Popsicle Blog Road Trip: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Best Friends Animal Sanctuaryit’s been a while since i’ve shared an adventure from our road trip last year, and with the holidays coming up, i thought this one would be a good. lots of people will be giving their kiddies pets for the holidays, which reminded me of our visit to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. we visited it while staying in Kanab, Utah on the first leg of our road trip. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is located in Angel Canyon, and is the home to nearly 2,000 homeless animals. when you are thinking about getting a new pet, i can’t stress to you more that getting a pet from a shelter is the best thing you can do for an animal. these animal need you…and they are just the cutest. every day, more than 9,000 healthy and treatable dogs and kitties are killed in America’s shelters. but, there’s something all of us can do to help save those animals. Best Friend Animal Society has many shelters across the country, besides the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, all having the mission to SAVE THEM ALL!

it’s funny the things kids remember most about family vacations and what their favorite parts are, and if you ask my kids their favorite thing they did on our road trip, they will say….going to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. they LOVE cats…and all animals for that matter, so i guess that is why they really enjoyed visiting the Sanctuary. i agree with them, it was a very inspirational, educational and fun place to visit when you travel through Kanab, Utah.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is just amazing! first of all, it is located in the picturesque mountains of Kanab flanked with red rocks and beautiful wildlife. as you drive in, you will see mountain scenes and barn structures that have been seen in in movies on the big screen.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Movies Set

there are also large fenced in areas for rescued horses, cows and other livestock. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is enormous, when you arrive in the canyon, you immediately feel the peace and tranquility of a place where so many ancient peoples have gathered in centuries past, and where today, so many animals are loved and heal from their hard life journeys. the Sanctuary is home to dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses, pigs, goats, mules, sheep, burros and wildlife. the spacious area allows lot of room for animals to roam and heal.

Best Friends Animal Shelter KanabBest Friends Animal Sanctuary Kanab, Utah

when you arrive to the Sanctuary, you will park at the main lobby and then board a bus that will take you around the Sanctuary. the lobby area is beautiful, and there is a Wish Pond and a gift shop that proceeds go towards the Sanctuary.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Wishing PondBest Friends Animal Sanctuary LobbyBest Friends Animal Sanctuary Gift Shop

Take a Tour of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

before you head over to the Sanctuary, be sure to check the website for tour times and event schedules. there are general tours, wild life tours, parrot garden tours and even a lunch tour where you can eat at Angel’s Village. a cafeteria at the Sanctuary that serves lunch….vegetarian of course. nearly 30,000 people visit the Sanctuary every year to meet the animals and tour what has become the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. tours are FREE.

Best Friends Animal Shelter Tours

once our tour bus was ready, we loaded onto it and headed into the Sanctuary to check it out. first up was Dog Town.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Dog Town Headquarters

that’s where all the dogs live of course. there are different designated building for groups of dogs with different needs. there are buildings for dogs who are ready for adoptions, and building for dogs with special needs, rehabilitation buildings and areas for dogs to play and roam.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Dog Townwe even got to meet a few of the dogs and get demonstrations from the dog handlers and volunteers on how to train and take care of the dogs.
Playing with the Dogs at Best Friendsnext, we got back on the bus to continue our tour of the Sanctuary. it’s quite impressive and very beautiful and relaxing. it’s a place of peace which is a beautiful thing. we passed by rescued chickens, the parrot garden and piggy paradise.

Best Friends Animal Shelter ChickensBest Friends Animal Sanctuary Cat World Area

we also visited the Horse Haven and fed this guy some special food to help with his healing diet.

Best Friends Animal Shelter Horses

we also drove by Angels Rest, a final resting place for Sanctuary animals who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in the last few years, and cherished companions of Best Friends members and staff. Angels Rest and Angels Overlook are celebrations of the everlasting bond that we share with animals. it is one of the most peaceful and serene places that can be experienced. surrounded by the beauty of Angel Canyon, the musical sounds of wind chimes ring with the slightest breeze. each marker is evidence of the love we hold for our pets. a visit to Angels Rest stirs emotions and kindles memories of our past animal friends. visitors can pay their respects to past Sanctuary friends or walk the meditation labyrinth, designed by Best Friends co-founder Cyrus Mejia.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Cemetary Gates

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Cemetary

finally, we got to visit Cat World, what the boys had been waiting for all day long. they just LOVE the kitties.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Cat World

here they got to play with the cats and learn about how they are cared for and how they are rehabilitated for adoption.

