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!
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!
PeggiSeptember 24, 2020 at 6:33 am
That’s quite a neighborhood! I think my favorite is the ultra modern one! The others honestly seem so big they surpass my ability to dream about them; my brain just starts imagining all the vacuuming! We definitely don’t have any picturesque neighborhoods in our town. We do have a favorite neighborhood in Boise; it’s near a great park and the food co-op. The houses are older and varied; we especially love to note the landscaping. I’ve never thought to take pictures. Do you ever feel conspicuous?😁 You’ve inspired me to suggest a fall afternoon date! We haven’t been anywhere in forever, but a picnic and walking around still feels like a safe, responsible activity. Speaking of, I’m excited for another yoga/hike this Saturday! It’s the most genius idea organized by my friend’s studio. Fingers crossed for blue skies (the smoky haze returned yesterday😢).
Have a lovely weekend with your family! Here’s to some spectacular fall weather.
SarahSeptember 24, 2020 at 9:38 am
The ultra modern one is really close to us. The family that lives there is really sweet, so it makes me like the house even more! You know what you do have in your town that Emmett and I talked about when we were driving through?! VIEWS for days, such a gorgeous landscape, backroads, and better trees. We miss lots of those things. Small town living will always feel like home to us. The Boise neighborhood sounds cute, too! A food co-op would be awesome. We just signed up for farm CSA deliveries. Not going to lie- a couple of our neighbors caught me in the act of snapping photos, lol! Awkward. BUT- I feel like lots of people do this for home inspiration and so many in our neighborhood are getting new roofs or repairing exterior damage after the storm, so there has been more of it lately. Funny story… last summer I caught a couple having a full photoshoot on our front porch. Haha! They had a photographer and everything. We just watched with our coffee in hand, from the window laughing. Now that felt super weird to me, but I don’t mind if people take a photo for inspiration and think, “cool house.” I vote yes to your afternoon date!! Enjoy it, and have a wonderful hike and yoga on Saturday- that is a genius idea. I want to join!! Crossing my fingers for blue skies. Have an awesome weekend, Peggi :)
PeggiSeptember 24, 2020 at 12:24 pm
Wait. People did a photo shoot ON YOUR PORCH?! Your front door makeover was spectacular, but…smh.
SarahSeptember 24, 2020 at 3:47 pm
Yes!! I’m pretty sure it was a family photo shoot of some sort. The couple seemed to be in their 50s, maybe? We couldn’t decide if they were playing it off like this was their house? Because they took photos of their hand on the door hardware, pretending like they were going to come inside. They did some prom style poses too in front of our planters, sat on the steps smiling, all sorts of hilarious poses. HAHA!! Emmett and I were watching like WTF?! Still one of the weirdest things we’ve seen. Ha.
Lauren LongSeptember 25, 2020 at 7:22 am
Ok that’s next level kind of creepy!!😂🤣😂
SarahSeptember 28, 2020 at 10:15 am
Lol!! It was interesting, to say the least. Ha!
ColleenSeptember 24, 2020 at 7:20 am
Wow! What a fun ride 😍 thanks for sharing. Your neighborhood is beautiful and incredibly picturesque. What a fun date night and that’s a cool ride 😎 We live in suburbs and drive a Prius 🤣 and our neighborhood definitely can’t compete with the raw, rugged beauty of Utah. But we do love where we live and we are a quick drive to wine country which is a wonderful 🥂
We walk our dog every evening after dinner so we do get to see our neighbors homes at night. And I too share the same curiosity as our real estate market has gone completely bonkers and there are so many Reno’s and home being knocked down and rebuilt. We walk by hoping to get a glimpse of a newly renovated kitchen or snazzy light fixture 😉 I have to say 99% of kitchen renovations we see are white, I keep hoping to see a beautiful blue or a striking high contrast two tone but I haven’t :( Oh well if we get to renovate our kitchen someday, please don’t let me choose white 😜 Have a super day! Great post 💗
SarahSeptember 24, 2020 at 9:29 am
I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Colleen! We live in a really beautiful area (it sounds like you do too… quick drive to wine country?!). That actually makes me really jealous. Wine is hard to come by here in Utah. But really- it takes a special trip to the liquor store (not sold at grocery stores) and we’re not even allowed to have wine shipped to Utah. I used to love wine clubs, but as long as we live here- those days are over. lol! I feel like the real estate market everywhere is crazy right now. We have a lot of that happening in our area as well. Crossing my fingers you spy a non white kitchen soon on one of your walks :) I would be more than happy to help you choose a color other than white someday if you renovate. Ha! Have a wonderful day and a great weekend, Colleen! xo
DannaSeptember 24, 2020 at 9:25 am
Enjoyed the pictures of different homes in your area. Fun to get a glimpse of Utah neighborhoods and landscape.
Um, that RZR is awesome and now I want one! Have a great time with family!
Elizabeth DaySeptember 24, 2020 at 12:11 pm
Such a fun date night and fun blog to browse. Yes, please do this again. Although all the homes are amazing, different and unique, I love the warmth and traditional design of your own. Thanks for the tour and do do it again.
SarahSeptember 24, 2020 at 3:53 pm
I can definitely do another one soon :) I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Elizabeth. Have a great day!
JesSeptember 24, 2020 at 2:47 pm
Please repeat! Absolutely love this post- houses are so fun to notice details and landscaping as well! So inspirational:)
SarahSeptember 24, 2020 at 3:44 pm
Absolutely! Plenty of pretty inspiration to share in our area :) I love driving around admiring the beautiful homes and landscaping. Happy Thursday, Jes!
