Tag Archives: biking

Weekend Trip to Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan has been on our “to visit” list for several years and now that we’ve been, I can’t believe it took us this long to make it happen. At 55 miles long, Lake Chelan is the largest lake in Washington and is located in the middle of the state, about 3 hours east of Seattle. The lake is extremely deep {apparently “chelan” means deep lake or something like that and is pronounced “shuh-lan” – with the “a” being like “apple”} and is surrounded on both sides by beautiful deserty mountains. The lake is pretty populated in certain areas and is also known for its cute, charming towns and abundance of wineries – it is in Washington wine country, after all.

{the resort we stayed at}

{the resort we stayed at}

This trip was extremely impromptu and planned entirely by Alex. He and his friend Nigel signed up for the Lake Chelan Rotary Century bike ride, a very challenging 100 mile bike ride around the area. Since Alex was planning the trip he was in charge of figuring out our lodging arrangements and boy did he deliver.

{we stayed in "the pavilion" cabin, which was amazingly awesome}

{we stayed in “the pavilion” cabin, which was amazingly awesome}

 

I was especially impressed given the last minute nature of our trip, but he found an adorable place called Kelly’s Resort, which is a waterfront resort that has a bunch of stand-alone cabins, a beach, walking trails through the woods and it just oozes charm and character. It really reminded me of my family’s lake home in Minnesota. We really lucked out, too, because this was the last weekend of their “off” season rates, so we got a great price for the cabin.

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We made the 3 hour trip over to Chelan on Friday afternoon and miraculously didn’t hit any traffic at all. Once we got settled into our cabin we headed down to the bottom side of the lake to pick up Alex’s biking packet and meet Nigel and Jolene for dinner. We settled on a cute pizza place called Local Myth and really enjoyed our dinner, though were disappointed to have been seated in the only “non-alcoholic” table {the table was on the outside of their fenced in patio area} so we couldn’t order any wine or beer. By that point it was 8:30 and we were ready for dinner so we didn’t put up too much of a fight, plus it was the only outdoor table that would have accommodated the four of us.

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Bright and early Saturday morning, I dropped Alex off at the start of the bike race and he and Nigel met up and got started. The ride was very challenging – it was 85 degrees by mid-ride and being in the desert, there was virtually no shade. The ride was broken out into three loops that all started and ended in the same spot, so in theory you could do one, two or all three of the loops.

{ready to go!}

{ready to go!}

Alex’s goal for the day was to make it to the top of a massive 3,000 vertical foot climb, which was over the course of 6 miles {a very short distance for that much climbing} and averaged around 10-12% grade {very steep!}. He said the hardest part was how hot it was and how limited the shade was, but he and Nigel both made it to the top. Mission accomplished! Alex achieved his goal and that was good enough for him, while Nigel’s goal was to complete the 100 mile ride. Alex decided to call it after 70 miles, so I ran over and picked him up.

{pit stop for a victory photo!}

{pit stop for a victory photo!}

The bike ride lasted from about 7:00-2:30, so while Alex was biking I was back at our cabin with Jackson. I took him for a 40 minute swim right off the bat – he is such a water dog, so I figured that would be a good place to start!

{we've got a dock jumper on our hands!}

{we’ve got a dock jumper on our hands!}

I was just enjoying being down on the water – the view across the lake was gorgeous. And the water itself is so clear and clean and just looks different because of that.

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After Jackson tired himself out I grabbed a cup of coffee from the little coffee shop and sat out on the deck of the main lodge with Jackson and just relaxed for a bit. Then we headed back to the cabin and went for a walk on the hiking trails up the hill. I got in my 10,000 steps pretty early that day!

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The rest of the day was mainly spent on the deck of our cabin, which overlooked a lot of mature evergreens, as well as the lake. I caught up on some reading and just did some relaxing until I picked Alex up.

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Of course Alex was beat when he got back to the cabin, so we just hung out for a while and then got cleaned up and headed out to meet Nigel and Jolene at a winery called Tsillan {pronounced like Chelan}, which was conveniently located adjacent to Sorrento’s, the restaurant we had dinner reservations at. The wine tasting was great and we lucked out in getting the best seat in the restaurant for dinner. This restaurant was voted to have one of the top 100 restaurant views in the country and it didn’t disappoint! We all really enjoyed the food, too.

