Blue skies, blinding white snow and that sharp air that only comes in cold climates and high altitudes. Some people dream of balmy, tropical islands, I find myself dreaming of snow (and no humidity!). There’s just something really special about a winter vacation when you live a place that experiences summers like we do in the south. Give me a slopside white russian by day and a cozy fire at night and I’m a happy girl.
We chose Steamboat Springs for our winter vacation this year and absolutely loved it, a winter wonderland! The mountain at Steamboat was so easy to access from our condo at The Wyndham Village, just a short shuttle ride right to the entrance of the ski village. We found Steamboat’s setup for tickets and rentals to be very easy. The adults and older niece had a private lesson the first day while the two younger boys went to ski school. Our instructor was fantastic, even though she had three horrendous adult skiers to work with (starting to think I’m just not cut out for this!). The kids all did great though!
We had a really special snowmobiling trip at Saddleback Ranch. We did the mid morning, 2 hour tour and were treated to amazing views.  They turned us loose in a big open area, so the daring ones could let it rip.  After snowmobiling and some hot chocolate, we went to the tubing area at the ranch.  I have to say, the kid in me absolutely loves snow tubing.  There were a few runs to choose from and the tube lift made it so easy.
Mid-week, after a long day of skiing, we took the kids to Old Town Hot Springs, which has outdoor, hot springs-fed swimming pools and a slide.  It was a big hit and affordable! We also went to Strawberry Park Hot Springs, the last day of the trip, such a unique and beautiful place. I love the contrast of being in the water, outside, with snowy trees all around. Beware of the hot pool! It is super hot. I got a little dehydrated and dizzy and had to sit out some, so be sure to hydrate. The drive there was so pretty. It is a rougher road, but was lined with snow covered aspen trees and views out over some valleys.
The town of Steamboat is so quaint, only about a 5-10 minute drive from the mountain area. The annual winter carnival was wrapping up our first couple of days there and we got to see some of the unique events, like sled racing and ski jumpers pulled by horses! There were lots of great dining options in town and at the mountain. In the base area, I recommend Truffle Pig and the Slopeside Grill for lunch. Most nights, we just snuggled up with our fire and made dinner at our condo, which had a full kitchen (such a plus when traveling with kids!).
A few things we missed that I would love to check out in the future — dog sledding, horseback riding, snowshoeing and taking a snowcat at night to some mountaintop fine dining.  The moral of my story is that, even if you can’t ski, you don’t have to miss out on a picture perfect winter getaway.  There are so many things to do and this winter, I’ll be strapping snow shoes to my feet, breathing in mountain air and taking in amazing views. Until we meet again Steamboat!

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Oftentimes I find myself dreaming of traveling to far away exotic places, but the truth is we have so many gems right outside our back door. Arkansas is the Natural State, after all. My husband and I, after many years of research, purchased an Airstream last fall. We made the purchase during the busiest time for both of us and are just starting our outdoor adventures in the camper.
Our first real trip was in January on an unseasonably warm weekend, but that’s Arkansas! We went to Petite Jean State Park in Morrilton, Arkansas. What a beautiful place! We did lots of hiking on Bear Cave Trail, Rock House Cave Trail and to see Cedar Falls. If you go, be sure to take the Red Bluff Drive to see an amazing sunset. The rangers were very helpful and the restaurant was good food with gorgeous views. So get out soon and see your state!
Visit their website HERE.

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What a beautiful baby girl! Loved all the photos of sweet little Reese.

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Sweet six month session with baby Parker. Love the red hair!

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