• Hiking,  Kids,  Michigan,  Trips

    Family Fun in St. Joseph, Michigan – What to See, Do, and Eat with Kids

    One of the destinations I get asked about the most is our yearly trip to St. Joseph, Michigan. From St. Louis, it is less than a 5.5 hour drive to this amazing family friendly vacation spot. Since we are already up north in Chicago at least once a year to visit family, it is easy for us to tack on a couple more days for a mini beach getaway. The view below never gets old. Things to Do 1. The Beaches St. Joseph is known…

  • Colorado,  Hikes,  Hiking,  Kids,  National Parks,  Off Road Trips,  Trips,  Utah


    We started out this trip with one last awesome breakfast at the Avon Cafe before bidding a tearful goodbye to my folks as this was the point where we parted ways for awhile. The kids were not happy about this separation from their beloved Nana and Papa. But we made it up to them by telling them that we were headed to a giant sandbox. That “sandbox” being the great state of Utah.

  • Colorado,  Hiking,  Kids,  Off Road Trips,  Playgrounds,  Trips


    Day 7 of our trip found us at Bob’s place again for breakfast before we headed out to drive the Hagerman Pass Trail. The trail starts just outside Leadville and crosses the divide towards Basalt. The road mostly follows an old railroad grade including the remains of a train tunnel. The tunnel was completed in 1885 to cross the continental divide between Leadville and Aspen. At one time, a massive wooden trestle was located near the tunnel to switchback trains up the elevation to the…

  • Colorado,  Hiking,  Kids,  Off Road Trips,  Playgrounds


    We decided to try something different for breakfast this day and tried out Bobs Place in Avon. The kids and adults enjoyed it, and there were some Gluten Free options on the menu as well which worked well for Nana. We made a couple more stops here during our trip and would highly recommend it. We needed to take a break from hiking so we decided to try out some more of the 4WD roads in the Vail area. Our trail for the day was…

  • Colorado,  Kids,  Off Road Trips,  Trips,  Utah


    We all crashed hard after two long days of traveling across this great nation (See travel days 1 & 2 HERE.) While traveling, we are always on the lookout for local breakfast stops that open early to fit our schedules. Our first morning in Avon found us at the Avon Bakery & Deli where on a whim I picked up a “French Toast Sandwich”. And it became my new favorite breakfast food for the trip!

  • Colorado,  Kids,  Off Road Trips,  Playgrounds,  Trips,  Utah

    Colorado and Utah Trip 2019

    Travel Days 1 and 2 in the Mighty Merc It’s been way too long since we last had a blog post up! We have so much to share from our summer and fall adventures and want to start with all we saw, hiked, and climbed on our last westward adventure. Once again we found ourselves loading up and heading west for our family vacation. This year was a dual destination event with the bulk of our time being spent around the Avon, Colorado area with…

  • Trips

    Colorado 2018 – Granby area in the Mighty Merc. – Day 8

    Not much to look at on this one as it was just a long road day driving from Granby to St. Louis in one shot. Things went pretty well on the way back, we managed to sneak out early enough to miss Denver morning rush hour, the wind in Kansas was tolerable, and I finally managed to find a way to sit in the truck for long stretches without it killing my back (I really need a new driver’s seat and some suspension work). The…

  • Trips

    Colorado 2018 – Granby area in the Mighty Merc. – Day 7

    Day 7 saw my folks departing heading back to the St. Louis area. So we loaded up to do a bit more hiking with the kids to try and break up the day knowing that there was another 18 hour car ride ahead of us the next day. We found a Fox Friend as we were leaving the condo: And headed over to St. Mary Lake trail to see the glacier: The kids actually managed to hike the whole way up themselves, though it took…