Slaughters Head West-Part 1 Bear Lake, UT

 Hey There, Friends!

Thank you to all of those who listened to the podcast yesterday and had some great feedback.  We appreciate YOU!

If you've been following along, then you know about two weeks ago our family of six along with my in-laws headed west on a semi-road trip.  We did some flying and some driving both so hence the "semi-road trip".  I shared our stops via Instagram and many of you wanted more details so here we are.

I feel like every vacation recap has me giving some disclaimers so I've got a couple for you today.
1.  I'm sharing where we stayed just because many of you asked but this trip wasn't sponsored in the least. We paid for everything ourselves from the flights to the ice cream we had. 

2. We planned this trip in January/February of 2021.  If you want to stay inside any of the National Parks then you should start planning NOW for next year.

3.  I got asked a lot about Mix and Match Travel Agency adding this type of trip to our planning line-up.  Right now we have a good thing going with the destinations we already offer so we're gonna stay with it for the time being.  Like always, we love helping clients with international destinations, cruises, Walt Disney World, Hawaii, and Alaska so please reach out to us if you'd like help with any of those vacations. We offer our services at no cost to you!  You can find us at Mix and Match Travel Agency to learn more!

4. A little back story...Tab and I both thought that since our kids were getting older a different type of summer vacation outside of a beach trip would be great.  I started making a game plan and talked to lots of friends who'd done a similar trip.  One friend stopped in Garden City, Utah, to "glamp" for a few nights and enjoy Bear Lake.  She told me that her kids thought that was their very favorite part of the entire trip.  Hearing that I knew we needed to add it to our vacation.  That's how we ended up in Garden City {I got that question a lot via IG}.

On July 19th, we boarded a plan headed to Salt Lake City, grabbed our rental cars, and started driving...
first stop was Cafe Rio!  I have a girlfriend here in McKinney, who's from the Salt Lake City area.  Knowing we were gonna be arriving around lunch time I asked her for a very "Salt Lake" lunch spot.  She suggested Cafe Rio, which I'd heard of before and is an alternative to a Chipotle style spot.  This turned out to be a great stop.  Many of you told me that Costa Vida is another Salt Lake alternative so apparently there's a whole Cafe Rio/Costa Vida rivalry.  We'll have to try out Costa Vida next time, but this was a great quick lunch stop on our way out of town.

Our drive from the airport to Garden City was about two hours.
But with views like this, it went by so fast!

The views were stunning the entire drive.

Before we knew it, we'd arrived in Garden City, Utah, at Conestoga Ranch.  This is a glamping resort that has covered wagons you can stay in, teepees, and several varieties of tents.

This was a peek inside our tent...it slept six.  Four twin beds on this side.

And a king bed on the other side of the tent.

With a bathroom as well complete with a shower, sink, and toilet.  We weren't really "roughing it".

The views from our tent were so pretty.  We could see the lake in the distance and also the local grocery store/gas station.  I didn't mind it but some guests who really want to feel like they're more secluded probably won't enjoy that.

My favorite

And our spot for the next two nights...it was pretty cute!

Ours was a "Grand Family Tent", but my in-laws had a "Grand Couple Tent" what had a king bed and bathroom.  Like I said, lots of options.

I just recently found this dress from Avara in my typical size.  And it's on sale now!

The Campfire Grill was the restaurant on site that serves breakfast and dinner daily.  They do take reservations so I'd recommend getting those for dinner time.

I couldn't get over how cute this little resort was and the weather happened to be pretty delightful during our stay.


Six big smiles for a great first day.

I'd heard Marla talk for years about her trips to the Grand Tetons growing up.  She'd mentioned over and over how she wanted to go back so when we decided this would be our summer vacation, we knew we wanted to invite them along.  We had the best ten days with them!

This kid.  My goodness-time away with my family is just good for my soul.

There were all kinds of kids' activities...volleyball, roping, a tent full of games {that we never even made it over to because my people loved this outdoor area so much}, a playground, and more.




While we were about to have dinner, it started raining out.  PERFECT timing!  We ate dinner as we watched it rain.

The BEST thing about this resort had to be that smores were just a text away.  When your crew wanted smores, you just texted the number and they'd bring you all the supplies and even light your fire.  They came back around at 11:00 p.m. to make sure all the fires were put out.

