With my parents and Grammy in town this last week, we wanted to do something fun we hadn't done yet in Utah- so St. George it was! It's about 4 hours from where I live, which makes it the longest road trip we've taken with the girls. The way down felt like 7 hours...about 40 minutes in Jillian started asking "are we there yet?" Oiy...Also, there is NOTHING between here and there aside from a few gas stations and tiny Subways. We finally stopped at one and bribed them with suckers and new activity books. I'm so down with the bribes...that may come back to bite me, but right now it's pretty effective.
We stayed in a rental house which was awesome- way more privacy and space than a hotel. It also had a pool in the backyard which of course was the girls' favorite part; they're such little fish!
^Jillian is doing really well with swimming! She still needs a floaty, but she can get all around the pool and isn't scared to do so (a big improvement from last summer).
^Taking a swimming break to get in a few putts.
Along the way to Zion National Park, we stopped at a Grafton, a ghost town. There are only a few buildings still left standing, but it was neat to learn about the history there. It sounds like an old western movie! I really wanted to steal some of the old pieces of wood for some projects, but apparently that's a big no-no at places like this (dang it!).
The red rocks are incredible! Pictures don't even do it justice. All of the different shapes in the rock faces made by hundreds of years of erosion were so interesting. Who knew geology was even remotely exciting? But when you see a perfect circle carved out in an enormous rock made completely by nature- that's pretty cool! It was unlike anything I'd seen before.
We drove through the first part of Zion, which was beyond gorgeous. It's one of the busiest national parks in the country! We stopped on the side of the road at one point and followed the screams/splashing sounds to this pothole (it was either people having fun or someone getting murdered- either way probably a good idea to check it out). People were climbing up on a giant rock and jumping into the water!
This is where having two kids really screws you, because sometimes the sight/sound of water makes you realize you actually have to pee. And not just pee, but like life or death you are going to pee in the next 7 seconds regardless of where you are or who is around you (like I said, having kids really screws with your insides). That being said, it was one of those situations. So I literally just popped a squat behind a bush. I'm not even sure if I was fully out of sight, but when you gotta go, you gotta GO. I guess I can check "pee in the woods behind a bush" off my bucket list.
^The Tuacahn outdoor amphitheater put on an incredible performance of Beauty and the Beast- a highlight for Jillian! It was just as good as anything I've seen on broadway in New York. That alone was almost worth the four hour drive! (Maybe the four hour drive minus kids...)
Another day we went on a short hike in Red Cliffs where Jillian even joined us. I was so proud of her and her stamina. She had a great time scampering around the rocks and didn't complain once! Fortunately it was fairly overcast all day which kept the temperatures manageable.
^These two are little spider monkeys. They would just get a jogging start and skadoodle up to the top of a giant rock in like 5 seconds.
She actually made it the whole way in on her own but enjoyed a piggy back on James for the way back out! No one was quite as willing to give me a piggy back ride on the way back.
One thing my Mom was looking forward to the most was renting side by sides (which are sooo much cooler than four wheelers in this terrain) and driving around the dunes! And for good reason- the views were spectacular! It was also a lot of fun- everyone in my family is a closet daredevil except for me, I'm a bit of a pansy (no problem admitting it). Even my 70-something year old Grammy was loving every bumpy minute of it!
^It's a little hard to fully appreciate in the picture, but that's the edge of a cliff! It's called "potato chip rock" and leads to a 200-300 foot drop off. I never thought I was scared of heights, but I'm not gonna lie- my knees were getting a little wobbly!
^Timmy on the other hand, didn't seem to mind a close up with impending sudden death.
There were many places where it looked like we were on a completely different planet, with giant red sand dunes and huge red rock cliffs. Exploring out in the vast, uninhabited makes you feel completely tiny and helpless. In a way it's humbling.We live in such an amazing place!
It was a jam-packed but really fun and adventurous few days! The girls got sooo off of their schedules, so it's been really fun trying to get them back on one (mega NOT), but it just may have been worth it!
Summer you are the BEST!