Vibrant turquoise waters of Bear Lake

This past weekend we made the drive up north to visit Bear Lake. Sliced just about symmetrically by the Utah/Idaho border, the lake is nestled in the mountains, offering up sandy beaches, gorgeous views and unbelievably bright blue-green aqua water.

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The photo above does not accurately capture the brilliance, beauty and vibrant colors of the lake water.

We stayed in a dinky, miniature cabin (and I use that term loosely), at the KOA camp grounds at Bear Lake.

The place was wayyy too small for 2 adults and 2 toddlers. Sardine life FTL! Tera guesstimated it at about 200 square feet.

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Thankfully the KOA grounds do offer many family friendly amenities such as a jumping pillow, a playground, pools, etc. We got settled in on Friday and then hung out at the playground and pool whilst sipping on a few brewskis. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the pool while wearing their life jackets. The boys enjoyed floating, bobbing, spinning, swimming, splashing and playing with us.

Day 2

On our second day, we drove up to the North beach area to meet our friends who were RV’ing it up.

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It was a cold, windy, drizzly day, but we still had a good time hanging with friends by the campfire, letting the boys play at the beach with Jozie and spending some time in the hot springs pool, directly adjacent to our friends’ camp site.

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The camper door and mini sliding window was a hit with the boys

After hanging at the camp for a bit, we were off to the beach for some play time!

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The boys found a sand castle and immediately stomped down the towers. We built a couple more towers, which were then promptly destroyed, naturally. After that, wet sand balls were harvested and tossed into the puddles for a half hour of fun.

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If you couldn’t tell, I was thoroughly impressed by the beauty of Bear lake and I would like to return when it’s warmer, and not stay at the KOA.

Thank you to LaDawn, Dave and family for inviting us out!

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Zion’s Riverside Walk trail

While in Springdale, we consulted with the locals and were advised that the Riverwalk trail inside Zion would be the most appropriate hike for toddlers.

The 2 mile, round trip, paved trail, runs alongside a river within a canyon, with mellow ups and downs. We rolled the stroller along with us, in case the boys got tired, but it definitely wasn’t necessary. I’m sure the boys would have preferred to walk run the entire time, but since it was pretty cold at first, the stroller allowed us to bundle them up with a blanket.

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The hike was a very easy one, although it was a bit straining to push the fully loaded double stroller up a few of the hills on the way down the trail.

It was a gorgeous stroll, with awe inspiring views of the looming canyon walls, with the serene sound of water flowing along beside us.

At the end of the path, we took the stairs down to the river bed area, where the boys jumped around on the rocks and sand.

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There were tons of unique stone benches, rock seats and other spots to pause for a rest and a view along the trail.

Zion was an utterly amazing natural wonder. I hope to get the chance to trek up some of the more advanced trails there in the future.

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Springdale town park

If you’re traveling with 2 toddlers, it’s mandatory to seek out a local playground. It’s a must!

Thankfully Springdale has a quaint little park in the middle of town with breath taking views of the surrounding rock formations, stretching up to the sky.

I snapped a few photos with the front facing cam on my Moto X, while trying to get the boys to laugh.

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The playground was perfect for the boys. A few different slides, lots of swings, various obstacles and a rope bridge!

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The boys were fascinated with the rope bridge, as it was there first encounter with such an obstacle.

Dylan crossed the bridge over and over (and over!), taking the curved slide down on the other end.

Ashton preferred the straight double slides and took rides down them most of the time.

The playground also has a kiddie sized telescope. The boys took turns looking through the lens to view the mountains, but Ashton particularly took a liking to it. He just kept going back to peer through the scope again and again.

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While Dylan and I were walking around the park, we came upon a ladybug. I let it crawl onto my finger and Dylan stared at it with curiosity. I asked him if he wanted it to crawl on his finger, he said yes, but he held up his shaking finger with trepidation. Once it crawled onto his index digit, he cracked the biggest smile across his face. I then had him hold his hand up, ready to snap the perfect photo. But alas, just as I was about to take the picture, the ladybug flew up into the air and away.

