Friday, September 16, 2016

reasons why we loved our trip to utah 2016

At the very end of June, we packed ourselves, our four children, suitcases full of necessities, electronic devices, and tons of snacks into our mini-van and hit the road.  Exactly 23 hours later, after only stopping 5 times (and only stopping long enough to fill up with gas and let everyone use the restroom), we pulled into my parents' driveway in Utah!  Even though the kids did waaaay better than we could have anticipated, and even though we were able to travel without incident, and even though we probably saved thousands of dollars over buying plane tickets for the entire family, I'm still not sure I would recommend traveling like that to anyone.  I say that now, but I'm sure in a few years I'll get the itch to take the whole family to Utah again, and we'll travel the exact same way.

We were able to spend nearly two weeks in Utah, visiting my family and having a fantastic time!  Here are some of the reasons why we loved our trip:

This hike to Battle Creek Falls was everything I wanted it to be: a hike in the mountains, that even Krew could do himself, with the reward of a waterfall at the end.

Everly and her cousin Jack are very close in age, and it was adorable to watch them interact.  Sometimes they liked each other, other times, not so much.

Our day exploring Cascade Springs, off-roading in the mini-van, and a picnic lunch in Provo Canyon was perfect.

No trip to Utah would be complete without a fun, loud trip to Rocky Mountain Raceway.  It did not disappoint.

Spending a few minutes with my Grandpa Adams was priceless.  He hasn't been in good health the past few years, so every time I see him now, feels like a bonus.  Even if much of what he says doesn't make sense, his laugh is still exactly the same.
Not having this guy leave to go to work for two whole weeks felt like winning the lottery!  He should do that more often.
Although we almost never drink soda, we had to try one of these fancy Utah soda shops everyone keeps talking about.  It was fun and fizzy!
We haven't taken our kids miniature golfing in years.  It was fun (if not a tad crazy) to watch them try to play.
Everly got a hole-in-one on almost every hole.  She wasn't going to waste her time with that silly club thing, when she could just drop the ball straight in.

Walking around BYU campus with my kids is dreamy.  It also brings back all the feelings of stress I had in college, even though I graduated 12 years ago.  It must have been crazy stressful to have that effect still.  Either way, it was a fun day.  And my kids always love to see my dad's office, with it's shelves full of toys.  They must think he has the easiest job!
The Provo City Center temple is more gorgeous in person than I could have imagined.

Of course, we had to make a trip to the Disney Store.  I think Everly likes this Minnie Mouse.
I always forget how delicious warm, fresh, Krispy Kreme donuts are.  Then I eat one again, and I remember.

Cafe Rio!!

The Fourth of July in Utah was probably the best day of our trip.  We had amazing seats to the Provo Freedom Festival parade, aka the best parade ever.  We went swimming in my parents' neighbors' amazing pool, we had a BBQ, took a nap, watched an amazing fireworks display that my parents' neighbor does-on their street, then just as that was ending, we headed to the backyard to watch the city fireworks display as well.  Couldn't have asked for a better day!

Water balloons!

 We got to see some of my aunts, uncles, and cousins at a little family reunion in the park, where Bart took selfies with my beautiful Grandma Adams,
 and my cousin's sweet little Beckett.  We have been cheering him on through some serious health problems over the past two years, so it was amazing to meet him and see how well he is doing now.

We got to swim in my parents' neighbors' pool. Everly made a cute little friend there.

Bart got to spend some quality time with himself on the golf course!
Our day in Salt Lake City included a trip to Tracy Aviary, or as Krew likes to call it, the bird zoo.  He has been obsessed with birds for over a year now, and of course he loved the aviary.  He didn't love when the large birds flew right over his head during the show, but he tried to be brave because he didn't want to miss anything.

Temple Square gets me every time.  (Some day we should hire a professional photographer to take our pictures in front of the temple, because several times this trip we asked strangers to take our pictures for us and they turned out wonky.  Oh well.)

Pretend this is a great picture of all my smiling, beautiful children in front of the Christus, okay?
Our family watched more NBA basketball this spring than Bart and I have for the past 10 years, combined.  It was so fun for the boys to get so into it and to watch games together as a family.  So, it was super fun to go to a Jazz summer league game together.  I tried to pretend it didn't hurt my feelings when they all said that they didn't like the Jazz.  

I love tin foil dinners in the canyon with my family.  Like, love them!

Saying goodbye to my family each time just about kills me, and my children all sobbing doesn't help.  It's hard living so far away from them (exactly 23 hours by car if you only make 5 super quick stops), but I'm so glad we get to come have fun with them when we can!

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