Friday, June 26, 2015

Family Vacation!!

We are finally home! it has been a LONG week. But it has been wonderful! Be prepared this is going to be a LONG post. It was so awesome to go see everyone in one whirl wind of a week. My little brother (I guess I should say younger, none of my brothers are little anymore), Got married to his sweetheart this past week. So we decided to make a family trip out of the whole week. Luckily for us we have friends who live 1/2 from home to the wedding so we got to stay there for a day and enjoy their company. On our way there we had to stop and take pictures with the HUGE windmills!

These are our friends from when Mike was in college so it has been a LONG time since we have seen each other. Our visit was awesome. Our kids hit it off super quick and were instant best friends. They were super fabulous and fed us dinner when we got there and pancakes for breakfast the next day. All of the kids were sad to move on but we had to keep moving.

Our plan was to drive until we got to Dinosaur National Monument and camp there.
Bringing camping gear for our crew is quite a big deal but we managed and even had smiling faces to boot!

The view on the drive was wonderful.

Melting snow makes for some really amazing scenery.

We turned off the beaten path to avoid construction and this beautiful view unfolded before us. (I took the picture through my front windshield, now I'm kicking myself for not stopping.) But as we drove we found a campsite sign. With that beautiful view I had to stop and check the camp ground.

Yes, we stopped. It was awesome. There were 30ish sites with a table and fire pit and there were only about 4 sites taken. 

Daddy set up camp and we began to explore. There was an awesome beach area and the boys wanted to go swimming. We knew it would be cold, but at the insistence of the boys I donned my swim suit with them and waded out into the ice cold water.

It was cold, but we were totally alone. Not one single other person was on the "beach"

The boys were crazier than me. I got to my knees and then booked it out of there. It was COLD! But the boys took it as a challenge to see how far they could get into the water.

Someone who had been there before had made some rock sculptures on the beach. Our three year old's favorite thing....was knocking them down.

This is all of my super awesome family on the beach in the evening.

The three year old throwing rocks again.

All the boys just being boys.

And the girls being girls.

The whole crew by the water.

This is the picture my awesome husband took of our campsite.

This is us the next morning. It was a little cool to start off the day, but it warmed up quickly.

My super sweet Xander Went and picked me a bouquet of wildflowers and handed them to me as we were packing up the campsite. 

 These boys sure had a ton of fun.

I don't know if you've ever seen Holes or not, but if you look closely this mountain looks kinda like "God's Thumb" from the movie only in stubby version. It was one of the mountains around our campsite.

Michael and I after we packed up our campground. I sure love this man.

It was time for us to move on so we headed out to UT to see the Dinosaur National Monument.

As we got closer we began seeing dinos everywhere.

 At the quarry the boys got to touch actual dinosaur fossils!

Our 5 year old found a fossilized turtle shell and couldn't hardly contain his excitement.

This is the gang in front of the fossils.

We saw lots of really cool bones and the resident expert even pulled out some recreations of dino fossils they had found.

Using a stegosaurs skull as a mask.

Actually being a stegosaurs.

This is the stegosaurs tail spike, back plate, and skull.

The little ones had to get in on the fun too.

Getting bit by and allosaurs. 

The oldest liked the allosaurs much better than the stegosaurs.


the actual wall of actual dinosaur fossils. We asked the kids how all the bones came to be in one spot and they suggested maybe it was a tar pit. Good theory!

Me and the girls.

And the whole fam on the tram!

We couldn't stick around too long because we had friends we wanted to meet for dinner. My poor husband looked like this for most of the trip. We drove a LOT.

We were going from small town to small town and it was defiantly the back roads of UT. This was in Indian Pass and let me tell you, it was beautiful. But I would NOT want to be caught there in bad weather. We were going down 8% grades. If you aren't a mountain person just know that is pretty steep for a car.

We get out of indian pass and the road we were on had no center stripe and sever pothole sections. 

There were also these orange poles sticking out of the side of the road. My husband informed me that those were to keep track of the road in snowfall. ick....

We got to have a wonderful dinner with friends from Michael's mission. They were super awesome and bought our dinner and ice cream for all the boys. I don't know if it's because I was just tired of being in the car, but I totally forgot to get a picture with them. Still kicking myself for that.
 We made it to our cabin and the next day all my siblings who could, went to the temple together. Mike watched our kids so I could go with my siblings. Then when I got back he went repelling and shooting with my brothers.
Everyone had a good day....just a long day.
The next day was the wedding and we sure had fun. We somehow managed to get all the cousins ready EARLY so we got to take some pictures before we left.
This is every last grandkid up on the loft of our cabin.

This is us just after the wedding. The Manti temple is SO beautiful! It is so amazing that the pioneers built this.

Silly faces

My awesome brother and my beautiful sister in law as Husband and wife. You couldn't find two happier people on the planet at that moment. They are so awesome.

After the wedding everyone came back to our cabin to have lunch. It was great to get to sit and talk with the brides family. After everyone left were just enjoyed being family together. Lots of bike riding and hiking. This lake was just a short walk from our cabin.

This is some of my amazing family outside of the cabin watching Grandpa take all the grandkids on his tandem bicycle.

We put the baby in our hiking carrier and walked around the lake.

this was the view at the top of the small mountain we climbed.

I know I keep saying this, but everything really was beautiful.

It was nice just for the Hubs and I to go for a walk....well the us and the baby.

Although, by the end of our walk she was VERY sleepy.

She slept in my arms all the way back to the cabin.

The next day was time to pack up and leave. These are the two youngest cousins saying goodbye.

Yay Cousins!

We made a short appearance at the reception but we had sick kids so we left fairly quickly. We headed north to go see Mike's sister. It was so wonderful to see more family. They knew we were coming and stayed up late with root bear floats waiting for us. That was so nice to have after a long drive.

This is their family. I wish we could have had more time with them. 

Sadly we had to continue our journey home. 

It was quite the drive home. We stopped again at our friends house. They were so fantastic to let us stay there again. Finally on Sunday night at about 11pm we made it home again. Long trips are hard work, but so is anything that is worthwhile.