Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Independence Day Celebrations 2013

July 3rd was the big firework night for us. Ryan and Finley went to the RSL soccer game and were treated to a great firework show there. Berlin and I tagged along with our neighbor to the firework show at the old Granite High School. It was a great show and so fun to hang out, eat treats, and people watch!

This little one does not like the sound of fireworks, or the camera flash in her eyes. Can you tell?


We were planning on going up to the cabin for July 4th, but since we had just gotten home from there 3 days earlier, we didn't feel like making the 2 1/2 hr drive again. Instead, we booked a room at the Westgate Resort and headed up to Park City for a quick stay-cation. 

It goes without saying, we LOVE Park City. We try to do a staycation up there each summer with the kids. This was the first time that we have stayed at the Westgate Resort. We found a great price online (3 nights/4 days for $99 total). The only catch was having to sit through a lame 90-120 minute timeshare presentation. We thought, sure, what the heck. However, after sitting through that presentation we aren't so sure. It was 3 HOURS long! And they couldn't take no for an answer. But luckily we got out without caving. That said, the resort was really nice and we had a lovely time once we upgraded our room. 

Here we are waiting for the fireworks to begin. We just drove up the main road and parked at one of the trail lots.

This little stinker has turned into a photo bomber. She loves to sit all cute and perfect, then BAM, she does this... 

Riding the gondola at the Canyons to start our day of hiking. Lots of places to explore on foot and on bike. 


The kids were really great for the first hike. The second hike, they let us know they were tired and hot, but we kept going. However, the second hike was muddy and fairly steep so after going for a while, and dealing with a couple kid slips/falls, Ryan offered to stay back with the kids and wait while I kept going. It was nice to hike for a bit in peace and quiet. After catching up with them on the run back down we headed home for lunch, a shopping trip to the outlets, then back to the pool.

The kids favorite part about the resort was the pool. They would have spent the whole day there if it was up to them.

One night we tried to do dinner and a movie with the kids. We tried to see Monsters U or Despicable Me 2, however, all the times were sold out (that's apparently what everyone does when it's raining on a Friday night over a holiday weekend in Park City). So it ended up just being dinner out on the town. We ate at Nick's Cafe. Home to the apparently famous Japadawgs (Japanese hot dogs). Though the rest of our food was mediocre, Ryan loved his Japadawg.

Staycations are the best. It's always hard to get back to real life after a nice trip. Hope we can survive until our next vacation!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bear Lake ... about time!

Honestly, we are still in shock that we didn't get up to the cabin this year until the last week of June. We usually go up around memorial day, but this year there was just too much going on. School got out, then swimming lessons, tumbling, and basketball camp happened. But we finally made it and it was good timing. The weather at Bear Lake was about 10-15 degrees cooler than in Salt Lake. And with Salt Lake having a major heat wave of 100+ degree temps. We were glad to get away.

We spent lots of time lounging on the beach, reading, hiking up to Bloomington Lake and up into Tony's Grove, and getting eaten alive by the enormous mosquitos - oh wait, that last one wasn't so much fun. 

Beach Buddies:


Hiking up to Bloomington Lake: 

Bloomington Lake is a glacier lake and as you can see there was still snow up there. Though it was warm outside the water was still very cold. I love this hike because you are rewarded with lots of lakes & ponds. This is the lower lake. It is pretty shallow but great for floating on a raft or wading onto.

Heading up to the big lake. This is the pond overflow from the big lake.

Bloomington lake is behind the kids. It is so clean and clear. Love it.



 The kids waded into the big lake and despite the cold water, slowly shed layers of clothing until we ended up with this ... Yep, that's how we roll when we don't bring along the swimsuit. Old-school ghetto!

Finley doing a dance, "Moonrise Kingdom" style. 


The next day we headed up to Tony's grove. Despite there being a ton of other people (it was the busiest I have ever seen it) we had a good time. Usually we just take the nature hike around the lake, but this time we took the kids up towards the Alpine Lake trail. When they get a bit older (meaning: when Berlin can carry a pack that is twice her size), we are going to hike the 4 miles up and camp overnight. We saw a couple families coming down after having done this very thing and they said it's a wonderful place to get kids used to packing in their own gear/food, rather than just car camping.

My stylish little hiker:


This time we remembered to wear swimsuits under our clothes. They couldn't wait to jump in after the long, HOT, hike. Unfortunately, down by the water there were a TON of mosquitos and flies. My left ankle had over 7 bites in a 3-inch area that swelled up horribly the next day. Yuck.


Berlin took this picture before heading out.

Life is good. So glad we finally made it up.