We finally did it. After calculating and comparing the costs of traveling to Utah, we decided to try driving. (Usually we fly, but after considering the cost of 3 plane tickets, 1 car rental, 2 car seat rentals, and airport hassle, we were game for something different.) For the first time, with the kids. From Denver to Logan, it's about a 9 hour drive if you go nonstop. There is no nonstop with a toddler and a baby.
We heard that portable DVD players were the way to go. So we borrowed one. Ellie wasn't interested in it after, oh, about 30 minutes. As I've mentioned in an earlier blog, Ellie has the gift of gab. Imagine a 10-hour drive with non-stop toddler banter.
I had been really looking forward to spending some time in the mountains. In Cache Valley, you are never more than a 10-minute drive from a hiking trail. That is something I truly miss living in the 'burbs. I found myself telling Jake all about the hiking that was always in my back yard when I was growing up.
Our first mountain jaunt was the River Trail. Too bad it was 95 degrees!
My niece, Erika, invited us to her 7th birthday party. I can't believe Erika is 7. I was in the delivery room with her parents when she was born, so she has always been special to me. Here is the precocious 7-year-old.
And her 5-year-old brother, Kalvin, for good measure.
In my last posting, I mentioned that I'm not the kind of mom who bakes cupcakes and then hand-decorates each one for her kid's birthday party. Well, my sister is that kind of mom. Here is her handiwork.
I must mention here that all the kids, except for Ellie, took turns being sick while we were there. That is why in some pictures you will notice that not all the kids are present.
We went to Bear Lake. Jake had never been there, and I didn't realize until we got there that Jake was expecting a stagnant little mountain pond. Any of you who have been there know that that certainly is not the case. I think Jake was pleasantly surprised. Kalvin was sick for this outing.
We had to get burgers and raspberry shakes at LaBeau's, of course. I have to admit, while the raspberry shake was excellent, the hamburgers weren't impressive at all. (I think the LaBeau's in Logan still makes decent burgers, though.) While we were waiting for our lunch, Erika expressed a desire to "hold the baby." The "baby" happens to be about 2/3 her height and about 3/4 her weight. I don't think Judd understood that he was being held.
Ellie was fearless in the water. We had to keep a sharp eye on her because she kept running farther out into the water. Judd, on the other hand, cried when I put him in the water. He got over it quickly, though. (Some of you know my serious aversion to natural bodies of water, and I know you are thinking I'm a total hypocrite for sending my own children into a lake. To that, I can only say, you are totally right.)
Our final excursion on our trip was the Wind Caves hike in Logan Canyon. I have done this hike a number of times, but the last time I hiked it may have been about 10 years ago. We took Ellie with us. Judd was sick for this one. This was lucky for Ellie, because Jake ended up having to carry her most of the way. Thank goodness for the Kelty.
In the cave--Ellie was truly disappointed because there were no flowers or bats in the caves. She thought the hike was a total and utter bust.
Thanks Mom, Maki, Jessica, Erika, and Kalvin for a fun vacation!