{view from Sorrento's and Tsillan Cellars - too bad the parking lot is right there!}

{view from Sorrento’s and Tsillan Cellars – too bad the parking lot is right there!}

On our way out of the restaurant our car had an unfortunate mishap with a decorative pillar, conveniently located in our blind spot, so hurrah, we get to get a new front bumper. The car just turned too sharply getting out of the parking space and Alex couldn’t see the pillar in the mirrors or the backup camera. Oops!

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Our last day in Chelan was a short one – we took Jackson swimming one last time, packed up and hit the road. We stopped at Twin Pines, a cute little townie hamburger joint just off the highway, which was surprisingly awesome {so much for eating light…}, and then spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking and relaxing in the sunshine.

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….until next time, Lake Chelan! I have a feeling this will become an annual summer trip for us.

Summer is Here!

Summer has arrived in Seattle! The transition from our beautiful, amazing spring to summer took place over the last week or so and it seems like the new season is here to stay. The highs all weekend were in the mid-80s, which is considered very warm {and a little unusual} for Seattle. I have a feeling we are in store for a long, hot summer here! I’m certainly ok with that but need to be better about planning no-cook dinners and preparing lighter evening meals, as we don’t have air conditioning {what happened to our mild, wet climate!?}. Oh, and I need to stock up on ice cream ingredients!

Alex and I had a nice week followed by a restful, but productive, weekend.

{I kicked off the weekend on Friday afternoon with a run around Green Lake with my friend Ali, followed by a pit stop at Mary's house to pick up this gorgeous bouquet of the last of her peonies}

{I kicked off the weekend on Friday afternoon with a run around Green Lake with my friend Ali, followed by a pit stop at Mary’s house to pick up this gorgeous bouquet of the last of her peonies}

{thank goodness I changed out our bedding last week and exchanged it with our lighter summer quilt - the timing couldn't have been better! we have been roasting this week.}

{thank goodness I changed out our bedding last week and exchanged it with our lighter summer quilt – the timing couldn’t have been better! we have been roasting this week.}

{this is Jackson's "come on, let me sleep, mom" look}

{this is Jackson’s “come on, let me sleep, mom” look}

{and this is him not caring that he's not allowed on the bed...}

{and this is him not caring that he’s not allowed on the bed…}

{Henry cat loves the change in bedding, but mostly, he loves the addition of the fan in our room!}

{Henry cat loves the change in bedding, but mostly, he loves the addition of the fan in our room!}

{summer is DEFINITELY here - it ended up being 84 on Saturday and 88 on Sunday and it's 84 right now on Monday}

{summer is DEFINITELY here – it ended up being 84 on Saturday and 88 on Sunday and it’s 84 right now on Monday}

{our Saturday afternoon plans of going paddle boarding were shut down by the wind, so we went with Ryan and Mary to Westward, an absolutely adorable water-side restaurant on Lake Union for a drink}

{our Saturday afternoon plans of going paddle boarding were shut down by the wind, so we went with Ryan and Mary to Westward, an absolutely adorable water-side restaurant on Lake Union for a drink}

{we enjoyed an evening out at a fundraiser on Friday night, followed by an unexpected stop at a restaurant for dinner, then Saturday we spent the evening grilling out at Mary and Ryan's}

{we enjoyed an evening out at a fundraiser on Friday night, followed by an unexpected stop at a restaurant for dinner, then Saturday we spent the evening grilling out at Mary and Ryan’s}

{We had a very active weekend. Our pilates instructor, Diane, came over for our pilates lesson on Saturday morning. I am loving my FitBit - I walked more than 24,000 steps (!) on Sunday, which included a nice run along Lake Washington. Alex went for an awesome 20 or 30 mile bike ride on his new bike.}

{We had a very active weekend. Our pilates instructor, Diane, came over for our pilates lesson on Saturday morning. I am loving my FitBit – I walked more than 24,000 steps (!) on Sunday, which included a nice run along Lake Washington. Alex went for an awesome 20 or 30 mile bike ride on his new bike.}

