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

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!

Friday, August 23, 2013

JUMP!

Jumping in the Payette River

I couldn't resist making a couple fun GIF's from our camping adventure last weekend. We had such a fun time jumping in the Payette River off of the Arrowhead RV Campsite. Enjoy these fun photos!

Jumping in the Payette River
Jumping in the Payette River

Happy Friday!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Camping

Idaho Camping

This weekend, we went camping! It was my first time, and it was a SUCCESS! We camped with another family from church and it was great to get to know them better. We "princess camped" in a trailer, and sleeping in the great outdoors on a bed is a real treat, I tell you what.

We went up to Starlight Mountain Theatre and watched their live performance of South Pacific on our first evening. We camped right there at Starlight afterward, enjoying Crouch, Idaho. The next morning, we woke up and made "baggy omelets" and headed out to Cascade to our next site.

We set up camp at Arrowhead RV Park which was an amazing campground right on the Payette River. They had bathrooms and showers, a giant fire pit, a totem pole carving station, and lots of activities for people who vacation there for the summer. We parked our trailer right on the Payette, and couldn't have had a better view. Daniel and I had just planned on staying the first night, but after seeing our spot for the second day, there was no way we were going to go home and miss it.

Saturday afternoon, we fished, swam in the Payette River, played with the most adorable pug puppy owned by the campers next to us, ate huge bowls of homemade chili, and relaxed the evening away. Daniel and I were up bright and early on Sunday morning to head back to Boise, and were greeted by quite a few deer on our drive home. It was a wonderful camping trip and I can't wait to go again soon.

See photos from our trip below, with captions underneath some photos.

Idaho Camping
Idaho Camping
Daniel's dad looked like a true mountain-man camper on Saturday morning.
Idaho Wildflowers
Idaho Wildflowers
Idaho Camping
Baggy omelet breakfast.
Cascade Flea Market
We stopped by a flea market in Cascade, Idaho.
Cascade Flea Market
A good look for the brothers. These flea market finds were sure hard to pass up!
Fishing the Payette River
Fishing the Payette right behind our trailer at Arrowhead.
Payette River
Jumping into the Payette!
Payette River
Payette River
Payette River
Arrowhead RV Park Totem Pole
Awesome totem pole carved at Arrowhead.
Arrowhead RV Park Totem Pole
Pug Puppy
The most adorable 8-week old pug puppy.
Pug Puppy

We may not have been in the rough-and-tough wilderness of Idaho, but my first camping trip was one for the memory books. A big thanks to the Rowe's and Coleman's for the awesome time!

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