We loaded up a selection of fruit tarts, cream puffs, tiramisu for the best birthday cake ever from our favorite bakery and headed for our favorite mountain getaway, Snowbird.
Nowhere in UT do the mountains feel bigger than in Little Cottonwood Canyon, with it's staggeringly tall pine covered mountains and giant slabs of granite. Huge drifts of snow remain even in the middle of summer. There are waterfalls cascading down those sheer cliffs and meadows full of wildflowers. You can feel the temperature drop as you drive up the canyon. It was nice to get away from the city heat and escape to the mountain coolness.
Brandon was on-call so he stayed at home with the older two and I took the younger 2with me for the weekend. My sister stayed overnight at Snowbird and we all met her up there to celebrate.
It being a Sunday, we went to to worship at the local LDS branch. We gathered in the main lodge with about 50 other tourists, had a song, prayer, the Sacrament then a 10 minute gospel doctrine lesson and a 10 minute testimony meeting. Bing Bang Boom, all that worshipping pared down to one-hour?! Loved that and I'm gonna be suggesting it to my bishop :)
After church we had brunch in my sister's hotel room and then went exploring. We booked a tram ride which took us all the way up to, what felt like, the top of the world. There was still snow!! Hence, the snowball fight title and you can be sure we had one heck of a fight. We basked in the glory of the view from all sides then hiked down a bit. Adrie and cousin Courtney opted to sled down the snowy short-cut where we made it to a tunnel in the mountains, whichled us to the chairlift, which we took to get us down the rest of the mountain. It was a thrill to ride down the mountain and take in the breeze and breathe in that smell that I remember from childhood--the smell of Snowbird-- wildflowers warmed in the sun with a hint of pine. We spotted 2 moose way down below us which was very exciting even from far away.
Back on land, we got lunch and explored some more. I took Adrie and Bud on a "bear hunt" through the forest to a river and a pond. It was time to wrap up the day when we realized we were very sunburnt!
I think my mom had a great birthday. I sure did! We returned to her home to find dozens of birthday messages on the answering machine, a few little gifties tucked inside the screen door, and a few visitors after that bringing treats. My mom loves her neighbors and they love her. I guess that's what happens when you live in the same neighborhood for 50 years. She really gets to know them and keeps up her tradition of inviting any new family over for Sunday dinner.
Nana feeding the ducks and geese at Sugarhouse Park.We stayed one extra day so we could see cousins from Virginia and we're glad we did!!