Monday, August 26, 2013

Where's a Mom to Get a Vacation???

You thought the title of this post was a rhetorical question, didn't you?  But, I really have an answer:  ASPEN GROVE.

Aspen Grove is a family camp run by BYU and is located up Provo Canyon in Utah.  I hadn't heard about it until 6? years ago when my cousins went; although, it is 50 years old.  It really piqued my interest when I learned they watch your children when you stay there, which means mom really CAN have a vacation!

They have all sorts of activities: badminton, basketball, miniature golf, ping pong, pool, swimming, rock climbing, ropes course, arts and crafts, watercolor, wood pen turning, lectures, family dance, family games, etc.  You can choose to participate in them or not.  You can also choose to send your kids to their babysitting/classes or not.  My husband described the experience as 50% marriage retreat, 50% family vacation.  It's the best of both worlds:  quality family time together, but couple time, too.

For those of us who haven't ever really had our little kids go to any type of day care before, Aspen is brilliant in getting them to go.  The first day, the kids merely meet their leaders.  The second day they go for 2 hours.  The third day, about 3.  The fourth day, 5 or 6; The fifth day 7!!!  Then it decreases from there until you go home.

They're also brilliant in their food services.  First off they do all the cooking and cleaning for you!  When you go to the dining hall, they usually have three buffet food lines set up to meet the crowds.  As the numbers decline they close and clean up a food line, eventually leaving just one line for the stragglers and those who want seconds.  The food is also quite good and nearly always includes fruit and vegetable options.

When we went, Aspen Grove was about half-capacity in guests because school had started so many places, so it felt like we had a lot of the place to ourselves.  The staff and guests were all superb.  We loved becoming acquainted with everyone.  We definitely want to go back.  Being a week long event, though, makes it kind of hard if you want to do any other sort of vacation during your summer break especially if you're scheduling around dad's vacation time!

 Eating at the dining hall.


Treadwall - indoor climbing 

Climbing/Ropes Course



Hiking - Stewart Falls

 Hiking - First and Second Falls/Timpanogos



Family Dance

 Aspen Grove's Board Cabin

While there, we stayed at the "Board Cabin."  Before we went, I Googled for pictures of the inside so I would have a better idea of what to expect.  I was unable to find any, so we took some while we were there, that might be useful to someone, sometime.

The beautiful walk to the Board Cabin

Living room with hide-a-bed.  Adjoining door to other side of Board Cabin on right.  Rent both sides!  However, the walls are very thin!  I felt bad for our neighbors as our baby woke up and cried at least once a night.

Loft up above.  To the right is the door to the bathroom.  You can shut it to keep out noise between the bathroom and the living room.  Additionally there's another door between the bathroom and the bedroom, so you can shut that off, too.  Notice the mini-fridge on the left.

 Four twin beds, three mats.  You could put 7 kids up here!  So in all, you could have 2 in the queen bed, plus a crib, plus 2 in the hide-a-bed, plus the 7 upstairs.  That's 11 people in just one side of the Board Cabin!  If you rent both sides, I suppose you could sleep 22 people in there!  I'm not sure if they'd let you, though!

The master bedroom has it's own exterior door, so if people are sleeping in the living room, you can sneak out the back without disturbing them.

Queen size bed, closet, mini-crib provided for baby, if needed.

Baby got a cold and was an even worse sleeper, so we pulled the queen mattress out of the bedroom and and put it on top of the hide-a-bed in the living room and slept there.  Who wants to sleep on a hide-a-bed, anyway?

There are three towel racks.  You can hang 7 towels!  Stand up shower only.

Ample hooks.

They could use a shelf in the bathroom.  Or just bring some sort of hanging bag you can hang on the towel rack.