Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Sizzling Birthday Weekend in St. George

So many places to go and so little time! I feel the Fall nipping at my heels and chasing my beloved Summer away.  This particular roadtrip could have waited until winter--it was pretty hot in the desert--but it was nothing we couldn't manage with frequent dips in the pool and excursions to air conditioned malls...Besides,  it was my birthday!!! and a perfect weekend involves all of the above plus some nature.

St. George, UT

  My fantastically chocolatey fudgey moussey cake. Brandon had all the kids take a turn telling their most favorite thing about me. Little guy, went first. "My favorite thing about mom is....BIRTHDAY CAKE!"

I spent the morning shopping at all my favorite stores. Brynn helped me pick out a stylish shirt to get me excited for a new season.  We joined the rest of the family for swimming and relaxing by the pool, and then Brandon and I dined ethnic. Upon gazing at the menu I wondered what region of Mexico this "mexican" restaurant could possibly be representing--fried yucca? pupusas? I looked around the room and learned, based on the maps and decor, that we were actually in an El Salvadorian restaurant. Bon appetit! or whatever they say there. Oh yes, "buen provecho!" The food was good, especially the salvadorian creme soda.

 The next day was Sunday. We attended morning church and then to keep the glow all day long, we ventured around the temple grounds. We went to the visitor's center where we gazed upon the beautiful artwork of Al Rounds, Carl Bloch, Liz Lemon Swindle, and watched some feel-good weepy movies about forever families.
 After that we walked around Historic Downtown where we got a tour of the St. George Tabernacle. Learning of the little miracles that took place to build this thing in the middle of the desert 100 plus years ago was nothing short of inspiring.
 A perfect specimen of a staircase, it was made by Mitt Romney's great x 3 grandfather.
If you're really good on the tour, they let you preach repentance over the pulpit. 
Nestled among all these historic sites is a fun splashy park for the kiddos.
 Kate turned tattoo artist and gave each of her siblings one of these to sport at the pool the next day.
 This is the park that our kids INSIST on going to everytime we are in Dixie land. It is called Cottonwood Cove, which is way too normal a name for this unusual park.  You won't find any regular swingsets here. No sirree, it's full of whirly gigs and other sliding spinning contraptions. We call it the Euro-park, because it's out of this world, I mean, continent.
I wouldn't say I'm an animal lover, but I do have a mental checklist of animals I'd really like to see in the wild. (Whales, check)  As the sun went down and I was enjoying that moment when the dry heat of the desert is at it's most satisfying, I looked overhead to see a thick-bodied fowl alight on top of a tree. It had the wingspan of a hawk but no it's head was round???--it was an OWL!  Check!!
 A sneak peak at Bud's Halloween Costume. I was meaning for it to stay hidden for awhile but someone discovered it in the trunk and  Power Up Power Rangers has been the phrase-of-the-day ever since.  I let Bud wear it grocery shopping with me today on condition that he protect me from all the bad guys. He sat in the cart the whole time--I guess that gave him a better vantage point.
 And now for the nature part of the trip...Kolob Canyon.   You've seen it a hundred times off the freeway on your way to Disneyland, right? But have you stopped? Not unless you've grown up with my mom --then you've stopped at every historical marker and rest area ever made.   My last memory of this place was from about age 14 so we went and explored and reveled in the beauty.
 We hiked up Taylor Creek past red boulders and pine forests. Hiking is always more fun when you can forge a stream.
 My family in the jaws of a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex!  and all I could say was "scream for the camera."
 Adrie thought she might want to bed down here if times got hard.
 We found a tiny toad, chased a squirrelly snake, and saw lizards in a variety of sizes. Brynn's goal was to catch one but darn it all if they didn't have legs as fast as lightning.  An eagle circled overhead in the bright blue sky and we saw a squirrel burying a cache of acorns.  The trail made a slight detour to avoid the "aggressive hornets" they warned us about at the visitor's center.
 We made it to historical cabin #1, or Larson's cabin.
 Having made it this far, and after escaping giant dinosaurs , aggressive hornets, and tiny toads we rejoiced in our awesomeness. No matter that there were still 3 miles to go...our water was getting low so we headed back down the trail, this time so fast we scared off any wildlife for miles.

We finished off the trip with some BBQ and Karaoke at the home of our very hospitable Southern cousins.


cold cocoa said...

We'll have to reference your fun places list before we head to St. George some day. Where are the mall pictures though? Or the stuff you hopefully bought there? I want to see those things too. And pics of the house...
glad you had a good birthday weekend.

Sher said...

Wow. I didn't know I was behind. I just read three fabulous posts and enjoyed the pictures. I am glad that you got to do fun things for your birthday!

Megan said...

You are so much fun, Laura. Your blog commentary about the adventures of your darling family make me giggle every time.

Juls Jems said...

Looks like a great, fun birthday!
Love St. George! Can't wait to go see Jessica again! You have a beautiful family.
My blog address changed to:


stephanie said...

happy birthday! What a fantastic birthday celebration!
We have seen many different animals since moving in our new house. We had an owl in the tree in our backyard. Deer visit our lawn almost daily and I didn't see it (I was slightly disappointed about that) but a black bear was roaming our neighborhood a couple of weeks ago.
that cake looked delicious