12 Gifts for Moms Who Love Travel

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information. Mother’s Day is coming!  Don’t forget the mothers in your life, whether it’s your grandma, the…

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

Mother’s Day is coming!  Don’t forget the mothers in your life, whether it’s your grandma, the woman who raised you or the woman who is raising your offspring!  There are plenty of travel-themed gifts for the moms but I’ve shared just a few.  Moms passionate about travel will appreciate these gifts which won’t break the bank.

Travel Home Decor for Mom

I just love these throw pillows!  They’ve got other designs but these ones naturally caught my eye since I’m map-obsessed.  I think these would look great on the bed or in the living room.


This lamp is on my wish list.   It would look great almost anywhere.  Shed some light on the wonders of the world and help mom daydream about her next destination.

 

I”m dreaming of hot air balloon rides as I prepare for a trip to Turkey’s famous hot air balloon filled skies in Cappadocia this summer.  Add a little adventure to her dreams
with this gorgeous duvet and matching pillow shams.

 

Travel Fashion and Fun for Mom

I’ve always been a huge fan of Baggallini bags.  My black tote bag and crossbody purse similar to this one come with me on almost every trip. I take  They are light, fold up compactly and easily wipe clean.  I also send mine through the wash every few months.  They’ve lasted forever!


Check out this wallet is RFID blocking.  It’s equipped with advanced military grade proprietary blocking material.  Help mom protect her valuable information stored on RFID chips from unauthorized scans. She’ll feel more secure traveling with this wallet.

 

I have sun damage on my eyes from being careless about eye protection for years.  I highly recommend these polarized Ray Bans reduce glare and protect your eyes from the harsh sun and help mom stay healthy while on the road.  And they’re fashionable to boot.

How is fun this little carry on Moscow Mule cocktail kit?  It comes in a cute little copper tin and includes a recipe card, Spoon/Muddler, 1/2 oz jigger, ginger syrup and linen coaster.  Nostrovia!


I’m loving these colorful travel-themed luggage tags!  They come in a set of four and the strap is flexible.  They also help you quickly identify your checked luggage as it makes its way onto that conveyor belt.

 

Travel Books and Inspiration for Mom

I’ve been researching glamping locations lately and came across this go-to guide for putting glamour into camping by MaryJane Butters, the woman who coined the term “glamping”.  I wondered who came up with that!  Glamping with Mary-Jane is super cute and fun with great images and fun inspiration.

 

Give your mom The World, A Traveller’s Guide to the Planet by Lonely Planet, a summary of the highlights of each country in the world.  It includes maps and travel highlights for countries as well as practical information on getting around and such.  This one has been on my wish list for a while.  I’ve been a big fan of the Lonely Planet guides for decades now and I always use their country guides for my travels as well.

Road-trip loving moms will appreciate Epic Drives of the World, a beautiful book of 50 of the greatest road trips on Earth.   The only drawback of this book is realizing you can’t do all of the trips it includes!  This would be a great source of inspiration and daydreaming.

 

Earth from Above is a collection of images by renowned aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand.  These vivid images from 60 countries across 5 continents are straight up stunning! I learned about this book when some of the images were on display in the streets of Singapore during my SE Asia trip years ago.  It’s my go-to gift for those who appreciate the diverse beauty of our fragile planet.

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Where I Roamed in 2018

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information. Is it just me or did 2018 zip by really quickly? They say time flies when…

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

Is it just me or did 2018 zip by really quickly? They say time flies when you’re having fun! That makes sense because 2018 brought so many chances for fun travels with friends, family, and solo. In December I try to reflect on my travels from the year. In addition to inspiring gratitude for my good fortune, it also helps inform my travel planning for the following year. So here’s the recap of most of the travels that happened this year.

Early in the year, I took a weekend momcation to San Juan Island with a couple of girlfriends. The weekend was filled with good food, music, dancing, hot-tubbing, hiking, and beach combing.

