Friday, July 31, 2015

Our epic Utah and Colorado trip- Part 3

July 29- We packed up and headed back to Colorado. The drive was easy and pretty uneventful. The kids did really well again. Tiffany was amazing again and had a home cooked meal for us and then we celebrated Ryan's birthday a night early with ice cream and brownies. 
July 30- the library had a petting zoo and pony rides for free! The kids had a great time petting the donkey, sheep, goats, and llama. Macy and Anna were a little nervous about the animals but Lily and Ryan weren't afraid at all. 

Tiffany waited in line for the pony ride while I took the kids to pet the animals. Macy went on like a champ. 

This was Anna's first time on a horse! She was always to afraid before so I was proud of her for getting on. She wanted me to stand next to her for comfort. 

Since it was Ryan's birthday the girls set up this birthday spot for him in his room. He happily ate his lunch on his special spot (piled up blankets).

We left Windsor at 2 pm to start our drive back home. 

July 31- Our last day of travel!! The kids slept really well during the night. Much better than the first time we slept in the car. And they slept in too! I took these sleeping pictures at 8 a.m. Everyone was asleep by 10 p.m. but got woken up when I had to stop for gas at 2 a.m. We got gas, I fed Owen and we were off again until morning.

We reclined the back seat so the girls could sleep better. I also made sure Macy wore pj's because she got cold the first time. I can't believe they slept even with the sun in their eyes like this.

We stopped at Bob Evans for breakfast and the girls were entertained by the jam packets. 

The last hour of driving seemed to take a looong time. When the sights start looking familiar it makes you feel like you should be home already. When we finally pulled in the drive way I couldn't believe we made it home. Even as I'm writing this over a month later I still can't believe we drove all the way to Utah with three little kids and they did amazingly well. People ask if we would do it again and I say, yes, but not for a couple years. Owen was at a great stage where he can entertain himself and sleeps a lot in the car. Next summer he will be 18 months and that's an awful time to travel because he'll be wanting to get out of the car seat all the time. The girls were great because they are entertained by movies. We feel extremely blessed to drive there and back in safety. Our guardian angels must have been watching over us. Our prayers were definitely answered!

Until next time Utah...

Our Epic Utah and Colorado trip- Part 2

Utah!! My mom drove up to Utah to spend time with us. Isn't that nice of her. It was very helpful, especially all those times a kid fell asleep in the car. She would stay behind and wait while they napped. The kids enjoyed their time with Grandma. My dad was helping with the temple maintenance so he couldn't come.

July 24- Pioneer Day! I feel like we really celebrated Pioneers this year by trekking across the country like them. Well, kind of like them. We did have air conditioning and a DVD player...

We drove up to Park City to ride the Alpine Slide. It was a very fun day and perfect weather. Our first stop was a pizza place on Main Street. Owen's eyes got really big when he saw the pizza. j/k :)

We saw this bear as we were walking down Main Street and Macy wanted a picture.

We saw the free trolley and Macy was very interested in riding it. We waited longer than we wanted for it but the kids had a blast riding it to the city bus stop. 

 I just love Anna's pigtails!

Riding the Alpine Slide was another time it was very helpful having my mom around. I'm not sure how we would have done it otherwise. It would have taken a lot more time waiting in line since Ja had to ride with Macy and I had to ride with Anna. Grandma stayed with Owen at the bottom.

Here we are at the top of the lift. The girls enjoyed riding up the ski lift. Macy was a little nervous and Anna didn't seem to care she could fall to her death. It was a gorgeous day!

Ready to ride! Anna was cheering and saying "woohoo!" the whole way down. It was so cute. I loved riding with her. The sad part was she asked to go again when we finished. Sorry girl, that's another $24. 

We did get to ride the city bus again back to our car. After a near miss though because Macy had to use the little girls room while we were waiting and the nearest one was far away. I greatly enjoyed our time in Park City and would love to go back soon.

We drove back to Lehi and picked up Colin and Jill (another great reason to have a minivan!). For dinner we met Rachel, Darin, and Wesley at J Dawg's in Orem. This was our first time meeting Wesley. I loved how Owen reached out to show his love for Wesley. Those boys will be wrestling each other really soon!

Jill kept the girls entertained with this fork sculpture. 

Then, we drove down to Spanish Fork for their fireworks show. There was a carnival going on first that we stopped at. The girls got to choose one ride and got a snow cone. I thought these pictures of Owen with Jill and Colin are so cute. Especially the one with the hat. Owen has the cutest little face!

The fireworks show didn't start until 10 p.m.! It was a good show though. We put a blanket down on a baseball field and waited for the show to start. Macy had to use the restroom again and Jill and Colin walked all around trying to find one for her. They almost missed the show! It was a super late night for us but everyone slept well. 

July 25- Saturday we planned a little hike to Bridal Veil falls in Provo Canyon. As you can see the girls were thrilled to be riding with Aunt Jill in the back seat. 
 We met Rachel and Darin there too. The falls were a little crazy since it was a nice Saturday on a holiday weekend but it was still fun. The girls wanted to put their feet in the water and were quickly introduced to the freezing cold Provo river water. Not at all like the warm lake water here in North Carolina! It was very effective at cooling us off though. We walked around on the rocks for awhile. Ja climbed up the rocks to the base of the waterfall and stood almost behind the water.

If you look really closely at this picture you can see some people near the base on the left side.

Here is Ja's view of us down below. 

