And just like that, I’m back to blogging. While I had every intention of posting last week, after getting back from our 10 day vacation it seemed I needed a week, plus a little more, to just recover and find my normal.
A few weeks ago, we headed back to Idaho to spend the week at my family’s lake house (which we fondly call “the cabin”) in the wonderful and quaint town of McCall, Idaho. McCall is my favorite place on earth. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that. I’ve been coming here since I was born and it holds some of my dearest and important memories. Most importantly, it’s the place my parents got married and then, four years ago, my husband and also said “I do”.
The house is only equipped for summer living and we share it with all of my second and third cousins. We each get a block of weeks that shift every year, so we all get to enjoy the best weeks. Our days in McCall are filled to the brim. Whether we're swimming, biking, hiking, fishing, cooking or just lounging around, there's not a day in McCall, from sun up to sun down, that isn't fully taken advantage of.
I've surprised myself this year. I've realize that the longer I'm away from Idaho and my family the more I've begun to miss them. When we left, I knew it was time to get away and explore what the world had to offer. But five years out, I'm finding myself missing home more than ever. I'm missing the mountains, the terrain, the dry summer heat and long summer days. But most of all I miss my family and the simplicity and ease that comes from being with them. Even after all this time away, when I'm with them it all just feels so familiar, like nothing has changed. It's hard living so far away and while I love the Midwest and everything it's brought me, each time I leave Idaho it seems to get harder and harder. I don't think I realized how much I needed this trip. I'm not sure if Idaho is where we'll end up down the road and, if it is, when we'll get to be there again but this trip was just what I needed to refuel mind and my soul.
^^^Mornings at the cabin begin in PJ’s gathered around the large wooden table in the kitchen. Coffee, tea and the day’s breakfast special are shared with all the cabin’s inhabitants. After filling ourselves with huckleberry pancakes, Dutch Babies or biscuits and gravy and discussing today’s plans, we graduate to our bathing suits and move outside to begin the days adventures.^^^
^^^My Dad and I made a quick jaunt to the Farmer's Market one Saturday morning to pick up some treats. I loved seeing this Market bustling with tourists and locals filling their baskets with local goods. Vendors come from as far away as 100 miles (remember, Idaho is rural) to sell items like wild salmon, bison meat and delicious homemade huckleberry jam.^^^
^^^A favorite store front at a great local boutique.^^^
^^^Dinner preparations begin early evening in the large kitchen with various parties pitching in their skills to chop, marinade or bake whatever tonight’s meal will be. Dinners are served late here with everyone chipping in something. We set the table (either inside or out), choose the wine, fill the water glasses and make sure we’ve counted the right number of plates for the night’s meal.^^^
^^^Apricot and huckleberry galette, courtesy of my Mama Smith. She rolled the entire dough by hand since we are short on fancy kitchen appliances at the cabin. If you haven't rolled pastry dough by hand in awhile, let me tell you, it's no easy feat.^^^
^^^The best days in McCall end with a bonfire on the beach, too much good beer (but not for me) and lots and lots of laughs.^^^
Stay tuned for more Part 2 of our Idaho Adventure later this week!