{as a "thank you for putting up with us" gift, my dad got Alex and me three glassybabies. a glassy baby is a glass votive holder that is hand blown in our neighborhood. they are really iconic in Seattle, but particularly around my neighborhood. it was fun to pick out three colors and now proudly display them, along with the original one I already had. thanks dad!}

{as a “thank you for putting up with us” gift, my dad got Alex and me three glassybabies. a glassybaby is a glass votive holder that is hand blown in our neighborhood. they are really iconic in Seattle, but particularly around my neighborhood. they make great gifts! it was fun to pick out three colors and now proudly display them, along with the original one I already had. thanks dad!}

{the big project for sunday was staining the back patio table and the fence. it's our first time staining the table and it looks brand new! alex sanded it down and applied some stain and voila!}

{the big project for sunday was staining the back patio table and the fence. it’s our first time staining the table and it looks brand new! alex sanded it down and applied some stain and voila!}

{aside from the lack of grass, I'd still say our backyard looks pretty okay!}

{aside from the lack of grass, I’d still say our backyard looks pretty okay!}

{this crazy pants is loving his kiddie pool!}

{this crazy pants is loving his kiddie pool!}

{trying to stay cool!}

{trying to stay cool!}

{that's all for now!}

{that’s all for now!}

Last Weekend

Last weekend started on Thursday night when we decided to head to Bottlehouse for the evening – big surprise, I know. It was “new menu” day, which is always a really fun day to be there because the staff is really excited to share the new wines they helped select or the new food that Jed cooked up. On this particular day Sam was behind the bar and he poured us a variety of blind tastes so we could tour the new wine list.

I love blind tastes, even though I seldom get them right, but it’s just fun to really think about the wine you’re drinking and try to guess the vintage, if it’s old world or new world and the varietals. I have better luck with white wines, which is funny because I rarely drink white wines. We had a really nice evening and a great start to the weekend.

{Saturday morning started down on the lake with a long swim for Jackson}

{Saturday morning started down on the lake with a long swim for Jackson}

The weather on Friday was amazing. Alex rode his bike to and from work and came home with a new biking backpack.

{new biking backpack!}

{new biking backpack!}

The forecast for Saturday looked incredible so Alex and I hopped on our bikes and rode out to Woodinville. The ride was really nice – the Burke Gilman trail hugs the northwest side of Lake Washington for a while before it hooks up with the Sammamish River trail, which, you guessed it, runs alongside the Sammamish River.

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{two new tires and I am ready to go!}

 

The bike ride took a little more than an hour to get us to Woodinville. We drove north from our house about 5 miles to make it a 13-mile bike ride instead of 18-miles one way. Alex could have ridden his bike back and forth between Woodinville twice by the time I could have made it one way with the pace I was going. Needless to say, I was very happy when we arrived in Woodinville. We stopped at Redhook Brewery for lunch out on the patio before turning around to make the sloowwww trek back.

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After we got cleaned up we headed over to our friends’ Ryan and Mary’s house for dinner. Carrie and Patrick were there to enjoy the evening with us, as well. It was such a nice night and the Millers have a beautiful backyard, so it was perfect. We always have such a good time with these friends!

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Since we had a day of fun on Saturday we honed in and got some work done on Sunday. While I was at a Pilates class on Mercer Island, Alex met Ryan and Mary and their dog, Berkeley, over at the Mercer Island dog park with Jackson, then we came home and got straight to work. I spent a few hours weeding while Alex cleaned up the yard and scrubbed our back steps and patio. We can’t wait to redo our backyard, though we’ve decided to put it off until later this summer.

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This week has been fairly low-key, though it has seemed busy for some reason. Now we’re looking forward to Alex’s big birthday weekend!

{bffs swimming together in Lake Washington}

{bffs swimming together in Lake Washington}

Fitness Training

Since Alex and I are going to be spending most of our summer home in Seattle, or at least in the Pacific Northwest, we are both “in training” for a summer fitness achievement. Staying active and being in shape is really important to both of us. It is definitely a motivator to have something to work towards, but in reality, I think we would both still remain active either way.

