I must admit, there have been times in my life I haven’t been as grateful as I should be to have a husband with a serious case of cabin fever. It doesn’t seem to matter how much we have been going, and going, and going, he still wants to keep going some more. During the cold and dark months of winter when playing in the yard is not an option my husband spends the first four days of the week dreaming up a plan to get us out of the house and into the elements of nature. Come Friday night or Saturday morning we are in the truck ready to go.
I feel very blessed to live in the geographic region of Southern Utah. There are countless things to do, places to go, and sites to see. Even after three decades of wandering around I haven’t even made a dent in seeing all I would like to see. Although I am a bit partial to the area in which I live I can’t help but think there are just as many amazing things to see and places to visit all around the world (I’d really like to see it all!!).
Raising a family, keeping up with school schedules, and working around a husbands career can be stressful and very time consuming. The strict and structured life style that I choose to live does wonders to get me through the week without going completely crazy! I like living my life as if completing the laundry by Monday night each week was a real deadline with real consequences (even though I know that no one notices but me). I think it is good for my children to be learning and understanding the importance of fulfilling responsibilities within a given time frame. I have been accused of being far too structured but I have yet to have anyone convince me of the downfalls. However, for the benefit of my husband, my children, and my mental health we do our very best to throw all structural guidelines out the window come Friday evening at 5 (sometimes earlier if Logan can sneak away from work). Our subconscious knows the schedule will be back in play on Sunday morning at 7am but we take what we can from the hours preceding the Sunday morning alarm.
Mini vacations are my lifeline and my purest joy, especially during the winter. Each year we purchase a State Park pass for $75 that allows us to go to any one of almost 50 parks in Utah, many of them within only a few hour drive or less. Depending on where we are going and how far we have to travel we pack up a lunch, a blanket, a bag of toys, sometimes a few friends and off we go! This year we haven’t even really needed to bring a jacket.
So far this winter we have found our way to Zion National Park, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Sand Hollow Reservoir, Brian Head, Monroe (to check on the pheasant farm), Las Vegas, and St. George. On the agenda still awaiting our appearance is Red Cliffs State Park, Piute Reservoir, Snow Canyon, snow shoeing on Cedar Mountain, and hopefully a bit more from Zion. With our park passes these mini vacations are basically free, with the exception of gas. I have started packing our lunches from home since my strange kids refuse to eat fast food of any kind and I am tired of throwing out expensive food. We usually leave after breakfast, look for a nice place to have a picnic and go hiking then head home before dinner time. I have decided this is the perfect way to spend a Saturday when there is no work to be done in the yard!
I guarantee everyone can find a cheap and rewarding way to spend Saturdays with their kids after a bit of research and a little planning. As long as the weather is manageable we may as well take advantage of it!!