Best Friends Animal Shelter Cat HouseBest Friends Animal Sanctuary Cat World RoomsCats for AdoptionBest Friends Animal Shelter Kitty HouseCat World, like Dog Town, has many different buildings designated for different groups of cats with different needs. it was so heartwarming to see the boys pay loving attention to all the cats at the Sanctuary. they adore them.
Playing with the Animals at Best FriendsBest Animal Rescues in the Utah Best Animal Rescuesthey couldn’t get enough playtime with these kitties. but atlas, it was time to head back.

Best Animal Rescues in the US

Best Friends Pet Sanctuary is not just a pet shelter…it is so much more. it’s a haven for hundreds of animals nestled in between the red rocks of Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks. i highly recommend a visit when you are in the area….lengthen your leash and experience for yourself the nature and nurture of the largest sanctuary of its kind in America. it’s a visit my kids and i will always remember. we now also want to SAVE THEM ALL and to find ways in our own community to help animals in need. we are so thankful to organizations like Best Friends Animal Society for there work with animals in need.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Utah

check out some more of our Popsicle Adventures during our summer 2014 road trip through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Yellowstone:

Where We Traveled
How We Traveled
Tahiti Village – Las Vegas
Denny’s and Fremont Street – Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion – Utah
Zion National Park – Utah
Kanab – Utah
Historic Parry Lodge – Kanab, Utah
Coral Pink Sand Dunes – Kanab, Utah
The Real Up House – Herriman, Utah

The Best Foods for Road Trips and Traveling On-the-go

This is a sponsored post.

Best Road Trip Tips for Kids

as you know, me, my husband and my kids are constantly on-the-go. we LOVE to travel…especially on road trips, and i often get asked how i handle traveling with kids on the road, including things like; how do i keep them entertained, how often do we stop, and what do we do when it comes to meals. often parents dread traveling for long stretches of time on the road with kids because the unknown can be scary. you never know when a child will have a meltdown or someone needs to use the bathroom. if you have multiple children, you will find that there will always be one kid who’s hungry, and stopping for food might not be an option.

well, here are some tips for the eating part of a long road trip, as eating too much fast food to can get tiring….and just thinking about it makes might stomach turn. when my family is traveling, i crave healthy, home-cooked food which is not an option. so i have learned what to pack that will satisfy hungry kids, hungry parents, travels well and won’t make a gigantic mess in the car. chips and popcorn make gigantic messes, and anything gooey or sticky is a definite no no. i don’t often pack sandwiches because they can get squished in our full-of-luggage vehicle, so i turn to pre-wrapped, easy to eat, no crumb snacks to get us from point A to point B. i make sure to pack a variety of sweet and savory, as well as a treat…you just can’t get around giving the kids a sweet treat when they have been on the road for such a long time.

below, i am sharing “The Best Foods for Road Trips and Traveling On-the-go.” plus, a couple of items that help the experience be more enjoyable and mess free, check them out…

Best Foods for Road Trips

1) String Cheese – i love string cheese because it travels well, all my kids like it, and it has protein and calcium which my kids need. plus its pre-packaged and doesn’t make a mess.

2) Fruit Snacks – you are going to need something sweet to give the kiddies while your on the road, especially if they are used to having that dessert bribe to finish their food. fruit snacks are easy and non-messy. healthy versions of them can even be bought and the kids won’t know the difference.

3) Water Bottles – i often ONLY bring water to drink in the car with us when we are on road trips. anything else is usually too sugary and if it spills, leaves the car sticky and a big mess. water bottles have twist lids that can be opened and closed as needed. freeze a few to use as ice packs and then drinks after they defrost. i use the bribe of stopping for a cold sweet drink at the gas station or rest stop to keep my kids on their best behavior…and it works!!!

4) Hand Wipes – need i say more?  you are going to need them, so bring them!

5) Clementines or Tamgerines – these are the easiest kind of oranges to travel with. they provide great nourishment, give a quick boost of energy, and don’t make a huge mess. if you want to avoid peel all over the car, peel them before you get on the road and store them in a plastic storage food bin to keep them from getting squished.

