Sunday, December 29, 2013

Family Vacation

Ready for picture overload?? Lol
We decided to take the kids on a family vacation this year.  We had a family counsel in March on what we should do for it.  Everyone agreed that we would go to Salt Lake City and stay in a hotel.  We planned it for June 15-18.  We had to wait for Ian to make it home from Scout Camp on the 15th, then we all piled in the car and headed North. 

We had to stop in Price to get the tires aligned and also a quick stop at the orthodontist for Ian to get his braces fixed. (He bent the wire while at Scout Camp.)

I think they are just a bit excited.  Don't you think?

We made our first stop--The Living Planet Aquarium--on the way up to Salt Lake. 

Lindey was fascinated with the River Otters.

Zander in the hidey hole in the otter's habitat.

The kids loved that they were able to pet a real shark--after they got over the fear that it was a real, live, shark. lol There were also little sting rays you could touch in this tank.  I didn't get a good picture of it, but it would come right up out of the water!  The kids loved that.

They were also able to touch a starfish.
We had to go back to the sharks so that Micah could touch one. (One of the sting rays is at the top of the tank.)
Zander looking at the shark tank.
This penguin gets bigger than Eli!
After we finished at the Aquarium we climbed in the car for the half hour ride to the Hotel.  Once checked in, the kids changed into their swimming suits and hit the pool.

Then it was back to the room for showers and bed.  I think they were worn out! We were able to get adjoining rooms, which made it really nice. Everyone had a bed, and the kids could be watching one thing on TV in the one room, while John and I were watching something else. (We don't have that luxery at home. lol)

On Sunday, we visited This is the Place State Park. It was kind of a disappointment for the kids since nothing was open.  We got to ride the train and walk around and see in a couple of the old buildings.
Our train conductor had to stop the train at one point and get feisty with a movie crew that was there filming. They had their vehicles parked in the way.  It was kind of funny, actually. After he got off the train and yelled at them, they moved their cars/vans and then he got back on the train and kept on with the tour as if nothing had happened.  It made us laugh.

The view was beautiful!

Zander wanted to pretend he was shooting the cannon.

This little message was left by someone....I wonder who it was?

We walked up the hill to the pioneer cemetery.  It was very peaceful there.

It was also Father's day, so I took a picture with John and all the kids.

Ian and I took a crazy selfie.  :) It makes me smile.  We were just having fun!
Micah's favorite thing in the entire world is ice cream.  Of course he thought this cut out looked like a scoop on a cone. 
Micah is such a goof!  His eyes are so expressive! lol
Zander was mad about something.  I was kind of teasing him with the camera and snapping pictures of him.  I took this picture and when I looked up from the camera...
...he was gone!  It kind of freaked me out for 2 seconds. (He had gotten off the bench and went around the corner.)
The kids favorite part was the little village houses they could play in.  They were just Lindey's size!
They played tag in the houses.  It was really funny when John snuck up to one of the windows and scared them.
Micah playing on a train that was behind the little houses.

All six of our cute kiddos.

For my souvenirs I added to my pencil collection. This wooden pencil is from This Is the Place.
I forgot to take a picture of my pencil from the Aquarium, oops! I chose the one that had a sting ray on it since we got to pet them.

We stayed at the Red Lion Hotel.
On Sunday afternoon we went and took a tour of the LDS Conference Center.

The conference center has many of the original paintings of the pictures from the Book of Mormon. Our tour guide had each of the kids go stand by their favorite picture.  Morgan chose the 2,000 Stripling Warriors.
Eli picked two--Ammon and Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty.
Micah chose Samuel the Lamanite.
Ian's Was Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty.
Ian also picked Lehi's family on the boat to the promised land.
Lindey chose Samuel the Lamanite.
Zander also chose Samuel the Lamanite.
We had the best tour guide.  I can't remember her name, but she was so cute with Eli.  She held his hand everywhere we went and would explain things to him.

She took our picture on top of the conference center with the temple behind us.
After our tour, we walked around temple square.  We decided to take the kids into the Tabernacle to show the kids the organ.  There was a man practicing the organ.  He was playing along and stopped mid-phrase, there was total silence and then Micah farted.  Yep, you read that right.  He let one rip.  Can we just say, acoustics!  Everyone heard it and we were laughing (quietly). We left right after that so we weren't being disruptive. lol 
Had to take Micah's picture outside the Tabernacle.  He won't be living that one down for a while.
John and the kids at temple square.
Ian took our picture.
After we made it back to the hotel, we opened John's Father's Day gifts.
He got a new Veggie Tales movie from the kids.
An apron and his Duck Dynasty "Happy, happy, happy" shirt.
Monday morning we went to Hogle Zoo.

Nice, Ian. Nice. Lol
There were all these Lego creations all over the zoo.  The kids loved looking at them, and being a part of them.  I love all their faces.

We took this picture because the biggest Orangutan was named Eli.  Pretty cool!
I have the same arm span as an Adult Female Gorilla. 
We went to watch the bird show, and just as it started, one of the hawks flew off.  Because it was a bird of prey, they didn't dare continue on with it loose.  They were very leery of bringing out the parrots to talk and entertain while they were trying to catch it.
They stopped and started with this parrot 3 times while waiting for the hawk to be caught.
They showed a few more birds like this owl before cancelling the show to go catch the hawk.
The hawk had flown down a ways to the end of the zoo and was sitting in this tree. He was just watching everything going on below him. They eventually were able to get the hawk.

