Monday, February 8, 2021

Our Winter Getaway to The Strawberry Inn

We loved our trip last Fall to the Strawberry Inn so much, that we decided to book a stay up there last week. The area got so much snow the week prior, and we couldn't wait to see how Strawberry and the whole Rim Country looked under a gorgeous blanket of white snow! Spoiler alert: it didn't disappoint! 

Adam had some appointment he couldn't miss in town, so it was just me and the kids this time. I was a little nervous leading up to the trip - I have never driven in the snow before! All of my worrying was for nothing because the drive was so pretty and so easy - just 2 hours from our house. They are really good with cleaning all the snow off the roads so traveling up to Strawberry was honestly a breeze!

We were so excited when we got there and saw all the snow on the ground that we all immediately put on our snow boots and started playing! Little Taylor wasn't too sure about the snow at first- it was so deep that if she stepped in the wrong spot, her little legs would sink right down- but she quickly warmed up to it and soon was as obsessed as the rest of us with all the gorgeous snow!

At the Strawberry Inn we stayed in the same Tiny Cottage #14 that we stayed at last Fall. You can see more interior pictures of that cabin from last time we listed, here. It is perfect with a fun little turf backyard area (which was covered in snow!), two sleeping rooms (one for me and one for the kids with bunk beds), a kitchen, dining room with table and chairs, bathroom, and living room! It's honestly so perfect with all the things we want and so nice that's it's its own little unit, so that don't have any shared walls with anyone else. I love how the Tiny Cottages are decorated - clean modern touches and white shiplap. Cozy touches like luxe throw blankets and convenient items like Keurig machines and coffee pods come standard too! And I really love the yards, especially this time, I could send the kids out to play in the backyard snow and sit inside with my coffee and still keep on eye on them!

We brought food to make meals if we wanted, but ended up getting takeout both nights. The first night we went to Bandit's which is right next door to the Inn. It was so yummy!! We ordered and then waited by their fireplace to warm up while our food cooked. We split mini tacos and a big chicken sandwich with the yummiest tater tots! For desert we made snow cones out of real snow from our backyard area and grape juice and then all settled in for a movie night! There is a flat screen TV in the living room and master bedroom in the tiny cottages.

The next morning Brayden did his distance learning schoolwork while I finished some computer work and then we hit the road for some snow play!

 Our plan was to drive to Green Valley Park in Payson, which is about 30 minutes away, and was recommended for it's awesome hills for the kids to sled on. Before we hit the road, we stopped by the Pie Bar for some of their famous empanadas and fresh fruit pies. 

We split a couple of those in the car and saved the apple pie to enjoy after our sledding adventures. We visited a couple of the little shops in Strawberry/Pine along the way in search of a good shovel for digging in the snow with too and found a great one!

Green Valley Park was well worth the drive. While much of the snow in Payson had melted, there was still enough on some hills to do some sledding. The kids had a blast and we had fun playing on their playground equipment too! It's crazy how warm it got that day - I think it was around 65 degrees, so we actually got very warm playing in the snow and there were times that I had stripped down to my tank top even!

Back at our cottage, I was able to put Taylor down for a nap in the bunk room (which has a little pocket door) while Brayden and I relaxed and caught up on some work, It was such a gorgeous afternoon that we had the door on the porch open - you really can't beat the views up here!

Later, we hopped over to the Lower Park part of the Strawberry Inn. The Strawberry Inn right now is three separate areas. They have the main Inn part with boutique hotel rooms, and then the Lower and Upper Parks which have tiny cottages, There are also two bigger homes you can stay at (the Bungalow and the Guest House) if you want even more space or amenities. 

We didn't explore the Lower Park last time we stayed and I was so surprised and thrilled to find out that there is a creek that flows behind these cabins! It was so pretty and peaceful! We walked along that for awhile and then played in the large yard area for quite some time because the snow accumulation was EPIC! There was even a giant pile of snow that my daredevil son decided would be perfect to slide down!

Afterwards, we picked up dinner again, this time from Sportsman's Chalet, which is right next to the Strawberry Inn too.  While we waited for our food to be cooked we looked around inside this place and it was really fun - they let people sign their names on the walls inside and literally every surface upstairs was covered in so many memories of past patrons. Really fun to see that much history! We ordered pizza and burgers to share and they were amazing as well! Strawberry is a small little town but the food and people here really are so incredible!

After we ate our dinner back at our cottage, we made ice cream out of snow (it turned out pretty good!) and then settled in with some hot cocoa and popcorn for another movie night! The cottages are so cozy at night! We saw this gorgeous sunset through the trees.

The next morning, I worked out in the Upper Park yard area while the kids used the tree swing. After the warm temperatures the day before, lots of the snow had melted off the turf. We built a mini snowman village before we left to come back to Phoenix. 

If you get the chance to escape the Valley for a few days this winter, and can time it when there will be snow in Strawberry, jump on the opportunity! The Strawberry Inn is the perfect "home base" for all your snowy adventures and the food and winter wonderland sights will be something that you talk about all year long!