It was so hot (the whole time we were in Utah!) that we decided to go through the dinosaur museum first.
It was a fantastic, kid-oriented museum!
The kids had a fantastic time and really enjoyed all of the dinosaurs and prehistoric life exhibits.Bekah and Isabella playing in the water/sand room.
There was a whole area that was devoted to sand/water play.
The idea is to replicate flooding/river flow/etc that covered the dinosaurs and allowed the fossils to be made. Samuel was so excited to climb on this lizard.
I actually have a picture of all of the kids around/on this lizard...it's like he was begging to be climbed on.Oh, no! A shark!
Later that afternoon, we headed on a hike with Lorin.
He took us up toward Silver Lake.
This was the view on the way to our hiking place.
Isn't it breathtaking?
The hike was along the side of a creek...and the kids had to stop multiple times to play in the ice cold water. The next day was Sunday, and after attending church with my mom, we headed up to a "cabin" over by Kamas to spend a couple of days with Coleen and her boys. It was a beautiful cabin...plently of space for all of us to spread out...and lots of beautiful views. The kids and their cousins enjoyed breakfast on the balcony.That afternoon, Coleen and I headed into Park City to hit the outlet mall there to do some very focused back-to-school shopping for Stephen. All of the kids and Pat went on a walk near the cabin. This is one of the photos they snapped along the way. Emily was in charge of the camera most of the way on this hike and we have about 20 botanical shots of the beautiful foilage along the way. Interesting to see what your kids think is "picture material". The next day, we headed up to one of Pat's family's favorite camping spots: Trial Lake. Pat was determined that we would make the hike to Star Lake, so we headed up that way after lunch. While the scenery was beautiful...the flies were awful! I've never been so bothered by bugs in my life. At least they weren't highly inclined to bite...(horse and deer flies, ugh!)This is one view of Star Lake. There are so many beautiful lakes in Utah...and beautiful areas surrounding them. Count your blessings my Utah friends.I snapped this shot as we were hiking out. Pat was teaching the family how to skip rocks, so they were searching for the right kind of skipping rocks.The next morning was our last at the cabin. I came out from getting ready to this sight: Yogamaster in the house (thanks to WiiFit). All of the kids saw him doing the yoga and joined in. It was priceless.
After an entire day of packing and cleaning the cabin, we headed down the hill, toward SLC, for a family picnic at Liberty Park...in honor of Diana and Isaac's birthdays. My little Isaac turned 1...and Diana's birthday was the next day. It was wonderful to see so much of our family...thank you so much for making the effort to be there!
Thursday we split up and both left the camera at home (I should have taken it with me!). Pat and the older kids went to Lagoon for the day, and my mom and I took the younger 3 on many adventures...including Chuck E. Cheese and Build-A-Bear. Both of those places were a new experience for Bekah and Sam...and they loved every minute of it. We were all exhausted at the end of the day, though.
Friday, we spent the day helping my mom clear room in her garage and put storage items in her "basement". It took a lot of time and energy, but the end result was well worth.
Our final item to finish up Friday afternoon was school shoe shopping. It was relatively painless...thanks to Famous Footwear and their buy one get one half off sale. It would nice to have more options here in NM...but we took advantage of the chance we had to shop somewhere other than Wal-Mart.
When we got back from shoe shopping, we started loading the Suburban for the drive home. We left pretty much on schedule, (4:30am) and hit Arches National Park on the way home. It is a beautiful park...lots to see from the road, and plenty of places to hike. We wanted another 5 or 6 hours to explore, but didn't have it in our schedule. Arches "cheese". Our final major stop of the day was at Four Corners National Monument. Here is our Four Corners "cheese" picture.
Just after this, the wind kicked up the dust so badly that the vendors started packing up their wares and heading home. It was an amazing dust/rain storm.
We finally pulled into our home about midnight on Saturday. 20 hours of traveling/sightseeing in one day was a little insane...but very worth it to be home. There really is no place like home.