This lego polar bear was awesome to see!  It was huge!
I think we have taken a picture just like this every time we've been at the zoo with Morgan.  (Giraffes are her favorite!)
We thought Lindey would love seeing all the animals, but they really freaked her out.  She wouldn't go anywhere near the glass and would freak out if you tried to hold her near them. 

This little guy was the closest Lindey would get to anything.  It must have looked closest to a puppy.
More legos--penguins!
The lion drinking fountain that we all have pictures of us drinking from.  Had to carry on the tradition with our kids. :)
The kids loved riding the carousel.

They were kind of sad that we couldn't ride it again without paying again.  I told them to wait until tomorrow and they could ride the one at Lagoon as much as they wanted. (And they did!)
This big elephant is fairly new to the zoo.  The kids love it because it blows air out the trunk and scares them.
Ian and Zander moving the floating ball.
Me with my Hogle Zoo pencil.  (Pencils are getting harder and harder to find!)
After the zoo, we headed over to The Leonardo.  John was so excited to take us here and show us all the cool displays.  He was disappointed that the displays he wanted to show us most, were either gone, or on tour for the summer.  The kids still had a great time exploring.  Their favorite was the stop action filming.  They made several movies.  It was fun to see their progress and line of thinking.  They are pretty creative!
Eli even was able to make a movie after watching the other kids do it.  He didn't need (or want) any help.

Ian made a Minecraft Creeper face with the color block wall.
Zander experimented with the colored lights and 3-D cubes. 

No pencil at The Leo.  Had to settle for a pen.
We took the kids on Trax several times.  They thought that was fantastic!
Even though there were plenty of seats, all the boys had to try their hand at standing up while the train was moving.  They thought it was pretty cool.
Mr. Cool. :)
We bought a Connect Pass that let us go and do many things around Salt Lake City for much cheaper than without the pass.  One of the things the pass allowed us to do was eat at the Lion House.  It was very good, and we wouldn't have done this otherwise. 

It was pretty good food!  I got the stuffed chicken.  And some of the others got the same as I did or the Pot Roast. 

After eating dinner, we took our time getting back to the hotel and wandered around temple square again.  It was nice not to have to rush, rush, rush to be somewhere. We took pictures of the temple.
We took lots of pics of the kids being silly.
Some of the girls.
Some of the boys (being silly).

And some of John and I.

I think this is one of my favorite pictures of our trip.  It is at the Trax station.  There was just enough seats for each of the kids to have their own.  :)  It just makes me smile.
We ended our vacation with Lagoon.  John's family joined us this day as it was what we do every year for his family reunion. It worked out great!
Zander was a brave toaster and went on the Rocket for the first time.  I love the look of fear on Zander's face as he is looking at how high the ride is going to go.  I asked him if he was okay and he answered, "yes." :)
He was all smiles on the way back down! :) (John's sister, Suzette, and her husband, Wayne went on the ride with him.)
Micah was so fun to watch.  He makes the best facial expressions and just had a great time all day long!
We rode the train with Grandpa, which is always a favorite.  I got in trouble with John for taking Lindey on it without him. (He was off with the other kids riding big kid rides, oops!)
See, we rode the merry go round--several times. The kids all loved choosing which animal they were going to ride.
Lindey loved her kitty cat.
We were the only ones in line for this ride, so the kids rode it until I was dizzy from watching them.

Lindey loved the Puff the Magic Dragon Roller Coaster.  I went on it so many times with her that I lost count!  As soon as it was over she'd laugh and say, "Again!" She was so fun to be with. :)
Lindey and Eli taking a drive through the park.
I also rode the musical dragon ride. (I don't remember what it is called.) I didn't want to go on it--it makes me sick and wishing it would just end (and then it goes the other direction!), but they boys talked me into it.  Look how excited they were--how could I resist?
The boys were in love with the bumper cars.  Zander took Lindey for a ride.  She wasn't too thrilled to go with him, but warmed up to it after a minute. Eli was excited he got to drive his own car.  He was having a blast!
Poor Ian, got sick to his stomach.  He spent a couple hours just sitting like this. I felt bad for him.
Lindey wanted to ride in the boats, and she had to be in the Pink one.  She is such a little princess! Lol At one point she was leaning over the edge to put her hand in the water.  I was afraid she was going to tip over!  That would have been fun.

It is a tradition to take a family picture by the entrance to Lagoon.  We missed doing it when we got there, so we took one as we were leaving the park.  The kids were tired, and happy.  The perfect way to end our vacation and head home.
I found my Lagoon pencil with the White Roller Coaster on it. John and I were able to ditch the kids and go on it by ourselves.  It was fun!  (Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!)

We were trying to hit one last ride before Lagoon closed, and ended up letting Zander play one of the games.  He'd been asking to play one all day, so we let him go for it.  He won a cute squid hat!  John also played and won a squid hat for Eli.  They were both so excited! (And they looked pretty cute in them too.)
We stopped for gasoline in Wellington, and I snapped a picture of our sleeping beauties. They were tuckered out!  We ended our vacation on a great note!
Whew! It was a crazy four days and kind of hectic at times, but it was so worth it.  We have created memories that our kids will remember forever.  Can't beat that! :) So glad we did this.

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