Alex Biking

Alex is currently training for a bike ride from Seattle to Vancouver. It’s about 180 miles and he will ride over two days. Alex’s friend Nigel is also training for this same ride, so the two of them frequently ride home from work together or they’ll go out for longer rides on the weekend. The ride is in mid-July and he has been training for this for around 6 weeks or so.

May is Bike to Work month which has been a great excuse for Alex to get into a bike commuting schedule. His office is 19 miles away by bike and it’s a really nice distance to keep him in shape and to break up his longer rides with.

While Alex is training for a bike ride I am currently training for a half marathon. My race isn’t until mid-September, so I’ve got a little while longer than Alex does, but this week I am going to start focusing on my distances a little more than I have over the last few weeks.

Last weekend my running buddy and I had a really nice run down along Lake Washington. The road is closed to cars on Sundays in the spring and summer so it’s filled with bikes and runners. Jackson is a great running partner, though he still has a few things to learn. He will join me on 2-3 short runs each week, but as I ease into runs longer than 4 miles once a week, he’ll have to stay home.

{taking a quick dip in the lake after our run}

{taking a quick dip in the lake after our run}

As a balance to this cardio it is becoming apparent that we really need to do yoga or Pilates. I won a gift certificate to a Pilates studio nearby, which I tested out last week and it felt great to get a good stretch!

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I just signed up for ClassPass, which is basically a limited membership to most of the studios in Seattle – you can go to 3 classes per studio each month, but the total number of classes you can take is unlimited. The point of it is to get you to try out a bunch of new studios. I had seen a bunch of advertising on Facebook, but then a girl I work with spoke so highly of it last week I decided to give it a shot. Below is a screenshot of what it looks like to sign up for a class – you basically take a look at all of the studios in the Seattle area and pick a time and class and location that works best for you. SOLD!

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Stay tuned for progress on how our training and rides/races go… We both use the app “Strava” to track our rides/runs, so that’s a great place to keep tabs on us and cheer us on 😉

STP, Jackson’s Knee Injury and a recap of the week

It’s official – Alex is done with his big 200 mile bike ride to Portland! He finished STP (Seattle to Portland) on Sunday afternoon after 11 hours and some minutes of biking time. He left our house early Saturday morning and rode with his friend Nigel down to Castle Rock, Washington, where they camped overnight before embarking on the second day. Now that he has recovered and is still on his “bikers high” he is plotting to do “RSVP” which is Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party – it’s a 180 mile ride in mid-August. We’ll see what he decides…

Alex finished the 202 mile bike ride from Seattle to Portland!

Alex finished the 202 mile bike ride from Seattle to Portland!

We are hoping to get some of the official race photos of Alex – I have seen a few and there are some great shots. Stay tuned…

Ready to leave the house at 5:30 a.m. to start the ride...

Ready to leave the house at 5:30 a.m. to start the ride…

Finished day one!

Finished day one!

While Alex was riding his bike to Portland I was taking care of our injured puppy. Jackson ended up hurting his knee somehow and began limping quite noticeably on Friday afternoon. Alex and I agreed that if he woke up on Saturday and wasn’t walking normally that I would take him into our regular vet’s office. As it turned out, Jackson woke up still limping and was acting extremely lethargic.

Taking it easy sprawled out on the kitchen floor.

Taking it easy sprawled out on the kitchen floor.

I was able to get Jackson an appointment at our vet at 10 and the vet was able to quickly determine the problem. Poor little guy had torn/pulled a muscle in his knee. The vet confirmed there were no broken bones by doing an x-ray, then prescribed Jackson some anti-inflammatory meds and requested that I ice his knee. Once we got home and Jackson took his meds I had him continue to rest while I went for a run, then came back to find that my puppy had returned to his normal happy, energetic self.

Jungle dog!

Jungle dog!

Sunday morning I woke up and hung out with Jackson before meeting my high school friend and Seattle neighbor, Sasha, for brunch before heading down to Portland. As always, it was great to catch up and re-connect with Sasha.

Hanging out at a park in Portland with little Jack man.