Brian, Jonah and I then made trips to North Carolina in February followed by a spring trip to Washington DC. We enjoyed catching up with family and visited plenty of attractions.

Memorial Day weekend some girlfriends and our sons did our first family camp weekend at YMCA Camp Orkila on Orcas Island. Imagine staying in cabins, kayaking, archery, zip-lining and a host of other fun activities on a beautiful island where someone else does the cooking and cleaning! Now that’s my kind of trip!

Summer brought the end of school for Jonah so we decided to celebrate with an impromptu mama-son weekend outside of Portland, OR, Jonah searched Airbnb and found a tiny house on a lavender farm with alpaca and goats which was great fun, educational, and relaxing.

Brian, Jonah and I then visited Salt Lake City and Bryce Canyon National Park for the first time over the fourth of July week. What a beautiful part of our country! If you’re interested in visiting the area you can read more about how we planned that trip here.

This year I chose Europe for my annual solo adventure. I started in Turkey, exploring Istanbul and then crossing off hot air ballooning from my bucket list in Cappadocia.

My adventures continued in Moldova, spending time in the capital, Chișinău and then staying in a small village in the countryside with a friend and her family. I ventured onward by plane to Budapest followed by train travel with stops in Prague, Vienna, and Berlin. I wrapped up the trip with a visit to Szczecin, Poland where I enjoyed a stay in a swank home exchange apartment and got a personal tour of the city by my new home exchange friend.

Fall was travel-packed with visits to Ashland, OR with a friend, a glamping adventure in California with my young “niece”, and few days in Mexico City over Dia de Los Muertos with a girlfriend!

For the Thanksgiving holiday Brian, Jonah and I spent the week exploring Phoenix and Sedona, Arizona. And as I type this we’re spending the Christmas holiday week in San Diego for a dose of sunshine to help us survive the rainy Seattle winter.

A lot happened in 2018 on the professional front too. The She Eoams About blog turned a year old and I learned a ton more about running a money-making blog. I gained many new followers and friends all around the world, I did a little bit of freelance travel writing, was interviewed by Sagebrush Farm NV, and recorded an episode for the Stay Wild Podcast, with Norma Jean who I met during my Ashland trip. I expect to be able to share that in early 2019 so subscribe to the podcast and give a listen when it’s uploaded. She Roams About even won an award!

I have so much more to share from all of my wanderings. I expect to have a little more time to write this winter so stay tuned for those trip reports!

I hope your 2018 was also filled with things that brought you joy. I’m looking forward to more adventures and growth in 2019. All the best to you in the new year!

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When Travel Memories Come Flooding Back

Last night while helping Jonah with homework I came across a reference to a book by the title of Tua and the Elephant, a story of a brave 10-year-old girl that…

Last night while helping Jonah with homework I came across a reference to a book by the title of Tua and the Elephant, a story of a brave 10-year-old girl that forms a friendship with an elephant named Pohn-Pohn.  Their friendship formed while she helped Pohn-Pohn escape her captors and make a new home at an elephant sanctuary.

I haven’t read the whole book, but memories of my 2005 travels through Thailand came whooshing back as if I had never left.  And what wonderful memories they are!  I was fortunate enough to visit Elephant Nature Park near Chang Mai during my travels.   There I helped feed, wash and even take some of the elephants into the jungle to forage in the wild overnight.  It was one of those unexpected and even sort of random travel experiences, this time with elephant friends.

After homework was eventually finished I  revisited an old blog post about my unforgettable experience.  I came across a picture of me down at the river with the elephants at “bath time” at Elephant Nature Park.   See that cutie pie baby elephant (Hope I think its name was) rolling around in that low water?  My heart swelled.  Have you ever had a chance for a close-up encounter with animals during your travels?

