Travel. Hike. Bike. Adventure. Explore.
Today we headed to Sedona with Slide Rock State Park high on the list of MUST DOs! Slide Rock State Park was originally an Apple Farm dating back to 1912. Located in the Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock is about a 10 minute drive from the heart of Sedona.
Slide Rock State Park was named in the Travel Channel's list of "10 Top Swimming Holes in the United States." Sedona's red rocks form the "ultimate natural water slide." which is about 80 feet long. Algae on the rocks creates a fun and slippery , yet bumpy ride.
There is about 1/2 a mile of Oak Creek that is available for swimming , along with slide there is a rock you can jump off into some very icy, fresh water! Depending on the time of the year the water can get as low as freezing temps so make sure you test the water first. We went in the middle of summer and it still took our breath away!
The "hike" (more like a walk on a paved footpath) in is very short (10 minutes max) and has old farming artifacts along the way. There is also a small General Store for icecream, drinks etc and ample amount of parking available.
We had an absolute blast... all jumping, all sliding and all swimming! This is an adventure not to miss when visiting the beauty of Sedona!
The Mountains are calling and we must go!
Vail Valley will always hold a special place in our heart. We are not avid skiers, but Summer, Fall and Spring in the mountains had us stick around for 5 full years! We loved every minute of mountain living. The concerts, the hiking, the restaurant scene, the small town feel...
This trip was largely about reuniting with friends and relaxing so we did not have too many adventures lined up but there were a few things we wanted to do again. Highest on the list was taking our kids on one of our favorite hikes... Hanging Lake!
Suspended on the edge of Glenwood Canyon's cliffs, the clear turquoise lake and the waterfalls that spill into it are a breathtaking sight after the rigorous uphill climb. In true Colorado fashion, we had sunshine, rain and even a pretty significant hail storm which had us hiding for cover under trees on the way down. The kids were all troopers and we all deserved our Moes BBQ in Eagle once we were done (One not to miss.. the best BBQ Ever)
Things to keep in mind when hiking Hanging Lake ;
Summer in the mountains is magic... A favorite not to be missed with the kiddos is the The Beaver Creek Rodeo. Small enough for the kids to be able to enjoy and participate in, great local food vendors and good fun family entertainment. I would suggest buying tickets in advance, getting their early to enroll the kids in children's activities and bring your sunglasses. If you are not in the VIP section then the sun is in your eyes until it sets!
The Rodeo hosts Bronc Riding, Team Roping, Barrel Racing and of course, Bull Riding!
Ryley did the Calf Scramble with some friends which was a bunch of fun but be prepared for the kids to get DIRTY.... thats all part of the fun! The hosts actually have the kids roll in the dirt....
A great family night in the mountains.
BEST. DAY. EVER!
A MUST if you are in Chiang Mai! In fact... with making the trip to Chiang Mai just for this experience!
Imagine being in the presence of these amazing creatures and being able to learn what its like to be an "Elephant Owner for the Day". With a conservation philosophy "Extinction is Forever", Patara Elephant Farm encourages people to try, at least once in their lives, to experience this very special and sacred animal.
The "Elephant Owner for a Day" teaches you how to interact with elephants. You learn how to approach your elephant correctly, read its temperament, feed and check its health, bathe and brush it in the river, learn how to ride on its neck, and communicate through different spoken commands. Its taught at a level the kids understand and love (who doesn't love to examine elephant poop to make sure they are healthy! :)). Patara is 100% Thai owned and a business built around love and admiration for these amazing creatures.
We were in love and in awe the moment we pulled up! The staff were knowledgable & caring and the entire day was a memory of a life time.
We chose to have 2 elephants for our family. Phil & Isla had Boontuck and Ryley & I had Baycoe. It was perfect to be able to share the responsibilities with the kids and learn alongside them. After doing all the health checks, feeding and watering our elephants we rode them down to the water for them to get cleaned off. I must admit this Mama Bear was absolutely terrified. They are so big and powerful and my babies were on the back of them! As for Phil and the kids... LOVED it!
The lunch was amazing and delicious in a traditional Thai setting with the elephants milling around us. What a perfect day !
Holy Cow! The best way EVER to see a city!
