bear lake 2016

bear lake has always been a favorite place for me. i spent many summer days up there as a kid, staying at our neighbors cabin or going on day trips up there with my family and grandparents. it's a beautiful place, and i knew it was somewhere i wanted to go with jae and take our own little family often someday. we've gone a few times since being married, but last summer i decided it definitely needed to become a yearly trip for us.

this year, i booked a couple nights of camping at the KOA up there in garden city. it's a great spot, and although we're pretty amateur when it comes to camping, it was a good time and i'm so glad we got away for a few days.

we happened to end up being there the same week my sister and her family were there for their annual family bear lake trip (although they rent a cabin or condo rather than camp - smart! ;)). so we got to spend a beach day with them, and i know it was way better of a beach day for gracie than it would've been if it had just been jae and me playing with her. she sure does love those cousins of hers!

we got there on a sunday afternoon, and decided after we were sweating just setting up our camp, we'd go for a quick swim before dinner. so we did that and i ended up driving lola around in the car for a big to get a little nap in while jae and gracie stayed longer at the pool. we grabbed some dinner at merlin's (shakes!!!!!!) and finally got the girls in bed around 9pm. it was cool and quiet - not too many tent campers there with us, which was really nice.

monday was our big beach day. the girls were up early (no surprise!) so we went on an early morning drive and lola got some extra napping time in. then breakfast at the conestoga ranch (glamping central of bear lake!). way overpriced, but good. we headed to the north beach and spent the whole day there, building in the sand and frisbee in the lake and pb&j's and too many peanut butter m&m's. jk. you can't have too many pb m&m's. i wish i had gotten pictures of lola in the water. she loved it! so completely opposite of her sister - the second i set her down in the shallow water, she splashed and picked up sand and splashed more and tried to eat the sand (did eat the sand..). it was so fun to watch her enjoy it. we applied and re-applied sunscreen about 457 times, although jae and i still managed to get sunburned. but the girls didn't, so i guess count that as a success. then we got some quick showers and ate some mexican at cafe sabor. the food was good, but the girls were kind of done. so it wasn't the most relaxing dinner. then back to camp for bedtime.

the girls did not sleep so well the second night. lola doesn't sleep well any night, whether in a tent or her crib at home, so that wasn't really a surprise. it was pretty chilly at night too, getting down to the 40's. we'll be sure to get some better camping gear (and an air mattress please!) for the next go-round.

tuesday we ate some cereal at camp and spent most the morning packing up. we stopped by the beach on the way out and got one last run through the water and sand and packed up some whiny, sleepy girls in the car for the drive home.

it was quick but it was good.
until next year, bear lake.
(maybe glamping style..?)

in no particular order.......

gracie took this one ;)

since the first day we got there, there was a fire burning just over the mountain from us. we could see the smoke die down and build up every day, and we had ash falling around us and our campsite most the time. on the drive home, we finally could see the actual fire. kind of crazy to be so close to it!

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