone else in my flight, I was headed home for a several month break before Tech School, so it wasn't a bittersweet goodbye for me... I knew I would be seeing my family again in about 12-hours. While packing and sharing stories, I was able to look back over the last 8.5 weeks with not a single regret and a huge smile on my face. Oh BMT, what an experience!

See my other Basic Military Training experiences here: I am an American Airman │ BMT: Retreat, Parade & Graduation │ BMT: Graduation Weekend in San Antonio │ BMT: PT & Top PT Award │ BMT: Highlights & Final Thoughts

Friday, June 20, 2014

BMT: Retreat, Parade & Graduation

Air Force BMT Graduation Parade

After 8.5 long—and honestly enjoyable—weeks at Air Force Basic Military Training, I had finally made it to graduation day. What an honor—and what a relief. It was finally here.

Graduation weekend is divided into two parts, Retreat (which takes place on Thursday after the Airman's Run) and Parade (which is on Friday). Retreat began with the Honor Graduate Ceremony, which I was grateful to participate in. Out of 586 airman in our week's graduating class, I was chosen as part of the top 10% as an honor graduate. Honor graduate selection is based on several different factors, including final EOC (end of course) test score, PT (physical training) points, leadership points, and a personal rating and recommendation from your MTI. All points are added and compared and the top 10% are the ones that make the cut. I was very fortunate to be included in that group—and I took home a very neat coin, certificate, and uniform ribbon for my achievement.

After the Honor Graduate Ceremony, all of the flights march onto the retreat pad for the Airman's Coin Ceremony. After a few songs from the band flight (which I was in!), the MTI's give each new airman a coin in commemoration of their BMT achievements. Immediately after the Coin Ceremony, the new airmen are released to their families for base liberty for the day.

Air Force BMT Honor Graduate Ceremony
During the Honor Graduate Ceremony—I am in the middle (directly to the right of the MTI).
Air Force BMT Coin Ceremony
All of the flights assembled for the Airman's Coin Ceremony.
Air Force BMT Retreat Ceremony
With my husband and his brother, who joined my mom in traveling to Texas for my graduation.

Friday morning brings with it the Parade Ceremony. Parade is the last group activity for the flights, and is a formal ceremony to pay respect to the commanders and to signify our completion of BMT. We lucked out, we had a beautiful and not-too-hot day and the ceremony was amazing. After Parade, each flight returns to their dorms for an open house to show the families our living quarters before being released to explore San Antonio. 

Air Force BMT Graduation Parade
The playing of the National Anthem during Parade.
Air Force BMT Graduation Parade Band Flight
The band flight walking down the Bomb Run during Parade. I'm the last cymbal player next to the snare drummer.
Air Force BMT Graduation Parade
After Parade... no longer a "trainee," now I'm Airman Rowe!
Air Force BMT Graduation Parade
With my biggest supporter & best friend, my mom.
Air Force BMT Graduation Parade
One very proud Technical Sergeant husband with his new wife & Airman.

The last couple days at BMT were absolutely unforgettable. The time spent with my family, the last moments with my flight members, and the memories made really topped off my BMT sundae with a nice, juicy cherry. I have a couple more BMT posts to come—don't worry, I won't share every detail (I need to leave some element of surprise for future trainees!)—and I can't wait to share them. Stay tuned.

See my other Basic Military Training experiences here: I am an American Airman │ BMT: Retreat, Parade & Graduation │ BMT: Graduation Weekend in San Antonio │ BMT: PT & Top PT Award │ BMT: Highlights & Final Thoughts

Monday, June 16, 2014

I Am An American Airman

Air Force Basic Military Training Graduation Parade
Air Force Basic Military Training Top PT Award
Air Force Basic Military Training Retreat Ceremony
Air Force Basic Military Training Graduation Parade
Air Force Basic Military Training Airman's Run
Air Force Basic Military Training Guideon Bearer

I am an American Airman.
I am a warrior.
I have answered my nation's call.

I am an American Airman.
My mission is to fly, fight and win.
I am faithful to a proud heritage, 
a tradition of honor, 
and a legacy of valor.

I am an American Airman.
Guardian of freedom and justice,
my nation's sword and shield,
its sentry and avenger.
I defend my country with my life.

I am an American Airman.
Wingman, leader, warrior.
I will never leave an airman behind,
I will never falter, and I will not fail.

The Airman's Creed

... Standby for more to come! Thanks for all your long-distance support over the last two months while I was at BMT training to become an Airman in the World's Greatest Air Force. What an honor it has been!

See my other Basic Military Training experiences here: I am an American Airman │ BMT: Retreat, Parade & Graduation │ BMT: Graduation Weekend in San Antonio │ BMT: PT & Top PT Award │ BMT: Highlights & Final Thoughts

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

30.


Dear Daniel,

          HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Today you turn the tide on another decade and I can't even tell you how much I wish I was there to help you ring in the big 3-0. I promise, I'd rather be enjoying chips and salsa on a restaurant patio and eating your favorite white cake & chocolate frosting with you than down at BMT "pushing Texas."

