Sunday, June 26, 2011

7 Days, 4 Kids, 1 hotel room

It's time again for our annual tag-along-with-Dad-for- a work-conference-trip to the big city of Salt Lake City where things like escalators and elevators provide the simplest of joys for our kids. While Brandon spent his days at the U. of U. being educated in the latest addiction therapy techniques, the kids and I packed in the fun, and I mean PACKED IN THE FUN. I'm tired!!
And oh, I learned some things on this trip too.

Hugs for a great Dad!! Brandon gave an excellent talk in church about Fatherhood. Adrie gave an excellent talk in Primary about Baptism. The General Primary President of the Church was visiting for all of it and that made things extra exciting.
Lesson #1 I couldn't have picked a better Dad for our kids, than Brandon.

We had Sunday dinner then headed to Salt Lake where the excitement of being in a hotel erupted in endless bouncing on the beds.

After our hotel breakfast buffet, Brandon headed off to his conference. The kids and I headed off to join family for some fun. Boy was I glad to unglue the kids from Disney channel dramas and get out of the hotel!

I don't know what the real name for this park is, but since it has a stupendous view of the city to the West and an equally stupendous view of Mt. Olympus to the East, well, that's what we're calling it.

Silly me, I thought all of Cannon's dreams would come true if I took him to meet some of his real live (in dead form) dinosaur heroes. He was totally freaked out! And then when they jump out at us in the 3D IMAX movie?!!

raaarghLesson #2: I don't care what it costs, at the end of a hot day, nothing makes kids happier than an ice cream cone

After finishing their treat, and with a bit of a sugar-high, the girls just had to scale the big iron tower that adorns the front of the park. There I was with videocamera in hand, just admiring their monkey powers like the proudest mom in the world when an employee scolded them for getting too high. They got down and ironically we all piled into our minivan in the handicapped parking spot. I really hoped somebody would start limping in front of the on-lookers. Even my mom (who is actually handicapped and the reason we get to park there) glided effortlessly over.

GILGAL GARDENS: This little treasure is tucked away in a neighborhood near Trolley Square. A resident turned his garden into a backyard memorial of his favorite scriptures and when he died, it was opened to the public.There were stone pathways weaving through flowerbeds inscribed with scriptures and verses to hymns, monuments to the Priesthood. Can you guess whose head that is on the sphinx? Each sculpture had a story behind it. Fascinating!

Lesson #3: When creating a backyard sanctuary, think outside the box.

I was so impressed with the place, I took Brandon after our dinner date. He thought it was pretty cool too. It was fun to be back in the neighborhood of the U. where BD and I spent our happy first couple years of married life. We decided on a Vietnamese restaurant.

Lesson #5: Spring noodle salad with lemongrass-- Vietnamese food is really good.

When I flew to Florida last month, I sat next to a chatty lady on the plane who wanted to know all about the Great Salt Lake, what's it like, what is it used for? Sadly, even though I grew up next to it I was completely ignorant?! She was visibly disappointed.So FLASHBACK -- - AND LET'S REPLAY THAT PRECIOUS OPPORTUNITY--

The Great Salt Lake is a wonderful natural resource that we here in the Salt Lake area are very proud of:
  • it's 5 times more salty than the ocean!
  • it's that way because it has no outlets
  • in fact, you can go out there and actually float in it, almost effortlessly. Really, we tried it, and it was awesome!
  • Antelope Island is home to a huge herd of bison, and many different species of waterfowl like pelicans.

handful of brine shrimp.
Really, it's just like a day at the beach-- except stinkier, and with tiny brine shrimp swimming in your nether parts--also swarms of biting gnats, and no palm trees, just a few giant roaming buffaloes for shade.
Yep, you should totally go there :)

Would you also be interested in learning about the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, of which I am a member?....

Okay back to the present...

Lesson #6 After another long hot day, nothing makes Nana (my mom) happier than gourmet chocolate.Day 5: SEVEN PEAKS SALT LAKE WATERPARK:
My niece watched Cannon so I could take the girls. She surprised us by packing our beach bag with snacks. What a dear. She's always doing nice things like that.

Fun to ride the waves with the girls.
There wasn't a slide those daredevils wouldn't go on!

After all that fun and sun it was nice to go back to the hotel and reacquaint ourselves with Dad, have some dinner, more bouncing on the beds, and of course enjoy the pool.Lesson #7: It doesn't really matter how many fun activities you pack into your vacation because all the kids really care about is swimming in the hotel pool.

We checked out of the hotel and my mom treated us all to the earliest show at our favorite theater (they have kettle corn--which was the best part of the movie for me), Then we headed South to visit family.
We had some good quality time with Brandon's sister's family and his brother's family. So many cousins to play with! When it was time to head back, and we were driving home we couldn't help thinking. Our families are awesome and that leads us to our last and most important lesson:
Lesson #8: Time spent visiting with family is the best time spent of all!


stephanie said...

those ice cream cones looked so yummy!

Isn't it funny how the hotel room and pool is always the highlight for kids? Go figure

Sheree said...

You always make me laugh! I loved the part about the Great Salt Lake. LOL.

Next time you are here, we hopefully won't have such a crazy week. We'll go to the Thanksgiving Point Gardens. You will be in heaven. It is so fun! Monday nights in the summer they have activities for the kids--like giant slip n slides, frog racing and jello fights.

cold cocoa said...

Wow- you did fill your time with good things!
Glad you made it down our way and weren't afraid of a little Dylan illness. Now Isabelle is counting down the days until the reunion!

Isn't that how it goes? Someone wants to feed off your information at the moment you either have forgotten or know nothing. At least you're ready for the next time.

Michelle said...

Wow! It sounds like you really know how to pack in the fun. We are lucky if we do anything on our vacations.

Megz said...

That is a fun filled week. I think it'd be hard to come back to normal boring life.
I want to see how floaty I am in the Great Salt Lake. Next time....

Sher said...

Derek and I went to the smelly salt lake once. Spiders and knats everywhere! I wouldn't have known those were brine shrimp. You're so smart and I always admire your good sense of adventure on these trips and pulling out the energy to do all of those things! I agree that seeing family is the best. I'm sorry we missed you.