Friday, November 13, 2015

Fall Break with Friends

We had big plans for Fall Break. One of the families in our neighborhood invited a few close friends to share a vacation resort at Bear Lake. Actually, it turned out to be 69 close friends in a 16,500 square foot mansion. There were 13 families sharing 19 bedrooms (bigger families had 2 rooms) and each had their own bathroom.
This was our bedroom...and we loved having our own bathroom!
The kitchen was amazing! And this is only part of the tables and half of the kitchen!
The view of Bear Lake was amazing!
The property featured a basketball court, tennis courts, a full theater with 38 lazy boy recliners, a TV in every room plus the common areas, ping-pong, billiards, and 2 kitchens with a common area with seating for around 75 people. There was a large walkout balcony and even a lighthouse that had over 100 steps leading to the 360 degree view of Bear Lake and the surrounding valley. Best of all, the cost was split 69 different ways, so we paid about the same price as you'd pay at the average hotel.

There were 25 adults and 44 kids to share the place, and we got along really well. The first day we arrived around 4 o'clock and got all settled in. The host family graciously bought pizza for the first night, but otherwise, we split up the meals. After pizza, the kids watched a movie in the massive theater and the adults settled in and made use of the ping pong and pool table.
The theater room was so FUN!
The Ping Pong games were intense!
After the kids were in bed, there was a wild night karaoke. We sang Firework by Katy Perry together, which was really "good" (for karaoke) but Wade and Randy stole the show with their rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen with Wade in full costume including a wig. This went on well into the night, and it is a wonder that the kids slept at all! Though everybody sang along to most of the songs, Randy also sang Sweet Caroline with Grant and Somebody to Love with Marc Bule. Who knew he was brave (and stupid) enough for karaoke?
Randy definitely stole the show...he was the karaoke king!

The next day the kids were up early (at least it seemed early if you were up until 1:30 wailing out rock-n-roll songs), and we were in charge of breakfast. Natalie had organized the entire breakfast and thought she'd be a major player, but the other families that were assigned with us promptly grabbed the utensils and begin flipping pancakes and rolling sausages. All we really had to do was help with the cleanup. Meanwhile, others were organizing fun games for the kids including Halloween Bingo, talent shows, and even a 40 foot parachute that was Seth's favorite part of the trip.
Seth had so much fun with the parachute.
Everyone had fun with the parachute!
Later, there was a tennis tournament for the men (Randy went 3-0) and ping-pong, chess, and pool. Finally, we went to the lake. It was a beautiful near 70 degree day, which is amazing for October, and though we thought we might have to stay out of the water, it wasn't too bad. We all waded and spent around 2 hours playing in the shallows.
Randy loves to play tennis. I need to learn how to play!
Dax had fun chasing all the tennis balls.
Randy's killer serve and Marc Bule's height helped them to beat everyone!
After that we got LaBeau's shakes to spoil our dinner, and then back to the house for pulled pork burritos that we didn't have to do anything with but eat. That evening we watched the BYU football game in the theater and then put the kids to bed. It was another late night with huge games (20 adults) of Mafia, I've Never, Signs, and a doozy called Screaming Feet. By the time we stumbled to bed at nearly 2 am we knew we were in for another early morning.

The boys had fun letting their feet sink into the sand.
So many kids on the beach made it extra fun.
Seth loves Bear Lake!!
We saw our bald eagle friend from the summer was still hanging around.
Troy had the only injury of the trip. Mark and Troy had fun spending time together.
There were a lot of us at the beach!
The sand was more mud than sand.
Seth had to go out to the "big water."
These three stood out in the water and talked for about an hour.
Mark and I were the most excited for shakes!!
Breakfast was continental, and we cleaned up and got ready to be out by 10 am. The cleanup was more like straightening as the cleaning fee was included in our price, so that was nice. Then Randy and the big boys went for a ride in the Razor up to the summit to view the lake. Finally, we piled in the car and drove home the back way through Randolph.
We saw a golden eagle eating a rabbit on the way home which was aMAZing!!
It was an amazing fun vacation, and we hope we get to do it again every year. We really feel it was a unique bit of fun with friends that we feel closer to, and our kids loved it. We do need to sleep for about a week, though....

Randy also failed to mention that on the way up to Bear Lake, we spend the day on four extra adventures:
Box Elder Natural History Museum
Ryan's Park
Stokes Nature Center
Tony Grove 
And we never miss a chance to visit Angie's for lunch!
Families involved in this excursion included: Petersons, Monsons, Olsons, Ellis, Bules, Schoepkes, Schultz, Goodwins, VanCotts, Haws, Sargents, and Johnsons.
We set up the telescope and spotted boats on the lake! And stars, too!


  1. That sounds like so much fun! Perfect for a family reunion.

  2. so fun! I love all the pictures!


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