6) Gum – if your kids are old enough to handle gum, and don’t swallow or drop it on the ground or stick it on the seats of you car, i suggest keeping the car stocked with it. not only does it tide over a hungry kid, it also is a great distraction for a whiner or can help with car sickness or altitude changes when driving in the mountains.

7) Veggies – Cut up vegetables that your kids like. they travel well, and add that crunch kids look for. if you think your kids can handle dip in the car, purchase some of those individual dips or peanut butter for dipping.

8) Crackers – you are going to need a couple of boxes of crackers for the kids to snack on like Honey Maid Go Bites, which are great to have on hand because kids AND moms like them. these particular Honey Maid GoBites are filled crackers with crispy pockets of filling. they have pro-tein and whole grains. it’s a snack they’ll love and you’ll feel good about. Honey Maid GoBites come in chocolate or vanilla flavors. as i said before, chips and popcorn make a huge mess, crackers are a much better choice. plus Honey Maid is a brand most of us have grown up on. it’s a snack that reminds us of our youth…and even today, kids still enjoy them. No matter how things change, what makes us wholesome never will. Honey Maid: everyday wholesome snacks for every wholesome family. This is Wholesome.

9) Apples – this is the least juicy fruit and the fruit my kids love most. it also travels well if your kids eat them straight of the core. they won’t spoil if they aren’t eaten while you are traveling, thats a good thing. i can not tell you how much food goes in the trash after i leave in in bags after our trips. i really need to work on that.

10) Disposable Tubes of Yogurt or Apple Sauce – there are lots of different food products sold in disposable pounches, these are great because no utensils are needed.

111) Travel Tray – if your kids are younger, purchasing a travel tray can help out immensely when you are trying to eat on the road. i never like having to take my seatbelt off and turn around to find something my kids dropped on the floor and can’t reach. a travel tray keep the food in one place and out of your kids laps.

12) Trash Bags – bring some trash bags to help with the mess. this is my biggest issue and pet peeve of traveling. at the end of long road trips i always find my son who sits in the back seat of our minivan, sitting in a pile of trash. seriously. so having a trash bag to clean up between the meals is helpful to keeping the car trash to a minimum.

these are my most favorite items to take on road trips. honorable mentions go to rolled-up lunch meat, pre-peeled hard boiled eggs, and sandwich wraps…only because the prep time is a lot greater. the things i mentioned above are easy grabs, which is sometimes all you can do when you are out-of-town or on the road. bring a small cooler that fits between the car seats with a frozen gel pack to keep cold things cold. the rest of the food can go in a reusable grocery sack. hopefully this will give you some food inspiration for your next road trip. hopefully these will prove to be the best foods for road trips

Best Travel Tips

Popsicle Blog Road Trip: The Homestead Crater in Heber Valley

Homestead Resort Crater - Swim Inside a Crateri loved all the places that we visited on our road trip, however, Heber Valley captured my heart. Heber Valley is made up of a few small towns, Heber City, Midway and Daniel. All together, they are referred to as Heber Valley, and are located just south east of Salt Lake City, Utah, nestled in a valley among beautiful mountains. the towns have small town charm and the scenic landscapes are gorgeous. this is one place that i would love to further explore, as we only had one day of adventure there.

Homestead Resort

in the city of Midway, Utah, you will find The Homestead Resort, where the Homestead Crater can be located on the property. this Crater is a geothermal spring, hidden within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock. it took over 10,000 years for this Crater to be formed by melting snow on the Wasatch Mountains. the melted snow seeped deep within the earth, two miles below the surface where the earth’s interior heated the water. as the water was then percolated upward, it picked up minerals that were then deposited on the surface. eventually it formed this volcano-shaped limestone deposit called The Homestead Crater.

the Crater is open to the public, and for a small fee, you can swim inside of it. people of all ages, even babes can enjoy this experience. imagine, swimming inside a mountain under the ground. so cool. and since it is a natural warm spring, the water is hot and also has the smell of sulfur, but it isn’t too bad.

here is the entrance that leads you into the Crater.

Heber Valley - Homestead Crater EntranceHomestead Crater Entrancewhen you get inside, there are changing rooms and an area where you can get life jackets or rent scuba equipment. you can choose to either soak, swim, or snorkel in the warm 90º-96ºf  natural mineral water. certified divers can explore the warm waters of The Crater for a maximum of 35-minutes and a depth of 35-feet. the Crater’s water is about 60 feet deep.

