I’ve just spent a week at home in Utah, USA. I was there to visit my family, but I always manage to get in some nature hikes. I flew into Las Vegas and it was funny how small the skyline appeared in comparison to my Chinese city. I have been to Vegas innumerable times, but never really for any of the stuff it’s famous for. **usually just hitting the airport** Or… before internet shopping it was for actual shopping other than the small town stores’ slim pickings. Las Vegas is not just for losing money, it’s a great launching pad for awesome destinations. For me, it’s pretty much my airport of choice. It’s closer to my home and the famous Southern Utah parks than Salt Lake City.
I had a horse growing up. I’ve been bucked off before and had rides that were way too long for mere mortals. None of which was even with my life long rancher grandfather. My grandfather was too kind to put someone through that and too old when I was around. Anyway as an adult, I haven’t been around horses much so my children have not either. On Saturday, the elements came together and we got on the last ride of the day as walk up customers. It was fun to be back in the saddle and also uncomfortable. We had been trying to get to this area for awhile, but major travel got in the way and when we were home it was always some other weekend responsibility.
We recently went to visit family in Southern Utah. 2 daughters went to summer camp with my sister in law. We stayed busy, but didn’t get in tons of hiking time. There was a nice evening trip to Zion to hike. It was a much better time crowd wise not to get the day rush. On the return trip, we took a detour to a place my husband really likes. It was in his neck of the woods growing up and I had only gone once. It’s called City of Rocks. There is a lot of camping and it’s fairly remote, but not too far off the freeway. It’s a pretty place. There were rock climbers doing their thing. I don’t do that. I’m weak on my upper body and though I enjoyed rappelling once as a kid, I don’t really care for dangerous heights and leg/hand scrapes.
I hadn’t been to Yellowstone since I was 10 so it was time for my children to see it. We found a dog friendly hotel at Jackson, Wyoming as our base camp and off we went. The most notable thing to me as a child was extreme excitement to see a bear in the wild. It did not happen! 😢 However on Saturday, we saw a mama bear and 2 cubs. The trekking was limited as it was a long day of driving, but the options are endless. #Wyoming
I don’t use a lot of specialty products, but water is quite necessary for any activity. I am buying these today. REI is having a good sale on Hydro Flask water bottles. Selected ones are 50% off for a very limited time. I like hot things hot and cold things cold. I am getting one for each of my hikers in her own color so I don’t have to have any more fights over our boring black family ones. It will also be a great product to send them off to summer camp with in a few weeks. Just say
NO to throwaway water bottles clogging up landfills. REI SALE
I rode in my first uber in May. I was in New York City hailing a cab. It is pretty much one of my least favorite things to do in NYC. I knew no cab would stop for me. I don’t know how to do it right and I stand helplessly feeling like a country bumpkin. Finally, an uber stopped and took us where we needed to go. I only got in cause I saw the uber sticker. Everywhere we go we seem to end up in some fake/sketchy cab. Fast forward, I am an unpaid uber driver. I truly have been spending my weeks driving my children everywhere. We don’t even do soccer anymore. (soccer mom-reference) It could be worse. They could be couch potatoes so it’s a small price to pay. We are doing a lot of swimming and being home is like a staycation. We have a lot of recreation right in our back yard. The hiking season for me is on hold unless it is after the sun goes down. It’s just too hot. Mornings are great too, but I’m usually not that ambitious. Summer is in full swing, but I can feel it slipping through my fingers so it’s time to make the most of it.
One of the best travel deals in the planet is to visit the national parks. I grew up in the heart of color country in Utah so I’m a huge fan. I lived and worked in Zion National Park when I turned 18 and I continue to go there every chance I get. A few years ago, President Obama created a program for fourth graders to get into the parks for free. As my youngest child is a 4th grader, we just printed off our pass that will expire on Aug. 31, 2017. I often purchase a year pass, but it all depends on how often I can put it into use. Senior citizens get an absolutely awesome lifetime pass for $10 when they hit 62 years of age. I doubt I have any other 4th graders that read my blog except maybe my own once a year, but in case you know any. https://www.everykidinapark.gov/ #optoutside