Monday, July 28, 2014

Deer Creek Reservoir

Deer Creek Reservoir is minutes from my sister-in-law's and brother-in-law's house. When they posted photos last summer of the beaches and the views I knew I needed to join them when they went again.
Everyone in E's family thought it sounded so fun we ended up making a day of it, barbecuing lunch up there, and even missing naps in favor of swimming. 
The water was surprisingly nice! Not too chilly. Warm enough for both kids to stay in for over an hour and whine when it was time to get out.
This mermaid mastered the little life jacket and floating. She swam out deep and just floated along as happily as can be. And that view?! The best!
Everything is better with cousins. Can you believe how fast baby Emilia is growing up?
Plus she is the sweetest thing ever.
This guy got good at swimming while we were there and was intent on staying in the deeper areas so he could wrestle Daddy.
Plus he loved dunking his head.
So refreshing!
This bunny only wanted Mama to warm her up. Challenge accepted.
Lunch was a huge feast of berries, melon, hot dogs, salads, chips, sodas, cookies, and the likes. Everyone ate and ate and we laughed the entire time. 
Lunch with a view. It was spectacular.
Deer Creek Reservoir, you were so so good. We will be back.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Snowbird Tram

Due to Thursday being a state holiday in Utah, E decided to take Friday off and make this weekend a four day weekend of fun. We stayed so busy. Albion Basin on Thursday with dinner, a new Children's Museum on Friday (awesome but totally wiped us out), and Snowbird on Saturday! We even kept up the momentum and had a great Sunday, but that post will have to wait.

We've been wanting to visit the tram all summer, but after our stay cation in Park City in June, and our upcoming vacation to the Grand Tetons in August, we weren't sure when to fit it in. But once E decided on the four day weekend, and once we read about the amazing wildflowers (and saw them on Thursday) we knew this weekend was it.
The Tram is a huge treat on a hot day. Ridding fast and smoothly up the mountain to Hidden Peak at 11,000 feet doesn't require any energy for the amazing payoff.
James is a Tram expert, going on it each year since he was a little babe. Now he always moves to the back and pokes his head out the window for optimal viewing.
Once at the top we are greeted with the loveliest gift of all. Seventy degrees with a breeze! After a week in the high 90s it felt amazing.
Each year I take a photo of Daddy and his kiddos on the top. This year was no different.

Everywhere you look there is an amazing view to take in. We did a lot of just staring off while the kids ran in circles.
They literally ran in circles for forty five minutes laughing and giggling. Juliet's shoes had to come off because she kept slipping but bare feet didn't slow her down at all. 
She kept yelling to James "slow down BOY!" We were all laughing so much because we never call James "boy," she came up with that one all on her own. Lots of other tourists and sightseers would stop to watch her and everyone laughed so much when she'd yell "slow down boy!" again and again. 
The views were spectacular.

Family photos at the top are also a tradition!
Back down we go!
Once at the bottom we went and got Mexican at our favorite Snowbird restaurant. Eating steak tacos while watching the Tram zoom up and down the mountains makes for an awesome night.

And then as we were packing up to head home I spotted a little fern gully. I've always wanted to take photos of Juliet in lush ferns, and luckily she thought they were pretty special too.
They were huge. Taller than her and just like a beautiful little pint sized forest.
My water loving boy kept a close eye on the mini waterfall near the parking lot.
And then as we were REALLY ready to go I spotted some yellow wildflowers and the sun was hitting them in the most perfect way. Juliet's yellow hair bows just looked so perfect compared to the flowers. So I plunked her in the middle, and started asking for a few smiles. James helped with peak-a-boo, hence the big grins. 
And the best shot of the night was captured by my amazing husband. Love love love. Good job babe.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Heavenly Albion Basin

Everyone and their dog should make it up to Albion Basin in the next week or two. Well not your dog, because it's watershed, but everyone local NEEDS TO GO.

E and I have been making the annual trek pretty much our entire dating lives. One of my favorite early dating photos (we were both only 18!) was taking on the wildflower covered mountainside.

James knows this hike well and remembered most of it from when we went last year.
 He is an amazing little hiker, never complaining or slowing down. He just goes goes goes!
Juliet, however, is totally happy to be carried. And she is big. And heavy. E was really hoping she'd want to walk, but after she asked to be picked up for the umpteenth time, we decided to at least put her in the pack. Nice photo, right? This is what I get when I ask them to smile.
How did I get so lucky to be this guy's Mama? Really, I have no idea. Plus, he still prefers calling me "mama" above Mommy and Mom. Thank goodness. It's like one last tiny bit of his babyhood that's hanging on.
Cecret Lake is beautiful. Clear blue and tucked right up against the steep high mountains. The lake is filled with salamanders. Like thousands. We watched them for awhile, threw a few rocks, and the kids played happily looking for "salamander boats" which are just sticks.
Sometimes I see pretty light and ask for a photo. Almost always this is what I get. Ha!
At least he followed it up with a goofy and adorable routine.
Mr. Blue Eyes.
The reason I insist on Albion Basin right now is that the wildflowers are at their peek. Meadows full of white and red and yellow. Creeks with bluebells spilling over their edges. So many flowers, so much immense beauty.
Near the end of the hike when the sun was low I grabbed Juliet from the pack and looked for some beautiful spots. Really, they were not hard to find. The bluebells are just magical. I pretended that they were little fairy showers as a girl. Juliet was entranced.

The orangey sunset light was really spectacular. I told Juliet I saw a fairy and pointed, and this is the shot I got. I just love it. Caught in a childhood dream.
Not a fairy, just a butterfly!

We finished our hike and used the campsite for a picnic location. E brought his BBQ and we made blue cheese burgers and corn. And, if possible, the light got more orange and everything looked more magical. Indian's Paintbrush are always the most ruby red.
Lots of smoke in the air making the sun a huge orange orb.
Fantastic night at my favorite spot. Albion Basin, I adore you.
See last year's post (and this one that may be my favorite post ever!) and the year before that (Juliet is a cherub!)
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