The girls loved having their fun Aunt Jill around! Jill and Colin are troopers for putting up with all of us!

There's a little spot to feed fish so the girls did that too. 

Then we stopped at our old favorite place- Pita Pit. A nice light but filling lunch. 

Jill had a park she has been wanting to visit but hadn't because of her lack of children. It was a really cool park all made of wood. It was very nicely shaded too. And most importantly, not humid!! I almost forgot what it felt like in the summer to not be all sweaty. The girls had fun walking along the wood beams. I think it was called discovery park. 

Owen and grandma

We went back to Jill's place and had a BBQ with Colin's family who drove in that night for a family reunion. 

July 26- We went to church with Jill and Colin. Luckily Jill is a nursery worker so she took Anna into nursery with her. Macy loves primary and had no problem going into a new primary. After church we ate lunch then drove up to Salt Lake. We wanted to show the girls the temple, Visitors Center, and Conference Center. Hopefully next time we watch General Conference it will spark a memory for Macy. She was eager to get on the roof of the Conference Center because we told her there are fountains and trees. 

Macy found this flower and tried to keep it alive all day by putting it in water anytime we saw a fountain.

Macy and I walked around and she wanted me to take her picture at many different locations. We missed the big water shooting out of this fountain :(

Here we are in the Visitor's Center. I was excited to show the girls this Christus statue. Macy pointed out all the holes in His hands, feet, and side. We also saw the replica of the Salt Lake temple. It was pretty cool to see the inside of it since I've never been inside.

Owen had a great time chewing on this water bottle.

My two silly family members.

After the temple we dropped my mom off then went to dinner with our friends the Oates. We knew them in Virginia and they moved to Utah the year before we moved. It was fun to see them and their fourth daughter Remi. Ellen was about to have another baby too! The kids played well together just like old times. Macy and Anna did not want to leave! Sadly we did not take any pictures!

July 27- BYU day! We really wanted to show the girls BYU and I really wanted to see all the new changes to the campus. One of the buildings I went to class in is no longer standing and a brand new building was built. I would have had many classes in the new building. They also put in new landscape on the hill just south of campus. I was very glad to see the pond where Ja proposed is still there. 

Our first stop was the Cougar Eat for lunch. Then we headed to the BYU bookstore to get the kids BYU shirts. Macy and Anna was very excited about this! It was so fun to be there with my kids picking out shirts! Kids are something I dreamed about while attending college so it was fun to have them there with me. 
Of course after only a few steps every kid wanted to be carried. Anna was in the stroller.

After visiting the new Life Sciences building we stopped at the creamery on ninth. Huge ice cream cones for all in their new BYU shirts!

Rachel and Wesley came to visit with us too.

I love this picture of my adorable future cougar! And the ice cream was delicious too.

After BYU we drove back up to Lehi and had dinner at Zupa's with our friends the Jones. We met Andrew and Chelsey when we first got married so we've known them for 10 years now. We both have 3 kids so it was fun to meet up again. We went to their house after dinner so the kids could play while we caught up. Then the kids had more ice cream. Those lucky ducks. Again the kids didn't want to leave because they were having fun playing with toys and more kids. 

This is the only picture we took at the Jones' house but it's a keeper. 

July 28- Our last day in Utah :( I was really sad because Jill didn't get to say good-bye to the girls. Her and Colin were leaving that morning for Colin's family reunion and the girls slept in from going to bed late. I actually felt like crying. They loved seeing their aunt Jill and it kind of broke my heart they couldn't say good-bye. So I recorded a video of Jill saying good-bye but in the end the girls didn't want to watch it. Go figure. 

We really wanted to go to a temple while in Utah. We had to take advantage of all the many temples since ours is 2 hours away! My mom had to leave this morning so Ja and I took turns going. He did a session in the morning then I did sealings after that. The funny part was Ja saw his Uncle Will and Aunt Linda while he was walking out. I saw a mom of a high school friend inside the temple. What are the chances of both of us seeing someone we know? We went to the American Fork temple.

We had no plans for the rest of the day so I called Ellen to see what they were doing. Macy and Anna were requesting to play with them again. They were going on a child friendly hike to Donut Falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Their daughter Remi napped while we went to the temple so the timing worked out perfectly. We met them at the bottom of the hike entrance. Up in the mountains the temperature was just right. It was another beautiful day and a beautiful hike.

Anna did really well hiking on her own -up until the very end where the rocks got a little slippery from the water.

Oliver, Halle, Macy, Sloane (Anna didn't want to get in the picture)

My adorable hiking buddy

Macy was having too much fun playing on the rocks she wouldn't look for a picture.

Ja hiked up to the top of the waterfall to see what it looks like. It does live up to its name Donut Falls. The water runs through a hole in the rocks. 

Anna loved having Halle around. In Virginia Macy was Halle's side kick and this time it was Anna.

I love this picture of all the kids holding hands!

After the hike we drove down to Orem to eat Cafe Rio at Darin and Rache's place. Trevor and Heather were also in Utah so they drove down too.

I wanted to get pictures of the kids with Wesley but unfortunately he wasn't the happiest baby at the time. Macy didn't seem phased by the crying though.

Alas, it was time to go. Back to Jill's place to start packing up. We were all very sad to leave and the girls reminded me often they didn't want to go home. I didn't blame them! Being on vacation is a lot of fun! I didn't want to go back to life and reality either! I knew I would have to start potty training Anna and the thought scared me. But it was time. At least we got to stay in Colorado for another night and half day.