A day at the ‘beach’

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After enjoying Labour day weekend we had a week or two of glorious sunshine. We realised this was unlikely to last and so set about researching which lakes or reservoirs were the nicest to visit aorund SLC. Because when its summer, (and you are Birtish) and its hot and sunny you go to the beach for the day!

Now seeing as Utah is essentially a large valley surrounding by mountains in the desert, there is no beach near by or anything like a beach. We missed visiting Lake Michigan that has several cute ‘coastal’ towns but thought we could find some reservoirs with some nice walks around them.

We previously visited Bear lake, which was lovely and had great water for swimming in, this however is a little far away so we set about looking for reservoirs or large bodies of water closer to home. The nearest would be either the Salt lake – which is a little smelly this time of year, or Utah lake in Provo, this is mostly a boating lake and although has lots of marinas doesn’t have many nice beaches.

Some of the popular reservoirs are in residential areas or high up in the mountains and so actually quite cold. We settled for visiting Pineview reservoir, as this is quite big, only has smaller boats, has a sandy beach and was lower in the mountains near some ski resorts we hadn’t driven past yet.

The surrounding drive was nice, and we realised fall was on it way as some of the leaves had started turning. The lake was bigger than we realised but its near the road and had more boats that we were expecting and so was quite busy. We had a little picnic on the sand and dipped our toes in the water- which was freezing!! So no swimming!

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The good bits #11

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Summer so far has been a whirlwind of activity. Although the blogs been quieter than usual, Kiwi and I have been packing in lots, and literally packing everything up. We spent much of July in the UK – more to come on this trip soon! Having left almost a year a go it was great to see friends and family, catch up with everyone, see some familiar British places and celebrate a best friends wedding. Continue reading

Cartwheeling on the beach

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As one of the last things we wanted to do before we waved goodbye to the Midwest was spend some time around Lake Michigan. This lake really is like a little coastal resort with towns on the lakeshore, and several beaches that feel and look so much like the sea. We travelled up to New Buffalo and spent some time watching the waves, people spotting and sun bathing. It was awesome. Continue reading

Michigan beaches and Saugatuck

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One great aspect about living so close to one of the great lakes, is the extensive coast line that has so many lovely beaches. We’ve visited quite a few different ones now, and I’m always surprised at how pretty they are, and how much they feel like visiting the ocean. We took some time to drive north and explore some more areas of the lake. We had met some random German bagpipe players in the pub a few weeks ago who had recommended we visit Saugatuck on a sunny day before the tourists arrived. Continue reading

Grand Mere state park

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At a recent BBQ – yes we had two weeks of lovely weather so some Greek friends had a BBQ, with some amazing lamb, ice cream and lemon pie. Its now gotten a little chilly in the last few days with some brief thunderstorms and snow showers, but the warm weather is just around the corner. Everything is now really green, the trees are blossoming and spring flowers are everywhere. We’ve even spotted turtles several times much to Kiwi’s utter delight! To make the best of this good weather we figured we should go to the beach! Continue reading

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In the big ole USA the west coast is really rather stunning. We only managed a wee part of it when we visited over Christmas, but spent a lovely day visiting Santa Cruz, Carmel, and Monterey driving along the beautiful coastal route. Even in the depths of winter its sunny and beautiful. It reminded me a little of New Zealand’s West coast – but without the rain! We saw a lot of seals and some wild dolphins riding the surf which was pretty spectacular.

Santa Cruz has one of the oldest board walks in the USA, with some good old-fashioned wooden roller coasters, I felt a bit like I’d stepped into Greece and the seaside of the 1920’s. I can totally see why everyone went to the beach for a holiday. Its a little bit kooky and spectacularly pastel and bright.

Next on our stop was the beautiful Carmel – a bit like the Hampton’s, there were no roller-coasters in sight, or any alteration of the natural beach. Houses were nestled amongst rainforest trees and the windy roads felt more like I’d landed in an Enid Blyton novel ready to go exploring a pirates cove or two!

Monterey is a good base to explore further along the coast to the incredible Big Sur, in Monterey itself the beach isn’t as spectacular as Carmel, or as bright as Santa Cruz so its worth travelling further to watch the sunset! With more time we would have loved to kayak or paddle board, eaten more ice cream and seen more seals. Its also a popular spot for whale watching depending on the time of year. Santa Cruz was my favourite and definitely worth a visit, I’d recommend grabbing some fish and chips and sitting on the beach.

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