 

 

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Travel Memories of Pai, Thailand

My First Blog I had a travel blogging hobby many years ago.  I’d developed it mostly during a 6 months journey across SE Asia in 2005 and 2006.  I’ve recently…

My First Blog

I had a travel blogging hobby many years ago.  I’d developed it mostly during a 6 months journey across SE Asia in 2005 and 2006.  I’ve recently dug up those posts and thought I’d share some of them here.  Here’s a post from some travels on the outskirts of Pai, Thailand.  It’s amusing for me to read these old posts.  They are so many chapters ago.  They bring back in startling clarity my initial giddiness when venturing out solo on the road.  Absolute freedom!

Saturday, December 3, 2005, Pai, Thailand

This morning I woke up and decided to move out to a place further in the countryside. I found a great little place to call home for my last night in the Pai area. It is named Fruits Bungalow and it is run by a French man and his Thai wife. It is lovely. I got my own little bungalow right on the river. I dumped my bag and got back on my motorbike to explore the countryside. My goal was to visit the nearby Lisu and Hunan Chinese villages. I was easily able to find these and even helped one of the Lisu women with a ride back to her home on my scooter. She was mystified by my offer and giggled the whole way.

I also met some great kids who loved trying to talk with me. I was surprised to not have seen very many foreigners out there at all. Some small villages I rode through were shocked to see me and I received lots of smiles during my ride.

Budget-Friendly Breakdown

My motorbike stopped working after visiting a local waterfall. I was a little stranded but luckily I had my cell phone and they came right out and helped me get back on the road. Not bad service for $3/day! And my bungalow is only $5/day. I think I have spent about $1 on food and drink and will probably spend another $1 tonight for this internet connection. Another buck for dinner. I asked a more long-term bungalow place in the middle of the rice paddies how much it would cost for a month.  They said $100!

 

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Halloween Costumes for Those with Wanderlust

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information. Halloween season is upon us.  So today I’m doing a little costumer window-shopping online and I…

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

Halloween season is upon us.  So today I’m doing a little costumer window-shopping online and I realized there are so many adventurer and traveler themed costumes.  There are also those that conjure up a place, perhaps a country, its history, or its culture.   Here are some that caught my eye.  Happy Halloween!

Amelia Earhart/Aviator

Pilot

 

Indiana Jones

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Astronaut

Sea Captain

Train Engineer

The World

Hey Pinners, Pin This!

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Los Angeles​ Urban Glamping Retreat Weekend

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information. Fall is shaping up to include quite a few travels! A couple weeks ago I had…

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

Fall is shaping up to include quite a few travels! A couple weeks ago I had a short weekend getaway at the end of September with a couple of girlfriends. I’d been invited to stay at a fun urban glamping spot in Los Angeles called La Boheme that I wrote about earlier this year.

La Boheme is right in Los Angeles but the atmosphere is that of a rustic retreat. Our host Hillary and her daughter Emma were so hospitable.   There is dedicated parking on site although you can ditch the car and avoid LA traffic while sightseeing since the LA Metro Gold Line is a few steps away.

It turns out Hillary has a pepper jelly business called Jenkins Jellies so we got to enjoy some of her delicious jellies which have such a nice kick to them.  My favorite was the Hell Fire but there are also Fiery Fig, Guava Brava and Passion Fire Flavors.  These vegan and gluten-free jellies would make such nice holiday gifts!  They’re also the perfect size to be stocking stuffers!

jellies

The glamping retreat was so comfortable.  It was in a large safari type tent and we had our own shower and compostable toilet which was very easy to use.  There was a lovely kitchen and dining area although we ended up dining out at a wonderful French restaurant right in the local neighborhood, Highland Park, called Cote Est. The food was delicious and service by Tyreese was impeccable.

We got in some spa time for Korean body scrubs at Olympic Spa   I absolutely love Korean spas!  I’ve been going for years and all I’ve been to have hot and cold pools for soaking, sauna, steam room, and loungy rest areas. Many also have restaurants.  There’s nothing better after a relaxing soak and scrub than eating a steaming bowl of soup while outfitted in a funny little robe in a room full of women in funny little robes.  This time with my mom friends is so precious.  Momcations and good self-care are irrefutably beneficial to mental health.   If you’re looking for a unique place to stay while visiting LA this is it!

