Zion National Park

The landscape is so amazing at Zion. I’m not able to take pictures that can capture the views completely.

Zion is great for everyone. You could just drive through, stop a couple view points, or get out and get hiking. Any way you choose to visit Zion the experience will be worth it.

One of the things we really liked about Zion was the ability to just park and walk out on the rock. You can walk just a short distance and find great backdrops for you pictures or awe inspiring landscape shots

Did you know that there is a tunnel through a mountian.. a whole mountain. The Mount Carmel tunnel is a whopping 1.1 miles long and we have to admit the kids (and adults) really enjoyed driving through.

There is access to the Virgin River and despite visiting in the spring we made sure to dip our toes, some decided whole heads, into the water.

For more about Zion National Park go HERE

Winter break

We’ve had an adventurous winter break. We started off with a snow storm that ended up closing local highways. We’re lucky enough to only have to shovel ourselves out of our site. The roads are maintained really well and the highway is passable for us. We did see plenty of spin outs

The older boys got to take a trip to do night tubing at Ski Bowl. They went before the big storm. Ski Bowl, Meadows and Timberline all closed when the storm hit.

A laser light show and d.j. music played while they raced down groomed tubing chutes at Ski Bowl East. To find out more about tubing at Ski Bowl go HERE

Back at home we were able get bust out our sleds and use our very own hills for some fun sledding time.. I have a middle schooler who will wear shorts no matter what!

So, here we are getting buried in snow and breaks almost over. Wait, no it is over! It’s still a snowy mess and we decided to go to the beach..

The beginning of trip went smoothly with the only ‘difficult’ driving just the short trip to the highway. Even though the highway we live off of was still closed about 7 miles up the road you wouldn’t know it at our entrance. 

We made it to about 30-40 minutes out from Florence and we were looking forward to stopping at St. Vinnies (our favorite thift store). The road was flooded and closed. Traffic not moving at all. I began checking the tripcheck camera. The camera happened to be pointing right at the new pool on the road. We waited and waited and discussed driving back to I5 and around to Reedsport. We didn’t want to add hours of driving when we were so close and there wasn’t an alternative route

Finally the drain was cleared and the water flowed away. We made our stop in Florence and got back on the road to Reedsport. Only, we had to sit in traffic again. The only way south crossed a bridge where a wreck had just happened and closed all lanes. After that mess was cleaned up we made it to our destination. A long day traveling deserved pizza for dinner. We ordered from Bedrocks on the Bay in Winchester and it was amazing!

At the end of the day, the older boys were excited for the side by side rental coming up the next day and the youngest was worn out and went right to sleep.

Roswell New Mexico

They are among us. We landed in Roswell in the middle of the night. Coming in from the north on a completely dark highway added to the adventure of it. Just as we’re getting bored the dark horizon lit up with synchronized blinking lights.. the entire field of view was pulsating with red lights. Of course it was just green energy in the form of windmills, but not knowing that at first made it exciting for the bored children in the backseat.

The next morning we headed over to the visitor center where they had Roswell merch and tourist information. After leaving the visitor center we made our way down the street to the International UFO Museum Research Center. The exhibits were informative and entertaining.

The truth is out there and Roswell might be one of the places to find at least part of it. For more information about visiting Roswell check out the Visitor Center website.

I want to believe…

Winslow Arizona

This was a stop for us adults because the kids just didn’t get it. I guess it says a lot about how old we are. Winslow Arizona isn’t much, but it still made our road trip stop list.

At the corner you will find a cool gift shop and across the street there was a soda fountain. There is a flatbed Ford and other backdrops for taking it easy and getting your very own photos. I’m sure there is more, but like I said our kids thought this stop was not cool.

Planning a road trip? Looking for stops on Route 66? For more visit the foundation website

Art Car World: Douglas, Arizona

This is the ‘look mom is crouched in the street to take our picture, quick look away’ shot

Honestly, we hadn’t heard of Douglas Arizona or even Art Car World. We have seen Art cars here and there. If it wasn’t for a wedding we were attending on Erie street in Bisbee Arizona we would have missed out on this cool museum in the making.

Having some time to use up while staying in Douglas we stumbled across this great place using Google maps. When we walked up it looked like it wasn’t open. However, a sign on the door had a phone number to call to make an appointment for a tour.

We didn’t end up calling and we were making our way to leave when the man behind the museum came out to greet us and take us on a tour. How cool is that?

