Tag Archives: Utah

For the Love of Camping

24 Jan

The art of camping is one family adventure that has definitely grown on me over the years.  I didn’t grow up in a camping family, but I always envied the fun that my childhood friends would have on camping trips.  I always knew that camping was something I wanted my kids to experience, but wasn’t quite sure where to start.  When my camping journey began (being that I was a novice camper), the reasonable way to begin this new adventure was to hook up with a rented RV and go from there.  Taking the first step was by far the hardest part and camping surely has been a learn as you go experience.  Mistakes were made (yes, even nasty dump tank mistakes), as well as many more successes. I experienced a few tears, all while creating some great memories.

Camping actually was the “perfect” vacation for my family when the kiddos were young.  It beat airplane rides, rental cars, and dining out.  At that early stage in my journey of parenting, the thought of dragging 4 small kids (and all their crap) through TSA and on layovers, all while ignoring sleep schedules and lugging car seats, diapers, and sippy cups was totally unbearable.  Camping made it possible to explore our surrounding states and sights, all while still getting away from the routine of being at home.  We camped often and saw so many amazing places.  But, as every parent knows you must change as your family grows and all good things do come to an end (kind of).

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As soon as my family grew out of naps and booster seats and those little bodies grew bigger, camping was not quite the same.  My true passion to start seeing the world was finally possible and quickly overruled any camping desire.  I put my rustic outdoorsy side on the back burner and abandoned most of our camping excursions.  Believe it or not, it was kind of sad (okay, not that sad).  There is something about being able to fill your kids full of junk food, get as dirty as they want, and run around like hooligans outside all weekend.  I love the feeling of setting up “camp”, the late night adult campfire discussions about politics, and playing cards.  So, in keeping up the tradition, my family now spends one weekend a summer filling my kids with the best food of Walmart and zero showering (for the boys at least).

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Each summer we spend a weekend with a growing group of fabulous families at Palisade Sate Park in Central Utah.  This place is just too perfect of a campground and way to much fun to quit visiting.  The location is great for friends and family coming from several different states and it is absolutely beautiful.  The lake is just big enough to explore, yet small enough to put a life vest on your older kids and let them take out a canoe.  Since this lake doesn’t allow power boats, it especially adds to it being a perfect lake for swimming.  There is tons of open space for that game of  kickball, an outdoor movie, or just to throw the frisbee around with your dog. The bathrooms are clean, with showers and flush toilets (a must for this high maintenance camper).  There is even a golf course and cafe to add to the list of why I love this place.  Did I mention the most amazing sunsets too?

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I could rave on and on about this amazing campground, but I think I’d better get on booking our campsite for this summer.  Happy adventures!

To Read more about my camping adventures, check out my post about Yellowstone.

Family Ski Day

21 Feb

I grew up skiing with my family.  I loved to ski as a kid and I still love to spend several days a year racing down the the beautiful mountains.  Like many other parents, I have this crazy vision of our entire family carving down the mountain in harmony.  All 6 of us, laughing and enjoying each others company on a beautiful powder day.  Just a thought.  For those of you who have tried skiing with kids or see other families attempting this task, you know what I’m talking about.  This is just not the reality.  There are two types of  kids out on the slopes.  First, you have that no fear, all out, straight down, X-games loving kid.  The over type is the dramatic, claiming to be frost bitten and dehydrated, crying, drama queen (or little prince).  There is no in between, it is one or the other.  This leads to one type of parent on the slopes with their kids…an exhausted parent.  My simple solution to not pushing myself totally over the edge is Ski School for the kids while I get in some real vertical feet.  We always end the day with a couple of fun runs together as a family.  Mom is relaxed, the kids skills and and confidence have improved, and everyone is happy (for the most part).

I have been lucky enough to visit many resorts in the Western United States while growing up and in my pre-kid life.  What used to make for a great resort is much different than what I would find now as an ultimate resort for families.  Bigger isn’t better and steeper isn’t the winning ticket for me.  The ultimate destination for me now must have easy parking (who wants to walk a mile while trying to herd kids) and a great place to have a leisurely mid afternoon appetizer and beer. These two things top my list and set the standard for the perfect ski day.  If I’m going to be really picky, having a resort that can offer nice wide runs for my beginners, short lift lines, and a great school make it a perfect 10!  Almost sounds to good to be true?

Yesterday morning we drove 30 minutes from Salt Lake City through the beautiful Big Cottonwood Canyon to Solitude Mountain Resort.  This resort is small enough to let your tween take a couple runs on their own, yet large enough to entertain and challenge the best of parents.  Great ski school, amazing food and drinks, no crowds and high speed lifts. Heaven!  After a full day and tired legs we walked steps back to the car, ended with some quick snow play time and called it a success for all!  The best part of all is that we tired them out…all 4 of them!

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