Thursday, November 25, 2010

yellowstone II

We spent Thursday night in Utah at Cynthia's house. The next day we met up with Kristin and her small friends and went to the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point, which was EXCELLENT. So much fun!

The skeleton exhibits were amazing, but the interactive stuff for the kids was even better. They created their own dinosaur out of giant stuffed parts; there were plenty of creations to touch; they built dams and rivers in the 'flood area;' and they could dig for dinosaur bones in the huge sandboxes near the end. Oh - and they had fun with their cousins. :)

Friday evening was Grandma Kathy's birthday party. Man, there are a lot of Reeses and their derivatives! I was too tired to be very social and neglected to even get a picture of the birthday girl. Luckily my other family members aren't so socially inept and so I got to at least hear second hand what everyone is up to.

Saturday we went to the SLC Zoo - thank you Jordan - and Opa. And thank you Lizard for all the tie dye.

Highlights were the baby elephant, and of course the train - which is a really great train. Having ridden the Denver Zoo train over a dozen times, I'm qualified to rate it. (The two blond hippie boys got hair cuts shortly after we got home.)

Alex still can't get enough of baby Summer.
Saturday night we celebrated Max's 2nd birthday out at Amy's house. Oma and the Angels arranged all the food and Princess Kat just showed up with the birthday boy. Our baby's not a baby anymore! Poor Alex - many tear were shed over those construction vehicles from the cake . . .

Alex and Katie provided a lot of assistance with the presents, but then Max started getting into it.
Goodbye trucks, hello baby tigers!
This pretty well sums up how we all felt on the drive home. Totally exhausted from a crazy fun week. There's never enough time to play with everyone as much as I'd like. Next summer we'll have to figure out how to stay longer on our visits. That pesky job of Roger's just gets in the way of fun sometimes . . .

yellowstone I

In September - I know, I'm the Queen of slow these days - we took a trip to Utah for Grandma Kathy's 90th birthday via Yellowstone and Wyoming. We didn't make it very far out of the gate before we needed to stop for dinner. The troops played boccie ball while the pizza cooked - LOVE the RV!

We split up from Mom, Dad and Julie, and Uncle Tom traveled with us. Our first stop was the 6th crossing of the Sweet Water up in WY. I haven't (yet) had the pleasure of participating in 'Trek,' but holy smokes. I can't even imagine crossing the plains with all your possessions fit into that cart, let alone doing it in a WY winter. That water was bitter cold. The missionaries at the Visitor's Center were all getting ready to pack up and go home in a few weeks.

I read somewhere that Yellowstone has more geothermal features than anywhere else in the world. This fact was not enough to distract the kids from the smell of some of those features.
They did all like the 'bubble geysers' - Max in particular. He still talks about them. Although some of our friends did get a little tired waiting for Old Faithful to go.

We saw tons of wildlife - which Julie did a much better job of documenting. Tons of bison, a moose, elk, wolves eating something out in a field, but alas, no bears.

The kids did great walking down all those millions of stairs on the hike for the Upper and Lower Falls. Katie walked almost the entire way, scoring a piggy back ride from Julie only near the end.

So many boardwalks! I really liked the terraces.

Camping inside of the park = sardines. Camping outside in West Yellowstone = Best.Campsite.EVER. We made dinner in the parking areas for different geysers every night, and ended up setting up camp after dark. This was OK, except that we had to make peach cobbler for breakfast one morning because we didn't ever have the chance to make it for dessert. Uncle Tom slept with us, while Julie, Mom and Dad roughed it in a hotel.

Next time we go, it would be nice to spend more than a couple days in the park. It was great to go when there were so few people about. We took a few breaks on our way south to Utah, and the whirlwind tour continued . . .

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

baby tigers

Max is as obsessed with tigers as Alex is with excavators. Here's a picture I keep meaning to send to Pam, but I just haven't got my stuff together: Max and his tiger case. This case goes EVERY where with him. He sleeps with it. He puts his treasures in it. It comes with us on outings. Best birthday present ever. Total hit.

Everything else in his world echoes his love of the tiger case. He will only drink milk out of his tiger cup - which actually is a tiger. When I ask him to put on his shoes, he asks 'my tiger shoes?' Which are his red sneakers. But first he naturally has to put on his 'tiger socks,' which are whatever pair of socks he's going to be wearing.

We go check out the baby tigers at the zoo pretty regularly, and Saturday we were rewarded with getting to see snack time for the tigers and leopards. The answer is 'guinea pigs,' and no, kids, the leopard is NOT playing with a stuffed animal.