Yesterday my parents left for Utah. They dropped by our place to give us a key to their place so we could feed their fish while they were gone. Minutes after they left my kids were all in tears asking why they never got to do anything fun and why couldn’t they go to Utah! Seriously?!? But then I thought about it for about one whole minute, and thought why can’t we go to Utah? I checked my calendar and saw that we didn’t have therapy until Tuesday, school doesn’t start for another 10 days and we could really use a change of scenery. So, I told the kids to start grabbing clothes and in less than two hours we were out the door and on the road! During the packing I called Jared up and told him we were leaving. He didn’t like the fact that we were ready and prepared to leave without him. He was home twenty minutes later and packing himself 🙂 !
The ride was great, although we didn’t make it to town until after 9:00. When we pulled into Grandma and Grandpa’s driveway they had just pulled in themselves from their shift at the temple. The kids were going crazy in the car yelling things like, “I know them!” “We’ve been here before!” It was fun watching the lightbulb flick on and them realise why we had been driving for so long!
The thing about vacations (at least for me) is that I don’t want to be scheduled every minute of the time. I actually enjoy the sitting around and catching up with the people that I’m with. So it was an incredibly late night but not such an early morning. We got ready at an easy pace and played around the house and outside. That was a shocker for the kids that they could actually go out in the backyard and play without melting! My grandparents had to do another shift at the temple so when they were gone we decided to go see some sites.
When I was a kid, something that I always enjoyed visiting was the Utah capital building. For those of you who have ever been there you’re probably thinking, “WHAT???” You’re right, there’s nothing fantastical about it other than I remember going there as a child and loving it. There were these HUGE lions on the grounds that I thought the kids would get a kick out of and I wanted them to see it… so off we went.
Let’s just say that I was less than thrilled about what I found there. For some strange reason I had remembered something very different from what I saw when I pulled up to the capital building. I remember the lions being in this sort of open building like what you’d see at the Jefferson or Lincolin Memorials. That’s not what it was at all!!! I don’t know if they did some renovations on the building and the grounds or if I completely made it up in my head but I only found two somewhat small lion statues connected to the outer stairs leading up to the front doors. They were beautiful but nothing like what I remembered!
Luckily, as we were getting out of the car to walk the grounds, Jared stumbled upon a little path. We weren’t sure where it lead but we were feeling adventurous and so with the kids in tow we made our way down a series of switchbacks.
At the end of the path was a beautiful park. I found out later that it was called Memorial Grove. It was such a wonderful little place to hang out for a few hours. There were countless photo ops. (which got me really excited) with rivers and waterfalls, a small lake with bridges, memorials for different wars, and tons of gigantic butterflies and dragonflies! Some of the kids were scared to death and I don’t really blame them. The dragonfly bodies were easily the size of my fist. Tack on two large sets of wings and you’ve got yourself a pretty big flying insect. It doesn’t help anything that they have the word “dragon” in their name 🙂 !!! It wasn’t until I stalked one of them on a tree and was able to touch it without it “eating me” that they started to relax and just enjoy them for how amazing they are!
So, like I said before, there were a million photo ops so I took advantage. WARNING: PHOTO OVERLOAD!!! I’ve been trying to practice my photography and this was the perfect time to play with some of the manual settings. I just crossed my fingers that I would get something good, and I did!!!
I do have to say that I am in love with all thing Jacob! It’s not that my other kids don’t bring me joy or anything like that, but I just love watching the pure joy that seems to radiate from him even when doing something as simple as drinking from a waterfountain. He was so happy because he was big enough to stand and get a drink on his own and it splashed him a little in the face and because of that small thing we were blessed to hear his laugh and see his smiles!
As we were walking back to the car, Jacob ran at me calling “Momay, momay!” I turned to look and saw what he was carrying. I was able to snap a quick picture as he held up the flower for me! I lost the flower during the trip but I’m so glad I caught that moment with my camera! A few feet later Benjamin came up to me and gave me another offering. Ewe! Sweet but still ewe!!! I think Benjamin could learn a thing or two from his little brother 🙂 .
As we walked back up the footpath to where we parked our car Jared mentioned that since we had driven all the way out here to see the capital building that we might as well walk up to it. I knew I wouldn’t find what I was looking for but it was such a nice day to be outside.
We walked back up the hill, across the street, and then climbed the million+ stairs up to the lions. The kids loved them, probably not so much that they’d want to see them again, but enough. We walked around the grounds, which were beautiful while the kids ran ahead and rolled down the hills. We finally climbed a couple hundred more stairs to a place that would overlook the valley. The kids did love that!
They were in awe of the city and all the sights they could see! We showed them Mount Olympus and told them that Grandma and Grandpa’s house was just at the base. The smartypants that enjoy Percy Jackson and all the Greek mythology that’s in those books thought we were fibbing!
By the time we walked back down all the steps that we had climbed to get to our beautiful outlook the kids were a bit tired. Jacob was such a trooper and walked up and down each and every one of those steps, all by himself!
From the capital we drove over to Gateway where we heard there was a great waterpark for the kids to play at. We have these same types of water features in Vegas but of course (according to the kids) they’d never been to one and we should definately go more often!
The older kids played hard while Jacob looked on. He’s never been a real fan of water, especially when it sprays out at you so fast and hard. I’m sure he’ll warm up to it at some point.
It was a great, long, and full day! Can’t wait for the rest of the trip so that we can make more memories!!!