There is a story behind every art car and a name for each car. Unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared to take notes. I did take pictures of some of the cars onsite. There are more cars at the museum.. and even more on the way.

About twenty years ago on a Mexican bus in the city of Juarez ,I first saw the wrought iron beetle. I thought it was the coolest thing ever and was sad that I didn’t have my camera out. Like it would have mattered with how fast our bus was going. I didn’t even have time to get my sister’s attention so she could see it. I was surprised and happy to get to see it again and be able to tell my kids stories about that long ago trip.

I took a lot of pictures, but didn’t manage to get a picture of every car. Even if I had I wouldn’t want to spoil the museum completely for everyone else. Where would the fun be if I did that?

Monster cars, camera van, cathedral car, land yacht, jewelry, mad max-esq, and so much more. We really recommend going. You can add this stop to your trip- Make a reservation for a tour and even make a donation to the museum using the link at the bottom of this post.

For more information visit the Art Car World website

Death Valley National Park

Must see road trip stops/drives Badwater Basin and Artists Drive. We also saw The Devil’s Golf Course. Badwater Basin is 282 feet below see level and the temperature while we were there was 95 degrees. The temperature outside the park was in the low 70’s, a benefit of visiting during the fall/winter. We found that our older boys did not fully get the big deal about the temperature. We plan to bring them back in the summer sometime in the future.

Badwater Basin.. look in the top left for the sea level marker 282 feet above the basin floor.

What you need to know about Artists Drive.. It’s amazing and there are vehicle size restrictions. The parks stated restriction is less than 25 ft in length. We were happy to be in our Subaru. The drive is 9 miles of winding, dipping and driving through low clearances. The low clearances are why we were happy to not be in our Dodge 2500 with kayak racks on top. It can be done, but it would have stressed us out. Our advice is to believe the signs.. the dips are huge.

The park has plenty to offer and we are hardly scratching the surface here. Use the link at the bottom of this post to visit the park website. During the summer, it is not recommended to get out of your car for any longer than a few minutes – meaning no hiking in the summer. Visiting during the cooler months opens up opportunities to explore the many trails. During our visit we explored the Badwater Basin, because we were not prepared for hiking. There are a few trails in the park, but most routes are cross country. We stuck to the roadside trails.

Badwater Basin.. realizing he would be that deep

What to bring.. It should go without saying, but I’m going to say it. Bring plenty of water, even if you have no plans for hiking. This is the hottest, driest, lowest place in North America. Check the parks website, listed below, before going to find out about closures and know the weather. Flash flooding is an additional hazard that may occur in the park.

Devils Golf Course.

At Devil’s Golf Course large fields of eroded rock salt can been seen. If you listen carefully, you can here the salt crystals exploding due to expanding and contracting with the changes in temperatures. Despite being sharp and pocked we did see some fellow park goers attempting to navigate walking across the salt as well as taking souvenirs. It’s a big no-no, illegal, to take the salt or remove anything from a protected National Park.

Visit the National Park Service Website for more information about Death Valley National Park

White Sands National Monument

The sand may look like a normal dune, but it’s not… it’s a gypsum dunefield and it almost has the feel of kinetic sand. It is the largest of it’s kind in the world. Located in the Chihuahuan Desert in southern New Mexico, it really stood out off in the distance. We hadn’t had it on our list of stops for our road trip until we saw it and wondered what all that white was. At first, husband said it was just a white looking city. Once I opened the map we discovered a must see stop for the family.

What you need to know about possible closures…The new norm has become checking the parks website for closure information. In this case, always check. White Sands Missile Range conducts testing that will close access to the park as well as the highway.

Must see Dune Drive..  The only road in to access the dunes winds its way past parking areas, trails, and picnic shelters. We visited in early November the weather was mild and we were lucky enough to avoid crowds

What to bring… pack picnic lunch and plenty of water. Bring a snow saucer and wax. While the visitor center sells disks they are expensive. . Like $20 for a new one and $15 or $16 for used. Bring your own disks. We have found disks for about $5-10. Check Cabelas, Target and BiMart. We are a family of 5 so buying them at the park would add up. Of course, you could always share?  If you don’t have wax you’ll not get as much speed. The visitor center sells wax at a more reasonable price.. about $2.

For more information about White Sands National Park visit the National Park Service website

Our Must Haves after Kitchen Update

Once our kitchen was finishing up there we a few organization/cleaning details I wanted to remedy. I really wanted my counter space and some other items put neatly out of our toddlers reach. Here is a list of the important items I couldn’t do without now that I have them.

