Yes, folks – I finally got around to posting the last edition of my trip saga. Kids are feeling better, I’m feeling better, and since it’s summer, why not get some blogging done? I warn you, it’s a long one – read if you want, or just browse the pics. I’m just glad you stopped by!
Today was the day we planned to spend in the hotel while the hunkster hubby went to his appointments. He is doing research for his MBA paper on the Church’s Emergency response plans. He had appointments with the managing directors of the humanitarian center (or something like that).
The girls and I went for a swim at the hotel, which I actually really enjoyed, even though it meant me squeezing into my slightly-too-small swimsuit.
After some showers and lots of hair styling, we made some lunch in the hotel room and brought out the coloring books for the girls. I hopped down the stairs to throw in a load of laundry. We hadn’t been doing this too long before the hubby returned a little earlier than he expected. Nice! It left us enough time to head back to Temple Square to check out the few buildings we missed during the past week.
We popped into the Tabernacle quickly because we hadn’t been in really. The kids were amazed by the size and shape of it. It’s truly a gorgeous building. While in there, we were treated to a gorgeous song by a group of Israeli scouts! (At least, that’s what I overheard their director calling them). I just loved it. The sound in that place is incredible!
The first place we went was the Church Administration building. It is SO tall (I think it’s about 28-29 stories high) and we were able to check out the city from the observation deck on the 26th floor! I took a few shots of the city from up there and we were able to see many of the different places we had been to visit. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in the city. Our tour guide told us that everyone who works in the building needs to hold a current temple recommend. Nice! There certainly was a special spirit in that building – unlike any other office building I’ve been in! I just love this city!
After a really fun ride down the elevator (complete with ears popping) we walked around the corner for a tour of the Beehive house. It is SO big and luxurious inside! Hubby and I really enjoyed the tour, but we could tell the kids were getting sick of tours. LOL!
Our last stop was Deseret Books where we bought a few things, then back to the van to head off to Chuck-A-Rama for supper. I think my kids thought they had died and gone to heaven when they saw the dessert bar. WHOA~! I enjoyed the boneless pork ribs – HUGE and smothered in BBQ sauce. Oh, delish! It was so good. I know I ate too much, but really? The food was so good.
Another great, full day!
Boo hoo, our last FULL day in Utah. Both my husband and I love it here and wish we lived here. Truly. The weather has been phenomenal, the people are friendly, the cost of things is much cheaper than in Canada, and just being in the hub of the Church organization is amazing. I know the novelty would wear off eventually, but the spirit of being here is just wonderful. We love it.
And what better way to scream “TOURIST” than wearing matching USA T-shirts?! I know, but we’re still too cool for school.
We decided to end our visit to Utah by going to Hogle Zoo. As we pulled up, I could feel myself getting excited just like a little child. What a fun place! It took us about 3 hours to walk through which was just about right for us. We showed up just as it was opening, which was perfect because it wasn’t too busy, and it hadn’t become too hot yet. The animals were all out and easy to spot. I loved seeing the Cheetah, the Rhinos, and the Tiger. There was also a fun bird show where a flock of doves literally flew in a group right over our heads. I could have reached up and touched one!
After the zoo I made a point to stop at a Bath And Body Works store, which came HIGHLY recommended by my SIL. And now *I* get to HIGHLY recommend it! I only spent $12, but I came out with 3 different body wash gels, a large hand soap pump, a anti-bacterial gel, a body splash spray, and some hand lotion. And they ALL smell HEAVENLY! A very good choice to stop in there 🙂
We tried to find another scrapbook store, but had no luck. Maybe later. In stead we headed back to the hotel so the girls could have one last swim in the hotel pool. It was such a great choice to get a hotel with a pool. We’ve made good use of it!
Bye, Bye Utah – hello Idaho!!
My hubby arranged for us to spend two nights with a guy he served with on his Mission (centuries ago – hee hee). I admit, I was nervous. I mean, I’ve never met the guy – and now we will be staying at his house for two days?! BUT, I trust my husband, and anyone he speaks this highly of HAS to be awesome.
We made good time and pulled up to a beautiful home just outside of Burley. We were met with cute signs on their door welcoming our family to their home. I knew immediately I would love this family!
