Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Whirlwind Week in the Big City

Here we go again...the annual U of U Drug and Alcohol Conference week, where Dad simmers in meetings while me and the kids go off and play all day.
We enjoyed a nice Father's Day dinner and visiting with the extended family before heading to our SLC hotel. This was our 3rd year staying at this particular hotel, and while we love all of its' amenities--like the free breakfast and the hot tub,  it does seem to be situated smack in the middle of a thriving homeless community. As always, those wanting our money were the first to greet us on our trip.  This time, a fairly attractive young lady approached and explained that her car broke down...something about needing to get to her son....could we just help out with $40???  Brandon immediately refused her to the shock of our tender-hearted children.  He identified her as a typical "meth" mom with a bogus story. The gobs of makeup to hide the deteriorating effects of drug use...the car that broke down in some vague far away location...  See, you just can't fool a therapist. Especially one that is heading off to a week of boot camp.
And so began our exciting week in the big city:
DAY ONE:  Shopping at the Gateway
 You can tell the girls are getting older when shopping replaces the zoo as the #1 city attraction.

The fountains were a welcome relief on a hot day!
We spent the afternoon back at the hotel pool, then drove Brynn to provo for gymnastics camp, got snow cones for the way home. We finished the day with some spicy Indian takeout and some more hotel swimming. 

DAY 2:  MillCreek Canyon 
 We met my sister, niece, and her little kids for this jaunt up memory lane. From my neighborhood growing up, we had a beautiful view of majestic Mt. Olympus looming up from all the other mountain peaks.  All these years we thought we were hiking  Mt. Olympus when my mom took us on this trail. That is what she called it after all. It wasn't until many years later that I found out hiking Mt. Olympus was much more involved than a 3 hr. event. Nonetheless it felt like we climbed the whole mountain and the view from the top was spectacular,so the tradition continues...

We found this "peace" shrine along the way and added our own trinket of happiness, a Disney ticket leftover from our trip to Epcot in March. There's Mickey right above the fairy door. 
Along the trail, our fellow hiking companions started dropping off like flies and heading back to the car. It was hot and moderately steep for little legs. Kate and I booked it as fast as we could up the trail and were rewarded with this grand view of the whole Salt Lake Valley. We did it! We hiked Mt. Olympus! The serenity of being on top of a mountain and overlooking God's world is something so peaceful I could have stayed up there for hours.  But Kate and I had to meet the others eventually. We ran almost the whole way down and joined the rest of the crew for a picnic at the trailhead.. 

Once again, we were glad to have a pool to come home to as well as fresh towels and clean sheets! We ended the day with pizza and swimming. 

DAY 3: Goodbye Kate, Hello Brynn and sore legs from yesterday's hike.
 I did a LOT of driving this day. Dropped the youngers off at my niece Annie's, took Kate to the airport, went downtown to meet them for lunch at the bakery, drove to Provo to pick up Brynn from gymnastics and back  downtown to pick up Brandon and over to the East side for dinner at Annie's.
 We sent Kate on an airplane for a "Cousin Exchange" program for 2 weeks in Seattle, WA. We hope she will get to know some of her faraway cousins better and have fun exploring a new place. Later this summer, our WA cousins will get to visit us for the same experience!
In between dropping off Kate and picking up Brynn we had lunch, or dessert rather, at the most fabulous bakery on 3rd and 3rd in SLC, "Gourmandise."  Adrie chose a raspberry mousse cake, Cannon some cookies, and I enjoyed a delectable slice of marzipan cake.  My mom has definitely passed on her love for the finer confections in life. 

As if Annie hadn't already exceeded the bounds of generosity by watching my younger 2 all day, she invited us all over to dinner! She is so like that! We had a wonderful evening with her good cooking and lots of happy visiting. 

DAY 4: Hogle Zoo, Iceberg, Silver Lake
 We met Annie and her cuties again for a morning at the zoo.  We saw elephants, learned the difference between seals and sea lions, and had a picnic by the Primate house.  The best thing of all was the weather!!--didn't even get to 80 degrees and a cool breeze blew down from the canyons.

What a treat! After the zoo we headed over to our old friend, "ICEBERG" for the world's best shakes. These things don't come small. Brynn and I shared my classic favorite "peanut butter oreo" which you will gain 15 lbs. just by saying aloud.  

We still had energy after all that so we joined my sister Rayanne and headed up Big Cottonwood Canyon to her friends cabin for an afternoon/evening of mountain reverie.
 Our plans for an outdoor picnic at the cabin were interrupted when I turned the corner and found a MOOSE! We slowly retreated indoors and let the moose be.
 Walked the trail around beautiful Silver Lake

Our husbands joined us in the evening for tin foil dinners deluxe. We made it back to the hotel before dark but the windy canyon road had an ill-effect on Brynn. She lost what looked to be 3 whole meals in the parking lot.  The rest of us went to the hot tub.

DAY 5: Air Sports, Trumbolt
Our final day of city life we packed up and picked up Dad from his last session at the U. got lunch and did a little more shopping. 
Dad and I would have liked to spend the afternoon relaxing at the movies but the kids won and we ended up here.

 Lowe's Extreme Air Sports in Provo where Cannon flipped into a giant foam pit
 Adrie scaled the climbing wall
 and Brynn did a dozen dizzying back handsprings in a row.

We joined Brandon's family for the end of the trip with a barbeque at Trumbolt in beautiful Santaquin Canyon.

A fun filled week for sure and almost free thanks to Brandon's work!   I sure do love our time visiting family,  experiencing the serenity of the mountains and going back to the city I used to call home!


Megan said...

1. You are such a babe, Laur.
2. Your kids are so cute.
3. The Cousin Exchange Program sounds ingenious.
4. I need to try a PB Oreo shake, stat.
5. I love reading about your family's adventures.

Sheree said...

Great job on hiking Mt. Olympus! Your girls are sooo cute. And we have a little apt in the basement here and if you ever want a little UC action, you should stay here!