Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Utah Vacation 2017

We decided to go to Utah for Spring Break this year -- instead of our usual summer trip. I liked this idea for several reasons. #1 It's cheaper to go during the "off" season. #2 I was ready for a break. In fact, if we hadn't all gone as a family, I was going to go with just Mara for a long weekend in March. #3 Our summer (gardening, community activities for the kids, etc) won't be interrupted with a long absence.

We left at 2am (no lie) on Monday morning (April 11th). I think the kids were most excited about this. They mentioned it every day for nearly a week. They couldn't wait to be woken up in the middle of the night (or was it early in the morning?) to sneak off to O'Hare. I couldn't believe they stayed awake for most of the car ride. I can't remember if Reid ever went back to sleep.

Playing in the O'Hare airport before take off

The plane was a bit hectic. Our seats weren't together (of course). And Lou pitched enough of a fit that I was stuck with her and Mara in the back of the plane. Reid and Nell sat together in the middle with Ben in a seat right in front of them. But ... ugh -- the airline booked other people in each of our children's seats. I couldn't believe it! How do you see three small children and not put them right by a parent? And even worse, apparently give their seat to someone else?!?!? It was ridiculous, but the wonderful flight attendant sorted it all out.

On our flight back home we were all grouped together in the very last row. But ... ugh they double booked my seat on a plane with at least 8 empty seats! I am not making this up. How do you give one seat to two people when there are that many empty seats? I will never understand airline seating. For example, I pay the same for my ticket as anyone else, but no matter what --- EVERY TIME -- we get the very back. I've obviously gone off on an airline rant I didn't intend to turn this post into, but let the record show in my children's youth airlines treat kids like garbage. Garbage! Even though their seats cost the same as anyone else's.

Leaving super early in the morning had it's advantages. It was nice to have arrive in Delta mid-afternoon and have some time to settle and enjoy ourselves before bed. We had another busy day of travel planned ahead of us. When we gave my mom our dates she decided to throw together a Christmas in April. She rented a huge house down by Bryce Canyon and started planning all the details of hosting her family of 8 adult children and 16 grandchildren in the rented home two and a half hours away from her own.

It was a sweet party, I tell ya. I'll have to write a separate post about it later. I'll also write a separate post about what to do with small children in Bryce Canyon (to go with my series) later. Right now I am apparently just giving a vague overview before I bombard you with more detailed and (hopefully) better organized posts.

We spent Easter Sunday up in SLC with Ben's sisters and their cute kiddos. So the first six days of our trip required a lot of traveling and repacking. It seems we are always packing for a vacation within a vacation when we go to Utah.

During the last portion of our stay we finally had four solid days to sleep and play in one home -- my parents home. Things were nice and slow in Delta, but still filled with plenty of family time and wild cousin play. It really felt like we never stopped, but it was all so relaxing anyway.

I'm having a hard time recovering and readjusting to life back in Wisconsin, but I think we are finally settled in and back into our routine. Reid was more than ready to head back to school. And Nell has fallen back in love with our hour(s) long together time. Mara started solids yesterday and is sleeping well in her crib. Coraline, well that spunky one didn't really seem to get out of sorts and she hasn't fallen back into anything either. She's always just cranky, goofy, serious, excited, and content all in a matter of minutes no matter where we are. Poor girl though, she had a bout of throw ups the night before our return. Luckily her recovery was quick and no one else was affected. She's such a spunky and unpredictable little toddler.

Vacationing as a family always makes me love my people a little more. It strengthens our bond and reinforces our tribe power. The kids were able to branch out and explore new things (from sleepovers to rock hounding), but at the end of each new adventure they always find a safe home in my arms. And for that I am indeed grateful. Love my bunch!
Stop at the Chicago Temple on our way home, Apr 21
Much more of Utah 2017 to come soon!

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