Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Weekend Away.

We just wrapped up the most relaxing weekend ever.  I plan of gushing about a couple of things and then calling it a night.  The gushing will focus around the delicious food we ate, my fabulous companion for the weekend and the beautiful scenery surrounding it.  But, before I get to that I have to mention the kindergarten celebration there was for little Miss. Layla...

Friday her class had a performance for parents to celebrate the end of the year.  It was adorable.  And impressive.  They recited numerous poems, sang songs and did it all flawlessly.  Not an easy task when you are dealing with 5 and 6 year old.  I don't know why, but every time I watch things like this I get a little teared up.  Must be mama pride or something like that.  I always am so impressed with the schools around here when I go to things like this.  The classroom was bursting with parents, grandparents and others there to watch this precious group of kinders perform their little hearts out.  It was the middle of the day on a Friday and yet so many made it work with their schedule to be there to support their kids.  I feel fortunate to live in such a family oriented community with schools for our kids to thrive in.  We are lucky.  And, my how these students have changed from the beginning of the year.  From those first days of nervous, but trying to be brave, kids marching into the school with tears in their eyes as they gave us parents one last hug.  Now, they all were full of confidence and smiles, proudly showing off their classroom in their school.  Now, they are first graders.  Wow.  

Okay.  Back to the weekend.  It was Matt's birthday Friday and I decided to steal him away for it.  Of course, we celebrated with the girls first.  

The strawberry cake was a hit. 

The next morning, we dropped the girls off at Grandma and Grandpa's and hit the road.  Here comes the gushing about my guy, the food and the views.  First guy.

I love hanging out with him.  This weekend was even better because it felt like it had been awhile.  We make a point to spend a lot of time together in the midst of our busy lives.  Date nights, family days, things like that.  However there is something about a weekend away.  Real quality time to be together.  To talk, laugh, enjoy.  Yes, I enjoy being with him very much.  

Next on the gushing list...the scenery.

The Paradise Valley in Montana is one of the most beautiful places in my opinion.  It is a short drive from Bozeman and there is something about the mountains over there.  They seem a little more majestic, a little more jagged.  Having hiked in them once, they also seem a little rough.  You don't just get a nice jaunt have to fight your way to the top, but when you get there it's over.  Nothing else will be quite as impressive.  Sitting back on our cabin porch looking at the peaks we had been up to was pretty cool.  Throw in the raging Yellowstone River below and you get close to perfection.  This is right where we spent the majority of our weekend.  Sitting there for afternoon cocktails and then later after dinner to stare at the stars and yet again in the morning with a cup of coffee.  Awwww.  I found this place, the Yellowstone Valley Lodge, after a little research.  It has a few cabins and a restaurant that we had heard great reviews about.  Because it is a little early in the season for fishing on the river we had the place almost to ourselves which added to the peacefulness.  Just us.

When we did venture from our cozy deck we discovered a sandy beach.  Now, I know it is not ocean sand by any means, but when you are hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean, you take what you can get.  You kick of your flip flops and you let your feet sink in.  You close your eyes and listen to the river roaring by and for a moment you may feel like you are hearing waves crashing.

When you open them up you realize you aren't at the ocean, but as you see the towering mountains you realize it is still pretty freakin' awesome.  While there I overheard someone say with a sigh "oh, how I wish I could live here".  It made me smile because we do get to live here.  I know I've thought that exact thought while breathing in the salty air of the ocean on vacation.  It's easy to take for granted the fabulousness that Montana is, so it's nice to be reminded of it occasionally.  This weekend was a good reminder.  I do feel lucky to live in such a beautiful place.  I mean, look at our dinner view for crying out loud...

Which leads me to my final gushing point.  The food.  The food we ate was ah-maz-ING.  We eat a lot of good food, but it has been awhile since I was really impressed.  Absolutely everything we ate was so fantastic.  For starters the chef flies in the seafood from Seattle so the fish we ate last night had probably been swimming the day before.  It's tough to get fresh seafood around here and as a mostly pescatarian (except for the burger I'll be raving about in a moment) I love finding places that serve really great seafood.  They had big eye tuna and we had it not only as a sashimi appetizer, but also as one of our entrees.  It was prepared differently for both....the appetizer with mango and fried won tons and the entree in some sort of amazing sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes, tomatoes and kalamato olives.  It all melted in your mouth.  Matt and I decided to share two entrees...his was the tuna and I choose the hamburger.  Now before you judge ordering a burger at a fine dining establishment you have to hear it out.  It was local raised beef topped with coffee-infused bacon, fresh tomato, guacamole, sharp white cheddar cheese served on a homemade English muffin.  Not your everyday hamburger.  I saw it on the menu when I was checking the place out and could not get it out of my mind.  AND, it was served with asiago, rosemary french fries.  Best thing ever.  I was reluctant to split it in half to share with Matt, but after eating some of both meals I honestly can't say which was better.  I guess we'll have to go again soon to determine the winner.  Maybe it was the company I had or beautiful summer evening and fresh mountain air or all the vino, but it was seriously one of the best nights ever.  

Okay.  Enough gushing.  

It was a very nice time indeed.  
We started things off with a soak at Chico Hot Springs.  Although we did more suntanning than soaking because it was HOT outside.  Love it.  

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