We were introduced, our four daughters to THEIR four daughters of the same age, and we visited for a while before they treated us to a fabulous lunch of tacos! They were DELISH! We’re talkin’ home made guacamole! HEAVEN!
While staying with them, we visited his parent’s home where the men took the girls for a ride on the quad, and my heart nearly jumped out of my throat when I saw the height of the slide in their yard! It’s a broken arm waiting to happen! 😉
We had dinner back at the house (Spaghetti and garlic bread, with salad made fresh from the garden- again, major yum!) and visited a while.
The kids had a blast jumping on the trampoline (memo to me: buy one for next year!) until it became dark enough for the fireworks!
L.B. bought some fireworks (gosh, we LOVE Idaho!) to set off in the backyard.Day 12:
Still hangin’ out with the B family. D and I packed up some snacks and the boys headed out to pick up the boat. Okay, I can’t express how fast and terrifying this boat is. I mean, can you SEE how little BOAT is between me and that freezing cold water?? But fun? OH YEAH!
We had to rest for a while after such fun at the river, except hubby and LB headed over to the Church’s grain storage and they thought it would be fun to CLIMB to the top of the grain elevator. NUTS! It was like 13 stories or something, up a metal ladder. NUTS! Nice view, though 🙂
Later that night we were treated to the MOST delicious dinner (they truly outdid themselves in every way) of ribs (literally fall off the bone ribs), BBQ chicken, grilled shrimp skewers, a veggie platter, potato salad, you name it! Oh drool. I would travel all the way to their place again JUST for a meal like that. I couldn’t believe it was the first time LB had made ribs. He is a natural!
We settled down to watch a movie, put the kiddos to bed, enjoyed Oreo milkshakes (major yum), then headed off to bed. We were NOT looking forward to another few hours in the vehicle the next day. Besides, we were having WAY too much fun visiting this family. They FELT like a part of OUR family from the first moment. We’ll definitely keep in touch.
Boo hoo! It was hard to leave our friends, BUT it also meant that I was one day closer to seeing MY parents, and I was getting excited to see them. It’s been a while. We hopped in the van for a long drive through a few states to get to hubby’s cousin’s home just outside Spokane Washington.
Can I just mention here how impressed I was with our four girls during our many, many hours of driving? They were angels, and I just love them for it. It made the trip that much nicer!
We arrived just after supper time and WOW, what a phenomenal house – built by M himself. Double WOW. They live right on the lake and though it was getting late, we still were treated to a fun ride on their MONSTER of a boat. We’re talking 13 people on this thing. It was so fun.
We spent the rest of the evening visiting, catching up and everything. They had set aside a nice room for us, and the kids got on nicely with their girls. Another stay over that I had no need to fret over. It was a short over night visit, but I’m glad we went.
The next morning, we visited a while longer, then headed BACK on the road for another 6-7 hours to get to BC! I began to feel kind of sick during the drive – dizzy, weak, headachy, and a little nauseous. I was so happy to see their town appear beyond the hills. I was SO ready to just STAY for a while 🙂
My parents greeted us with a large roast chicken dinner and lots of hugs and kisses. We were also greeted by their 3 pomeranians, plus the last puppy they were selling. SUCH cute dogs. I think they even remembered us from months ago!
We did some visiting, then headed to bed late. We had a lot to catch up on!
Today was a blur for me, as I was feeling quite sick. BUT, still lots to do! We started out with a visit to Davison’s Orchard, which is a fun orchard with farm animals, gift shops, and a neat playground the kids love. Best part? It’s FREE. Love that. Sadly, they had no food out to feed the animals, so we didn’t stay in that part too long, just headed over to the playground to let the kiddos play. It was a HOT day – well over 30 degrees, so sitting in the shade to watch them was the order of the day. OH, and some delicious PURE apple juice. This stuff tasted like I was drinking an apple. I loved it.
