What I Did Over Summer Vacation

(Can you see what BSB chose as the flag for his masterpiece sand castle?)

If my children are asked to write an essay this year, they will have plenty of material to work with!

3 1/2 weeks on the road

3 family reunions

4 states

3 Theme parks

3000+ miles on the car

4 Beach days

2 Nights in a tent

3 National Parks/monuments

1 funnel cake sundae!

What do you do when both sides of your family have milestone reunions in the same summer? You make a huge adventure out of it and stay away from Phoenix (and its summer heat) as long as you possibly can.

I’m not sure I can re-cap the entire thing in one post (or that you would want me to), but I’ll share some of the highlights here! I will do some more in-depth posts about about some of the insanity that went on at my parents’ 50th anniversary/reunion in another post, or two, shortly. But for now, enjoy a quick trip around the western US.

I documented much of the trip on instagram. (You can check out my feed there for more info on most of these photos.

First stop on the evening of the 4th of July, was our hometown of Prescott, and a free stay at the in-laws’ house.

Day 2 took us to Reunion #1 in the mountains of Southern Utah for some somewhat serious camping.

And some not so serious entertainment. My cousin orchestrated a “Battle of the Bands” between families. We did the 1940’s so my sister’s and I could show off our barbershop quartet skills. (I’ll spare your eyes the Spandex from the 80’s as portrayed by my cousins.

We then traveled up to Provo, Utah and stayed with my parents and sister there, and BSB worked on getting his fishing fix.

Reunion #2 was shortly there after and was celebrated in honor of my parents 50th wedding anniversary! We stayed in a house in the middle of no-where near Manti, UT. More fishing, singing, dramatic productions, and insanity (blogposts to follow!).

We stayed in Nevada on our way to see friends in California and explore the Central coast a bit! But not before taking the long way through Death Valley to get there.

Can’t say it was high on my priority list in the middle of the summer–but when you are married to a geologist, you do what you gotta do. It was pretty cool (not in the temperature sense), and not as hot as Phoenix has been this week. Did you know that California has the lowest and highest points in the continental US AND that they are less than 100 miles away from each other? Our car knew it after making the climb out of Death Valley.

After meeting up with our friends, we went kayaking in Morro Bay, and boogie boarding in Santa Barbara. I insisted on an excursion into Solvang, and would have been happy to spend more than a morning enjoying it’s charm and cute shops.

Theme park #1 was Magic Mountain with our friends, where I rode EVERY RIDE….that my 4-year-old daughter was big enough to go on. 🙂 (Those are some serious roller coasters, there folks!) But the kids had a great time!!  I got some big “thank you for taking us on this vacation”‘s from them that night.

We crashed at another friend’s house in Orange County for a couple of days. (More laundry) and had fun playing and shopping with them. (No Disneyland this time. BUT we will make it there one day!)

Then on to a week in San Diego, where the weather is always amazing (if not chilly to us desert rats). We saw the Mormon Battalion, LDS Temple, Sea World (thanks, grandma!), Cabrillo Nat. Monument, Legoland, and of course, lots of beach!

All in all, it was an unforgettable summer. Aside from having to load and unload the car (packed to the gills) so many times. The least pleasant part of the whole thing was when my little guy developed some tummy trouble which lead to a painful diaper rash that went on for several days. I really wish I had had these packets of Culturelle Probiotic with us on the trip to help him out. I am fortunate that Culturelle sent me some now, because in the middle of all of the other “welcome back to reality” nonsense that has be going on around here, he’s had a relapse. It has been shorter-lived this time around, thanks to the probiotics. When you play as hard as we did, this summer, there’s no time for things like digestive troubles!

So that just scratches the surface of the adventures of this summer. At this moment, I’d love to leave the rotten freezer, the back to school shopping, the rental house we own that is vacant, the music classes I am trying to prep for, and my messy house, and just head back to the beach (this time with some Culturelle en tow) for a little while longer.

Reality can wait, right?

How was your summer? Highs and low? Did you travel? Do you love long vacation adventures or are you happier in the routine of the real world?

Thanks to Culturelle for sponsoring this post. All opinions, insanity, and travel adventures are my own!

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  1. Death Valley isn’t on my summer wish list BUT the rest of your summer looks incredible!! You did SO much and your photos are captivating.

    • Thanks, Lisa! And I only busted out a few of the pictures I took with my real camera. (Still getting through the three memory cards full.) I’m not sure we’ll ever do another summer like this again, but it was a refreshing change of pace from the regular routine!

      p.s. Death Valley would be a great place to visit in the winter. 😉

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