Follow me Bike Tours was recommended to us by a friend who used to live in Bangkok and it did not disappoint. We opted to take the Siam Boran Culture Tour with our own private guide. We were a little hesitant that Ryley (7) might not be able to keep up with everyone and we wanted it to be enjoyable and non-pressured... on our time. So glad we chose this option because navigating the Bangkok side streets, potholes and busy roads certainly had this Mama screaming for ALOT of the trip.
While Isla sat like a madam on the back of Phils bike, Ryley crashed into a fruit stand and sent everything flying, collided with a parked car, hit people standing in the street and fell off numerous times. While we laugh at it now... at the time I was a nervous wreck! Cocktails were definitely needed by the end of our journey! In saying that, we love a good adventure and this was definitely a highlight of our trip to Bangkok! Our guide took his time with us and we visited and saw many places you wouldn't necessarily see if you were visiting the city as a tourist.
Some highlights of the trip.... we stopped by China town and tried local snacks, visited the flower market (Pak Khlong Talat), we interacted with a monk at Wat Kalayanamit, fed the turtles at Wat Prayoon, zigzagged through local streets giving us a sneak peek into local life and learnt so much along the way.
After 20 plus kilometers, lots of near misses and many belly laughs along the way... our Fish Foot Spa at the Club House was a hilarious treat!
A invigorating, exciting and educational way to see the city. A MUST DO if visiting Bangkok!
WOW! Today we had an amazing treat... we received Surf lessons from the Great Makua Rothman and Uncle Bryan from "Uncle Bryans Sunset Suratt Surf Academy" . We felt totally honored and blessed to spend the day with Makua and his beautiful family and friends. Makua is a legend in Hawaii, a true gentlemen and totally embodies the Aloha Spirit.
Makua was crowned the Big Wave World Champion in 2015 and whilst our waves were a a mere 3-5 feet... they were big enough for us!
Uncle Bryan and Makua were so amazing with the kids... you could just see the passion in their eyes about sharing their love of the sport and the respect of the ocean. They even got Phils 75 year old Mother (Marg) out there for a wave or two.
I can't tell you how amazing Uncle Bryan's Surf school was. Uncle Bryan was a true gentlemen with safety and fun on the top of his mind! Uncle Bryan took Isla (3) out on the board and I felt totally at ease that she was safe and in great hands.
Check us out!
By far my favorite family friendly waterfall hike! While only about 3 miles round trip it does not lack adventure with several creek crossings, tree roots and rocks to navigate.
You begin by walking through a bamboo forest that opens up into an amazing reservoir. A gentle walk around the reservoir before beginning your climb to the waterfall.
Today we were lucky enough to take Matt and Nuria who are visiting from Atlanta. We had a great time swimming at the top and standing beneath the power of the waterfall that flowing beautifully due to recent rains.
Sadly, on the last rock, on the last creek crossing on the way down Nuria fell and hurt her foot. She managed to limp it out but a trip to the ER the next morning confirmed a break. Looks like the Cloughs will be taking out liability insurance in the future 😜
i have been eyeing his hike for a while but had heard it might be a bit "technical" for Isla. Today we tackled it and while it wasn't too hard for Isla it certainly was technical and very muddy which made it even more challenging.
In fact, it was so muddy in places that there were ropes to assist you with the climb down and up some of the steep grades.
As always in Hawaii... All the hard work was worth it as we were rewarded by a beautiful small waterfall and swimming hole at the end. The best part.... A rock to jump off! Such a fun adventure.
By far the Funnest and MUDDIEST run we have EVER done. 5 kms of trail running with obstacles like monkey bars, mud pools, warped walls, slip n slides & so much more! Just a great big Muddy adult playground with hoses and beer at the end! What a perfect day!
No words can describe this race... I just suggest you click on this link and check it out: Makahiki Challenge
We did this race as a team with some of the best people on Oahu... our Ohana from our anti-gym 360 Strong and just loved every minute of it!
Phil even won his age group! Go Philly!!!!
Talk about fun!
Today we all joined the 360 Strong team and participated in the Bubble Run at Barbers Point. One of Ryley's New Year "Intentions" was to participate in 3 x 5kms this year. January 9th and he is already making a dent in one of his goals! Gotta love this kids determination! He ran the whole way and loved every minute! We were so excited that Aunty Ang & Issy could join us in the crazy adventure!
These events are so much fun for kids and adults! 4 stations along the route with all different colored foam/bubbles! Such a blast!
Follow us as we wander through life on "the happy road "