WE'RE BACK! And I'm still recovering...But who cares! You're all waiting for pictures and lovely stories of our beautiful, relaxing vacation, right?!
Thursday, June 26: And we're off! The day starts early...actually, no. The day started the night before with me frantically packing. I had everything pretty much ready to go in the car top carrier when we discovered that the car top carrier (which we bought for the Kilgore family reunion last year when we had the CR-V) isn't compatible with our van. Fan-freakin-tastic. Of course it isn't! Let's start this vacation off right! So anyway, the morning of the 26th we managed to get everything inside the van itself and we go pick up Garrett. G-Rawl (or Gare-bear, or Gibbett) is Chase's youngest brother and he accompanied us on our little journey so we could spend some time with him before his mission. And because we just like him a lot.
Anyway, we get him and hit the road. We were trying to make it to Buena Vista, CO that day and things were looking pretty good. Until....POP! There goes a tire. We pull over and search the car for the spare and jack. We were in Dalhart, TX, so we were pretty dang hot and buggy. After locating the tire and jack the boys realized that our car is fancy. SO fancy, in fact, that there is a special KEY required to take off the lug nuts on our wheel. HUH? Who is their right mind wants mini-van rims? I mean, they're nice and all...but seriously?
So anyway, at this point we realize we're kinda screwed (literally?) and we call for a tow. A state trooper had pulled over to help us and he called his cute, pregnant wife to come pick us up and take us to the repair shop back in town. SO NICE! Two hours and $200 later we're back on the road. The rest of the trip was uneventful until we GOT to Buena Vista and realized we had no idea where we were going. We (we meaning NOT ME (meaning Chase)) had arranged to stay at a friend's cabin in the mountains. We (meaning NOT ME (meaning Chase)) were POSITIVE we knew EXACTLY how to get there. It was going to be SO EASY, in fact, that we (meaning NOT ME (meaning Chase)) didn't even need to get a street address or house number! So imagine our (but not mine) surprise when we were driving around some remote mountainside in the pitch black of night that you can only find on a remote mountainside, completely unable to find the house we were staying at! Shocking, I know. And to make matters even awesome-er we had no cell phone reception! No address, no cell phone. So we spent a good bit of time just driving random roads, looking for something, but we weren't sure what. FINALLY we found a tiny little spot of road that gave us some bars (can you hear me now?) and we placed a couple frenzied calls to the owner of said cabin and she gave us some more direction. But still not a house number. So we drove around some more. This time in the right location, but without a house number we didn't want to go trying our key in everyone's locks. So back down the mountain we went looking for more bars (can you hear me now?). Again, we found a little patch of reception and made a call. This time we got a house number! HOORAY! We were in! By the time we arrived it was 11 pm and we were tired and road-weary. We piled into the house, put the kids down for bed and fell asleep.
Friday, June 27, 2008:
I'm not mad anymore because I wake up to this.
This is the view from the porch swing on the back patio. Oh, bliss. This was worth the hours driving around lost. Oh yes, this will do JUST fine, thank you. I eat my breakfast while staring at this. Sigh...
The rest of the day was spent PLAYING! Just hanging out, and loving life. I took a run. It was a short run because, while I can run a pretty good distance in Dallas, I'm not so great at running uphill at 9500 feet.
Miles found these lovely Napoleon Dynamite moon boots and had to try them on. We put them aside quickly to make sure they were safe. Otherwise Miles would have worn them the whole time we were there!
That afternoon we went fishing at the lake down the road. Chase was determined to make me some fresh trout for dinner, but it didn't happen. :(
The view across the lake.
Saturday, June 28: It was time for a little exploring and hiking! We found a great hike up to Agnes Vaille Falls. It was a 1/2 mile in and 1/2 mile out. The kids did great and I was so proud of them. It was pretty difficult in some spots because of the rough terrain but they were troopers! Sophie was totally content on my back sporting this super awesome (and totally UV-proof) hat. I think she pulls it off, don't you?
G-Rawl: We love this kid. He was especially handy on the way down the mountain. Pretty sure he saved a life or two.
If you look closely you can see Chase (to the right of the man in denim shorts) taking a dip in the falls. It was ICE cold water and he came out with a killer headache.
