Grand Teton National Park

Hey Guys! It’s been a minute but I promise I have a great excuse. We went on a 3 week camping trip to 2 of the coolest National parks on earth! And let’s not forget about the 1 very cool Texas State Park we stayed at on the drive back home. To start we drove to The Grand Teton National Park.

I have to admit, this park always takes my breathe away. This is the second time we’ve gone, but the first time that Audrey and Elliot have been there. We towed our lovely camper through 4 states to get there and it was quite the trek. Especially when you have a baby like Elliot who isn’t too fond of the car seat. We didn’t plan for that to be honest. To get reservations to these amazing national parks we had to book a year in advance. This means I was still very pregnant when we were booking the spots and we had no idea what kind of baby Elliot would be. We figured that since Audrey was a little terror in the car, there was no way we would be that unlucky again……. HA – HA – HA WRONG! When Elliot had his first car ride we literally held our breath to see how it was going to go. He slept the first 10 minutes and just as we were starting to let out a sigh of relief he started wailing. He is much better in the car than Audrey was though. I would avoid going to the grocery store with Audrey because the 5 minute drive was just THAT bad with her. By the time we drove to the Tetons Elliot was 6 months so he was starting to get better. Unlike Audrey, he actually sleeps in the carseat when he is tired. She would scream and scream and scream for hours. Since we knew he would nap we planned the drive so that we would stop while he was awake and drive during nap times. We even got to Denver a day early because he decided to take a 4 hour nap one leg! Having the camper to hang out in was so nice. We could stop anywhere and relax. Eat in our camper before getting back on the road, nap. It took us 4 days to drive from Texas to the Tetons and it really went a lot smoother than I thought it would.

I loved driving through Wyoming! It’s such a scenic state on the way to the Tetons. There are so many cute towns and lots of different landscapes. But nothing compares to when you arrive and start to see these beautiful peaks reaching sky high! We camped at Colter Bay in the full hookup RV sites. I’ll formally review this campsite on my blog. Our spot was as close to the lake as you could get. We tried to take a short hike one day and that did not go over well with the 3 4 year olds. There was non stop complaining and itching. Audrey was adamant that “she’s allergic to hiking”. After that we were very careful to call them “walks” instead of hikes. We spent 3 nights in the Tetons and they were filled with so much beauty and fun! The best night we had a campfire during sunset on the beach. We had an awesome group too! My mom and sister came with their kids. Tom’s parents and brother came, then we had all the kids with us. That’s part of why it was such an awesome vacation. Usually we do things with Tom’s family then my family, but we’ve never gone on one big vacation together. The last evening together it poured like cats and dogs! We were able to hang out in the camper – yes all 15 of us, until the rain stopped. Makayla turned the big 15 at the Tetons too so we made sure to cook some pineapple upside down cake in the dutch oven.

It was an awesome start to our huge family vacation! What more can I say? I wish I could bring all of you there to see the beauty of the Tetons! It’s my favorite National Park so far. Since I can do them no justice by describing them, hopefully these pictures will give you a glimpse of just how magnificent they are.


Lockhart State Park!

This weekend we went camping at Lockhart state park. This park is unique because it has a golf course and a swimming pool. The pool was drained still when we arrived but the golf course is in use head round. It’s a pretty small campground right outside of the town of Lockhart. Which is good and bad. Good if you forget something and you need to run out and buy it but bad if you really want to be in a secluded area. However once you are in the camp you don’t know how close to town you actually are. It’s very wooded with tall trees. There is a river running through the camp where you can fish. We gave it a shot but didn’t expect to catch anything. Fish are smarter than I’d like so they pretty much have that river figured out when it comes to fishing spots for humans.

From what I could tell, all the camp sites had hook ups. The only difference was some had sewer and others only had water and electric. All of the sewer sites are back in. There is a small grass circle and all the spots are there in the open. The sites with just water and electric had trees and were by the river. I think next time we will just camp there with water and electric to have the privacy. The trees were bare but in the spring and summer this camp will be beautiful and lush. The office sells firewood for about $5/bundle. I still hate that Texas state parks don’t let you collect wood off the ground. Seems like s fire hazard to us. But who knows. Maybe they just bank those pretty pennies from selling firewood and that’s how they keep the parks well maintained. The parks here definitely have more perks than the parks back in Colorado. They are a little more ‘resort’ like.

Lockhart was nice. I wish they had more to offer fishing wise. The kids were adamant about NOT walking the trails so I can’t talk about those. They played at the playground though so that gets a thumbs up. We will probably return in the future. One park down dozens more to go!


Our New Mexico Vacation To The Snow!

Hey guys. Recently we went to visit the snow in New Mexico. It’s basically the closest place to see it for us Texans. Tom had a conference in Albuquerque so we tacked on some extra days to go to Taos. Taos really isn’t too far from Albuquerque either. It was less than a 2 hour drive to get there. It’s boring and you wonder how there are mountain towns when you don’t see any real mountains. We are from Denver – those are real mountains. But then BAM it’s snowing and you see trees!

Taos is a really cute little town. The downtown part is what I imagine all New Mexico towns would look like. It’s walkable and all the buildings are Santa Fe style adobe. I really want to see it in the spring/ summer months. We stopped and had lunch at the Plaza. It was cold and snowing but we walked around some before hopping back in the car.

