Utah: they wanted to see mountains

It happened because they wanted to see mountains. ‘Real mountains with snow on top’ they said. So last week, The Complete Package & I took our two young grandchildren – Jonah Bear & Lilly Bug – to Salt Lake City and Ogden in Utah to see the Wasatch mountains. Real mountains. With snow on top.

Wasatch Mountains - Ogden, Utah

Why Utah? That’s a legitimate question, I guess. Our answer is “Why not Utah?” It is beautiful, and the Salt Lake City to Ogden area offered us a unique opportunity to not only show the kids mountains, but also a high desert environment and the Great Salt Lake. More bang for our buck, if you will. While we stayed in Ogden most of the time, we were close enough to explore and play in Salt Lake City. And while the mountains were mere minutes away, so were the activities of both cities. It was a really good choice.

For this trip, as we do for most vacations, we found a vacation rental home at HomeAway.com. The craftsman style house we chose in the historic district of Ogden was perfect for us. It looks small. Don’t let that fool you. This house had four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, a breakfast room, formal dining room, sitting area, living room and a basement laundry room. It also had a great fenced backyard for the kids to play in when we spent time at the house.

HomeAway Rental - from the webpage

Ogden Rental House - Living Room

Ogden Rental House - Sitting Room

Ogden Rental House - Kitchen

Ogden Rental House - Kitchen Kitsch

Ogden Rental House - Breakfast Nook

Ogden Rental House - One of 4 Bedrooms

We loved the craftsman-style details of the home, but I especially loved the vintage kitsch that gave it personality. For antique junkies like me, it was a dream come true. Every room was adorned with pieces of the past and touches of fun. Check out the funky upstairs bathroom and some of the old paint-by-number pieces from around the house. They are a blast from my past.

Ogden Rental House - Upstairs Bath

Ogden Rental House - Vintage Paint-By-Numbers

The kids were really good about not trying to play with all the antiques. Instead, they were focused on the big screen TV, the fenced backyard and the front porch. Each evening, we spent time playing in the yard while the sun set. I’m including a diagram of Jonah & Lilly’s use of the backyard living space. I’m all for giving children a creative outlet, but if I hear ‘Let It Go’ one more time…

Ogden Rental House - Back Yard

Most mornings, their attention was focused on the front porch. Jonah loved to sit on the front steps and whittle the sticks he collected from everywhere we went. Sticks and rocks, sticks and rocks. That boy LOVES sticks and rocks.

Ogden Rental House - Jonah Whittles on the Porch

Lilly fell in love with the porch swing. If she wasn’t swinging in it, she was pushing it or laying across it. Some day, boys will line up to woo her on a porch swing like that, but not too soon. (Somewhere, her parents just shivered.)

Ogden Rental House - Lilly & the Porch Swing

Oh my gosh, we love these kids so much. They have our hearts, for sure.

Ogden Rental House - Lilly & Jonah on the Porch

When the weather was nice, we took evening strolls to explore our historic neighborhood. We especially loved the street behind ours, which was lined with huge trees and beautiful old mansions from a bygone era. To say it was lovely is to sell it short. It was like stepping back in time, which was magical.

Ogden Historic District - Evening Walks1

Ogden Historic District - Evening Walks3

Ogden Historic District - Evening Walks2

I fell in love with the tiny barking squirrels in Ogden. They ran the phone lines each evening, and every time Jonah or Lilly started singing those squirrels would join in with their high-pitched yipping. It was hilarious. Throughout the week, they would come close enough to check us out, but not so close that we could touch them. This little guy ran circles around a tree, then started popping out of the knothole on the right like a jack-in-the-box. It was adorable. I tried to convince him to come home with us, but he was having none of it.

Ogden Historic District - Evening Walks - Furry Friends with Arrow

Lilly, who loves all creatures, also found a neighborhood friend. Not as furry or cute, but just as friendly. Meet Turbo.

Ogden Historic District - Evening Walks - Lilly's Snail

Next up: what we did with the kids during our week in Ogden & Salt Lake City. It involves flying (but not in planes), swimming (but not in the Great Salt Lake), bison (not buffalo), and a few of these monsters. KIDS – LOOK OUT!!!

Ogden Dinosaur Park - LOOK OUT!



Filed under Family Stuff, Travel Tales

17 responses to “Utah: they wanted to see mountains

  1. terraburrah

    Wow, very nice! How much trouble is it to rent a vacation home? We’ve considered it, but always imagined it to be complicated.

    • Easy! We use HomeAway or VRBO. Just do your research, look for homes with lots of pictures & reviews so you know what you’re getting, and read the details like extra charges for cleaning, security deposit, etc. Some owners prefer you to send a check for payment and some take credit cards. We’ve rented at least 7 homes via these two websites and have been thrilled with all of them. If you search my site for HomeAway, you can find a few photos of some of them. Go for it! And if you have any questions, I’m happy to help if I can. -jeanne

  2. Home Email

    What a neat experience for everyone! Pat

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Mormon Soprano

    You’re near my neck of the woods. :) definitely a great place to be. Love the photos of the cute house and it was nice to learn about that rental site. We’ll have to check that out for future get-aways. ♥

    • We actually attended the Mormon Tabernacle Choir practice last Thursday evening and wondered if you might have been in the choir loft. I pretended you were, anyway. Enjoyed it and loved our time in Utah. What a beautiful place!

      • Mormon Soprano

        Yay! Yes, I was there, an Oh, I wish I’d known you were coming. I would have come given you a hug! ♥ It IS a wonderful place! I hope you will come back soon.

      • That’s awesome!!! We were ‘this close’ to each other! Very excited to know you were there and I got to hear you sing. Well, you and 300+ of your closest friends. It was lovely.

  4. The Baby

    Can’t wait to see more, we’ve not had a NE vacation yet. Love the house and neighborhood. I particularly like the paint by numbers they used in decorating.

    • That house was fabulous and perfect for us. It also made me want to buy some paint-by-numbers kits and go antiquing. Pictures of where we went & what we did are coming up next!

  5. I have never been to Utah, so your wonderful travel log is fascinating! We too have found that, especially when traveling with kids, having a home base that is really a home (house or apartment) makes for a much more relaxing trip. Everyone isn’t on top of each other like at a hotel and meals at home removes the ” restaurant behavior” pressure. I pin your trip reports for future travel ideas and inspiration! Looking forward to the next installment! Thanks, Jeanne!

    • Wait until you see the snaps of what we did with the kids, Wendy. I’m working on it now. There are SO MANY fun things to do with children in the Salt Lake City & Ogden area. We ran all day every day and still didn’t make it through our ‘must see’ list. That’s a sign of a great vacation. -j

  6. Big Sis

    Wow! Love that house! Looks like you all had a great time. Glad you had fun. :)

  7. My dream house!!!! Down to the bright colors, eclectic details, and comfy atmosphere. It looks like those kiddos had a blast!

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