MelissaSeptember 24, 2020 at 7:26 pm
Your neighborhood is stunning! We like to ride around our suburb on the golf cart and check out everything, but it doesn’t have nearly the same diversity in architecture as yours.
Also,I read above that some family did a photo shoot on your front porch? Holy cow, that would be so awkward!!!
SarahSeptember 28, 2020 at 10:17 am
Thank you Melissa! We really love where we live. It’s fun to drive around and admire all of the beautiful homes. Yesss- the family photoshoot on our porch was definitely a hilarious and awkward experience. I couldn’t decide if I should go outside or just watch from the window. Ha!
LaurenSeptember 25, 2020 at 7:39 am
Jeff and I do this off and on too. A lot of times when I walk I find myself looking at the homes in my area; sadly there’s not many that inspire me. My own neighborhood is a five block subdivision built in the 1990’s, and all of our homes are some variation of Mediterranean architecture. We have a few single story homes scattered throughout that give me Spanish vista vibes. Surrounding us, is neighborhoods built long before, with everything from ramblers to mid century modern…unfortunately none of them are this beautiful! Let’s talk about that Tudor! Holy cow the interior gorgeousness!! I can’t even. 😱😱😱 I was scrolling through that online tour going “wait, are you kidding me?” and “Stop! This is incredible”. Those curtains…😍😍😍 Ahhhh…dreaming of the day my own home looks that amazing inside and out! I think the chateau is my favorite; that same one you and Emmett love. I must say though, it surprised me to see the Spanish style home! Very similar to mine, except most of our front windows are arched. We also have bump out framing in the stucco that accents the archways and gives a more elevated look to the front of the house. This house reminds me absolutely of the Spanish homes from our previous neighborhood. It definitely would fit well in California! Such a fun blog post Sarah, and I vote for another round as well! Have an amazing weekend with your family. See you Monday!
SarahSeptember 28, 2020 at 10:15 am
It’s so much fun! Your neighborhood sounds beautiful, Lauren. Mediterranean and casita vibes in picturesque California. Our old neighborhood, full of ramblers, wasn’t my favorite- but that’s just not my preferred aesthetic. I get it! Isn’t that tudor so charming? I like driving past that one. The chateau looking home is incredible! I so badly want to tour the inside. The Spanish style one is definitely unique in our neighborhood… the only home of that style I’ve seen. It’s beautiful!! I’ll definitely have to do another round or neighborhood drive before the snows begins to fall. Or maybe a winter tour would be fun? We’re having the best time with the fam. I hope you have a great week ahead :) xo
KarenSeptember 25, 2020 at 2:14 pm
Wow those homes are lovely! I would move in to any one of them! I got my first ride in a side-by-side in June in Idaho. Such fun!
SarahSeptember 28, 2020 at 9:52 am
They’re so much fun! Emmett’s parents are in town visiting and we’ve been taking lots of mountain rides. I hope you had a wonderful trip to Idaho over the summer :)
KatieSeptember 26, 2020 at 3:36 pm
I also live in Utah and I totally recognize that modern tudor! My husband is an avid golfer and any time I head that direction with him I make him drive by. It’s such a beauty! I had no idea there was an interior tour online. We both loved seeing it so thanks for sharing. It’s fun to see some other snaps of the neighborhood, and I have to say that yours is my favorite of the bunch!
SarahSeptember 28, 2020 at 9:44 am
Thank you, Katie! Yes!! It’s such a beautiful home. I’m actually golfing for the first time today on that course (should be interesting, haha). I hope your week is off to a great start :)
KarenSeptember 28, 2020 at 9:54 am
Priest Lake, gorgeous tiny little town. I highly recommend. Next time we will kayak! We do plenty of that here in WA where we live.
SarahSeptember 28, 2020 at 10:18 am
Yes!! We’ve been… it’s absolutely stunning! We love kayaking, too :)
Anne HollandSeptember 28, 2020 at 2:06 pm
Happy Monday, Sarah! It was so fun getting to see some photos of other houses in your neighborhood. My favorite has to be the casita, because it IS so different from what you see in UT, but somehow it fits right in. Their door gets all the heart eyes from me. I like the one that’s on Houzz, too, although I’d love to see some colorful florals on the front steps. As is, it looks just a little too cold, unwelcoming and dare I say, perfect, for me. I’m all about the at dusk walks around the neighborhood, too. It’s my favorite time of day anyway, but seeing the warm glows coming from their windows, gives me a warm glow. Totally cheesy, but totally true. It’s always fun seeing or imagining how people use their spaces. But, um, and the photo shoot on the porch, pretending to open the door….what?! I think curiosity would have gotten the best of me and I’d just had to have seen what the hell they were doing or at least embarrass them a little by getting caught. Probably terrible of me, but that’s just incredibly weird and creepy to be taking photos on your personal property. You’re much kinder and calmer than I would have been I’m sure! Can I just say how much I love that you and your neighbors drive around in ATV’s though instead of golf carts?! Look forward to seeing more from your date night adventures!
SarahSeptember 29, 2020 at 10:41 am
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Anne! That casita is really cute and definitely not what you would expect to see here. It’s such a happy little surprise. I also love their door! I get the warm glow, dusk walks too. It’s the best time of day to get out. The porch photo shoot was definitely odd. I considered peeking my head out the door to photobomb or ask, “Heyyy whatcha doing?!” but ultimately decided to just watch and laugh through the 30 minutes of their hilarious posing. It was equal parts weird, creepy, and highly entertaining. Yess!! Our neighborhood is fun. We’ve been riding Emmett’s parents around in our RZR and two of our neighbors joined with theirs. I guess when you live in the mountains, it’s ATVs instead of golf carts. Haha! I’ll be sure to share more adventures soon. Hope you’re having a great week so far :) xo