          It's funny, in a round-about sort of way, that each year I've compiled a collage of our adventures from your previous year and written you a letter, because that's honestly all I can do to help celebrate your birthday this year. I mean, I don't even know if my MTI will let me call you on this special day of yours. So a letter it is, unless you hear otherwise, of course.

          I always have the most fun making these collages and looking over our pictures from the last year. It's always a challenge to weed photos out, because to me—they're all so special. Each one tells a story of another day spent together. From road trips to races, from Air Guard days to lazy days on the couch—each was another memory that I'm holding close to my heart.

          Thank you for wanting to experience the whole world with me, hand in hand. Thank you for singing me songs and for your silly dance moves and for always stopping to take a moment to kiss the back of my neck in the morning while I'm getting ready or in a rush. Thank you for our time together, whether it's doing yard work, cuddling on the couch, carpooling to and from work, or just doing absolutely nothing at all. And thank you for supporting me and standing by me with my pursuit of a new career with the Air National Guard, even though it meant me leaving for a little bit, and sacrificing a few months of our precious time together. Thank you. I love you so much and I am so blessed to be your wife. With you, life is "so good, so good!"

          I hope you are able to enjoy every moment of your day today. Hit the gym, rock the office, eat until you're absolutely full, and then have an Oreo and extra slice of birthday cake for me. Even though I'm not with you, I promise you'll be on my mind all day. Happy Birthday, my sweets. Do you loooove me? Yes, I loooove YOU! 

Loving & celebrating you from 1,600 miles away,
Your Little Airman-in-Training Aunie ♥

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ward Hooper Art

Ward Hooper Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho

My favorite artist in Boise—without a doubt—is Ward Hooper. Daniel & I own several of his Boise State prints, and for Christmas, my mom worked with Ward to design the beautiful custom print above—inspired by a photo from our wedding day. This new piece hangs right in our front hallway and is the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. It's a print that we'll treasure forever and is truly so special to us.

Check it out—below is the original photo and the print commissioned from it.

Ward Hooper Custom Print Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho

Isn't Ward amazing? My mom worked very closely with him to get the colors and little details right. Ward can turn any photo into a custom print. Look at this one that he did of my brother Stew and his Quidditch photo!

Ward Hooper Custom Print Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho
Ward Hooper Custom Print Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho

My sister received a commissioned print from their wedding, too, but hers has such a different feel than ours... it's so romantic & vintage!

Ward Hooper Custom Print Art, Ward Hooper Boise Idaho

Needless to say, my mom totally surprised us all with some neat, neat art.

If you're local to Boise, be sure to stop in Ward's shop in downtown Boise. You can visit his website here and connect with him on Facebook & Twitter, and here's his gallery information:

Ward Hooper Gallery of Art
745 West Idaho Street
Boise, Idaho

And that is why Ward Hooper is my favorite artist. Boise is lucky to have such a talented man!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Joy to the World

Daniel and Annelise Rowe

The only thing better than Christmas, to me, are all the days that surround it. Family all together, joyous times to be had... it's just a jolly celebration around the Rowe & Driflot households.

Over the past several days, we were blessed with the generosity of our families... they are far too nice to us sometimes! We also ate the most delicious food, including Cincinnati chili at my dad's on Christmas eve, eggs Benedict at my mom's on Christmas morning, and ham and green bean casserole at Daniel's parents on Christmas evening. Our bellies were full and our hearts were happy. I'm so grateful for all of our families... they make this life so special.

Hope you all had a joyous Christmas celebration. Sending out lots of love today!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Tidings of Great Joy Christmas Card, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! This is our 2013 Christmas card... I can't wait to gather these over the years & display them in a lovely little Christmas album. My family's tradition was to take photos with Santa each year (this was our 28th year!). Daniel & I are starting our own tradition with our little 5x7 Christmas cards. It's one of our favorite holiday pastimes to browse through our Christmas album and talk about the outfits, the photos, the memories—oh, the memories! Here's to new memories in the making...

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Love ♥ The Rowe's

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

McCall Anniversary Trip

Shore Lodge McCall Idaho

This last weekend, Daniel and I escaped Boise and headed two hours north to McCall, Idaho, our favorite getaway spot. Last year, we spent our honeymoon in McCall at the Shore Lodge, so for our first anniversary this last Sunday, we thought it would be fun to go spend a couple nights away—just the two of us.

We sipped hot cocoa every chance we could get, dined at some of our favorite McCall spots (Steamers, Paradise Burger, Growler's, Stacey Cakes, and of course—The Pancake House), watched football while overlooking the lake, warmed up in their lakeside hot tub under the icy rain, battled at the Foosball table, and even watched a few movies! It was a wonderful anniversary celebration.

Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Growlers Pizza McCall Idaho
Growlers Pizza McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho
Stacey Cakes McCall Idaho
Shore Lodge McCall Idaho

One year. Amazing. This is just the beginning!

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