We had an ugly cheap knife block that took up counter space and collected greasy dust. I found this magnetic knife bar on Amazon and decided to give it a try. It comes with a mounting plate to mount to a wall. I just removed the plate and stuck it to the side of my fridge. It looks great and frees up space! Modern Innovations 16 Inch Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Bar – Use as Knife Holder, Knife Rack, Knife Strip, Kitchen Utensil Holder and Tool Holder

We added some open shelves where we had bare wall. I thought it would be a perfect place to get the paper towels out of the way. This easy to install paper towel holder does the job looks good and gives my just that much space. PLUS – now there is a designated place where we can FIND the paper towels! ORLESS Adhesive Paper Towel Holder Under Cabinet & Wall Mount, No Drilling Suitable for Kitchen Bathroom – Black

I wrote about these in my post about RV organization. I had already purchased these for under the cabinets in the house. I ended up loving them so much that I got them for our trailer and for our entry closet in the house. I am pretty sure I will find some other handy places to put these also. They use a a magnet, mount with adhesive and are rechargeable. I haven’t had to recharge them yet! Homelife LED Motion Sensor Bars Lights, 20 LED Light Sensor Wireless Dimmable Light Bulb with 3 Color Modes, Build in Rechargeable,Stick-on Anywhere Portable Lighting Under Cabinet Lighting

I was guilty off over stuffing a drawer with all of my cooking utensils and I was tired of the mess. I decided on this wooden holder because I thought it was cute and BONUS it did not say utensils on it – why would it, I know what I put in it. Barnyard Designs Rustic Wood Utensil Holder Caddy – Wooden Utensil Crock Storage Organizer Primitive Country Farmhouse Kitchen Decor, 9.5″ x 6.75”(White/Brown)

Before I purchased this fruit basket I didn’t really have anywhere to keep my fruit. Some random bowls that took up too much space or a plate or two would be where are fresh fruits landed. It was messy and looked bad to me. I found this great two tier fruit basket and now it looks appealing, my kids see it, and everyone is eating the fruit before it goes bad now. Fruit Basket, STEELGEAR 2 Tier Fruit Basket Bowl Vegetable Organizer for Kitchen, Detachable Vegetable Storage Fruit Stand Holder for Counter Dining Room Countertop, Black

We have a toddler in the house. He has access to all of our low storage. I am refusing to put child locks on our beautiful cabinets. The baking pans and skillets we normally use and he wants to pull out of the cabinet have been moved to the top of our fridge and stored on this amazing expandable bakeware organizer. Just between you and me, all that stuff is staying there and now I have extra storage later! 2 Racks With 12 Dividers – BTH Silicone Protective Large (8″W) Expandable & Adjustable Kitchen Cabinet Pantry and Bakeware Organizer Rack Holder: Total 12 Adjustable Compartments, 2 Racks or 1 Expandable Rack (Large, Dark Gray)

In the process of updating our kitchen, I got a new microwave. Having 2 boys and a husband that are currently able to use the microwave, it gets messy fast. I put this gadget on my Christmas list and no-one got it for me. So, I bought it for myself. I love my Angry Mama, she makes me smile while I am cleaning up after my crew. Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner Microwave Oven Steam Cleaner Doll for Home, Kitchen and Office by AODOOR, Easily Cleans the Crud in Minutes

Sweepstakes and Giveaways Round-up: Daily Entry

Check out this edition of the the daily entry sweepstakes and giveaways. The more you enter the better your odds. Good luck!

Webster’s Wonderful Winners | Drake’s Cake
Enter daily to win a free case of Drake’s® Cakes and Drake’s merch! Five (5) lucky winners will be randomly selected each month to win a case of cake and an item of Drake’s merchandise. A grand prize winner will be selected after six (6) months to win free Drake’s® Cakes for a year and a merchandise bundle. Winners will be announced on drakescake.com. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. See Official Rules for details.
Ends: 07/30/2021

Celebrating 30 Years of Computer America
Enter all month long to win prizes from your favorite companies, as well as your chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card.
End: 02/28/2021

The Beat: $500 Home Depot e-Gift Card Sweepstakes
The Beat is giving away a $500 Home Depot e-Gift Card. The winner will receive the e-gift card via email which is valid toward purchase of merchandise/services at any The Home Depot store in the United States, Canada and online at HomeDepot.com in the United States and HomeDepot.ca in Canada.
Ends: 02/20/2021