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Top 5 Seattle Area Pumpkin Patches

The air is crisping, the leaves changing color and falling and the aroma of pumpkin spice is beginning to fill the air.  So it’s the time of year I bust…

The air is crisping, the leaves changing color and falling and the aroma of pumpkin spice is beginning to fill the air.  So it’s the time of year I bust out the calendar to plan fall and winter activities and trips.  Ever since my son was a wee one we’ve ventured to pumpkin patches near our home in Seattle.  The pumpkin patch outing was not something I ever did as a kid.  So my first time was quite a shock.  These days I hone in on the current recommendations from local parents to narrow our options for our annual outing. I surveyed my Seattle neighbors to find the top pumpkin patches and fall festivals in the area and here’s who came out on top.

Location

Snohomish, WA

FarmSwansPumpkins

Photo credit: Farm at Swan’s Trail

Dates and Hours

September 29 to October 31

Weekends 10am to 6pm
Weekdays general public 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Activities

Corn Maze, U Pick Apples, Pedal Carts, Jumping Pillow, Wagon Rides, Live Duck Races, Slides, Corn Box, Live Pig Races, Three-Story High Barn Maze
with Slide Exit and a brand new giant hay pyramid

Food Options

Food is available only on weekends and includes hot dogs, huge hand-dipped corn dogs, caramel apples, roasted corn, pumpkin chili, pulled pork sandwiches, kettle corn, cider donuts, and french fries.

Cost

General Admission and Parking is FREE and includes the pig show, duck race & petting farm.  For additional fees ranging from $8-18 for access to the corn maze and/or the play area, cow train, peddle cars and wagon ride.

Location

Snohomish, WA

BobsCornFire

Photo credit: Bobs Corn and Pumpkin Farm

Dates and Hours

Pumpkin Patch

September 22 to October 31
10a.m. – Dark

Big 10 Acre Corn Maze

September 8 to 28
last maze admission at 6pm**

September 29 to October 31
Sunday-Thursday
6pm last admission

Friday & Saturday
last admission at 10pm**

Activities

Rope maze, tag, kid’s mazes, cow train, sandpit, big slides, corn crib, gaga pit, big corn maze, apple cannon

Food Options

Hot drinks, kettle corn, caramel apples, candied nuts, roasted corn, pumpkin pie and donuts, chili, nachos, fries, pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, corn dogs, and several varieties of fudge.

Cost

U Pick Pumpkin patch entry is free of charge. Activities cost is $10-20 per person depending on the day of week and activities selected.  There’s an a la carte option for the apple cannon and cow train activities.  Military and family rate discounts are also available.

Location

Carnation, WA

ReminlingerPumpkins

Photo Credit: Remlinger Farms

Dates and Hours

September 29 to October 28

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Activities

Steam train rides, mine-twister roller coaster, hand-led pony trail rides, antique car rides, hay maze, hay jump, 4-H barnyard animals, mini Ferris wheel, pedal go-carts, climbing wall, flying pumpkins, spinning barrels, canoe rides, live entertainment with Cyndie Soup in the farm theatre, plus two blow-up bouncers and a 28’ high giant slide, the El Paso mini train and flying “Crazy Corn” rides.

Food Options

The Railway Cafe serves soups, sandwiches, salads and yummy baked goods, including their delicious pies.  Look up for a view of the two electric trains circling above on 300-foot tracks.  Also available are mini donuts,farm-made pizza, Angus hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs & Brats, caramel apples, and kettle corn.

