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, 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!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cold Winter, Warm Heart

frozen waterfall, winter in Idaho
frozen waterfall, winter in Idaho
frozen waterfall, winter in Idaho

A chill in the air,
a bite with every breath.
Snow scatters the streets,
the ground crunches under every step.

Bundled in layers,
still chilled to the bone.
Wandering through the town,
everything frozen as stone.

Streaks of sunlight peak through the clouds,
a beautiful morning about to start.
Cold fingers, cold hands, cold nose, cold toes.
Grateful for an always-warm heart.

an original poem - 12.5.13

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!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Zeitgeist Half Marathon

Zeitgeist Half Marathon

We did it. We did it. We did it. We did it. WE DID IT!

I'm so relieved to say that my official training for races in 2013 is finished. Thank goodness. This weekend we ran our fourth race of the year, the Zeitgeist Half Marathon (we also ran the Famous Idaho Potato Half Marathon in May, the Sawtooth Relay in June, and the City of Trees Marathon three weeks ago in October), and I'm just so relieved that it's all finished. I will still run now and then... but only if I want to, not because I have to.

To be honest, with all the training for the full marathon we just did, I thought we were going to kill this race. Seriously, I thought, "Oh, it's only half of what we just did... this will be a breeze!" Boy, was I dead wrong. Let me tell you what—there's a BIG difference between running a marathon on an almost entirely flat course and then trying to run a half marathon that is uphill for the first 8.5 miles. BIG DIFFERENCE. It was rough!

Mom and I started the race together, but instead of staying together the entire time, I ran ahead just after the two-mile mark because I was feeling really good. This was the first steady uphill portion of the course, and I normally am able to cruise through uphill inclines, so I high-fived mom and wished her the best of luck with her race and took off to find my pace. I was chugging along the steady uphill until about mile six when I realized that I wasn't even halfway and that my ankle was killing me (still hurting from the marathon) and that sheesh—I was tired already! It was at that point that I regretted departing from Mom, but hey, what could I do at that point? So I kept on going and pushing ahead, crawling up the last steep hill at mile 8.5. I did run the whole thing... but it was a slow run.

As soon as I hit the downhill portion of the course, I started going fast—too fast—and within a couple miles I had lost the feeling in my legs and knew I was close to fainting. I'm such a wimp, guys, I tell you what. I went from cruising through the downhill at a 7-minute-mile pace (I was on track to PR with a finishing time of 1:45) to barely being able to keep up an 11:00-minute-mile. All those people who I had passed in the beginning were now streaming past me at what felt like lightning speed, and I was just trying to stay on my feet. I was dead. I kept looking behind me, hoping that Mom would catch up to me and we could finish together... but before I knew it (and after what felt like a lifetime), the finish line was in view and I found my kick to finish strong. I crossed the line at 1:56. As soon as I finished, I felt just fine—figures, right?—and I ran back to the start of the flags so I could cheer Mom through. She came over the hill just as I got to my cheering spot, and I cheered her right through the finish. Mom crossed at 2:01 and we both rejoiced at the fact that we were finished!

We quickly tossed on our finisher t-shirts for a photo, grabbed a warm slice of apple crisp, and shivered until our lips were blue as we took forever and a day to hobble back to the car. The weather had been a perfect and sunny 40 degrees (though very, very windy) during the race, but just as we finished the clouds and rain set in.  We warmed up our bodies underneath the chilly rain in Stephen's hot tub, stretching our legs and laughing about our ugly runners' toenails and how this race was just not what we had expected. It killed us!

Zeitgeist Half Marathon

Lessons learned for us in the past couple weeks: 1. Don't sign up for any races after just running a marathon. 2. If you're feeling good at mile 2 but the whole rest of the race is still uphill, that's probably not the best time to "see what you can do." 3. NO MORE MARATHONS.

I've been running non-stop since the middle of May, and for once I'm looking forward to kicking up my feet and taking a day (...or thirty... or forever) off.

Mom, thanks for being the best training partner over the last 6-months. Though the long runs were sometimes painful and terribly, well, long, I wouldn't have traded one mile for our story-swapping, laughs, or time spent together. How many moms get to spend every Saturday for 6-months running for 2+ hours with their daughter? I'm not sure... but I hope they enjoy it as much as we did. I love you, Mom... here's to some awesome races together, some killer matching outfits, and to no more marathons! Woo hoo!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Village At Meridian

The Village at Meridian in Meridian, Idaho

On Monday I posted about one of the best new restaurants to hit Idaho, the Yard House. It is planted right in the middle of The Village at Meridian, a new center-point of town that's located only about 5 miles from where we live. The Village just had its Grand Opening last Friday and it's unlike anything we've ever seen in Idaho. It's so not Idaho, in fact.

The Village has awesome restaurants, some of which include: Yard House, Kona Grill, Chipotle, Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill, Big Al's (which also has a bowling alley & arcade) and my favorite little sandwich shop, Which Wich. The shopping is also great with stores like Loft, White House Black Market, Francesca's, Gap and Nike. Bonus—our favorite gym in town, Axiom, is also setting up shop, so I can't wait to get my sweat on there once it opens. They also have a public market on Saturdays and a cinema.

The Village at Meridian is also the best new free outdoor concert venue in the area. There was a big concert last Friday, and last night when we visited Kona Grill for happy hour there was another concert playing some hot Monster Mash hits.

And—yes, there's more—since it's in Idaho and there's room to spare, there's also Kleiner Park, which spans over 58 acres and features Bocce ball, basketball courts, play fountains, volleyball courts, fishing ponds, community gardens, and acres upon acres of open grass to use however you may please. You won't find a park like that in a big city!

The Village is just gorgeous with its big, beautiful trees, strung lights hanging from the trees and buildings, outdoor lounging areas and warm fire pits, and the center fountain (which was done by the same people who did the fountain at the Bellagio in Vegas) has hourly music & light shows that make any trip worth it. Check out some of the photos of The Village at Meridian below.

The Village at Meridian in Meridian, Idaho
The Village at Meridian in Meridian, Idaho
The Village at Meridian in Meridian, Idaho
The Village at Meridian in Meridian, Idaho

I'm so excited for this brand new Meridian hot spot. It's pretty busy with all the new action right now, but if you can find yourself a comfy couch and fire pit to hang around while you enjoy the sights and sounds at catch the water show, it's such a great place to be.

This was NOT a sponsored post. I'm just an Meridian resident who is in love with the new little part of town. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

No Filter

Leaves changing in the fall, fall leaves, trees in Boise, Idaho

Sunday afternoon, I was walking around my backyard and having one of those moments where everything was beautiful—the bright blue sky, the leaves of every color imaginable, the rocky gray stones that surround our fire pit, the spiky needles of the new evergreens Daniel just planted, the olive green house that belongs all to us—and it just didn't seem fair to let that moment pass without taking a photo to capture it.

I know that not every person who reads this blog will get to experience the bright leaves and changing of the seasons, so here's a little view of what the maples in my Idaho backyard are doing at this very moment. It's truly beautiful and makes me appreciate every little thing we have.

Leaves changing in the fall, fall leaves, trees in Boise, Idaho
Leaves changing in the fall, fall leaves, trees in Boise, Idaho
Leaves changing in the fall, fall leaves, trees in Boise, Idaho
Leaves changing in the fall, fall leaves, trees in Boise, Idaho

I don't know what it is about these colorful little leaves, but they make me think. They make me grateful. They warm my heart. And they bring a smile to my face. When you take a moment to appreciate the little things & the beauty they behold, isn't it amazing how everything else begins to get just a little bit better? Today is a good day.

AddThis