After the visit to Davison’s orchard, we stopped at home for lunch, then went to a nearby beach for some fun at the lake. I didn’t swim (was feeling feverish and headachy by this point), but the girls had an absolute blast! We brought the kids’ cousin, ‘C’ with us, and I laughed out loud when I saw she and TJ doing this:
When I was younger, we would vacation in the Okanagan valley (Penticton) every summer, and I had a little friend there (‘Z’) and we would do this exact thing – use our towels like wings and play “butterfly”.
It was cloudy, but perfect im my opinion. I couldn’t take much more sun with my headache. That’s also when the difficulty breathing started for me. The cough came later 🙂
Well, the days started off with high spirits. We were all very excited to visit the ranch my dad works at. They have GORGEOUS horses there, and the owner was going to be doing some riding that we would watch.
We arrived bright an early, and were met by the two large dogs who live there. They are Wolfhounds. One of them, Charlie, came up to visit with the 3 older girls. They pet him, and he visited a bit before wandering over to stand next to our littlest, JJ. They just stood next to each other for a second, JJ not giving him much attention – not even touching him, when suddenly he pounced on her, taking her entire head into his mouth and throwing her to the ground!
My mother and I shrieked and ran over to her, chasing Charlie away. We were absolutely shocked!! I scooped up JJ and only noticed a small bite mark on her cheek, just below her left eye. I was relieved for a second before the blood started oozing down the right side of her face. I lifted up her hair to see two large cuts above her right eyebrow, one of them gaping wide. I knew immediately she needed stitches.
We raced her back to the van, my mom flagging down my dad to tell him what happened. He felt SO terrible that had happened. And so shocked! The owner was completely devestated that it happened.
I held JJ during the short drive to the nearest clinic. We walked in and, thankfully, were the only patients there. We got her in quickly, and the doctor stitched her up with no problems. JJ was so brave. She didn’t cry when the dog bit her, or through the needle, or the stitches. Part of me thinks she was in shock. I think *I* was in shock!
My mom took us all to the store and let the kids each pick out a treat. Stitches… forgotten! I even found a thing or two there 😉
We went back home after a bit of shopping to have some lunch and get ready for the real treat of the day… boating with grandpa! My dad recently saved up and bought a boat – all to use with his grandkids and kids when they come to visit. I’ve got great parents!
We met up with my nephew “R”, who drove his sister, “C” to come boating with us. My dad brought us to this incredibly clear, green lake called Kalamalka. It’s stunning. We spent the rest of the day enjoying the wind in our faces, swimming, waterskiing, knee boarding, and tubing. It was a blast!! Even JJ enjoyed herself 🙂 My cough was getting worse, but I hardly noticed because of the fun we were having.
We were exhausted by the end of the day, but happily so!
Kelowna, here we come! We took today to travel the half hour or so to Kelowna, the “big city” in the Okanagan valley. We wanted to take the kids to the water park there (again, FREE) and I also wanted to check out a scrapbook store there as well. We hit the scrapbook store first – very nice, found some papers I wanted, then went to BP’s for some lunch. Bayboo was acting sort of funny. She wasn’t eating, and it was her favorite lunch. She didn’t even want any part of the ginormous chocolate chip cookie they give the kids at the end. I thought it was strange for her to have no appetite.
We headed to the water park, and it was SO nice. We snagged an awesome spot in the grassy shade. The kids ran and played the entire time, though Baylie did a lot of sitting with us.
I was SO proud of TJ. The entire time we were there, she never left JJ’s side. She stayed with her, played with her, and took her around the park – with out being asked to! She is SUCH a great big sister.
B also had a lot of fun exploring. She especially loved the water slide, and the big buckets that fill with water, then dump on you! She made some little friends (like she always easily does) and had a blast.
While we were in Kelowna, my parents were at the campground setting up camp for our family reunion. We told them we would be out there to meet them for supper, so we headed back.
By the time we got to the campsite, Baylie had started to burn with fever. She was writhing around in pain, crying, and coughing. My parents weren’t at the campsite, so I hiked down to the beach to let them know that we couldn’t stay at the campground, sharing a trailer with my parents when Baylie was so sick.