Cost

Festival admission is $19.75 plus tax gets admission to all park rides, live entertainment, and attractions, tractor-drawn hay rides

Location

Issaquah, WA

FoxHollowATV

Photo credit: Fox Hollow Farm

Dates and Hours

September 28-October 27th, hours vary by day of the week but generally Wednesday through Sunday, 10-3 weekdays, 10-4 weekends

Activities

ATV’s, petting areas with friendly animals, hay maze, corn bin, inflatables, farm village playhouses with slides

Food Options

Fresh buttered farm-grown corn, cotton candy, kettle corn, pies, plus sandwiches. Coffee drinks, hot chocolate, and fresh apple cider made from the apples harvested at the farm.

Cost

Weekends:  $50 – This price includes up to 7 people in one car and ALL activities and is good on Saturdays and Sundays ONLY.

Weekdays:  $10 per person for anyone over the age of 12 months. This price is good on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays ONLY and all activities are included.

Location

Sammamish, WA

wagonJubulee

Photo credit: Jubilee Farm

Dates and Hours

October Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Activities

Hay rides to the fields for u-pick pumpkins and gourds, pumpkin trebuchet launches, hay maze, cooking demonstrations, farm animals visits

Food Options

There is freshly pressed cider, bratwurst, corn on the cob and a variety of food trucks

Cost

Admission is FREE

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Hot Air Ballooning in Turkey

The Lure of the Road With the demands of motherhood, it’s easy for me to feel like I’ve lost part of myself.  The longing for autonomy gets intense for me….

The Lure of the Road

With the demands of motherhood, it’s easy for me to feel like I’ve lost part of myself.  The longing for autonomy gets intense for me.  But my desires must at times take the back seat in sacrifice to the needs of our family.  In an act of radical self-care, I decided a few years ago to sometimes travel without my family.  My trips have ranged from weekend getaways with girlfriends to several week-long solo adventures.  How I’ve made this possible is another post for another day.

This year I’m taking a solo adventure for a few weeks in Europe.  In fact, I’m writing this post on the train from Vienna to Prague.  I just crossed the border into the Czech Republic and I’ve got a great window seat office view of rural areas and small towns as we make our way to the big city.  So I figured it’s as good a time as any to write about a part of my adventure to Turkey a couple of weeks ago.

Cappadocia, Turkey

I’d always wanted to travel to Turkey since buying a cheap coffee table book with photos of the country when I was in high school.  That book was full of pictures of an enchanting region called Cappadocia.   “Fairy chimneys”, cones, and pillars formed from eroded volcanic tuff and basalt dot the landscape.  Now imagine that magical setting with a sky full of hot air balloons at dawn. It was clear my trip to Turkey would need to include hiking through and riding high above this crazy beautiful part of the planet.  Hot air ballooning has been on my bucket list and this trip was turning out to be a great opportunity to make it happen.

Getting There

I hopped a quick flight to Nevsehir from Istanbul and after a short mini-bus ride arrived in the small town of Goreme in the early evening.  I was greeted by my Airbnb host Hasan as I arrived at my cave apartment where I’d stay for a couple of nights.   As I settled in the call to prayer rang out from the mosque across the hillside and the air started to cool.  I took myself out for a dinner date at the Viewpoint Restaurant which had an incredible setting amidst the cave dwellings that have been carved into the tuff cones many centuries ago.

Mother Nature

With the help of my Airbnb host Hamas, I’d arranged a hot air balloon flight for the next day with Turkiye Balloons. After waking up at 3:30 a.m. I waited in dark silence as a slowly increasing stir of hot air balloon company mini-buses started scooping up bleary-eyed tourists from around town.  First, Turkiye delivered us to their office for a sweet breakfast buffet spread in a restaurant type setting.  This was a lovely surprise for me as I hadn’t had any coffee yet and wanted to be a bit more alert for this adventure.  Turkish breakfast spreads are pretty awesome too, with cheeses, olives, dried fruits, jams, and pastries!

