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  • WELCOME to our life through the lens!

    Thanks for stopping by our page! Here we will share our adventures and travels. If you were brought here by accident and were looking for my business page, please visit www.bluella.com. If you're here to catch up on the Crazy Clark Clan, you've come to the right place! Thank you for letting us share our life through images with you.

Clarks do Kauai {Hawaiian Travel with Kids}

In our neverending journey to show the kids new places, sometimes we have to show ourselves new places too! Though we’ve visited many islands in Hawaii as a couple, we have never taken the kids OR visited the island of Kauai. Of course it appears we saved the best for last as this island easily ran away with the favorite place in the state of Hawaii award. It is an adventurer’s paradise and also the perfect place to kick back and enjoy the pampering of a world class resort to cater to our every whim. The best of both world’s for sure! We will be back as there is so much of the island yet to explore. So the kids have been begging us to take them to Hawaii and we pulled off the perfect trick by not telling them until we pulled up to the airport. Even with all the little pictures of airplanes on the departure signs, they were still clueless. Why is hiding giant surprises from your kids so exciting?

Tech nerdery:

Mostly iPhone6 with a Watershot case

Some Canon 5DM3 and 16-35L

The excitement was just too much.

Eureka! We have arrived!

So these little turds talked us into paying like $300 extra with a “car with no top”. You can see where this is going. About 10 minutes in the car like this and then it was played out and they wanted the top on for the remainder of the trip. Lesson learned.

We are sleep on the floor in a tent while not showering for 3 days types of people so splurging on a fancy hotel was a big deal to us! We booked the hotel Grand Hyatt through a Costco vacation package and it did not disappoint!

So I am not ashamed to admit that I literally ate poke every day…ok sometimes 2-3 times a day. It’s just my thing. And look at that sauce and crunch onion topping.

It’s a hard knock life.

What is it with waterslides and them never getting old even after your 2345th time down the shute? I’m thinking this face never gets old either.

Hotel birds.

If your snow cone isn’t bigger than your head, you’re doing it wrong.

Come on now…not Hawaiian vacation is complete without a luau. Or as I like to call it…pork fest. Mmmmm….I love pork.

Since it was the kids’ first time snorkeling, we headed on over to Snorkel Bob’s Kapaa who made our gear rental nothing but painless. No words can describe how epic it is to share your love of snorkeling with your kids. They may have actually peed a little when they saw the sea turtles but only the ocean will know the truth to that.

We got them used to their gear in a protected cove at Lydgate Beach before venturing out into more open waters.

Do NOT miss Anini Beach. It’s at the northernmost end of the island and even prettier than the pictures. Warm, turquoise water brimming with sea life. Happy dance.

We really wanted to catch a sunset cruise while also testing the sea legs of the kids for future water related travel. If they threw up once, they owed us $10 from their savings accounts. Just kidding…sort of. Miraculously the waters were pretty rough but they were champs. Much love to the crew at Captain Andy’s for their impeccable service and humor and for letting the kids “drive the boat”.

The stunning beauty of the NaPali coast is breathtaking.

So we are all in the frame. But I don’t know what everyone else is doing. I look pretty darn cute though.

One of the coolest adventures we did on the island was with Kayak Wailua.

This particular journey was a 2 mile kayak (each way) up the Wailua River where we parked our kayaks in some amazing brush and hiked through beautiful canyons and a tropical rain forest (hence the 2 feet deep mud) to Secret Falls a.k.a. Uluwehi Waterfalls. Kayaking is such a rad family sport!

Quit talkin’ trash on my Crocs. They are bad ass.

Chillin’ back at the ‘tel. Pool service all day, every day. Dang, my wallet’s empty. Nothing to do with the $16 pina coladas.

One of the best meals we’ve ever had. If you go, ask for Juan to be your server. He’s a family friend and has been working there for like 30 years. No joke.

No trip to Kauai would have been complete without a trek on the Kalalau Trail. The kids were not at the age nor strength to command the whole trail but we did get in a few miles and a whole lot of pretty before literally, the heaviest rain downpour I’ve ever experienced, pummeled us. It’s all good though…Kauai is as lush as it is because of such precip. I only wish I would have gotten a pic of us huddled under some massive leaves to some sort of protection.

