Hitting The Road

We are off again and hope you will follow along! An abbreviated trip this summer, but it will be adventure packed for sure. This time, it’s just me and my three kiddos and about 3,300 miles. Join us and follow along for what should be some wild and crazy days ahead. Our crazy train departs on Thursday, July 21…

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Glorious Montana

Not going to lie… a piece of all our hearts is back in Montana. We are grateful to our friends for hosting us, and for being our tour guide while we were there. Hikes, swimming, horseback riding, shooting, ropes courses in the trees, alpine slides, rodeos, Glacier National Park, great meals, great friends and so much more. Thank you for sharing your magical piece of property with us and for introducing us to the great state of Montana.

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From iPhone:

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Rodeo!

We had an awesome time at the Blue Moon Rodeo in Whitefish, Montana. A first for our family and something I have always wanted to see and experience. We all had a blast and cannot wait for our next one! Here are some highlights!

 

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Wyoming

I am slowly catching up on my updates, so bear with me. Once we hit Wyoming, I decided to leave the edits and the posting until I got back. Something about all that family time together in the fresh air, crystal clear water and mountains kept me outside and away from the computer.

The kiddos and I said goodbye to Sarah and Emma Claire on Monday morning, July 13 in Salt Lake City. After a week traveling together, the car felt empty as we stopped for an overdue oil change and to gas up the car. Wyoming, the Tetons and Yellowstone were calling us and I was eager to reconnect face to face with a college sorority sister Genny, from Purdue, I hadn’t seen in 20 years.

You know those awesome friendships that feel so authentic and easy? Safe to say, I do believe she and I have that. After 20 years, it all felt like it had only been a week. I wish we had taken a moment to get a photo of us, but frankly, we spent more time laughing, catching up, watching the sunset and drinking prosecco while our boys played as if they’d been friends for a lifetime. Taking photos really didn’t seem to be a priority and to be honest, I am perfectly fine with that. It is all stored away in my memory, which I’ve come to realize, is more important than documenting it all on film.

Cheers to you Genny! Thank you for your hospitality, incredible dinner and for welcoming us into your lives and home. We fell in love with Wyoming and your family… thank you. We hope to see you all in Atlanta soon.

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Utah: Part 2

Whew… we wrapped up our “Mom’s Gone Wild” week in Utah on Sunday. What a week! We started in Flagstaff, AZ on July 5 and landed in Salt Lake City on July 12.

Seven days, two moms, four kids and five National Parks and everything in-between!  (Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands & Arches). Whew!

The views, the vistas and the landscapes were extraordinary. Suffice to say, we did a lot and we were all exhausted. Memories made and adventures were had by all. Go and see, if you never had… these are some extraordinary parks!

 

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Utah: Part 1

We checked out of our hotel in Page, AZ and into our hotel in Kanab, UT all before 11:30am yesterday. After a quick stop for lunch and refreshing our cooler with water, we headed to Zion National Park. The clouds and storms followed us too.

We got in a couple mile hike and back to the Zion Lodge just as the massive storm hit. After waiting out the rain and lightning, we caught the shuttle back to the visitor center and had dinner in the town of Springdale. Rain and rainbows followed us back out of the park and while I didn’t get many pictures, I have all the beauty and wonder of the park in my head forever.

Poor Cooper had been complaining of an earache and when it didn’t get better with Motrin, I ended up taking him to the ER at 10:30 last night. Selfishly, if he was sick, I wanted to get some meds in him sooner than later so we could continue our adventures today… It’s all about the planning, right?

Turns out he had a sinus infection and tender ears as a side effect. Thanks to the medical staff at the local hospital in Kanab, UT… we were in and out in less than 40 min. BOOM!

Today, we ventured to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes and then onto Bryce Canyon. The highlight for the kids was definitely the sand dunes and they debated for hours why it was called pink since it really looked orange… They ran, climbed, ran, built sand castles and then ran some more.

Bryce was gorgeous and again, I didn’t take many photos. Another storm was rolling in (somehow they keep following us!) and I frankly just wanted to spend more time taking it all in and standing in awe and be inspired by what surrounded me.

We closed out the night with dinner and pool time and as I type, Harper I struggling to keep her eyes open and the older kiddos are watching Food Network.

Tomorrow is a travel day to Moab, UT and our adventure train rolls on. Next up on our itinerary is Canyonlands & Arches National Parks and then Salt Lake City Sunday evening.

Here are a few highlights….

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Arizona: Part II

Our time in Arizona is wrapping up. By the time you read this, we will be saying goodbye to Page, AZ and heading to Kanab, Utah. The remaining days in Arizona have been eventful and adventurous.

Due to an unfortunate and sudden failure of the Hoover’s home air-conditioning system in 100 degree heat, Sarah and I booked a hotel in Flagstaff for Sunday night and took off with the kids a day early on Sunday morning. Prior to leaving, we celebrated the Fourth of July at Monthan Air Force Base with their friends. It was a ton of fun and frankly, an honor to celebrate our nations birthday with our armed forces and their families.

The 65 degree temps in Flagstaff were a welcome change and after a great lunch and a good nights rest, we explored the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and then headed onto Page, AZ.

For the past two days, we’ve explored the Glen Canyon Dam, hiked to the Hanging Gardens, Horseshoe Bend and tried to explore Antelope Canyon. Poor planning on our part, but we discovered that you can’t see Antelope Canyon without a guided tour that cost $48 (cash only) per person with no discount for kiddos. The slot canyon is on Navaho land and they control access. More power to them and I certainly don’t begrudge capitalism, however, that was a steep price to pay and we opted to forgo Antelope.

I’m exhausted and we are all exhausted, but the good kind of exhausted.

There is so much beauty to our country, it has frankly been rather overwhelming. Photographs really do not do it justice and I am often finding myself just taking it all in and not even documenting it. The vastness is only something you can appreciate by seeing it in person.

Tomorrow, July 8 (as I type this) is Cooper’s 10th Birthday. We will celebrate with him and explore Zion National Park together and continue our adventures!

Here are some highlights from iPhones and big girl cameras…

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Day 13: A Scorpion & Mission San Xavier del Bac

It was crazy hot today, but we adventured nevertheless. After an early morning discovery of a scorpion who had an untimely death in the pool, a few hours of swimming, breakfast and the delivery via 18 wheeler of the new car carrier, we loaded up the kiddos and headed off to explore a historic Spanish Catholic mission.

Founded in 1692 on the Tohono O’odhan San Xavier Indian reservation, we explored the San Xavier mission. The standing building, built between 1783-1797, was rebuilt after the original mission was razed in 1770 by Apaches. The boys were fascinated to learn how the building was built; how Cactus was and still is boiled and ground up with sand to make mortar, and dried saguaro cactus was used as ceiling material and mesquite trees as beams. After touring we had some fry bread and tacos from a food stand on the property and after ordering seconds, we went home for naps and to cool off before Emma Claire’s last swim meet of the summer.

Here are some highlights…

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Arizona Part 1

Over the hills and through the woods, we arrived in Vail, Arizona on Friday night. There were monsoon storms, crazy lightning, dust storms and amazing landscapes along the way from Albuquerque, NM. We’ve been swimming in the pool and adventuring with the Hoover’s. Poor Paul had to fly back on Sunday night to Atlanta, and while the kids miss him, we’ve been keeping busy. Hikes, Mt. Lemmon, Desert Museum, El Guero Canelo to satisfy our cravings for great Sonoran eats and much more. We still have a long list of adventures to tick off our list before we depart for “Moms Gone Wild” on July 6.

Here are some highlights

 

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