Camping (or as close as I come to camping)

I might have stretched the truth a little when I told my (now) husband that I loved to camp. When I was a kid we went camping at least once a summer, but not more that two or three times a year. My mom planned super yummy dinners for us. And we had hot chocolate and powdered sugar donuts for breakfast. What was not to like? Well, now I am the mom and that means it’s my job to think up and cook super yummy camping dinners. When we were tent camping I had two dinners that I would make. Camping could therefore only last two nights (pretty smart). Before we left I would make a grilled chicken pasta salad, put it in a ziploc bag and stick it in the cooler. I would also prep all the ingredients for taco salad, put them in bags and into the cooler. DONE. Breakfast was muffins. Lunch was usually leftovers. I had the food pretty figured out, for two days anyway, but there was still all the other parts of camping. Sleeping in a tent is not the easiest thing for a light sleeper. Somehow, camping just isn’t as fun as it was when I was a kid. I still wanted my girls to have those fun memories though.

My husband I and decided to buy a trailer. It has been fabulous! We have already gone camping two times and I am actually looking forward to camping again. I have already decided that we are going camping next week.

So, here is the point of this post.

Phillip’s Lake, Oregon.

We have decided to limit our trips to a two hour radius from home. Two hours is about all our kiddos can handle unless we are headed to the cousins. Luckily, two hours can get us to some pretty amazing places. Like Union Creek Campground at Phillips Lake. IMG_20170601_121244892

Nice spot, huh? I wouldn’t mind going back, but we have other places to explore. This was a great place for us to spend several days. There is hiking around the lake and fishing in the lake, swimming (if you can brave the cold) and our favorite camping pastimes of burning things, like marshmallows, in the campfire. There are also a couple of historical sites within a short drive. We went to the Sumpter Valley dredge. A large piece of mining equipment siting in a pond. I found it fascinating. We had lunch at the Elkhorn Saloon. It is a bar, but there is a side entrance for seating in the back where kids can go. It isn’t fancy  (it is a bar, I can’t stress that enough), but they have some amazing hamburgers! They have some crazy combos on the menu like the George Washington that is topped with cherry pie filling and cream cheese. No, thank you. I had the BLT burger and it was yummy! I also recommend the onion rings. After lunch we took the kids to the Sumpter community park. Where they played until the adults were able to move again after all the food we had consumed.

Another draw is the Sumper Valley Railroad. Unfortunately, we were there on a weekday and the trains only run on specific weekends. The girls and I are planning on going back just to ride the train. Yes, I will drive two hours for a half an hour train ride. They have train robbery weekends and a Christmas train. It sounds like something we would love to do.

I can’t believe that I am actually looking forward to camping. Not like backpacking or sleeping in a tent camping, but parking the trailer in the woods with electricity and running water kind of camping. I think it totally counts. If my kids and husband are happy I will trailer camp any time.

IMG_20170531_132339674

P.S. We had a blast adding to the rock stack forest.

Alaska! What to Wear?

I used to live in Alaska. My husband and I met and were married there. There are things that I miss about Alaska. Like the mountains, oh the mountains, and the wildlife and the fresh fish. But I don’t miss the mosquitoes, or the cold wet summers. Now, summer can be beautiful in Alaska. Short, but beautiful. There are summers that are warm and sunny. However, every few years summer is not like summer at all. This was one of those years. We had a couple of beautiful days, we even went swimming one day. But most of the time it was cool and raining.
We had been planning our Alaska trip for several months. Meaning that my husband bought plane tickets and then we did nothing at all to get ready until the day before we were set to leave. I looked online to find a packing list for summer in Alaska. Go ahead and look, the pickings are very slim. Especially if you aren’t going on a cruise. Luckily all I had to do was think back a few years and remember what I wore. Mostly jeans and short sleeve shirts. Maybe a dress, if it was warm enough. Shorts and tank tops aren’t really necessary in Alaska. To complicate matters our stay was for one month. And I had no idea how often we would have access to a washing machine. So, here is what to pack for one month in Alaska in the summer.

