Salt Lake City, Utah is ONLY 6 hours from Las Vegas. And quite frankly, after driving 18+ to Vegas, I didn't think 6 more would be a big deal. To me this was an opportunity to show the kids Temple Square, the mountains (which weren't a big deal because we'd already been in them in Vegas -- who knew?), and a lot of my extended family that I love. Going through these pictures I have so many of the kids and places and nearly nothing of family. Maybe it's because I always feel a little self-conscious asking to take people pictures and maybe it's because I'm having fun visiting with family too and don't think about it!! But now I wish I had taken more pictures. Megan was asking me on the way home how she knows if they are aunts, uncles, and cousins. And it's double confusing because most of the people she met are MY aunts, uncles, and cousins and so get those weird titles of great-aunt, cousin twice removed, etc. We don't actually use those formal titles but then it becomes a question of who is who. It's actually a great opportunity to explore our family tree but I wish I had the pictures to go with it.
Megan and Abby decided they were leopards at Grandma's house and made a sign for their door. This is after we went swimming at a friend's and they had a Beware of Dog sign up that apparently provided the inspiration.
When screaming didn't get him out of the car and nothing else would do, the blanket goes over the head for comfort.
While we were there we stayed with my brother Mark and his wife Adrienne and their mostly new baby Remi!! She's five months old and this was the first chance for me to see her live and in person. She is adorable!! And I have to say that she really loved me. Not that I'm bragging or anything! :)
We started our Utah mini-vacation with a trip to Hill Air Force Base's flight museum and Ogden's Dinosaur Park. Both places that the kids loved although William was actually really upset that he couldn't actually get in any of the planes. And the girls were kind've bored. Ok the planes weren't that exciting really. But the Dinosaur park was great.
William is trying to get in.
This plane is the kind that my great-uncle flew in WWII and was shot down in. If I could remember what it was that would be great. The story though is written down somewhere -- I think my mom has the book.
Dinosaur park is literally a park with dinosaurs. They also have a small museum, a fossil digging place, and a play place. I thought the dinosaurs were fun and there were quite a few "hidden" trails to go on that the kids really enjoyed. We also happened to be there for craft time and they made their own fossils.
Our second full day there we went to Temple Square. I have the best memories of going there with my Grandma and cousin and spending the day seeing the sites, looking for brides coming out of the Salt Lake Temple, and eating lunch at the Lion House. I had really high expectations for taking the kids for the first time!! We rode Utah's train system (TRAX) in and the kids loved it. We had to wait for the right train to come and so every time one came in and left William got upset and told me to "hatch rain mommy hatch rain!" He was very happy when it was finally our turn.
The kids were not as thrilled with Temple Square as they should've been!! I guess there isn't a ton that is interactive so it's mostly walking and looking. They did think that the "space walk" leading up to the Christus was cool and they liked the stained glass windows in the Assembly Hall. And they pointed out every bride we saw (of which there were many -- it was a Saturday) for my benefit. Even William started yelling "wedding dress" every time one went by.
Apparently we were not supposed to be this close but the barrier was down!!
All attempts at a family picture in front of the temple were pretty fruitless.
Megan probably won't even want her own wedding pictures taken!
Abby on the other hand wants her picture taken in front of everything that she thinks is pretty or awesome.
If you haven't seen the video for this -- you need to. It came out at Easter and somehow I missed it. We watched it in one of the visitor's centers and I cried.
This is one of the views from the top of the conference center. I had never been on the roof before. I knew that it had trees and gardens but I didn't know that President Hinckley designed them specifically to be like the western mountain woods and fields. It was beautiful and had great views.
And the view of course over to the Temple.
That evening we took a picnic dinner and went to Wheeler Farm to meet up with some family. It's a working farm you can wander and it's free although we did pay for a tractor/wagon ride and a cow-milking demonstration. The kids loved it -- animals and machinery!! It was right up their alley!
Grandma tried the milking. I did not. I have no desire to milk a cow.
Sunday night we did a barbeque at my Aunt Laura's house. All of my aunts were there and several cousin families. The kids played outside, we ate, we talked -- we sat outside in the backyard until 9:30 and finally went back to Mark's for bed. It was blissful! Having things cool down when the sun goes down is unheard of in Texas -- mainly because of the humidity. Of course, come October when I'm still enjoying t-shirts and flip-flops and they're already bundled up, I won't mind so much.
Aunt Laura gave my girls some little things she had -- including jewelry destined for DI. Abby loves jewelry and loves feeling pretty so she put it on and then agreed to take a picture with MY grandma -- her grandma-great. I love her friendly and loving nature!!
Abby's smiles lately are very demure but I still love this picture. I need to send a copy to Grandma and write her a letter about how good it was to see her again so soon!! She's 90 and still doing really well I think but has her old-age problems. Since we get to Utah so rarely I'm really glad that my kids got to meet her and that she got to see them in person!! I know she reads the blog sometimes and I send her pictures in the mail pretty frequently (I'm pretty sure she has a shoebox full!) but nothing beats actually being there in the flesh.