Sweet mother of nature!

This trip was not without it’s emotional moments of pouting. Although, how bad can it be when it’s on a rock in the middle of a lazy river and you’re holding a pina?

If I go missing, you can find me here thank you very much.

And the winner for best poke on the island is this little hut inside the Kukuiula Market. Make sure you eat at the one next to Da Crack. And since Da Crack sounds like such an appealing dining experience, eat there too…it’s amazing as well.

One final thought…Be sure to visit the Koloa Fish Market for literally the most exciting and mouth watering poke bar ordering experience ever.

Goodbye most beautiful place on Earth..until next time.

In Love and Adventure,

The Clarks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zion and Grand Canyon Road Trip {Family Camping in the Wicked Wahine}

Hit the road in the Wicked Wahine for some Southwest Spring Break fun. With such a short amount of time off together, we wanted to hit what we could and cram as much as possible into the time we had. This is one of our favorite areas of the US and there was so much we didn’t get to which leaves open the opportunity for more future adventures in this area! It’s a tricky thing though, traveling through here as you can encounter sub freezing temps and snow or 115 degree days. We made the mad dash from Sacramento to Zion where we had reservations at the Watchman Campground, one of the only campgrounds INside the National Park. The only way to get around inside Zion is to take the shuttles so I will give only one word of advice with regards to this area…be the absolute FIRST ones on the shuttle, even if that means standing in the freezing, cold dark with your children who are still asleep. Worth it. The lines for the shuttles as we returned from our time inside the park were insane. Early bird gets the empty shuttles. You heard it here first.

Tech nerdery: Mainly all iPhone 6 (many with Olloclip) with a few animal pics on the Mark III

Our general route!

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The amazing thing about this campground is that THIS was our view from the trailer. Making breakfast outside looking up at this? Seriously?grand canyon zion travel with kids

See what I mean!grand canyon zion travel with kids

The morning view from bed.grand canyon zion travel with kids

We journeyed inside the park to hit up a few hikes including the Emerald Pools trails HERE and HERE. There are a few different options on this trail to add more mileage and scenery so see the links for more details. I don’t think it really matters which route you take, they are all spectacular, AND being the first ones in the park on the very first shuttle means you will have the place nearly to yourself. The stunningly gorgeous evidence of time gone by in the rocks will have you yearning for answers we may never know.grand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

Selfie gone wrong but the kids loved this photo so much, I had to include it. Hahahagrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

On another day into the park, we decide to hit up the Angel’s Landing trail. Now…this trail is nuts and we had no intention of taking the kids to the “ropes” portion of it but instead to the base of the last section while we took turns going out to the end. Maybe when they are 18 will we let them go alone. LOL

The trail itself up to the roles was pretty challenging and everyone did awesome!

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Because why on Earth would you hike without a bobcat in your backpack?grand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

This is the last section of switchbacks before the chains appropriately entitled “Walters Wiggles”.

grand canyon zion travel with kids

Made it to the top for a break!

grand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

This is one I will be showing them when they are teens and constantly bickering. Look…you once loved each other!grand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

Clark and I took turns going to the end and it was quite a heart stopper. More than anything, it was the $#%^&* unseasoned tourists who have NO hiking or climbing experience combined with NO personal space awareness that made it the most challenging. Even though we hit this trail at the earliest possible time, there was still a slew of people going to and from with 90% of them having no business whatsoever on that mountain. Do I sound judgy? I’m ok with tha.

