Summer-Swimming-in-the-Ice-Cold-Lake 1

So over the weekend this happened.  Yup you’re seeing it right.  Is there a better way to spend a HOT Saturday afternoon than in your birthday suit, in the creek, surrounded by loved ones taking photos of you!?! Surely this will be one for the brag bribe book later in life.

It all began when Hunny and I mustered up the courage to take our first road trip with Bug.  We talked to family and found an open weekend.  In the week leading up to the event I made a list of items to pack, trying to keep my minimalist travel style intact as much as possible.  As the work week came to a close, I found myself frantic to finish all the items on my list, and ended up deleting a few just to avoid losing more sleep.

Wednesday night I finished making my first batch of homemade fig newtons and Thursday morning I packed our toiletry bag, reviewed our luggage and packed a few favorite books and toys for the road.  I made sure Kung Fu Panda was downloaded to the iPad.  Once Hunny was home from work we scarfed sandwiches, took out the trash, turned on the dishwasher, loaded the luggage into the truck and we hit the road.

The first two hours went well, I sat in the back seat with Bug and read her stories, we sang songs and played hand motion games.  We stopped about once every hour and a half or so to change diapers and stretch.  No crying or fussing, and since she doesn’t talk much there was no “are we there yet?”.

In the third hour I turned on Kung Fu Panda and she was mesmerized.  We don’t really watch TV in our house so this was a real treat!  About 45 Min later she was done and we pulled over and fed her changed her into her footie pjs, buckled her back in and gave her a blanket. Success is silence.

Another hour down the road I started to get anxious and looked at the map as soon as i had cell service back on my phone.  We’d gone too far…by about 50 miles.  Ugh!  We would’ve been arriving right about then, so you can imagine my state when I made this discovery.  Fortunately I have the most patient husband in the world, and he just laughed and turned the truck around. After TWO MORE HOURS of beating myself up we neared our destination.

We arrived and our Aunt and Uncle were so gracious and welcoming even though we’d kept them up so late. Why doesn’t the entire desert have cell service?  This 2016, not 1995, right?!  Why didn’t i take better notes on driving directions!  Oh well, we’d finally arrived! We quickly unpacked, relaxed for a minute and then all went to bed.

Did I mention that Uncle & Aunt live on a gorgeous plot, in a two-story log cabin they built themselves, in a valley that is surrounded by purple mountains? It doesn’t get any more relaxing that this.  The next morning Bug and I headed straight outside.  It was a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L morning.  We greeted the dogs, ran around on the lawn, laid in the hammock, it was a private park and Bug ate it up with the biggest smile on her face.  Aunt met us outside and showed us the chickens & tortoise, the pond with bullfrogs and her vegetable  garden.

Aunt made a fabulous crustless egg quiche for breakfast and we caught up on the latest happenings. After breakfast Bug wanted back outside with Hunny and Uncle and headed straight for the sprinklers.  This girl loves water!  You could hear her squeals of delight all the way inside the house.

After Bugs’ morning nap we set out on a drive to a nearby canyon complete with a crystal clear spring fed reservoir surrounded by gorgeous grassy mountains.  Who do you think was in that water nearly faster than we could get her clothes off?  You guessed it – Bug’s smile was larger than life.  And boy was that water cold! She played in the water ’til her feet were nearly popsicles. On our way back we stopped and checked out the town bar, and my Uncle and Aunt introduced us to the owner and a few locals.  It was good fun and Bug even got to test drive a saddle and a vintage tractor too.

That evening we took Bug on her first ATV ride and she loved checking out all the new scenery.  We arrived back at the house, barbecued and we watched the sun set from the front porch.  Scrumptious, serene and soooooo relaxing.

We woke the next morning and repeated the previous morning’s play, delicious breakfast and nap. Then we set out on a short drive to a spot where we did a little hiking along the creek.  Again, so beautiful. As soon as we stopped hiking Bug practically dove for the water.  We let her and the dog play in the water awhile before beginning our trek back down to the lower part of the creek.  Bug and I got our feet in and practiced rock tossing skills, then Bug decided to whip off her diaper and play in her birthday suit.  She is a happy kid, but today she looked exceptionally happy.

We piled in the truck and drove over to another creek, and they showed us how the farmers dam up the water and flow it to their farmland nearby.  Then Hunny spotted a Rattlesnake!  He hustled with Bug back to the truck and Uncle took aim and fired two shots.

After all that excitement we headed back to the house, let Bug nap and relax a bit.  We regrouped and went out for dinner at the town’s only restaurant.  We were treated to a three course meal with smoked ribs as the main dish.  I’m from Texas and can honestly say these were the best ribs i’ve ever eaten.  We met the owner and thanked him for the delicious grub.  Back at the house we packed up our belongings, let Bug run more energy out and eventually said our goodbyes. We’d had an awesome stay.

We left about 30 minutes prior to Bug’s normal bedtime and after about an hour of driving she began to fuss.  We pulled over and fed her and changed her into her pajamas, then fastened her into her carseat and tucked in her blanket.  She was out like a light.  We only stopped one other time, about two hours later to change her diaper and she was right back to sleep again.  When we arrived at home we moved her from carseat to crib and all three of us slept in late the next morning. All-in-all it was a great trip.

Are there more road trips in our future? You bet! I can’t wait to plan our next adventure.  In the meantime check out 8 Tips for Road Trips with Toddler in Tow.


Dani Jean

The author Dani Jean


  1. This is a great first trip! Beautiful photos, pretty places and great advice! We enjoyed taking our little ones every where we went from 2months on. The little ones never stopped us from hiking, camping, boating… they experienced it all and loved it!

    1. That is great! We are planning a camping trip now that the weather is cooling off. Little ones do love being outdoors and experiencing these adventures don’t they? We’ve had a blast experiencing all of our favorite activities through the fresh eyes of our babies.

  2. This is awesome. Those trips looks so fun and the view. Omg! That is one cutie pie baby you’ve got there. I’m so happy for you guys.

    1. Thank you! We are blessed. I was nervous about how she would travel, but we love our road trips and I think she just might enjoy them too.

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