Lodge Life: Pandemic Week 23

The weather is changing out here at The Lodge and it is really starting to feel like fall is just around the corner. The aspen trees have that golden glow when the sun hits the leaves that look like those special early fall days. We’ve had a very mild summer – really, it felt like we only had three weeks of true summer heat this year.

This week we had several themes: flexibility, change, grandparents and hiking!

Alex’s parents arrived on Wednesday afternoon and will be staying here at The Lodge until mid-September.

The kids couldn’t be happier. They’re loving this extra special time with Grammy and Papa. It’s been just over five months since we’ve seen them, which is probably the longest we’ve gone without seeing them ever.

I have to imagine the kids are enjoying the variety in having other people around and playing differently with Grammy and Papa than how Alex and I play with them. Their imaginations are running wild!

We’ve enjoyed a few hikes with Donna and Stan.

Friday I took them, along with the kids, on a very easy 2-mile round-trip hike to Hidden Lake.

The views of the lake were picturesque.

Over the weekend the highlight was our Icicle Gorge hike.

It’s one of my favorite hikes. It’s very family-friendly, though at 4.6 miles it’s a bit long for little legs.

We meandered at a cruising pace of 1 mph for the first two miles. Post-lunch we buckled the kiddos in the hiking backpacks and made our way through the trail a little faster.

The views of the crystal clear river were spectacular.

The trail is quite popular and we encountered a number of other groups, most of whom were also wearing their masks. Everyone was very respectful and either we or they would move off the trail to the side to allow for space to pass by safely.

I’m not sure what our next hike will be, but it has been so rejuvenating getting out to the trails so much in the last week.

Before Grammy and Papa arrived we spent the week at home. The kids have been loving taking our mini easel out onto the deck and doing drawing. All. the. time.

Hannah is particularly into drawing these days. She always wants me to draw her family and a house, then she draws her variation alongside.

We are having the pillars by our front door replaced right now. It’s been quite a project, it turns out. It looks like he might wrap up today or tomorrow, though.

We’re in the beginning of wildfire season out here in the mountains. We’re so very grateful it’s not been a very active season this year; however, there is one 380 acre fire not far from us. We’ve had quite a lot of helicopter traffic overhead and the kids have enjoyed watching the firefighting helis carrying their gigantic buckets of water to help put out the fire.

Wednesday we received a note from Ben’s school informing us that they’re in the process of re-evaluating their decision to open up in September. The governor announced new guidance last week that they are now considering. We’re hoping to have their update and final decision mid-week, though we know that the school can decide at any point to move to all virtual.

Finally, in food-related news, we’re loving the incredible peak-summer produce right now. The Washington peaches are divine and the nectarines are even better. I cannot get over the green beans – they’re just the best thing. One of my favorite foods. I had to make a second batch last week for Ben.

The kids loved this fun muffin tin snack I made them last week. I’ve seen it all over Instagram and finally thought to do it myself. No surprise there!

We made one of our go-to dinners, BBQ chickpea quinoa bowls, last week, which were a hit. Otherwise, we’re just rotating through our faves. Joanna Gaines’ pancakes. Pasta with pesto. I made a simple lettuce salad with a traditional vinaigrette. Avocado toast. Bread on the daily. Burgers. Takeout. Panzanella!

Assuming we’re still set to move back to Seattle in a couple weeks we are soaking it all in and making the most of our time out here in the mountains. Here’s to the new week ahead…