Regardless, it was an epic experience that everyone should do at least once in their lifetime!grand canyon zion travel with kids

A few pretty narrow spots with 100 foot drop offs on each side. Don’t worry, I was careful and there wasn’t a lick of wind to blow my stick figure over.grand canyon zion travel with kids

Def. not for the faint of heart…yes, this is the trail.grand canyon zion travel with kids

At the top enjoying the magnificent views of the valley!grand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

Gorgeous end to a bucket list hike!grand canyon zion travel with kids

grand canyon zion travel with kids

The trail from above!grand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

Terrible pic but love their happiness here!grand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

Made a super quick stop at Horseshoe bend just to check out the sites. It was literally…during one of the worst dust storms I’ve even been in so we didn’t stay long. The whole sand in your eyes and lungs thing is not fun.grand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

See what I mean about the dust storm. I wish I would have gotten a picture of the inside of the trailer when we arrived at the Grand Canyon. An inch thick layer of dust and sand on EVERYTHING. The ol’ 68′ Wicked Wahini is not air tight.grand canyon zion travel with kids

We stayed in the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at the Mather Campground which was scenery far removed from the canyonlands type of landscape that you associate with the Grand Canyon. This campground was lush and teeming with wildlife with a shuttle stop right at the check in kiosk. Perfect for hitching an easy ride to trailheads!grand canyon zion travel with kids

If you haven’t read Terry Grosz’s book “Wildlife Wars“, it’s worth a read. Although not written in doctoral type verse, the stories of his life as a game warden will entertain and amuse all outdoorsmen/women.grand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

Such a beauty she is!grand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

Hit the ground running with a the South Kaibab Trail. When we stepped out of the trailer, it was nineteen degrees. NINETEEN degrees so we bundles up good for descent into the canyon. But of course not me, I wore shorts as usual. Ha!grand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

This is def one of those trails that you keep the kids mountainside and within an arm’s reach at all times.grand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kidsgrand canyon zion travel with kids

My fondest memories of these days will be the times we had as a family exploring the trails of our beautiful world.grand canyon zion travel with kids

After hiking this trail the kids decided they are def fans of hiking UP first as opposed to hiking down. Me too.grand canyon zion travel with kids

We always bring in coloring and drawing stuff to restaurants to keep us all entertained while we wait for our food. Sometimes the art is…um…interesting to say the least.

I don’t have any idea the reasoning behind the books she packs for trips. I just take pictures of them.

Ok. So this place was a distant memory of Clark’s from when he attended as a kid so he was on a mission to take us all there. Boy was it AMAZING. It’s called the “Deer Farm” in Williams, Arizona and it’s a sort of rehabilitation place for deer and a gazillion other animals. The deer run wild and you are basically bombarded with them. Of all the places we’ve visited, the kids enjoyed this one the most!

Look at these cuties! SQUEEEL!

Dorky shot through the windshield but this was a pretty sweet place as well! Bearizona! If you are in the area (Williams, Az) and you like animals even a little bit…GO!

Like caverns and weird stuff? Head on over to Grand Canyon Caverns off Route 66. This place is a TRIP.

Inside the caverns is a bedroom/living room/kitchen type of suite that you can spend the night in. Def want to come back for this! Kids were enthralled!!

Hitting up s few cheap hotels with pools in warmer weather to cure their water obsession.

Last morning in the trailer…sigh.

How we gear up for summer!

In Love and Adventure,

The Clarks

Winter Pow Pow 2015-2016 Bonanza!

Sweet mother of powder and precip heaven! This season was 7 years waiting and brought us back to the days before the big California drought hit. For snow lovers like ourselves, it was a magical playground of skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and just flat out winter love. We’d give anything to have seasons like this every year! Kids did another 10 pack of lessons at Sierra at Tahoe and we got in a ton of days gliding silently through the waist high powder (and more than our share of getting stuck in the trees which makes for very “earned” cocktails).  Much kudos goes out the to the fantastic instructors at Sierra, including but not limited to Janessa Brackett and Sofi…you guys are simply amazing! Just being in the constant presence of the white, fluffy stuff is enough to make you miss winter the minute it’s over. A few highlights from this epic season with friends and family!

 

Tech nerdery: all iphone 6.

Nothing holds such anticipation as driving during sunrise towards a fab day on the mountain!

Typical drives this season…snow, snow everywhere!

12 years of adventure together!

Snowshoe jumping…new Olympic event.

Outdoor women kick a**!

Happiest dog on the mountain.

SOOO sad to see this season end…now bring on summer camping and backpacking!

So much love to be found in those who appreciate in frozen water together. <3

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In Love and Adventure,

The Clarks