Thursday, February 09, 2012


It has been so fun to have Nathan home.  The transition back to family can be a little rocky, but so far everything has been great.  Sometimes by the end of his two weeks of leave after a deployment, I am itching for him to get back to work.  He is heading back in to work tomorrow, and I'm not even feeling a little sick of him (yet!).
me - still happy!

We didn't go on a cruise, or take the kids to Disney World, or go to Hawaii.  Those kinds of things are tricky to do when you have school aged kids.  And I think learning how to be a family again, at home, is a good thing.

So, we just stuck around here. Nathan has taken the little kids to school each day, and has rushed out to meet them after school.  John and Emily are loving that (I usually make them walk alllllll the way home.)  He has been a good sport about cub scouts and violin lessons and wrestling meets and band concerts and volleyball.  Whew.  It's been a busy, and fun two weeks.

Nathan and I did plan a little mini get away in the Black Hills last weekend.

First, we took a nice drive from our house, up Nemo Canyon, and on into Deadwood.  Then, we had lunch in Lead at the Roundhouse Restaurant.  It is a beautifully restored roundhouse with a nice menu.  You could even eat in a engine!  Which we started to do, but then our server spilled our drinks while climbing the stairs to the engine, so we decided to sit down on the ground floor.

at the Roundhouse Restaurant

Next, we drove to the Spearfish Canyon Lodge.  It is a lovely log cabin lodge in a beautiful location - towering canyon walls, deep snow, waterfall - beautiful!

We had dinner at the Latchstring Inn across the street.  We also had breakfast and lunch there the next day.  Breakfast and lunch were great, but dinner was a little gaggy.  Who serves a caesar salad with fake powdered parmesan cheese?  So weird....

But dessert was amazing!  We split an Apple Dumpling.  Mmm...  It was so good, we decided to come back and have another one at lunch... and then we had to make a batch when we got home.  Yum!  That recipe is really close to what we had at the restaurant, and the sauce is amazing - it looks a little thin and watery when you poor it in the pan, but it turns into a rich caramel sauce while it bakes.  Must eat with a scoop of ice cream!

I had made reservations for the snowmobiles several weeks before our trip.  It seemed like a good idea at Christmas time, but we haven't had much snow since then, and I really thought I should cancel.  When we got up into the hills (really not far from our home, just 45 minutes or so) there was lots of snow.  And lots of snowmobilers at the lodge.  Trailers of snowmobiles from North Dakota and Minnesota.  And snowmobiles zipping all around.

There are 350 miles of groomed snowmobile trails in the Spearfish/Lead/Deadwood area.  And lots of people enjoying them, but not so many that we felt crowded.

I rented a double snowmobile, mostly because that was all that was available, and also because I am a wimp.  It was fun, but I could see Nathan looking longingly at the wild trails of the cooler and more agile one-person snowmobiles.  Our machine was kind of like a station wagon...

But the trails were great, and we were able to get unstuck both times we crashed!

Lovely views of the back country.  We were even in Wyoming for a while.

It was a cold day, but not too cold.  Most of the snowmobilers we saw appeared to be professionals with their slick snowsuits.  We were looking a little getto in our military issue gear.  But we stayed warm!

It was a fun little get away, and we had a great time!  Yay!


Mrs.Field's Cookies said...

what a wonerful get away for the two of you. You both look so happy! Love you both!

Mrs.Field's Cookies said...

woops I missed the "d" in wonDerful

Dave said...

I absolutely love the last picture of you and Nathan:) You should blow that up and frame it, I am so glad you guys got to spend "alone" time together:)