Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Utah Start to Finish

We stayed with my parents in Utah for three weeks. I had always wanted to "bug out" for the scorching Arizona summer, and we finally did it. Unfortunately it seemed like we brought the heat with us, but at least it cooled down in the morning and at night. And there were other perks. My mom and dad were terrific hosts, I got to see my Utah family a lot, and my kids enjoyed playing with their cousins. I also got a break from my daily grind. I will now sum up how we spent our time.

The first week we took it pretty easy. Gwen woke up in the middle of the night two nights in a row. Once was just coughing, the next time she threw up. Dan felt sick on and off. We were tired. So we ended up hanging out with family, going on a very few outings, and binge watching Marvel Agents of Shield. I also finished a book and read a trilogy. I exercised a bit, sometimes with Tracy sometimes on my own. We sat around and chatted a lot, but there were other things we did as well.

To sum up our activities for the first week and a half: we tried to meet Tracy at a rodeo but it was sold out so we went to Discovery Park instead, Dan and I went to a few amazing properties as part of the Parade of Homes, we went to church and my parents hosted their epic family Sunday dinner, We celebrated Fathers Day with homemade signs and store bought cake, I had two exercise nights with Tracy, we hosted Dan's friend and business partner Ron who stayed the night at my parent's house (while Dan and Asher went to a baseball game with Chad and Clara's family), we went to the Provo Food Truck Roundup then to Tracy's place, we watched The Imitation Game all together at my parent's house, we had a picnic with the whole Utah family (minus the ever-traveling Tracy) up in the mountains, and we had another church day followed by the epic family gathering. My cousin Trina was there with her kids, and I hadn't spoken with her in about ten years. It was so great to catch up. If we lived close I'm sure we would be really good friends. I also got to talk to my uncle Dale and aunt Teresa. Dale told us some epic stories from his childhood... and by epic I mean shocking and scary. I spoke with my aunt Joanne several times as well; she lives in my parent's back house so she is around a lot. She is a great person to talk to.

The Saturday picnic. 
We really started picking up the pace on the second Monday. Dan took me to one of our favorite local restaurants, Magleby's, for lunch. My mom and Kristy and I took our kids to a splash pad/park in the afternoon; it was a really hot day.

Gwen tried to stop the water jets with her feet, Asher went around punching and kicking the water.
Tuesday I went for a morning jog, started washing our car (Dan finished), and then met our friends Jon and Lisa Williams at the Springville Museum of Art. We had our kids, they had theirs. Gwen and Jane were friends immediately. After exploring the museum (I love that place!) we went back to my parent's house for lunch and more talking. They are cool people. After they left, we got in the car and drove to my brother's house for dinner. He and Clara made some awesome burgers and salad and we had a great time playing Catch Phrase and talking.

Wednesday morning I took the kids to the Aquarium in Draper to meet up with Clara and her kids. The cousins had a blast together. The aquarium was the nicest and largest I had ever seen, and it had great food and a fun playroom for the kids. We ended up heading home in the afternoon, and then Dan and I went to the new Payson temple. After that I went to the mall with Tracy and she showed me one of her favorite stores before we both got pedicures. Mom met us there but they couldn't squeeze her in which I thought was pretty lame, especially since my mom just ended up dropping me off at a movie theater to meet Dan for a date afterward- I felt like a teenager or something having my mom drive me around. I am so grateful for her. Dan had put our kids to bed and we saw a late showing of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was a good action movie.

Ezra was in his stroller and Asher is pretending like he needs to hold on to the tail or he will fall/die. 
Thursday our family ate lunch at the Art City Trolley which is a cute little restaurant with a hipster/antique vibe. The food was AMAZING. I went to my sister Kristy's house and the cousins played, then we all had dinner at their house. Dan left around dinner to drive to Ron's house so he could spend the night and the next day with him and his family.

Since Dan was gone Friday, I did a lot of laundry and cleaning. I watched this silly Mormon/mafia mashup movie with my kids and my mom called Inspired Guns. Asher loved it. I could appreciate things about it.

Saturday was Independence day and Dan and I took our older two kids to see the new Pixar movie Inside Out. We were SO impressed by that movie. That's all I will say, because I could write a book about that story and its execution but I have neither the time nor the space. Let's just say we recommend it. Gwen hopped into my arms and cried a little during the last half of the movie because she had so many feelings. Anyway, afterward we went to the food court and sub-zero ice-cream so Gwen could have a pink shake. It was cotton candy flavored and I snuck some and it was delicious. Later my parents hosted a big dinner and then a street firework show. I caught the first half, but I missed all of his arial stuff because I was putting Ezra to bed. But I went outside and sat with some family and watched other fireworks from people shooting them off in the neighborhood. Utahans LOVE fireworks, especially in July.

Sunday was another church/family day, complete with the normal BBQ feast. I miss doing that every week, but it was fun to be there for three in a row.

Monday Dan and I took all the kids to Salt Lake City. Our first stop was this place called Les Madelines that my friend Nicole (who did the Big Sur trip with us) had recommended. It was CLOSED. I was SO BUMMED. I'm going to be thinking about that place until I can go back. After we drove by the capital building and then took a tour of the conference center. The kids didn't seem to think it was cool or interesting that the roof had flourishing plant life everywhere; maybe it was because it doesn't seem like a roof while you are walking around on it. Anyway, I walked the kids around temple square while Dan worked in the car for a bit. We went to lunch at a place called Blue Lemon in the mall across from the temple. The mall was very cool and if I hadn't had my family with me I could have looked around there all day. As it was Ezra wouldn't nurse and the kids were tired.

Not the best picture, but you get the drift.

Tuesday my grandma took our little family to lunch back at the Art City Trolley. I got a different salad that was just as delicious as the first. After she treated us to lunch we went back to her house and she gave my kids candy, chips, gum, and ice cream sundaes! When I refused that stuff because I was full from lunch she said, and I quote, "That's terrible." Ha! I love my grandma, she lives to serve others and to make people happy. I talked with her for a bit and I always love talking with her. Apparently her dad was a real-life "Steve Rodgers" (Captain America): he was a small man but he wanted to fight so badly that he just kept going to the recruitment office even though he knew they would turn him away. Eventually they gave in and let him fight. My grandma always has new and interesting things to share. I should have packed my family up Tuesday night, but we decided to go on a hike with Tracy and her friends. My mom and my whole family hiked Stewart Falls, which took a little longer than we thought and zapped our energy more than we expected. We had to take turns carrying Ezra, and Gwen was a little slow. We seriously got to the falls, took a couple minutes to breathe, and then started back. We hiked a significant portion of the way back in the dark! It was an adventure, and even though our bodies felt like they might fall apart afterward, we had a great time. We felt like we accomplished something.

Dan was pretending Asher was a prisoner at this point. "March! Don't try anything funny..."
Wednesday we all left for the Grand Canyon... but that is another post.

I would love to do this again next year if my parents would let us. Ezra had a hard time adjusting at first, but I think he got used to the new places and faces within a few days. He also learned how to scoot/army crawl on his belly while we were there, so I think Utah is good luck! His PT was very impressed with him when we got home.

Thanks Utah family! We really had a great time.


William said...

Thanks for filling me in on all your adventures up until we saw you in Williams :) Sounds like you guys made the most of it for sure!! Love you.

Tracy Mills said...

How did I miss this post? You did so much while you were here! I'm glad that I got to be part of it. There is a lot more that I would have liked to have joined but you know... work and traveling and stuff. I hope you come again next summer for 3 weeks again. I like having you hear for long periods of time. :)

Lynette Mills said...

Me too, come back!