We didn’t stay in Taos. Our airbnb was up in Angel Fire. We decided to stay there vs Taos Ski Area because of the airbnb. They were cheaper at Angel Fire. If we were going to ski we probably would have stayed in TSA. Angel Fire is about 25 miles away from Taos. You drive on a two lane road and it takes about 45 min. It may have taken us a bit longer because it was snowing pretty heavy. We also got stuck behind some slower moving sedans. We could drive a bit faster in the snow having 4 wheel drive. The drive is beautiful!!!!! Very different from what we were used to in Colorado. Colorado ski areas are very developed so you don’t really feel like you are traveling through the woods to get there. Angel Fire is a very small ski area with all you need though. I was surprised to see so many locals that lived there year round. There are several restaurants, a gas station, and a grocery store. Of course the gas and groceries cost a lot more up there so I recommend loading up in Taos before driving up. Our airbnb was right by the ski area which looked very family friendly. It’s a small ski mountain but it’ll keep most skiers plenty busy. One thing I did miss was the Ski lodges that we have in Colorado. There was a lodge, but it was nothing more than a hotel lobby. We were there for 4 days and we barely saw any skiers. Maybe January isn’t a busy month. I prefer an empty mountain. Colorado has some world class ski resorts but with that comes huge crowds. On weekends the mountains are completely littered with people from all over the world. It’s stressful when you spend a lot of your day dodging other skiers. Also the lift ticket prices in CO are through the roof!

We played in the snow every day. Tom and Audrey took an afternoon to go tubing. They had a lot of fun doing that. Tubing prices were $20/hr which is pretty much the same in CO. In the evenings I would cook dinner and we’d watch a movie by the fireplace. You know, typical family snow vacation type stuff.

4 days was definitely enough time for us. By the end of it we were so ready to go back to our beautiful Texas weather. Maybe if our airbnb was more comfortable we would have stayed longer. The condo was nice with everything we needed but the heater did not work well. The worst thing about being cold is staying cold when you are inside trying to warm up. When Elliot is older we may come back to ski or try Taos Ski Area. I can’t say we would choose New Mexico skiing over Colorado but that’s because we are more familiar in CO. But since we didn’t ski on this trip it didn’t really matter. We just wanted to take the kiddos to freeze their butts off in the snow.


Visiting Disneyland Tips


Tom had been planning to go to a conference in California for the last few months. Leading up to it we decided that we didn’t want to risk going with a high risk pregnancy. As time went on we kept getting good news and our OBGYN went from saying it wasn’t a good idea to we could go as long as we were prepared. We made sure we were by a good hospital and that I would have plenty of time off my feet between fun. So 2 weeks before Tom was going to leave we booked tickets to go with him. Very last minute, but it would be nice to go with Audrey before a new baby arrived. Plus we all needed a vacation.

We stayed at a Homewood Suites less than a mile from the parks. It was a nice hotel for families because it had a kitchen, living room, bunk bed, and king size bed. Breakfast and WIFI were also included which is a very important perk for families. We went Friday-Wednesday and that was plenty of time to rest between Tom’s meetings and seeing the parks.

The biggest obstacle we faced was having a good, exhausting day while already being tired and pregnant all the time. Here are some tips for all you pregnant momma’s heading to Disneyland.

1) If you are going to rent a wheel chair make sure you do it when you first arrive. Disney doesn’t offer half day discounts so to get your moneys worth and rent in the morning and use all day. Also the wheel chair rentals are outside of the park on the Disneyland side. You must be 16 or older to rent the motorized wheel chairs. Don’t forget your stroller! I recommend bringing your stroller even for older children. We have a BOB and we will probably use it for Audrey until she’s 6 or 7 for theme parks. Seeing all the double BOBs at Disney convinced us to buy one just for this purpose.


2) Bring your water bottle and pack your snacks. Having water with you wherever you go is so important during pregnancy. Also Disney lets you pack a lunch and bring it in so take advantage of that and save money. I would get hungry for a snack every hour so having a backpack full of food really helped.

3) Hit the most popular rides first. When you arrive (hopefully in the morning) head straight to the most popular rides so you can avoid huge lines. We went straight to the Pirates of the Caribbean to get that out of the way. Keep in mind that in Disneyland (not California Adventure) you can skip most lines when you have a wheel chair!  Talk to your doctor about what rides you can go on. We only avoided rides with height restrictions or ones that listed not safe for pregnancy.

4) Treat yourself! Make sure to save room for ice cream. It’s nice to be able to stop and order something sweet to enjoy with the family.

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5) Prepare yourself for a long day! Get lots of rest the day before you go. Swelling is not a fun part of pregnancy so make sure you take a little rest from the activity every hour or so. Make sure you see the shows! They are wonderful and you can rest while watching. Your map will have the show times listed.

6) Find a spot for fireworks and parades an hour before it starts. Spots fill up so quickly so make sure you get there early. It’s a nice opportunity to sit and rest, maybe eat a snack.

7) Know where all the bathrooms are! We had a tough time finding the bathrooms when we first arrived. DISNEY PLEASE MAKE MORE BATHROOMS! We pregnant women are dying trying to find them. I was drinking a lot of water so I needed to use the bathroom a lot, what a pain.


8) Make your dinner reservations way ahead of time. The restaurants fill up weeks before you arrive so do it online when you make the rest of your travel arrangements. There are lots of concession stands if you are not interested in restaurant dining. As long as you know where your meals are coming from you’ll be happy and pregnant.

9) Bring an umbrella for shade. I forgot to bring mine but last year at Disney World I ended up buying one there. The sun takes it’s toll on you, especially if you are pregnant. I had a hat, but sitting waiting for the parade I really wished I had my umbrella. Also don’t forget things like sunblock and hand sanitizes.

10) Pack your extra battery packs. I packed extra batteries for my cameras but we forgot out phone batteries. By the end of the day our phones would be dead. We used the app all day so it would drain out batteries. Next time I’m going to buy a battery case for my iphone.

Making memories at Disneyland is so much fun. Take as many pictures as you can. Make sure you take a lot of belly shots in the park! That will be a nice memory once your baby is old enough to go to Disney. You can take a picture holding him at the same spot you took the belly shot.