Family Time at the Lunar Lodge

After five long years, I was able to visit my family’s cabin and show Kyle where some of my favorite childhood memories took place. The cabin, also called The Lunar Lodge, was built by my Great Grandpa and Grandma in 1969, the same year we landed on the moon. I can remember coming up to our cabin at least every year if not twice a year, once in the summer and once in the winter. This winter ended up being one of the coldest Island Park had seen with temperatures dropping to -20! We had the fire on the whole time but it seemed like I was always freezing. It was so fun being with the family including my Grandpa and Grandma Chamberlin. We had good food and treats, time out in the snow, a day trip to West Yellowstone, movie watching, playing my family’s favorite card game, Tripoly, and a great talent show to finish it all off. Carl and Liv also made a video for a competition that was fun to film and see put together. I’m so glad we were able to create another round of memories.

I always remember pulling in to our cabin late at night and being so excited that we were finally there. There was one year where the roads were surrounded by snow AT LEAST six feet high (it seemed even taller since I was a little). We had to dig a way to get in to the cabin. The WORST part is always waiting for the cabin to warm up. It only gets heated by one fireplace so at first we crowd around and avoid having to go back outside to unload the cars. 

Sam got a new camera for Christmas along with me so we were trying them out and giving each other tips. 

Carl and Kyle was so diligent and would go chop wood for us every morning. It was all I could do not to sing "Lonesome Polecat" from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers when I watched him swing the ax.

Cabin days are filled with whatever you want to do. Some prefer to sit by the fire and read while others like to get outside in the snow. I find that the early mornings tend to bring out the book reading.

We put together AT LEAST two puzzles every cabin trip. This one was a doosey. 

Every morning, we make sure to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate. This tea kettle belonged to my Great Grandma Emily and we use it every time. 

And what is a cabin trip without goodies? This is just one sampling of the yummy things we ate every day. There's nothing like fresh cinnamon rolls (we also called them sweet rolls growing up) on a cold morning. 

When you step outside in the morning, all you can hear is stillness. It is beautiful. 

Gypsy, one of my favorite dogs, is a follower. She likes to trail behind anyone she can. I like to think she is always looking for a new adventure. 

One of our favorite things to do is either tube or ski/snowboard behind our snowmobiles. I got to see Kyle's boarding skills for the first time which was awesome. I will get to this in a little bit, but this was one of the coldest cabin trips I can ever remember. I felt like we were always bundled up and only going outside when we had planned and prepared for it. 

We took a trip into West Yellowstone which I always love doing. Growing up, I would always get a souvenir and Kyle and I did the same when we bought a Yellowstone National Park deck of cards. It's fun to pull those out in Virginia and play with them.

West Yellowstone always seems like a ghost town during the winter. The roads are covered with a thin layer of snow and the most popular mode of transportation is the snowmobile. 

I always know where to find Kyle when we are in a sportsman store...looking at the fishing flies. I love this fisherman. 

Swamp Fox. 

See? Ghost town. Buckaroo Bills has been in this spot with the same license plates and road signs as long as I can remember. And the ice cream here is always a treat during a warm summer's night. It looks like Bill decides to shut down during the winter. I don't blame him. 

I really do try to take normal pictures of the two of us but somehow it always turns into something else...and I usually don't mind because he makes me laugh. 

Kyle bought a couple arrowheads for his nieces and nephews. I find it interesting that whenever they go for a hike and decide to dig for REAL Indian arrowheads, they ALWAYS find some (aka Kyle is the best uncle).

My cute Grandma Lu organized a talent show and I love her for it. She made Carl the MC.

We all managed to pull out some numbers and play along. I'm really glad I was born into a performing family. 

Kyle has the guitar and voice skills of a professional and I treasure the moments when he lets me join in (p.s. THANK YOU Becca for my kitty socks! I love them so much!).

Max telling jokes for his number. 

Hannah telling jokes for her number too. 

Sam with her sing song jokes are the best. 

And then this happens. My Grandma gets up (even if it's in front of only three other people) and sings with all of us. She is definitely the one who passed down the performing gene to me. 

Choreography and everything. 

We were all laughing by the end. 

Liv and I sang a duet with the ukulele (all of us credit being able to play the ukulele to Grandma Lu since she made sure we all were given one for our 8th birthday).

I loved my mom and Liv's number, hand dancing and everything. 

The talent show finale was performed by my mom and Grandma Lu. It was probably my favorite number of the night. There is nothing like watching these two perform together. 

For those who know my family, when it comes to card games, it gets vicious. There have been tears and week long fights which I won't talk about here. In general, we are all so competitive but we also love playing so much that we put up with the chance of losing. One of my favorite cabin games is called Tripoley. It's three card games in one and we play with chips and a giant wooden board. My grandpa has us all buy in with 12 cents. We love it so much that we often will stay up until 3 in the morning to finish a game. 

We also have the tradition of my Grandma Lu's homemade fudge. It's torture waiting for it to finish cooking and setting. 

This was the night it got to 20 degrees below zero. I have NEVER wanted to be by the fire so much before. We found frost settled on the doors, windows and ledges and couldn't believe the cold was trying to creep in on our fun!

It warmed up the next morning enough for me to take some last minute shots. 

This was definitely a trip for the books! I can't wait to take Kyle up during the summer and show him the three rivers walk and four-wheeling over the gravel pits. 

Snapshot of the Teton Mountains across the way before our drive home. Thanks Great Grandpa Floyd for building the best cabin that holds a million memories!

And as a final farewell to our cabin trip, I'm going to put up a video Carl and Liv made to win some K2 skis and gear. They made it to the top two but were beat by someone else! I still think their video is the best. And I like the voice of the narrator as well ;).