Special Edition: Summer Breakin' 2014 {Our Annual Family Summer Vacation}

Today is the last Friday before school begins for my kiddos.  I have really enjoyed spending quality time with them this summer, while watching them be so carefree.

Rather than the usual "Feature Friday", I'm bringing you a special edition of my Summer Breakin' 2014 series.  My week 6 summer recap (yep, I'm way behind in summer recaps) is all about our annual family summer vacation!  Beware, it's a long post, but I'm letting the pictures do most of the "talking".

In July, we embarked on a road trip to the Eastern Sierra Mountains.  We spent six relaxing and rejuvenating days there.  So much exhilarating beauty to behold!

2014 Family Vacation Summer Destination:
Mammoth Lakes, California

We've been to Mammoth several times over the years, but this was our first summer visit.  It is SO beautiful there this time of year!  I was amazed by the amount of foreign (European) and out-of-state visitors traveling to the area.  I kept seeing cars with license plates from as far as Connecticut and Virginia, to Illinois, Washington, Oregon,  Idaho, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona!  We're so blessed that Mammoth is only a few hours drive from where we live!

The scenic mountain backdrop, lush greenery, and beautiful lakes are truly amazing - and the reason why so many of us escape to this picturesque setting!  I actually prefer Mammoth during the summer season.  You can actually see and experience the area since it's not snowed over!  I HIGHLY recommend it as a summer vacation spot.  I also recommend where we stayed.

Trip Highlights

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen some photos of what we did on vacation.  My husband and I have always been the "on the go" vacationer types - wanting to see and explore as many sights as possible.  We've adjusted our vacation style somewhat now that we have two kids in tow.  The boys enjoy sightseeing and activities as much as we do, but they also love to just swim and relax wherever we stay.  This vacation was the perfect balance of sightseeing/activities and relaxation.  Here are some highlights of our annual summer vacation:

Day 1

After we checked in at the resort, we headed
straight to Giovanni's for yummy pizza!
I don't know what the "face" is about, but he went from "grumpy" face to...
...all smiles in seconds!
My boys keeping busy while waiting for their food.
After dinner, we scoped out the resort grounds. There is a games area set up next to the pool.
They love this game!

Day 2

The kids went horseback riding. It's one of their favorite things to do on vacation.
We hiked, while the kids rode the horses to this scenic spot.
Ryan on his horse...
Lucas taking the reins on his horse...
Lucas had a delicious homemade milkshake after horseback riding...
...while Ryan missed out on the yummy treat!

Day 3

We reserved a boat, and the boys learned to fish for the very first time!
My boys fishing out on the lake while I snacked. :)
Daddy and Ryan fishing...
Lucas got a turn at "driving" the boat.
Ryan was in the driver's seat next!
We drove to a nearby lake and had lunch.
The kids are "rock climbing" here.  All boy.
The boys wanted to eat on the rocks, but didn't
want their picture taken (again). Ha!
After lunch, the kids wanted to do some more fishing... this time from land.
They caught a couple fish each!  We had fish for dinner that night. :)
After a full day of fishing, we ventured out
to all the nearby lakes. So beautiful!

Day 4

We relaxed on this morning at the resort. In the afternoon,
we did a little sightseeing. Here are the boys in front
of a real earthquake fault. Hands-on learning!
Seeing a real earthquake fault was a neat first-time experience for all of us!
Then, we headed to the Main Lodge and made the kids
take the obligatory snapshot with Wooly Mammoth.
Told you, they love this game...
Ryan made some great shots into the hole.
We also did the Mammoth Scenic Loop. So much natural beauty!
My happy campers...
We stopped at the Village on the way back, and the kids found more fun games.
They loved playing ping pong. They're big on games and sports!
A toast to a great day!
When heading back from my short night hike,
I saw/heard the gang welcoming me back!

Day 5

On our last full day in the mountains, we did a day trip to Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite Valley.  It's about a 45-minute drive from Mammoth Lakes.  So, so beautiful there!

Headed to Yosemite...
First stop, the main information center...
The kids stopped to read about what they were about to experience...
Partial view of snow-capped mountains from the base of the meadows.
Off we go on our hike through the meadows!
Leading the way...
My sweet boys...
Resting at the bridge...
Absolutely breathtaking!
God's blessings
The simple life...
The boys skipping rocks in nature's playground!
Fields a plenty...
They found walking sticks to help them hike the rest of the way!

On our way back from Yosemite, we made a pit stop at Mono Lake and June Lake. I was amazed by the number of vacationers tucked away in the area campgrounds!

Day 6

We visited Twin Lakes before we headed out of town.
You can see a glimpse of the waterfall in the background.

We stopped at a creek on the way back home. The boys wanted to do
some more fishing, but they settled for the "next time". :)

A trip to Mammoth requires a pit stop at Schat's Bakery! There's one in
Mammoth and Bishop. This is the original Bishop location.

The kids told us numerous times they wished they were still in Mammoth...
A sign of a fun and memorable family vacation! :)

These childhood moments with our kids are so precious.  They are literally growing up right in front of our eyes everyday.  We try to seize each day with them!  I'm so glad that we are able to expose them to the world, and give them new experiences to enjoy while growing up.  Thanks for making it to the end of this post.  Hope you have also shared some wonderful quality moments with your families this summer!

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