At Tea, we believe in making the foreign familiar. We travel the world, each season setting out to explore a new far-off country. We seek out the foreign, immersing ourselves in the customs, colors, tastes and sounds of distant cultures, and venture to find and connect over common threads. But the truth is, adventures don’t always call for a packing list or a passport.
Summer marks the start of adventure, and in an effort to spark exploration right here in our own backyard, we’ve asked Tea families across the US to show us around their cities and share some of the incredible places that make them special.
From iconic buildings and historical attractions to frequently favored spots, follow along for the inside scoop on their hometown highlights.
Our first stop? Small-town Southern Utah. We join Makelle Ahlin and her band of “Lost Boys” (husband Jared, and three sons, Cooper, Boone and Grizz) as they guide us through striking, sleepy scenery and point out hidden gems along the way.
Hello; We are the Ahlins! We live in a small town in Utah, along the mountainside. I’ve lived in the same area my entire life so it has been so bittersweet to see the changes being made. (The town I grew up in had no cell phone service.)
My husband and I bought a home in a neighboring, equally rural town—the very first stoplight went in right before we moved in. Now there are a total of three stoplights, which makes it feel like we live in a big city. Stoplights aside, we are still surrounded by some of the most amazing views and many of the same places that were highlights of my own childhood!
This is the cutest little lake and is one of the gathering places in our town. It’s packed with fishermen, families having picnics, people in all shapes and forms going for walks, and of course, duck feeders. Shallow water on one end and a dock on the other makes for the best duck feeding set-up! Plus, the ducks are always ready for food. In the winter, the lake serves as a home to wild ducks and it’s quite a sight to see! If you are lucky enough you might even see the famous turtle hanging out on his log.
A newer ice cream shop in town that has quickly turned into one of our favorites! They serve the yummiest ice cream brought in from the BYU creamery! Not only is the ice cream delicious, but the building it’s scooped in is so amazing—you can feel the history in it! The workers are always so sweet, and they let you try as many ice cream flavors as needed until you find the one that satisfies your craving the most!
This is the top of Grandpa’s Cave. Right behind my boys is a hole that looks down into the cave (I don’t let them near it in fear of them falling in.) This is the town I grew up in and it’s so fun bringing my boys here because of all the nostalgic feelings. Growing up, I actually thought the cave belonged to my own grandpa. It wasn’t until I entered school that I realized that the cave belonged to everyone’s ‘grandpas’.
The Red Barn
The Red Barn is a signature in our town. This family owned business is one of those places that people from all over Utah will recognize. They carry a wide asssortment of gifts, ice cream, desserts and fresh fruit, but if I were to choose just one thing to buy it would be their fresh squeezed apple juice. It comes straight from their orchards which are scattered throughout our town. In the fall, The Red Barn turns into the cutest little festival, with corn mazes, tractor rides, pumpkin picking, and more! It’s a must visit in my book!
This is another family-owned town signature. This place has many memories for me; my older sister worked there when she was in high school. We were a one car family at the time so I would ride with my mom to pick her up after her shift. Some nights we were lucky enough to go sit in our booth and eat ice cream while we waited. I have many pictures of my younger self waiting there, and now I have the same photos of my boys. This restaurant may have some competition nowadays with some fast-food chains but it doesn’t seem to have affected it in the slightest; which is a good thing because I don’t know what I would do without their chicken crunch salads and the chocolate dip cones for my boys!
Keep up with more “Lost Boys” adventures, here.