We had a great time there and Springdale town park certainly has the toddler stamp of approval!

Another post is coming soon about our hike on the Riverwalk trail in Zion national park.

More posts about this trip
Zion’s Riverside Walk trail
Springdale & Zion National park

Springdale & Zion National park

ROAD TRIP! March 21-23 we partook on a much needed family getaway to Springdale and Zion National park, situated in the high desserts of southern Utah.

Our 2 two and a half year old boys behaved very well on the 4.5 hour drive each way, particularly considering that we forgot to bring toys (doh!). Lots of talking, singing, snacking on pretzel sticks (as well as other foods), and even a little DVD viewing ensued, with Thomas the Train and Baby Signing Time videos.

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The view on the way into Springdale

We stayed at the Driftwood Lodge in Springdale for 2 nights, and despite my reservations about the pricey rate, it was the perfect accommodation for us. It turns out that the price of everything is inflated in the tiny tourist town of Springdale. Even so, it’s a fantastic place and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it as a destination.

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View from our room, side windows
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View from our room looking back

Our room, the views and the lodge were idyllic. We stayed in a signature king room in the court of the patriarchs, the only rooms in the lodge that are new.

The lodge features a heated pool and hot tub, on site laundry, and other amenities. One of the best features for us was the large grassy area near the rear of the property, bordering a serene stream with sandy banks.

This area was the perfect family haven. Tera and I relaxed to the calming sounds of flowing water, sipping adult beverages. Meanwhile, the boys ran wild in the field, all right on the premises of the lodge.

The boys had a blast running around in the grass, climbing on chairs, playing with branches, picking wild flowers and repeatedly crossing a makeshift bridge that was covering a hole in the ground.

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Tree huggers!
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The toddler bridge!
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Playing with branches longer than they are tall.
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Loungin'

More posts and photos coming soon about the Springdale town park, the playground, our Riverwalk hike, and our scenic drive through Zion national park.

Help us raise funds for Farm Sanctuary!

wffaLogoDear friends, our family (Wes, Tera, Ashton & Dylan) are participating in Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals 2012 charity event. Please help us with our fund raiser!

Support us!

Every year millions of farm animals are subjected to unspeakable abuses on factory farms. Often confined in cages so small they cannot even turn around, farm animals are regularly beaten, mutilated, force-fed, deprived of everything that is natural to them, and frequently dragged to their death.

For more than 25 years, Farm Sanctuary has taken a stand against such cruelty by inspiring change in the way society views and treats farm animals and by promoting compassion. This year I am joining Farm Sanctuary in its mission to protect farm animals from abuse by participating in the Walk for Farm Animals. A series of fundraising and outreach events held across the United States and Canada, the Walk for Farm Animals spreads Farm Sanctuary’s message of compassion while supporting the organization’s life-saving work. I am walking with Farm Sanctuary to speak out on behalf of animals and to make a real difference in their lives.

I hope you will join me in taking a stand against cruelty to animals. Farm animals everywhere are relying on your support! Please make a donation of $10 or more to our fundraising page today!

Send a donation

Hot Air Balloon Ride in North Phoenix

Tera bought me a hot air balloon ride with Hot Air Expeditions for my birthday. We had a great time on the ride. Here’s some video of the experience.

We really got lucky with the pilot and the balloon that we were on. Our pilot had the most flight hours logged in the entire country, he took us through the hills at low altitude, we were in the air longer than any of the other balloons, we flew the highest and our balloon flew farther than anyone else in our “fleet”. It was a ton of fun and I really enjoyed the experience as well as the views. I’d definitely do it again.

I love hummingbirds!

I love hummingbirds! Their insanely fast wings have amazed me since the first time I set my eyes on one of the speedy little birds flitting around in the air. Thankfully, here in Arizona, there are plenty of hummingbirds in my area to satisfy my craving to view their aeronautic acrobatics.

To help me see even more of their amazing antics, I installed a hummingbird feeder on my office window. Below you can view one video of my home office window hummingbird feeder, with a bird visiting for a drink.

Note: For a better view of the video, click the four arrows box icon to watch in full screen or watch it here on the full screen mode page.