Around this time last summer, we went on our first family vacation to a cabin on Flathead Lake. To our great surprise, Jack actually enjoyed being in a new space for the entire week. He was in heaven, really. For a kid who loves his routine, we didn't know what to expect, but he did great and especially loved being by the water.
That's why we were thrilled to hear that Jon's parents (Nans and Pops) purchased a little cabin in a beautiful valley in Montana, nestled right along a river. They invited us to use the cabin last weekend, so we drove down and enjoyed three days of peace and quiet... like no cell phones or internet peace and quiet.
Once we got over, what I call, "the twitchy feeling" of not having access to the world wide web, we just relaxed. There is nothing like sitting next to a rushing river, book in hand, and the sun on your face. This particular river, the Boulder, is pretty incredible. I had yet to see it in person, except for bits and pieces in iconic Montana movies (think A River Runs Through It). My pictures won't do it justice, but I still wanted to share a sliver of our weekend.
This little clearing, right outside the doors of the cabin, is where we spent most of our outdoor time. I just love this photo of my boys.
The cabin was perfect for us three. We had a nice little kitchen connected to a cozy living area, two small bedrooms, and a bathroom. No, not super primitive, but we aren't really the camping and toughing-it-out-in-the-wilderness types. Jack had his trusty DVDs to watch and books to read when he was missing home. I finished two books while I was there and even started another! It will be the perfect place to study in the next few months for my exams. Jon read, too, and got to check out the best fishing spots (thanks for the fishing pole and supplies, Cheeks!).
Jack was mesmerized by the water.
And he loved throwing sticks and rocks into it.
Jon was constantly collecting rocks for Jack to throw.
Haha, I appear in one picture out of the hundreds I took. Such is the life of a mom photographer!
OK, so this next thing. A HORSE RIDE!! Thanks to my friend, Lindsay, and her connections with a camp down the road from the cabin, we were able to make such a fun memory with our boy.
Jack was timid and unsure at first. He would take a quick glance at the horses and then bury his head into daddy's shoulder. He whined a lot, but then was curious. He just didn't know what to think! We took our time just looking at the horses and being around them. They are incredible creatures.
Once Jack got up on the horse, he immediately calmed down and relaxed.
In fact he got so relaxed, that he almost nodded off! What a beautiful day for a ride.
After the ride, Jack got right on the ground, where he usually ends up to get a better feel and lay of the land. By this point, he was feeling good and happy to be around the horses.
Then, to top it all off, he got to feed the donkey, pet the bunny, and see a brand new kitten. The day was pretty much perfect! We don't know if he's a full-blown animal lover yet (we keep trying to get him to like dogs so we can get another one), but it was so fun to watch his reaction to everything.
(Special shout out to Carla and Shelby from Clydehurst Christian Ranch. We had so much fun.)
The next days at the cabin were filled with lots of river watching, rock throwing, sunglass wearing, and s'mores eating.
We even got out on a little hike (thanks Forest Service for wheelchair/stroller accessibility!).
And just lots and lots of rest.
Jon was master of the kitchen/bbq and we ate pretty well! There's nothing like cooking and eating in the great outdoors.
My favorite view out the window in the morning. Ahh.
Wait. Scratch that. THIS is my favorite view.
Until next time, cabin.