14 pairs of underwear
3 bras
10 pairs of socks
2 pairs of jeans
1 pair shorts
1 casual dress
4 short sleeve shirts
3 long sleeve shirts
2 sweatshirts
1 workout outfit
3 pairs of pajamas (1 summer weight, 2 winter)
1 pair hiking/tennis shoes
1 pair flip-flops
1 swim suit
1 jacket
1 beach towel

Clothes for Alaska

This is an updated list of what I should have packed. I actually brought two swim suits, but only wore one and I only brought 7 pairs of socks and bought 2 more while we were there. And one day I borrowed a pair of shorts from my aunt.

This is what I wore on the plane. The pants have a stretch waistband and are super comfy. I am not a fashion blogger (obviously), but I don’t want to look like a hot mess when I travel. This outfit with the stretchy pants and tank top under a button down denim shirt was comfortable and didn’t look horrible. I call that a win.

Travelling Clothes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a wonderful time visiting family and friends. And I am so happy to be home!

Please remind me to NEVER fly the red-eye again, especially with children.

 

Idaho Hot Springs

Spring break in Idaho and my husband lured me to McCall with promises of hot springs. The day before we left he found out (shocking) that Gold Fork hot springs is closed on Tuesdays so we would have to find something else to do. Like take our girls skiing. My idea of skiing includes me by a fire with a hot drink, not actual skiing or running down the bunny slope beside my daughters. I love my children and I want them to do things I never got to do, like ski. But, I don’t like snow or cold or icy roads or going fast down hills. My husband has decided that we should go skiing once a year. This is after the last time we went skiing (3 years ago) and he declared that we were not snow people and would never go again! Next year I’m asking for a sled.

While in McCall we did visit two hot springs. Gold Fork, south of town is a favorite with our family. And Zim’s, north of Brundage Ski Resort will not make the favorite list. I’m starting a list.

Favorites:                                                       Don’t need to visit again:
Gold Fork, Donnely/Cascade                        Given’s Hot Springs, Melba
Miracle, Hagerman/Buhl                                Zim’s, New Meadows

Wouldn’t mind going again:                      Want to go:
Silver Creek Plunge, Garden Valley              The Springs, Idaho City
Banbury,Hagerman/Buhl                               Lava Hot Springs
Roy Stone, Sweet

Faves: We have visited Gold Fork twice now and Miracle multiple times. They both have multiple pools at different temperatures. We like that Miracle has nice bathrooms and showers, plus they have camping available. Gold Fork has porta-potties and no over night accommodations. They are both outdoors. We stay in McCall when we go to Gold Fork and Twin Falls when we go to Miracle.

Nope:  We have gone to Given’s a couple of times because it was pretty close to our old house. It reminds me of the public pool I grew up swimming in. It isn’t fancy or updated. It’s a bit trailer park-ish. It is covered, there are flush toilets and the pool is big and warm. Zim’s also is not fancy, there are two outdoor pools. One is warm and goes to 9′ deep and the other one is hot and is for soaking only. I’m not sure how often they clean the pools at Zim’s, but the walls were covered in algae when we were there.

Maybe:  Silver Creek was one of the first hot springs we visited in Idaho. It is part of a campground. The pool is outdoors and is not covered. It has a big shallow area great for kids and for sitting. Roy Stone is outdoors, but covered and is like a warm swimming pool. I would like to go again if we have friends or family because you can rent the pool for something like $20.  Plus it is close to home. We can go for the afternoon. Banbury is right across the road from Miracle and is owned by the same people.  The pool is large, outdoors, uncovered. It is great for swimming. They have camping and RV spots. If you are staying there you can go to Miracle as well. We really liked to swim in the morning at Banbury and soak in the evening at Miracle.