Ensure Max Challenge –
YOU COULD WIN A $10,000 grand prize and hundreds of instant-win prizes are up for grabs. So, enter today!
Ends: 04/04/2021

Win A NutriChef Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven | Leite’s Culinaria
Ends: 03/15/2021

$100 Kitchen Organization Instant Win Game • Steamy Kitchen Recipes Giveaways
To help you hit the ground running, one lucky person will win $100 CASH! Put it towards: eco friendly cleaning products, reusable storage, tools that will help you save food, bins for organization, groceries to restock the fridge – we take you step by step with recommendations in the Reverse Meal Plan e-book.Ten other lucky people will win a $10 gift card to the container store! This is to help you get organized in the kitchen with bins, containers, mason jars, or whatever you want!
Ends: 04/23/2021

2020 Gimme 5! Girl Scout Cookie Sweeps
Win an instant prize of $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or 5 boxes of your favorite Girl Scout Cookies®! All players will be entered into our cash giveaway of $250 or $500!
Ends: 03/21/2021

Woodbridge Home Cave SS/IWG
One (1) Sweepstakes Grand Prize (“Grand Prize”): An MLB-themed Fan Cave awarded in the form of a $25,000 check.
One hundred (100) Game Prizes: A $100 e-gift code to MLBshop.com. Approximate odds of winning a Game Prize are 1 in 3,000. Actual odds of winning a Game Prize depend upon the total number eligible Game Plays received during the Promotion Period. MLBshop.com e-gift codes are subject to their standard terms and conditions; see https://help-mlb.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/723 for more information.
Ends: 03/01/2021

Marvelous Macy’s Instant Win • Steamy Kitchen Recipes Giveaways
Spin to win a $10 Macy’s gift card to buy anything that you want in stores or online.
Ends: 04/09/2021

Circle K, Scratch & Match Sweepstakes – Thousands of winners every day
Ends: 02/26/2021. Prize list below

PrizeQuantityApproximate Retail Value 
Coffee Hot or Iced (medium)300,000$1.49
Polar Pop (large / under 42 oz)200,000$0.85
Froster (20 oz)200,000$1.08
Circle K Water (16.9 oz)50,000$1.09
Circle K Nuts (Honey & Sea Salt) (2.5 oz)300,000$1.39
Circle K Favorite Chips (2.75 oz)200,000$1.59
Circle K Candy Favorites (6 oz)300,000$1.75
Circle K Mountain Mix (7 oz)50,000$2.85
$.15 off a gallon of fuel400,000$3.00
Hot Dog50,000$1.00
Circle K Peanut Butter Pretzels (5 oz)150,000$1.78
Washer Fluid (1 gallon)50,000$3.99
Free Car Wash (Premium) (available in IL and MO)100$10.00
$1 Off Transaction*20,000$1.00
Circle K Iced Coffee (13.7 oz)100,000$2.99
Coke Energy, 12oz45,000$1.89
Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers, Original, 5 – 7.2oz27,000$0.59
Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers, Very Berry, 5 – 7.2 oz27,000$0.59
Trolli Sour Gummi Creations, 4.25 – 6.3 oz27,000$1.29

Grand Instant Win Prizes

PrizeQuantityApproximate Retail Value 
$10,0001$10,000
Gas for a Year ($2,000 Circle K Gift Card)3$2,000 
$100 Circle K Gift Card16$100

Random Drawing at Promotion End – Grand Win Prize

PrizeQuantityApproximate Retail Value 
$10,0001$10,000

Samsung Galaxy Tablet Instant Win • Steamy Kitchen Recipes Giveaways
Ends: 03/05/2021

Sweepstakes and Giveaways Round-up: Daily Entry

Rise to Shine Pledge | Visit St Petersburg Clearwater Florida
Take the Rise to Shine Pledge to show your support for being safe and courteous when you visit. As extra incentive, everyone who completes the Pledge will be entered to win the Ultimate Beach Getaway, including round-trip airfare, a 4-night stay at a beachfront resort and a day in your own private cabana, fully stocked with everything you need for an unforgettable beach day experience.
Ends: 04/30/2021