Homestead Resort Cratermy husband and older son were most excited to jump right away into the water. it is dark within the crater (the do have dim lights on), which was a little creepy to my younger boys. my youngest son, Vann, decided he didn’t want to swim.Heber Valley - Utah Family Travelit took Kyle a little bit of time to get up the courage to jump in the water, but he finally made it in and had a blast. you have to be careful when entering the water because there could be scuba divers in the water below. you can not see down into the beautiful crystal clear blue water, is very dark below.
Swimming in the Homestead Craterthe little one and i watched the boys having fun and explored the inside of the Crater. it’s hard to describe how interesting it was to be underground, swimming in one of natures phenomenas, but it was soooo cool.Swimming in the Homestead Crater Utah

guests can also take a short hike up to the top of the Homestead Crater. there are stairs that lead you to the top. the hole at the top of the dome lets in sunlight and fresh air into the Crater while the interior stays heated by mineral water at a constant range of 90 – 96 degrees Fahrenheit. Homestead Crater Hikeat the top, you have a view of Heber Valley that is so beautiful. the mountains surrounding the towns, the blue sky and puffy white clouds are what made me fall in love with Heber Valley.

Best Places to Visit in Utah - Family Travel a small bridge takes you over the top of the Craters top hole. you can look down a see the swimmers below.Homestead Crater in Heber Valley Utahand here is what it looks like from the inside looking up.Heber Valley - Homestead Crater

the Crater’s naturally warm water is pumped out of the crater and down the side of the beehive shaped rock. if it wasn’t pumped out as the natural springs filled the crater up, the water would fill the crater to the top and spill out of the hole shown in the picture above. pumping the water out makes it possible to swim inside, and allows people to have an experience unlike any other.
Homestead Crater at Homestead Resortswimming and exploring The Homestead Crater was a great experience for our family, not only was it fun and interesting, it was also educational. we had a wonderful time and will definitely swim in the Crater again on our next visit to Heber Valley.
Homestead Resort Crater Swimming

check out some more of our Popsicle Adventures during our summer 2014 road trip through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Yellowstone:

Where We Traveled
How We Traveled
Tahiti Village – Las Vegas
Denny’s and Fremont Street – Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion – Utah
Zion National Park – Utah
Kanab – Utah
Historic Parry Lodge – Kanab, Utah
Coral Pink Sand Dunes – Kanab, Utah
The Real Up House – Herriman, Utah

Popsicle Blog Road Trip: The Real UP House

The Real Up House in Herrington Utah - Family Travelif you followed our road trip adventures last summer, you probably saw a few pictures from our photo shoot at The Real Up House. yes!!!! there is a real life UP House, a replica of Carl and Ellie’s colorful house from Disney’s movie UP. it is located in Herriman, Utah, just south west of Salt Lake City.

i had seen the The Real UP House in the news a few years back, and when our road trip route was planned to go through Utah, i was determined to have a family photo shoot there. i knew this would be a special opportunity and also a fun way to remember our road trip, so i made sure to bring Disney bound inspired clothing for the whole family to capture the moment perfectly.

The Up House - Family Travel Utah

seeing The Real Up House in person was magical. the architecture, every detail and the colors, are perfect. you feel like you are in the movie. just looking at it puts a smile on my face, it was such a fun and unique experience.

a family owns and lives in The Real UP House, so if you want to have a photo shoot at the home, you need to make an appointment and sign waivers. there is a small fee to use the outside of the house in your photos. it costs more money if you want to take photos on the inside…which is also decorated just like the movie….with Carl and Ellie’s furniture and decor! the homeowners also have props that you can rent to enhance your photos. if all that you want to do is drive by and snap a photo with your phone, there is no charge. but i highly recommend doing a photo shoot, even a mini shoot. you will be so glad you did. and DON’T FORGET TO BUY BALLOONS! you can’t take pictures at the Real UP House without balloons, they add so much to the photos….it is so worth it when you get adorable photos like these.

