Friday, July 20, 2012

Loving Lagoon

Guess what we have been doing today?  In case you don't recognize this, these lovely ladies are riding the Rattlesnake Rapids ride at Lagoon.  And you may also have noticed that a couple of these girls are our cousins and one is Aunt Kim.  Sorry the resolution on the photo is not the best.  I don't know why.  It looked fine when I took it, but somehow it lost its clarity when I transfered it onto my iPad.

It has been a perfect day at Lagoon today.  Apparently, the weather has been kind of lousy this week, but today the weather was ideal.  It was warm in the morning (okay, hot) and then it got a little overcast in the evening just enough to make it really pleasant.  We have had a ball.  All of us have enjoyed several different rides.  The lines have been very short.  As a matter of fact, there was no line to speak of on Rattlesnake Rapids, and the line for Wicked was so short that the boys rode it 10 times in 30 minutes earlier today.

My boys and their cousins are still in the park.  We are camping in the campground here, so after a quick dinner, they headed back over.  The girls and I also spent a lot of time at Lagoon--A Beach today, too.  We loved drifting on the lazy river in our tubes, and riding down a couple water slides, too.  It has been so fun.  And so nice to have our campsite right here close by.

We are here with Grandpa Joe and Grandma Carol in their camp trailer.  We also have two tents set up for the kids.  Britt's sisters Jennilyn and Shondell are here with their kids, and Kimberlee joined us today also.  We have loved spending this time with family.  The best part is right now when the girls are having a sleepover party with their cousins in the tents and the rest of us are sitting here visiting (besides, the teenage boys who are picking up girls inside the park, and riding the funnest rides).

Anyway, tomorrow is Cole's birthday.  After that, we celebrate me, and a day later, Tyler.  Jennilyn's birthday was a few days ago, and her son Carson's the next day.  It's party time around here.  We are loving it.  (Except, don't tell Cole, but I still don't know what I am getting him for his birthday) 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Painting Grandpa Asay's Bobble-heads

Several months ago, Grandpa Asay sent us a package from Montana that included several paints and ceramic bobble-head figures for the kids to paint.  The kids went to town on it, but unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the process.  Then, later, we found more of the bobble-heads he had sent at Grandma's house.  I made sure to take pictures that time, but then when I went to upload them from my computer, they weren't there.  And I had already deleted them off my camera.  I was so sad.  We had so much fun and I wanted Grandpa to be able to see.

Well, just a few days ago, I was looking through the pictures on my iPad, and buried in between a bunch of goofy Photo Booth shots and Hawaii pictures, there were some pretty girls painting bobble-heads!  Yay!  So, here you go, Grandpa:

Your creative grand daughters loved having a craft project to do.  Thank you!

Escalante to Boulder (still two years ago)

I prefer to post things when they happen.  It is so hard to remember everything two years later, like details of things that happened that are not shown in the pictures.  I have been trying to remember the exact route we took, so I can explain this all to you a little better, but it's just not there.

This is the beautiful bed and breakfast where we stayed in Escalante.  It had a cool mosaic on the front. There was an active ruin on the property (meaning it was currently being recorded and catalogued by archeologists), but we didn't have time to check it out.  We really enjoyed our stay here.  Breakfast was scrumptious, the owners were friendly, and the rooms were really nice.  Too bad I can't recall the name of the place to recommend it to you.  And after all the time and research I spent looking into places to stay on this trip, you would think I would remember something!