Sweepstakes: Enter to Win a Pair of Klipsch Forte IV Loudspeakers | World Wide Stereo
Designed and made in the USA, the Klipsch Forte IV loudspeakers are the latest members of the Heritage Series. The Forte IVs boast a three-way design, utilizing a 12″ woofer and horn-loaded midrange and tweeter. Enter this month’s sweepstakes for a chance to win a pair of Klipsch Forte IV loudspeakers in Distressed Oak.
Ends: 02/28/2021

Sweepstakes | Tour Texas
Enter to win a Route 66 Adventure Trip for two in Amarillo, TX this summer. The trip includes:
A two-night stay at The Barfield luxury hotel along historic Route 66 in downtown Amarillo
A $50 gift card to Toscana Italian Steakhouse located in The Barfield hotel.
A one-hour private pottery class with internationally known ceramist Kent Harris at Blue Sage Pottery in Amarillo’s Route 66 Historic District.
A free limo ride to the Big Texan in an iconic long horned limo.
Free dinner for two at The Big Texan.
Two tickets to any weekend show of your choice at the Starlight Ranch Event Center.
Ends: 02/28/2021

Contest Entry | Tour Louisiana
One Lucky Winner Will Receive (1) SAMSUNG 43-inch Class Crystal UHD TU-8000 Series – 4K UHD HDR Smart TV with Alexa Built-in
Ends: 04/30/2021

Share 19 Crimes | 19 Crimes
We’re giving away 5 grand prize trips to Boston for a winner and a guest. Each trip includes a 3-day, 2-night hotel stay, airfare, $1,000 spending loot and an utterly unique tour of Boston’s infamous crime scenes.
Ends: 02/28/2021

Corona | Earn Your Crown | New Year 2021
One (1) Sweepstakes Grand Prize: An Echelon EX-5s Connect Bike, an Echelon Reflect 50″ Touchscreen, an Echelon Stride Treadmill and a One-Year Echelon United Membership (ARV $5,079.95). Installation and set-up not included. Winners will be contacted by delivery service and may need to sign for and be available to accept delivery.
Sixty (60) Instant Win Game Prizes (one [1] per day): A One-Year Echelon FitPass Membership, a $200 CrateJoy.com Digital Gift Code, a $200 HousePlantBox.com Digital Gift Code, a Corona Hard Seltzer-Branded Corkcicle Prism Hybrid Canteen and a Corona Premier Corkcicle Sport Canteen (ARV $584.89 per prize). Approximate odds of winning a Game Prize are 1 in 5,000. Actual odds of winning a Game Prize will depend upon the number eligible Game Plays received during the Promotion Period. Limit one (1) Game Prize per person/email.
Ends: 02/28/2021

Wyndham® Key to Wyn Sweepstakes
7 day/6 night stay at Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham – Nashville
PLUS! $1,500 airfare credit
One round of golf for three (3) with Brandt Snedeker (optional) during your stay May 6-12, 2021
Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $3,624 – $4,794.
Ends: 03/31/2021

RAVE Sweepstakes | Paddling.com
One winner will receive their choice of one of these boards from RAVE Sports :
RAVE Akina
RAVE Itasca
RAVE Agonde
Ends: 02/28/2021

Outdoor Oasis $25,000 Sweepstakes | Martha Stewart
Enter for a chance to WIN $25,000 to create your very own outdoor oasis!
Ends: 06/30/2021

Winter SurPRIZE Sweepstakes
Enter for a chance to win $1000 ShopHQ credit
Ends: 03/21/2021

Sing It With Oreo – Welcome
Grand Prizes (3): The grand prize is a trip for two (2) to Chicago, Illinois to see Lady Gaga in concert (“Grand Prize”). Trip includes round-trip coach class air transportation from a major commercial airport near winner’s residence (determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion) to Chicago, Illinois for winner and one (1) guest, two (2) nights hotel standard accommodations 3 (one room/double occupancy), roundtrip ground transportation between airport and hotel, two (2) tickets to the Lady Gaga concert on August 27, 2021, $1,300 spending money (for winner only), and an OREO prize package that includes an OREO music box, a pair of OREO branded Bluetooth headphones, a ceramic mug set, and a microphone (for winner only). The ARV of each Grand Prize is $5,623.
B. First Prizes (100): Each first prize is an OREO prize package that includes an OREO music box, a pair of OREO branded Bluetooth headphones, a ceramic mug set, and a microphone (each a “First Prize”). No more than one hundred (100) First Prizes will be available in the Sweepstakes. The ARV of each First Prize is $200
Ends: 03/06/2021