3rd Anniversary Weekend!

We arrived home about an hour ago. Cleaned out our coolers, threw some laundry in. Showered. Settling back in to 1,300 square feet after being blissfully shoved in a van for 2 and a half days. 

This weekend could not have been any more perfect. I will forever remember the energy and excitement, the chill of winter creeping into the nights and the 4 full days of being immersed in what I love most. Outside. (While of course still being inside some. We stayed at our Tara Point cabin again; this being the 3rd year in a row.) 

Wednesday was our third wedding anniversary. Here’s a couple of my favorite photos from the day.

Wednesday night I got off work and B had everything loaded in the car. We got to the cabin around 7pm and made a bread, cheese and crackers plate and drank lots of wine. 

The next morning we woke up but took our time getting moving. Here’s a view from the deck.

We finally left the cabin around 11:30 and stopped for lunch at the Pere Marquette Lodge; the place we were married.

After lunch we drove 35 minutes up the river road to Kampsville, IL to check out the McCully Heritage Project.

I don’t know too much about this nature preserve; but I know that the McCully’s live on the property. There is even a family burial plot we saw. If you’d like to know more, here is a link to their website. This is definitely not the last time we will be there! We went during hunting season so the South Loop trail was closed, but we did all of the North and then the Wetland Trail.

Dog Whisperer B made a new friend immediately upon arrival. She was waiting in the yard and when we pulled up she greeted us and then led us on our entire hike! We never caught her name but she was a sweet pea and amusing and adorable company. 

There were tombstones behind this small cabin. We went in and it appeared to be a classroom for a summer camp perhaps?

Wetland Trail

Heading back to the car. Little pup stuck with us to the end!

Thursday night we headed back to the cabin, B watched football while I “made dinner” (aka: planned crockpot creation!) After we ate B called me onto the deck right as the sun was setting, he spotted three white tailed deer! I only got two in frame because I really had to zoom in to see them.

We spent the rest of the night watching a Simpsons marathon. It was wonderfully lazy and relaxing. 

Friday morning we got up and drove the 40 minutes back home so we could pack the van and the dogs to leave for our camping trip.

Here’s some van love for ya. Guys. It was unbelievably cozy and toasty and ugh. I could have stayed holed up here for days and we aren’t even done yet. We have much left to do on the inside before Hank is finished. We still need a platform bed with storage underneath, a custom cabinet/countertop behind the drivers side, and insulation and reclaimed wood installed on the ceiling. Here is how we survived the 40 degree days and 30 degree nights this weekend; hiked, gloves, lots of blankets, wine, body heat, dog snuggles and a space heater. It was great! (So much in fact, as it rained all morning today I slept until 10.) We spent both nights after dark snacking, watching movies and lounging.

B and I both drink a LOT of coffee, so our Keurig was obviously a must on this trip.

We had a whole camping section all to ourselves tucked away in a corner. Again, hunting season in full swing so all the hunters had set up at the entrance. We saw a LOT of hanging and gutted deer and bucks this weekend, and one campsite even processing and grounding their meat. I will spare you the photos of all that jazz!

Crockpot chicken pot pie soup was a hit. =)

We chose Giant City State Park for a couple reasons. Those being it was close enough to home at a little under 2 hours South and the HIKING. So interesting and different than the terrain and surroundings here.

After hiking around for a few hours we stopped at the Giant City Lodge. It was gorgeous and decked for the holidays. I love this time of year!
We got back to the campsite, parked the van and decided to do a little family photo session for Christmas cards. I have some mad camp hair!

This morning after I finally rolled out of bed (hey, it was gloomy and cold and rainy…) we reluctantly packed up and headed home. Bane wasn’t too stoked on it but now we’re all settled back in.
Tonight I am going to the Botanical Gardens with my parents, sister and niece and nephew to look at Christmas lights and drink hot chocolate. Sounds like a perfect cap to a perfect weekend.

Thanks for following! You can find our travel pics on IG @pottsiepackin.


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