Sunday, June 29:
We found a branch nearby and attend. I'm reminded how thankful I am for the gospel and the church in general. I'm also reminded that I love loud, boisterous choristers who sing off-key and wear those cowboy-tie things that aren't really ties. I'm also reminded that I love being at church sans calling(s)...We head back to the cabin and have the most restful day of rest I can remember.
Monday, June 30: We're off and headed for Utah! We make it to Layton, hit the Cafe Rio for some burritos and head to my SIL Kathleen's house. Her mom made a deeeeeee-licious dinner and we stayed up late playing Nerts and talking.
Tuesday, July 1: Happy Canada Day! We leave Layton and head "over the hill" to Logan, UT for the Johnsen family reunion. This is Chase's mom's siblings and we do this every two years. The first activity was to visit a local print shop in town and view an exact replica of the press used to print the Book of Mormon. The owner, an elderly gentleman by the name of Keith Watkins, has a whole garage dedicated to old-fashioned presses and he was SO fascinating! Maybe it's the journalist in me, but I could have listened to that guy ALL DAY. So I was pretty psyched when I got to try my hand at some printing!
Wednesday, July 2: The guys played golf early and after lunch we headed for Tony Grove - a camping area up Logan Canyon. Surprise, surprise, there was snow! Yay! Commence snowball fight!
Tony Grove also boasts this amazing lake! Someone brought a raft and took the kids out. My kids and their cousin Natalie all decided that they'd rather jump into the lake fully clothed and get soaking wet and freezing. The air was pretty cool up there.
Tony Grove - GORGEOUS!
After the dutch oven dinner we had cupcakes for Cousin Landon's 8th birthday. Miles particularly enjoyed his.
Thursday, July 3: I actually can't remember everything we did this day. Is that weird? I didn't take pictures, so it can't be that amazing. Or was it? All I know is that I spent a good part of this day in the hotel with my cranky, crabby, sleepy kids. Oh, right. THAT'S what I did on this day...I did manage to get back to the homestead for dinner and a road rally. The road rally was pretty fun but it took us about 2 hours to do. How long did it take everyone else? 30 minutes. Apparently it was "easy" to do if you actually live in Logan. The night ended with fireworks over at Utah State (which we did not attend thanks to the aforementioned crabby kids).
Friday, July 4: Happy Independence Day! The day started with MORE golf. And they golfed for, like, 12 hours or something. Seriously! By the time they got back me and Tori (we were watching the kids who were even crabbier and crankier) had had our share of child-watching and ditched them with the guys so we could go get some Cafe Rio! We had girl-talk, did some window shopping, and decompressed. It was nice. After naps we swam at the hotel before dinner with the family. Chase and Cameron stayed LATE that night to do firecrackers in the backyard.
Saturday, July 5: Landon's baptism (congrats Landon!) and then we were on our way. No one was happy to be back in the car. We made it back to Buena Vista late that night.
Sunday, July 6: Instead of visiting our old friends at the BV branch we decided enough was enough and got back in the car to make the final drive home. The drive down the mountain was very curvaceous and it wasn't long before Cameron puked EVERYWHERE! Great. Lovely. So we pulled over to the side (when we could, which wasn't immediately, thanks to those mountain roads with no shoulders), got him out, stripped him, cleaned him and his car seat as best as we could, which included me pulling off the car seat skins and buckles and putting them into plastic bags (which then BAKED in the back window of the van for the next 12 hours - that made for some great laundry when we got home!). Then we were all back in the van and on the road again. The next 10 hours of the trip included LOTS of crying, screaming, whining, threatening, silent fuming, and deep breathing. Let's just say that I'm pretty sure Garrett will never be having children. This trip was, perhaps, the most effective birth control ever created.
BUT, we're home. Thank goodness we're home.
Lastly, I just have to add a super funny moment from our trip. On Wednesday while we were on our way to Tony Grove we passed the Logan Temple. We slowed down a little bit and talked to Cameron about it. We're always talking about temples and what we do there. Anyway, we said, "That's where your Nana and Grandpa got married!" To which Cameron replied, "Yeah, I'm going to get married there someday!" And we (including Eric and Kathleen who were with us) said something along the lines of "Oh yeah, are you going to marry a cute girl someday?" To which Cam, looking very sly, replied, "Yeah, like maybe Kathleen." This conversation affirmed that Kathleen had Cameron at Hello. He's been in love with her since the moment they met.