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast the pilots announced that the central aviation authority (like the FAA but for balloons, I think) wasn’t allowing balloon flights due to high winds. We continued to wait in hopes that conditions would change but mother nature had her own ideas that day. Disappointed folks boarded shuttles back to their hotels with sad faces. When I inquired they said they were all booked up for flights the following day, my last in the area. Needless to say, I was disappointed. But what could I do?

I asked Hamas if he could recommend and/or call any of the other reputable companies in the area. He worked his magic and connections and was able to somehow get me a spot with Turkiye! I don’t know how this went down but was thrilled to get another chance at a flight, waking up early again, not so much.  But boy was it worth it!

Flight Time!

After another big breakfast, we got the clear to fly so we headed out to the launch point.  It was dark and the sound of whooshing flames and air filling the balloons filled the otherwise quiet atmosphere.  Glowing balloons slowly stood at attention, ready to load passengers for their bucket-list flights. The scene took my breath away before even boarding the balloon.

Eventually, I and my 24 fellow passengers boarded our balloon basket and began the ascent with our pilot, Muhsin Bozlak.  He was focused on the job at hand and also willing to answer all my questions.   I found out later that in addition to being a hot air balloon pilot he also owns Cappadokiss Cave House and they organize tours in the area.  I intend to stay there when I return to the area some day.

In short, I was blown away by my short time in Cappadocia.  I did get in some hiking, grubbing and even a Turkish bath during my brief stay.  But my balloon ride was the highlight!

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Soaking Up the Rewards of Solo Adventure

Invitations to Travel The idea for my current summer European adventure was sparked when I received a home exchange request from a man in Szczecin, Poland wanting to stay at…

Invitations to Travel

The idea for my current summer European adventure was sparked when I received a home exchange request from a man in Szczecin, Poland wanting to stay at our place in Seattle this past December. I knew nothing about Poland and had never heard of Szczecin.  But my family had plans to be away from home over the dates he requested so our place was available. I accepted the exchange request and explained I’d eventually make it to Poland but wasn’t sure when.

A few months later a good friend who’s Moldovan invited me to join her during her visit home to the village where she grew up. I pulled up Google Maps and plotted out a mostly solo journey from Turkey through Moldova, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, and Poland.

My Adventure in Numbers

It’s been 23 days, 7 countries, 5 plane flights, 1 hot air balloon flight, 3 international train rides, an international bus ride,  and approximately 230,000 steps. The journey has been filled with countless moments of curiosity, awe, laughter, giddiness, and excitement and also fear, fatigue, pain, and uncertainty. For me, it’s this fresh awakening into all of what travel stirs up that keeps me craving more.  Feeling as alive as I do when traveling is undeniably addictive.  Ultimately, traveling solo is a journey home to myself.

Soaking Up the Adventure

I’m writing this from my phone as I soak in this gorgeous tub in my new Polish friend’s flat. During my soak, I’ve reflected on how being open and extending trust can lead to enchanting places and unimaginable experiences. More importantly, it rewards us with opportunities for self-reflection, childlike wonder, new friendship, and connection.

I’m so grateful this journey has been made possible through the trust and generosity of strangers, friends and my family. I’ve also had so much fun taking you all along for the ride. I’ll be in Szczecin for a few nights before heading back to Berlin to catch my flight home. I intend to soak up every last drop of what this trip has in store for me.

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5 Tips for Family Travel in Utah

So over the fourth of July week, our family took a trip to Utah.  I talked about planning it in my last post.  Before leaving we took another peek at…

So over the fourth of July week, our family took a trip to Utah.  I talked about planning it in my last post.  Before leaving we took another peek at our Lonely Planet and a Utah hiking guide for families as well as a bunch of great pinned blog posts about the area.

A loose plan started to take shape so we lined up our Airbnb, made preliminary plans to meet up with friends in Salt Lake City, and were on our way.  After a flight less than two hours from our home in Seattle, we were in bright sunshine and we knew we’d planned well.  The wild saturated colors in the water from above Salt Lake were mesmerizing.

We loved our trip and came up with a list of tips for helping other families considering travels in Utah based on what we enjoyed most.