We couldn't get enough.  The rain brought the coolest weather and made our campfire absolutely perfect!


This picture is kind of hard to tell but when asked who Nixon looks like, I always respond with, "Tab's dad".  I think they have the same head shape and many of the same features.  Again, a little difficult to tell in this picture but be on the look out and let me know what you think.

The early morning views the next day didn't disappoint.

On our one big day in Garden City, we rented a pontoon and a jet ski to get out and enjoy Bear Lake.  This lake is often referred to as, "The Caribbean of the West", and let me tell you, we saw why!  This lake is stunning.  It has THE MOST BLUE water!

We reserved our boat and jet ski with Epic Boat Rentals and were super happy with the service.


When I was growing up, we lived about forty minutes away from a local lake.  We even had a pontoon that we kept docked at the marina for many years and we'd go out on the lake often.  As my brother and I got older getting away for a lake day got harder so my parents stopped docking it and over time our lake days really slowed down.  I went out on the lake with friends in high school and then in college one of my close friends' parents had a lake house in Arkansas that we visited quite a bit.  All this to say, I grew up with lots of lake experience but as I've gotten older my desire to jump in the dark waters that are more typical around us in Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri has really slowed down.  But THIS WATER was a different story!


I basically couldn't get over it the entire six hours we were out on the water.



We cruised around, we tubed, and...

We did lots of jet skiing {by the way, I can't figure out why this picture is so thin}.

The water was pretty chilly but not too chilly to get in and enjoy.

The Slaughter girls enjoyed our Bear Lake time, that's for sure!


These kids are always keeping me on my toes.  I was expecting Nixon, my typical daredevil to LOVE the jet ski, but Bowen ended up being the kid who was the biggest fan.  Britt is usually my second most adventurous and she wasn't the biggest fan either.  

If you'd ask me or Ebby Lee, we'd say THIS was our favorite day!

Another attempt at getting those gorgeous views!

For dinner, we went into town to give Zipz a shot.  This little spot is known for their, "Least Famous Shakes".  I think because the neighboring restaurant touts they're known for, "The Most Famous Shakes"?  Either way, we enjoyed the best meal of burgers, fish, fries, fry sauce {YES!}, and then finished it off with shakes.  I was told the huckleberry shake is a must and ABSOLUTEY!  It was DELICICIOUS!

Zipz is full of vintage boat decor.

It was super casual with the best vibes.

The next morning...check out that blue water.

As we were getting ready, Nixon spotted a deer near our tent.  Do you see it between the trees?

Hands-down my people LOVED this stop!

We packed it up and were off to our next stop...JACKSON, WYOMING!  The post is coming soon!
XO

12 comments

Lauren D said...

Oh my gosh Erika this trip sounds like a dream!! My family would love this!! My kids are still too young I think, but maybe in a couple years. I'll have to come back to this post in a year or so and think about booking everything. What a fun trip!

Mix and Match Mama said...

Oh my goodness, that looked like an entire vacation in one post!! I can't believe how gorgeous that lake water was!! I'm so excited about your recaps of this trip!!!

Elspeth Mizner said...

I love the idea of glamping! It looks so fun! Can’t wait for part 2!
www.elspethsdaybyday.com

Jane Lemoine said...

This is such a great recap! My people would LOVE this adventure! Thank you for sharing!!

Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said...

WOW!!!! GORGEOUS! And so much fun! This looks like a vacay my people would LOVE!

Bailey Hill said...

Looks like such a fun trip! Can't wait to read all of the posts.

Kristen said...

I want to replicate this exact trip when my kids are older! I have a 1 year old and a 4 year old so we will need to wait a few years but everything looks amazing!

Kristen said...

What an amazing start to your vacation! We have never been out West - you're really making me want to go!

Rightupmyaliway said...

Wow! That is beautiful! I need to add this to my vacation list! What a fun start to your trip! :)

Unknown said...

Looks like fun! I’ve heard that Cafe Rio is 1,000 times better than Costa Vida. I wasn’t impressed with the location in Plano.

Laci said...

I can not get over how beautiful this vacation was!!!

Joanne said...

That sounds like a perfect way to start a vacation and that lake is amazingly blue!