We decided to get a motel to stay in, so Baylie could get some good sleep and we wouldn’t keep the rest of the family up with her coughing. Besides, I don’t think being out there was good for her in the condition she was in. There weren’t any clinics open at the hour, so we gave her some tylenol to calm the fever, which it did, and just gave her lots of liquids, and lots of rest. She coughed every 30 seconds, or so, through the night. It was exhausting. I was an emotional wreck after the last couple of days!
Happy day! Today was my sister’s wedding day. We started the day off early – lots to do! We were exhausted from the lack of sleep, but excited for the day ahead. Hubby dropped me off at my parent’s house to wait for them to arrive. We had to pick up the decorations, then head out to the lake where they were to be married. Hubby stayed with the kiddos at the campground to play and take them hiking while we decorated.
The location was gorgeous. Kind of an outcropping of land, like an attached island, surrounded by lake, mountains, and trees. The weather was sunny and HOT. We got to work decorating, kicking ourselves for not bringing any water to drink!
The decorating went well, and soon we were heading back to the house to dress for the wedding. We quickly washed and changed, then headed back out for the big event! The kids stayed at the campground with my niece and her hubby – who did SUCH an awesome job entertaining them, even with Bayboo so sick 😦
My sister looked gorgeous – she wore a stunning orange gown, her hair looked awesome, and she was beaming. The lucky man, G, seems like such a wonderful, sweet, genuine person. They make a great couple!
I was lucky enough to photograph the event. It was a beautiful ceremony. We took some photos afterward, then enjoyed a FEAST in the gorgeous weather.
We headed back to the campground for some visiting and sparklers! Poor Bayboo’s fever was back, even though she seemed fine that morning. I just held her and we cuddled through the evening.
We reluctantly left back for the motel – our last night in BC!
What a fun, and exhausting blur of a day. Our last day in BC. We packed up everything and headed back to the campground for the family reunion lunch. My parents went all out, buying ALL of the food for the lunch. We each brought a pan of squares to share. The food was awesome, but the company was better. I miss visiting with my brother and sisters. We were missing 2 sisters, which was a downer, but they had good reasons. My nieces and their husbands were there, as well as my grown up nephews, who I rarely get to see. It was fun.
After lunch we played the ever anticipated GIFT GAME. We each choose a number, then when our number is called we get to choose to unwrap a gift from the HUGE pile of wrapped gifts in the center, OR steal a gift from someone else who has already opened one. In the end, we each end up with a gift. This year was SO funny. It’s always lots of laughs when the 20 something nephew ends up with fuzzy slippers, or a purse 🙂
The girls each ended up with great gifts, too 🙂
As soon as the game ended, though, we had to be off. It’s a 7 hour drive to Calgary, which is where we were headed. We left about 2pm and started off on the long drive.
We were doing okay until we hit just outside Golden, BC where we came to an abrupt halt! There was some kind of construction going on that left us at a stand still on the highway for an hour! Thank heavens for in vehicle DVD players!! SHEESH! There were people getting out of their cars and running into the forest to… ahem… relieve themselves. After an hour of waiting, we were finally moving. It felt to me like we couldn’t reach Calgary soon enough!
We saw some gorgeous rainbows on the drive though – pictures can’t do them justice. After a rainstorm, we even saw 2 COMPLETE arches together! It reminded me how much the Lord loves us to create such beauty for us to see.
Around 11pm we finally arrived at our destination (we lose and hour between BC and Alberta – time change) and we greeted by hubby’s parents. They had our beds all made up for us (just love them for that) so we put the kids to bed quickly, then stayed up for a (too short) visit. I sure miss them!
Home again, home again, jiggity jig! You know a vacation’s been a good one when you are ANXIOUS to finally be home. We said our goodbyes to the in-laws, then headed out for a quick visit with hubby’s sister, T. It was great to see her, to see she was still HER, but sad at the same time. Life has certainly changed for her! But, she was still T and that made my heart glad to see.
We were on the road again for another 7 hour drive (getting tired of driving by this point) and only had one little delay with more road contruction. We stopped by the D house to pick up our pets, then headed on home! Oh, joy and rapture to see our house as we drove around the bend. It was awesome. I couldn’t wait to hop into my OWN bed, and just recover from the AWESOME vacation! I loved our trip. I would do it all again in a heartbeat… but maybe not for a year or two 😉