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personal: Date Night : Neighborhood Cruising

It has been awhile since I’ve shared a ‘Date Night’ post. In the spirit of fall and fun things we’ve been doing lately, I wanted to share some quick snippets from our recent neighborhood cruising adventure. Emmett and I both grew up in rural areas riding four wheelers, dirt bikes, and ATVs of all kinds. We were typical country kids who learned how to drive in the farm truck with a stick shift (those were the days). These days we might live in a golf community, but we’re in the mountains and instead of having golf carts to cruise around in, most of our neighbors have side-by-sides. We quickly decided to hop on board this neighborhood trend because it felt a lot like our hometown roots, growing up in the country. We saved our money and decided to buy a RZR a year ago. I have to say- it has been the most fun and has turned into the source for many date nights and excursions. Not only do we enjoy listening to music and taking neighborhood drives with the wind blowing through our hair, but we also frequent lots of off-road mountain trails, conveniently located 5 minutes from our house. It’s honestly a dream come true. Click through to cruise along with us, get a glimpse of our neighborhood, and read about our date night…

Before I get started- I took all of these images with my (old… needs replaced) iPhone and Emmett refused to come to a complete stop for me to snap these photos (next time I’m driving!), so please excuse the quality. I think you’ll still be able to get the point… it’s just not my finest photography work. Ha! I also photoshopped any house numbers out, for the privacy of our neighbors. Ready to roll? Buckle up!

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Depending on what kind of adventure we’re looking for, we’ll either stick to the suburbs and “house dream” (aka- admire the pretty homes in our area), or head up into the mountains to get fresh air, scenic views, and off road. We enjoy doing both! Sometimes we’ll even pack a cooler with a picnic, plan to watch the sunset, and other times we’ll drive to food trucks, grab dinner, then stroll around the neighborhood admiring our neighbor’s landscaping… it totally depends on our mood. FYI- our RZR is street legal (it’s plated), so we’re able to drive it on the road, as well as on trails.

Today, we’ll be cruising around the neighborhood, instead of driving up into the mountains… although if you’re interested, I can definitely document that in another post. I just assumed, you all being house and design lovers, the neighborhood tour would be more interesting. Who doesn’t love admiring architecture? There are a LOT of incredible houses in our area. It’s really a gorgeous location filled with stunning homes.

One thing I love about our neighborhood is that it’s actually more diverse (from a demographic POV) for Utah- especially in our little area, there are a lot of transplants (ourselves included… we moved to Utah from out-of-state). All of our neighbors are super nice. We lucked out! Being located 10 minutes or so outside the city center (Salt Lake City), all of the homes in our area have a different look or aesthetic. In our previous neighborhood, all of the homes were mid century- built between the 1950’s and 1970’s… there wasn’t much variety. Our current neighborhood is filled with newer homes (1990’s+), all having their own unique look… and believe me when I say- there are some beautiful gems in the mix!

The above modern tudor might be my favorite… I always have house envy when I drive by that one! It’s so perfectly charming, and I love the front door vignette. You know I’m all about a statement front entry! Plus, those spiral topiaries are calling to me. Traditional English landscaping is hard to come by in Utah. Last week I noticed that exact house in my Pinterest feed and thought, “Hey that looks just like our neighbor’s house…” and it turns out it actually was the same home. So, thanks to Houzz- I took a little interior tour online.

I had to snap a photo of an ultra modern home. The family that lives here is so nice! In the summer months they put out string lights and plants on their balcony, and the home projects a nice glow in the evening hours.

Of course there are plenty of “mountain homes” in our area, that have a lodge look to them. After all, we do live in a mountainous area that receives a lot of snow. Boulder retaining walls are another feature that is prevalent in our neighborhood (we even have one in our backyard), due to the steep elevation.

I’ve always loved this cute casita! It feels like it belongs in California or Arizona, but it’s a fun surprise in our neighborhood. I’m always smitten by a terra-cotta roof paired with stucco stone. The black framed windows and fun front door color are also a welcome exterior addition.

The next house on the tour (if you can even call it that) is absolutely enormous. It actually looks more like a castle, and I couldn’t even fit the entire home in my frame. The domed cupolas intrigue me, and I’d love to see the interior. This place also has a private vineyard and a guest home that you can see from the road.

This home definitely has a French chateau sort of vibe. Emmett and I both LOVE this one. The stoneware, landscaping, and finishes are impeccable. We were going too fast for me to capture the entire house, but believe me when I say- it’s a beauty. It’s another home I’d love to tour someday… can you imagine the interior?

Next up, we have a beautiful craftsman. I really like the mixing of materials on the exterior of this home… the shaker siding, the beautiful wood garage doors, the millwork, the corbels- it’s all so well done.

Regardless of your preferred form of transpiration, this is a FREE and easy date night to enjoy with your significant other. Hop in the car, load up your bikes, tie up those walking shoes, or bundle up in your favorite sweater and put the top down on the Jeep for a fall ride. This idea can easily be adapted to fit your location and preferred transportation. I’m all about neighborhood drives- especially when the weather is perfect and the leaves are showing off.

I’ve got one last house for you… another mountain lodge home, pictured below. I love the roofing tiles! That was another goal during our neighborhood cruise this evening- check out and note roofs we like, since we’ll be replacing ours soon (we had storm damage a couple weeks ago). Next month, this home will look even more beautiful covered under a thick blanket of snow.

Do you recognize the house in the below image? That’s us. Trick question! Of course I had to end the tour with our own home lit up. We rolled into our driveway just as the sun disappeared behind the mountain range. These RZR rides with Emmett are always my favorite… it was a good night. Do you also enjoy admiring beautiful homes in your neighborhood or surrounding areas? Do you ever go for “date drives” or cruise around just for fun, without a destination in mind? I feel like this year we’ve been doing this more than usual, thanks to pandemic precautions. One last free tip- if you take a neighborhood spin at sunset, you can also catch a glimpse of interior decor as people begin to turn on their lights. Is that creepy? The designer in me is just nosey about furniture and decor. I love sneaking a peek of a cool light fixture or fancy art through a window at dusk!

Our neighborhood is charming, right? There is some serious variety in terms of architecture. Should I do this again sometime with other pretty houses? We really do love living in this area. I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead! I’m signing off for the week to spend time with family. Emmett’s mom and step father are in town visiting. They are also very into ATV rides, so we’ll be doing a lot of this over the weekend… but most likely in the mountains, chasing views and sunsets. See you back here on Monday!


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