with the chaos of getting ready for our road trip, i was able to set up and book a photo shoot with The Real Up House, but unable to secure a photographer because i wasn’t certain what day we would be near Harriman. luckily, my brother was in Utah at the time, and him and Lynette (the home owner who is wonderful) were able to help capture photos of our family. the photos aren’t “professional”, but i love them and they are a fun memory of our popsicle adventure.

as you can see the boys had a blast reenacting the movie…Up House - Popsicle Blogas so did my husband and i.Up House - Best Places to Take Pictures in Utahwe took photos around every angle of the house, and got some great colorful shots.
The Up House - Family Travel
i couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to capture our family and the adventure we were on. the quote “Adventure is Out There” truly described this amazing road trip we were on.
Up House - Family TravelThe Real Up House - Family Traveli couldn’t leave without snapping a selfie with the UP House homeowner, Lynette. she is a wonderful person and we connected instantly. she has a wonderful story about how they became the owners of The Real UP House, and if you follow the Disney Blogs, you might recognized her as one of the Disney Mom panelists. also, be sure to check out her Disney inspired art pieces that she sells on The Real Up House website, they are pretty cool.The Real Up House in Herrington Utah - Leanneout of all the destinations on our trip, this was one of the ones i was most looking forward too. i love Disney so much, and the movie UP. also, i love bright colors, and have been dreaming of taking these photos for the longest time.Up House - Jill Parkin OC Mom Blogit was sad to leave when our photo shoot was over, but we had to continue our adventure. i know that the next time we drive though Utah, The Real UP House will be on out list of destinations. i hope that it is on your list too!
The Real Up House in Utah - Family Travel

check out some more of our Popsicle Adventures during our summer 2014 road trip through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Yellowstone:

Where We Traveled
How We Traveled
Tahiti Village – Las Vegas
Denny’s and Fremont Street – Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion – Utah
Zion National Park – Utah
Kanab – Utah
Historic Parry Lodge – Kanab, Utah
Coral Pink Sand Dunes – Kanab, Utah

Popsicle Blog Road Trip: Coral Pink Sand Dunes

coral_pink_sand_dunes_kanab_utahduring our stay in Kanab, Utah, we really wanted to explore the area and find unique places to experience. one of the locals told us to check out the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, which is one of Utah’s State Parks. the Coral Pink Sand Dunes are located off a remote road between the east entrance of Zion National Park and a few miles west of Kanab.

we weren’t sure what to expect, and as we drove, we couldn’t see the sand dunes. we kept looking and looking, but they are nestled into the landscape. even when we arrived at the entrance, you couldn’t see how beautiful they were. it wasn’t until we walked down into them and started exploring that we realized how magnificent they were.

this is the area closest to the entrance. but this is just a small over look. once we started walking down into them, past the fences, towards the east where the dune buggies ride and then up one of the peaks….

coral_pink_sand_dunes

that is where we had such a breathtaking view.

coral_pink_sand_dunes_utah_state_parkit was so peaceful and quiet. no sounds of the city, not even sounds of nature. just the quiet lull of the wind. as we walked along the main peak, we could look out and see the beauty of the Kanab mountains all around us…it was surreal.coral_pink_sand_dunes_utah

we played, jumped and ran around in the sand. it was a different experience than any of us have ever had. almost magical.

utah_state_parkcoral_pink_sand_dunes_southern_utahcoral_pink_sand_dunes_southern_utah_landmark it had to be one of the more special moments that we had as a family. just us. together. enjoying natures beauty and wonder.coral_pink_sand_dunes_kanab_utah_landmark

of course by the end of our visit, our shoes were filled to the brim with coral pink sand. a small price to pay to experience the beauty of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.

coral_pink_sand_dunes_kanab_utah_state_park

tips for visiting the Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Kanab, Utah
• bring a water bottle
• bring snacks and drinks as there are located in a remote area.
• wear sun screen/sun hat
• if you bring a camera, make sure it is protected in a case or bag. flying sand will damage the lens.
• there is a small entrance fee (approx. $8)

 

and to read more about our Popsicle Adventures during our summer 2014 road trip through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Yellowstone:

Where We Traveled
How We Traveled
Tahiti Village – Las Vegas
Denny’s and Fremont Street – Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion – Utah
Zion National Park – Utah
Kanab – Utah
Historic Parry Lodge – Kanab, Utah
The Real Up House – Herriman, Utah