Posts Tagged With: birthdays on the road

Birthday Celebration in Park City, Utah

It was almost 3 years ago that we set out on this adventure of a lifetime. I started this blog 3 years ago this month with this post about why we are doing this. In that post I mentioned that the #1 reason we are doing this is because “blink and they are grown”. Truer words have never been spoken! It seems like just yesterday that my first child Jake was born, and the next thing I knew he became a teenager. How did that happen??

We were in Park City, Utah to celebrate his 13th birthday at the end of September where we spent the day at Park City Mountain riding alpine slides and coasters.

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Getting ready for our first ride down the alpine coaster.

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This was so much fun! We were able to ride it several times that day with little to no wait since it was a weekday and not crowded. On the alpine coaster you ride up the mountain in the coaster for about 5 minutes or so, enjoying the views, and then fly back down in much less time.

I took this picture on the way up, but I couldn’t take any pictures on the way down.

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We also rode up the scenic chairlift a few times to ride the alpine slide.

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Jake going down the alpine slide.

We purchased a day pass so we could have unlimited rides. The day pass also included the Legacy Launcher, gem mining and mini golf.

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Jake on the Legacy Launcher

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Gem mining.

After we closed the place down, we headed into the cute little mountain town of Park City to find some place to have a birthday dinner. We ended up having Mexican which seems to be what we go for most often.

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The shops on Main Street were so cute!

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We loved Park City Mountain and would really like to return there for skiing in the winter sometime.

We stayed at Jordanelle State Park that week which was gorgeous with the mountain views and beautiful fall colors. It was even snowing the day we got there but didn’t last very long as it warmed up slightly that week.

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Beautiful campsite at Jordanelle State Park

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I think this was a great place to spend Jake’s 13th birthday, and it’s definitely on the list to return again someday.

Categories: Utah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

North Cascades National Park

After we left Port Angeles we headed over to the little town of Concrete, Washington to visit North Cascades National Park.

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This park is known for mountains, glaciers and lakes. The glaciers are a beautiful turquoise green color like in this iconic view of Diablo Lake.

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Diablo Lake

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A park ranger explained to us that the glaciers moving against the rocks over time result in the stunning green color in the water. I was curious why the glacial melt in Glacier National Park results in blue water while this park’s glacial melt results in green. The ranger showed us how rubbing 2 rocks together from this area creates a fine green dust, while the rocks in Glacier must be somewhat different in the color resulting in a blue dust.

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We started the day at the Gorge Powerhouse, walking across the suspension bridge and then a short hike up to Ladder Creek Falls.

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Ladder Creek Falls

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Then we hiked the Thunder Knob Trail to see Diablo Lake. This hike was 3.6 miles round trip and to be honest it wasn’t really that interesting except for the end. There was not much to look at for the hike up, but once we got to the top we were rewarded with this view. This was an out and back hike so the hike back down was just as uninteresting, but easier of course as it was all downhill.

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If you’re short on time I wouldn’t bother with this hike. You can get a much better view of Diablo Lake from the Diablo Lake Overlook (the pictures from the beginning of this post were taken at the overlook). I don’t mean to sound negative about this hike, but my personal preference is to hike trails where you have amazing views throughout the hike, not just at the end.

Next we drove further down the scenic North Cascades Highway to hike the Rainy Lake Trail. This was a short 2 mile out and back hike to a beautiful lake. Again, the hike wasn’t all that interesting, but it was short and paved, and ended at this awesome view.

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Rainy Lake

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A few more miles down the road we stopped at the Washington Pass Overlook for some spectacular mountain views.

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Lastly, on the way out of the park we stopped at Cascadian Farms for some organic ice cream. I thought the blueberry ice cream was delicious!

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We stayed at the Grandy Creek Thousand Trails while we were in this area, and also celebrated Jesse’s 11th birthday that week. We had been so busy sightseeing and exploring while Gramma and Grampa visited, and I think everyone felt the need for a break. Jesse requested that we stay home for his birthday and not go anywhere. So that’s what we did. We spent the day at the campground, playing games and mini golf. I made his favorite ice cream cake and one of his favorite dinners — lasagna, meatballs and homemade bread. I bet you didn’t think we could bake all that in an RV, did you? 😉 Last Christmas my dad and Chris switched out our microwave oven with a combination convection/microwave and I love it! The standard oven that comes with an RV is pretty useless since hardly any pans even fit in it. The convection oven fits my lasagna pan and bread pan perfectly. And I cook meatballs in our Instant Pot, one of the best kitchen appliances for an RV.

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I wasn’t sure how we could possibly top his 10th birthday that was celebrated at Mall of America, but he said this birthday was just as fun. Sometimes it’s the simple things in life I guess. 🙂

Categories: National Parks, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is known as the Water Park Capital of the World.  When someone first told me that I thought they were crazy.  I mean seriously, Wisconsin that might only have a few weeks of summer, known for water parks?  Then I found out that many of the water parks are indoors and they really are amazing!

We passed through this area during the week of Jake’s 12th birthday.  Another fun birthday on the road!

We parked our house at a nearby RV park for the week, but spent a couple of nights at 2 different water park hotels.  Since it’s the off season we were able to get really great rates for the hotels and the cost of the hotel includes water park access.  It’s actually cheaper to do that than pay admission for 4 to a water park.

The first hotel we stayed at was Wilderness Resort.  This place is huge!  They have 4 indoor water parks and 4 outdoor, but the outdoor parks were closed for the season.  And only 2 of the indoor parks were open while we were there, but that was plenty.  That also may be why it’s so inexpensive at this time of the year.

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Klondike Kavern

Klondike Kavern has several slides, a large lazy river, an indoor/outdoor hot tub and our favorite the Hurricane slide.

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Wild WaterDome

Wild WaterDome has a giant wave pool and a fun family slide.

Wilderness Resort also has many other non-water indoor activities like a go cart track, mini golf, laser tag, a ropes course and a huge playground.  We did not spend the money on all of those extra activities, but I was impressed by how many fun things they have to do there.

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The other hotel we went to was the Great Wolf Lodge.

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This place has one indoor and one outdoor waterpark, but both parks are huge and all in one place instead of spread out around the resort like Wilderness.

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This was one of our favorites where all 4 of us could race on toboggan style mats.

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We enjoyed both of these resorts very much, it’s hard to say which one is better because they both had many fun things to do.

And again we had both places almost to ourselves with very short lines if any.  September birthdays are lots of fun, and Jake said this was his best birthday ever.  Jesse said the same thing about his birthday celebration 2 weeks earlier at Mall of America.  It looks like I have my work cut out for me to try to come up with something just as fun for each of them next year.

Categories: Wisconsin | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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