Hanging out at a park in Portland with little Jack man.

Jackson came with me down to Portland – we reserved a room in a dog-friendly hotel and he was a hotel champ! The hotel was very accommodating and even had a sign at the front desk welcoming Jackson, and they gave us a little packet that included treats, extra bags and listed a local dog park.

Cuddle time :)

Cuddle time :)

Portland is very dog friendly, so luckily it wasn’t an issue that we were asked to not leave Jackson in our hotel room unattended. There were a few restaurants close to our hotel that offered patio seating for dogs. We were so impressed with how well behaved Jackson was – it ended up being much easier than we had expected.

Jackson is getting comfortable swimming.

Jackson is getting comfortable swimming.

In other news, Jackson is 16 weeks old and he is a puppy preschool graduate! Last week he passed his graduation test at puppy class and will advance to puppy kindergarten, which starts next week.

Puppy preschool graduate.

Puppy preschool graduate.

Jackson learned a fun new trick last week. He knows “high five” and every time we tell him “high five” we still get a kick out of it. It sure is fun doing training with him.

High five!

High five!

I got a bunch of new running gear last week and have been testing it out ever since. I went to a store called Road Runner to get fitted for the best pair of running shoes for me and my feet. They recorded me running on a treadmill and measured my instep, as well as fit me for a custom insole, then had me try on a few pairs of shoes to see which one I liked the best. It was an amazing experience, other than the pretentious salesperson, and I am so happy with my new running shoes and all of my gear. I had a fantastic run today with Ali – we ran/walked 7 miles and I am hopeful that I can keep it up.

New running get up!

New running get up!

 

 

Fun Fourth Weekend

The perfect weather combined with amazing friends resulted in a fabulously fun fourth of July weekend for Alex and me. We spent most of the weekend with the Millers and “the Buffs” (Carrie and Patrick) and an evening with Sara and Carsten, as well as some other friends and acquaintances.

Sporting some sort-of patriotic shirts

Sporting some sort-of patriotic shirts

I didn’t take any photos on the fourth for some reason, but we spent the afternoon and evening at Mary and Ryan’s house. They were gracious enough to invite Jackson to come hang out and break in their backyard and house, as they are getting a puppy in a few weeks. We grilled brats and had quite a few sides, salads and desserts to choose from. It was great to meet a few new people and spend time with the Millers and the Buffs.

Love these guys!

Love these guys!

Alex and I were rather surprised when Oliver woke us up at 8:30 on Friday morning because usually our alarm clock named Jackson goes off at about 5:30. I guess he was too tired from running around at Mary and Ryan’s the day before. We both had planned to spend the morning doing our respective athletic activities, Alex had a 50 mile bike ride and I had a 6 mile run, so we were a bit frazzled to not have the whole morning that we expected. It worked out fine, though, and we still got our activities in.

Such a great weekend with these girls!

Such a great weekend with these girls!

Carrie invited us to spend the evening on her parents new boat on Friday night. We joyfully agreed and had a fantastic time. Their new boat is beautiful and the 12 of us had plenty of space to sit and chat and move around. We grilled chicken and brats and had some potato salad and a few other sides, but I have to say the highlight was dessert. Mary and Sara tag teamed dessert and Mary made a peach/blueberry crumble and Sara made homemade caramel ice cream. It was to die for!

The ferry in the sunset

The ferry in the sunset

We did a little cruse around Elliott Bay in the Puget Sound and had a wonderful time enjoying the sunset and the views of the city. It was such a fun evening!

Seattle skyline

Seattle skyline

Saturday started with me dropping Jackson off at Fetch for the day so Alex and I could take a bike ride with the Millers and the Buffs to Woodinville. Patrick ended up hurting his foot on the boat the night before, so he and Carrie met us at Red Hook. We met the Millers at Matthews Beach and then rode 13 miles on the Burke Gilman and Sammamish River Trails until we reached Red Hook Brewery.

Hanging out at Patterson Cellars.

Hanging out at Patterson Cellars.

