Chelanigans.

Continuing to navigate my way through summer madness!  I told you all about taking the boys to Bend in my last post, but as soon as we returned we switched gears and got ready for Mimi and Grandpa’s arrival!  They had planned their visit to line up with the mid-summer break from school, which was perfect.  It was also their 40th wedding anniversary (amazing, right!?) so I knew we had to do something really special.

Last year, we were supposed to take our annual Malone family vacation Lake Chelan, Washington, but sadly the whole area was ravaged by wild fires right as we would have been arriving.  We quickly switched gears and had a wonderful week in Suncadia instead, but since then we’ve still been dreaming of getting back to Chelan.  And so with their visit scheduled and falling over such a special occasion, it felt like the right time to go for it again!

So we packed up the truck, and rolled out Monday morning after a few days in Seattle together. 

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It was a 3.5 hour drive from Seattle, and every passing mile brought more and more beautiful scenery. 

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There is still so much of the Northwest I haven’t seen, and I continue to be amazed by how stunning it is!

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And speaking of stunning, when we got to our VRBO rental my jaw literally dropped.  Not sure I’ve ever seen a more perfect view!

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I didn’t take a single picture inside the house, but that’s because we were never in there.  It was pretty basic inside, but the outside space was truly incredible.  Huge decks with tons of seating, a giant dining table with a panoramic view of the lake, and an enormous lawn stretching down to our private dock and lake access. 

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The lake itself was amazing.  I grew up going to southern lakes, and I couldn’t believe how crystal clear and clean the water was!  It’s a glacier lake, so quite a bit colder than a southern lake, but it was 100 degrees outside so nobody minded a dip into some refreshingly cool water. 

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We wasted no time getting our suits on and jumping straight in.  Cullen is a total fish this year – loves the water and is mostly fearless.  He still can’t quite swim on his own just get, but I’m hopeful he will with another few months in the water. 

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Graham preferred to snuggle in a towel and watch from the sidelines.  Funny how he is so fearless about most things, and so timid with others. 

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We spent our first evening there hanging out at the house and settling to our beautiful surroundings.  We also inflated the massive party float that I’d bought during an impulsive Costco trip.  Who can resist a floating island!?

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The kids loved it because there was a mesh area for your feet that they could use as a little pool, without being totally overwhelmed by the deep water.  Party float for the win. 

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We couldn’t end our first day without s’mores on the beach!

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We all crashed hard after a big day in the sunshine, and we were up early the next day and ready to go.  The water was really still and clear in the morning, and we could see all the way down to the bottom even where it was probably 15-20 feet deep – so cool.  There were HUGE fish swimming around!

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Our rental had a paddleboat, so I took the kids out for a morning ride.  We checked out all the fish swimming below us!

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We had brought plenty of groceries from home, and we figured that our spot on the lake was so beautiful that we didn’t really need to go anywhere else.  We grilled all our meals, and just hung at the house all day long enjoying the water and views. 

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Casey and I took advantage of long nap times (the sun is so exhausting!) and we escaped for a beautiful kayak ride together.  What a treat!

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It was Tina and Eddie’s anniversary that day, and while we kept it pretty low key, it felt amazing to just be there all together in such a wonderful place.  They love lakes so I think this was one of their favorite vacations yet!

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We had decided to rent a boat for the following day, but we were able to pick it up the night before.  Since the kids had taken such good naps, we decided to stay up late and go for an evening sunset boat ride. 

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And as an anniversary treat for himself, Grandpa also snagged a jetski for the day.  He was in heaven!

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Our second day there was all about the BOAT!  Since we only had it for one full day, we wanted to make the most of it.  We were out on the water shortly after breakfast, and ready for a day of fun. 

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The views from our deck were amazing, but the views from the water took my breath away.  The water was so clear and blue, and those mountains in the background were insane.  It didn’t even look real!

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We rode around for a bit before busting out the toys.  First up – tubing!  I was first into the water.  We had the lake completely to ourselves!  I swear Casey was extra hard on me because I had to use every muscle in my body to just hold on.  I was SO SORE the next day!

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After mom took a turn, after much encouragement and a bit of a bribe (marshmallows!), we convinced Cullen to give the tube a try too.  He was really nervous, and we just went really slow and hung on tight. 

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We were way out in the middle of super deep water, and pretty far behind the boat, so I know it felt really scary to him at first.  I was SO proud of him for doing it, and he seemed to like it once he was in the water.  Big kid stuff is so fun!

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Graham preferred the safety and comfort of the boat, which is totally what I’d expect at two years old.  He didn’t like any of us being in the water and cried when anyone fell off the tube!

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Mimi was up next, and she rocked it.  Casey’s parents are such an awesome example and inspiration to stay fit through all stages of life.  They are both really active, and it’s so nice that they can do these fun things with their grandkids!

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We broke out the water skis next, and Casey was first into the water.  He hadn’t done it in at least ten years, and he was so good!  He stayed up for a long time, and Grandpa had to really work to get him down. 

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Grandpa was next.  Again – these guys just killed it.  He turned 60 years old this year and has had shoulder and back surgery in recent years, and he skied like a champ. 

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And then there was me.  I have only water skied once in my life when I was around 15, that experience was more than mortifying.  But Casey really wanted me to try, and I really wanted the boys to see that it’s good to try things that challenge and scare you.  Because I was definitely SCARED.  I took two turns and was probably upright for about 30 seconds each time.  That was good enough for me!  Hopefully we can get back to the lake in years to come and I’ll improve my water sport skills. 

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The kiddos loved it, and outside from a mid-day trip back home for lunch and naps, we stayed out on the boat all day long.  It was a blast – nothing better than being out on the water. 

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It was such a treat to get to go on so many adventures during the kids’ break from school.  In the afternoon, I took Cullen out for a kayak ride just the two of us.  I paddled and he sat there and snacked on watermelon, and we chatted about all the cool things we saw at the bottom of the lake, and it just felt so special.  I hope someday these kids realize how lucky they are to grow up in such a beautiful place!

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I felt pretty lucky to be in such a beautiful place myself.  We are packing a lot in this summer, and I’ve tried to really slow down and find gratitude in even the smallest moments.

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It was a great visit with family, and a magical place that we will definitely be visiting again and again!  We are trying to get the whole family on board for a lake vacation here next summer.

As soon as I got home from Chelan, I unpacked my bags and repacked them, and headed out to Eugene, Oregon about twelve hours later!  Those adventures, up next!