This is how we traveled, on this occasion.  Our extended family, particularly those living in St. George, had been getting tired of never seeing us.  At the time, we owned a big old Ford truck (still have it; it is a freaking gas guzzler) and a little Honda Civic.  Most times, we would travel in the Honda, and the looks we got when all seven of us piled out of that tiny car were pretty hilarious.  Anyway, we hadn't made it over there in a long time, but the idea of paying for gas for the truck to travel over there was sickening, and we just didn't think we could handle a trip that far in the Civic.  Grandma Gail came to the rescue with her Nissan Murano.  We still didn't exactly have enough seat belts, but we made it work.  I look at my kids now, and it is hard to believe we all fit in that car (the Civic), and we used it for over a year.  Fun times.     

the view of the Bed and Breakfast from the highway
I did a little internet research and found it:  Slot Canyons Inn

In Escalante, we checked out the Welcome Center for the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  Apparently, I did not take any pictures.  We had a long day of traveling ahead of us, though, so we did not stay long.  We decided to travel over the mountain to Boulder, Utah.  I think the name of the pass we crossed over was Hell's Backbone or something like that.  I got a few pictures of the trip:

This is the spot where the road drops off forever on both sides.  I thought I would be freaking out about the height, but it wasn't bad.

Cole poses on the edge

It is further down than it looks in this picture.  That little ditch is forever away.

After our mountain drive, we stopped in Boulder for lunch.  The food was out of this world.  So good.  The help at the restaurant where we ate was from some foreign country.  It was kind of mind-boggling that tiny Boulder, Utah would be a mecca for people coming from all over the world.  While we were there, the city water system was shut down, and we couldn't use the bathroom or get a drink of water anywhere in town.  That is pretty rough when you have been driving for hours, and you have little girls (and a big one) that really need to go.

Anasazi State Park Museum in Boulder is pretty cool.  Aunt Kd used to work for Mike Nelson, the guy that runs the museum.  He remembered her fondly from the time they worked together at Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum.  We had fun exploring there (even though we really needed to use the restroom).

Look at those cute girls:

and boy

There was a traveling display from the Smithsonian there:  The History of Music, or something like that.  It was pretty cool.  Cole had fun picking out songs he knew on the banjo, like Sweet Home Alabama.

And this must have been on our way out of Boulder.

We drove and drove.  We stopped quickly in the Visitor Center at Capitol Reef National Park to get the girls Junior Ranger books, but then we moved along as the sun went down.  It seems like we arrived home to Blanding pretty late.  Did we cross Lake Powell on the ferry, or drive all the way around, Britt?  I just don't remember.  I think we made it just in time for the ferry, but I could be wrong.

Anyway, it was a long day, full of incredible views and fun experiences.  It was so great to take the time to view a different side of Utah than the path we most often travel.

Bryce Canyon Visitor Center

We didn't have a lot of time to spend at Bryce Canyon, since we still needed to travel to Escalante, where we would be spending the night in a bed and breakfast.  We did take a few minutes to check out the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center.

The kids were fascinated by all the stuffed animals:

Most of those pictures were taken with Garrett's camera.  The girls got a junior ranger booklet here, but I don't remember if they had enough time to complete it and get their badges.  I do know when we went to Capitol Reef National Park, they only got the books, but the Visitor Center was closing, so there was no time to complete the activities and earn their junior ranger badges.  They were still thrilled to get the books.

We love visiting National Parks.  This is something we will have to try again, as there is never enough time to do and experience everything.

Two years ago in Bryce Canyon

After we left Zion National Park, we journeyed east towards Bryce Canyon National Park.  Our goal was to hit all of the southern National Parks and monuments on our journey home.  (Okay, when I say all, I mean the ones not in our back yard, like Arches, Canyonlands, and Natural Bridges). 

These first two pictures may look like the same thing, but they are two different man-made arches we passed through on our way to Bryce Canyon National Monument

FYI:  Bryce Canyon is not actually a canyon at all, it is a series of rock formations created in this unique geographical area, but the area is NOT a canyon.

The reason I have so many pictures here is several were taken with Garrett's camera, some with Rachel's camera, and some with my camera:

I don't think he meant to stick his tongue out at me

Olivia is afraid of the edge

Can you see the tiny people hiking down there?

What an amazing place we live in!  I have always wanted to visit Bryce Canyon, but since it is on a road we rarely travel (this would be the first time), it hasn't happened until now.  I am so glad Britt decided to take the long way home from St. George on this occasion.  It was a beautiful journey.