Red Hook has an awesome patio and by some miracle there was a 6-top table that opened up right after we arrived so we didn’t have to wait for a table at all. It was glorious to sit outside and soak up some sun. From there, we walked up the road and did some wine tasting at Patterson Cellars, J Bookwalter and then Alexandria Nicole, which is where Carrie and Patrick are having their upcoming wedding catered from. J Bookwalter continues to impress me – I think Alex and I will make another trip there during the week and have dinner and wine out on their patio – they allow dogs, so we’ll have to bring Jackson next time!

Love J Bookwalter.

Love J Bookwalter.

By the time we got back to our bikes to make the trek home we realized that my back tire had literally exploded! Ugh! I was very disappointed to not get to ride my bike home, but was thankful that we had a ride home, though of course not that Patrick had hurt his foot. I’ll get some new tires and take my wheels in for a tune up and hopefully after Alex’s big 200-mile ride next weekend he’ll calm down on the biking and we’ll get to take some low-key rides together.

Tire explosion!

Tire explosion!

The rest of the weekend has been uneventful compared to our fun times with friends. Today we’ll just stay home and get some stuff done around the house and in the yard. We might venture down to Seward Park this afternoon with Jackson, though. Maybe we’ll even bring a picnic?

Here are some more photos from our boat cruise:

Amazing sunset over the Olympic Mountains.

Amazing sunset over the Olympic Mountains.

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Weekend Fun in the Sun!

It was another weekend that flew by and ended up being busier than I expected it to be. The weather on Saturday couldn’t have been more perfect if I wanted it to be. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky for much of the day and it was a glorious 77 degrees and perfectly sunny.

Gorgeous day for a run on the lake!

Gorgeous day for a run on the lake!

While Alex was on a 60 mile bike ride I went for a 5.3 mile run down by Lake Washington. By the end of the weekend I got convinced by my friend Mary to join her and do a half marathon at the end of the summer! We are tentatively planning on running our 13.1 miles on August 24th.

Alex and his pup

Alex and his pup

Alex got back from his bike ride early afternoon and I had mentioned that Jackson seemed to be very hot that day, so Alex went and bought Jackson his very own pool. Jack dipped his feet and his belly in the pool but still needs to get used to the idea of swimming. I think Jackson is going to need a bigger pool soon!

Alex filling up the pool for Henry and Jackson.

Alex filling up the pool for Henry and Jackson.

Jackson preferred sun bathing.

Jackson preferred sun bathing.

Once Jackson petered out, Alex and I walked up to our favorite spot, Bottlehouse, to help them celebrate their 3rd birthday. We sat on the patio and back in their garden spot and soaked up a LOT of sun and drank our fair share of vino as we enjoyed the afternoon together.

We love Bottlehouse!

We love Bottlehouse!

Loving the sunny patio.

Loving the sunny patio.

Alex BH

The sunset on Saturday night was stunning! We are so lucky to have a beautiful view of Madison Valley and our amazing Pacific Northwest sunsets out our back windows.

Amazing sunset from our backyard.

Amazing sunset from our backyard.

Apparently all of our activities on Saturday tuckered our little furball out, because come Sunday, he slept in until 6:30 and then went back to sleep until 10:00! That allowed us to Skype with Alex’s parents and Alina and Alberto, not to mention enjoy some time to ourselves and have a nice breakfast.

Jackson got a new toy from John!

Jackson got a new toy from John!

We did eventually wake Jackson up to take him on his first big adventure. We drove down to Seward Park to do some urban hiking. I love Seward Park and it is so fantastic that it’s so close to our house {4.9 miles to be exact}. We did a very short hike in the middle of the park to expose Jackson to the idea of the wilderness.

Jackson in the woods!

Jackson in the woods!

He did great!

He did great!

Jackson did so well on our little hike. We had him on his 30 foot leash so that he could sort of wander around and explore his surroundings. It was surprising to Alex and me that he stayed so close to us even though he could be 30 feet away.

Running around in an open field.

Running around in an open field.

We closed out our weekend by spending some time with Ryan and Mary, I baked a pig cake for work, and we picked up our first CSA box. Overall, it was an awesome weekend and I can’t wait to eat some of these yummy veggies for dinner tonight.

Our first CSA box arrived.

Our first CSA box arrived.