1. Stay in a Unique Place

At almost 10 years old Jonah really wants to be at least consulted about how we spend our family vacations.  To get him engaged in the planning I showed him some fun Airbnbs that I found in Utah and asked for his opinions on them.  He got really excited about the idea and selected his favorite.  It was a fun little tiny house in the town of Escalante.  It’s located within Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM), about an hour outside of Bryce Canyon National Park.

After a jaw-dropping ride over the beautiful Highway 12 as the sun was setting, we arrived at our tiny house.  Jonah always gets first roam of our family stays in Airbnbs and inevitably takes us on a tour.  Our tiny house was super clean, well-designed and also comfortable.  The desert air was just starting to cool outside so we opened the porch door to get a breeze inside.  It was perfection and we were all happy to be calling it home for half of our time in Utah.  When I asked Jonah what he liked most about our trip he consistently said the tiny house.  Who knew he was such a connoisseur of accommodations!

2.  Utilize Utah’s Visitor Centers

On our first full day of this trip, we dropped into the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center just across the street from our tiny house.  They were super helpful, providing information about all of the Jr. Ranger programs of the area, local maps, and trail guidance.

We were surprised by the Humminbird Monitoring Network activities we stumbled on in the courtyard of the center.  They explained their process of trapping, banding and collecting data.  This data is shared within their database that groups can query for their research.  Jonah was able to help trap and release a juvenile hummingbird which was a very unexpected treat!  I love seeing my kiddo get excited about our natural world!

The kind and helpful folks at the visitor center were even able to set us up with our official National Parks Every Kid In A Park program card.  This allowed the whole family to access Bryce Canyon NP for free.

3.  Check Out Utah’s Local Good Eats

Finding good eats is one of my favorite things to do while traveling.  We stumbled upon a great little food truck/bus called Magnolia at the Anasazi State Park Museum in the small town of Boulder.  On our way into Bryce we discovered a BBQ joint called IDK BBQ in the small town of Tropic. Yummy brisket, pulled pork, mac and cheese, beans and slaw fueled us for our wanderings.

4.  Learn about Utah’s Anthropology, Geology, and Natural History

There are so many opportunities to learn about the anthropology, geology and natural history in Utah.

At the Anasazi State Park Museum, including the Coombs Site Excavation, we learned about the Anasazi, how and where they lived and also viewed the archeologic site that was excavated in 1958 and 1959.  It was impressive and the staff was super helpful!

Eye-catching geological formations surrounded us everywhere in Utah.  We used the Bryce Canyon National Park Ranger Program as a starting point when planning to learn more about how the area was shaped over time.  We attended a geology rim walk at Bryce.  It was led by a very knowledgeable geology professor and very engaging for adults and kiddos.  I’m a big proponent of families taking advantage of the park ranger programs.  They are always SO GOOD at every park we’ve visited

The natural history of the area is very cool!  There are many dinosaur fossil excavations in the area and there is currently concern over whether the land in the area will be preserved in a way that will allow us to learn even more about their fascinating lives.

During our drive time, we listened to some very informative podcasts about Utah Prarie Dogs While we didn’t see any during our travels but we did get to see a couple of wild pronghorn which was way exciting!

5. Go for a Hike

We wanted to do some family-friendly hiking so when we dropped into the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center we learned about local trails.  The Lower Calf Creek Trail was the perfect choice for us.  It was a gorgeous hike along a mineral-streaked canyon out to a swimming hole with a waterfall.  En route you get to view old Fremont granaries and pre-historic pictographs!  It helped to have binoculars. The weather was quite hot even in the late afternoon but the second half of the trail to the falls is shaded and if you overheat easily like me you’ll be grateful for the cool swimming hole at the end.  Most hikers had snacks and rest time before heading back out.

There is really no way to go wrong when exploring all the beauty Utah has to offer.  By the time we returned home we’d learned so much and had made some pretty great memories.

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