Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Family Staycation 2012: Day 3

Our third (and sadly, final) day of staycation started with Natalie heading down to Provo for some work and housing-related stuff (she's moving back to Utah!).  So we had to get by without her.

We ate breakfast and cleaned up the house and packed up our stuff and then we headed down to the Gateway to spend some time at the Children's Museum (or Discovery Gateway or whatever it's called).  With 3 small children and a baby, it was probably for the best that we had 5 adults on duty.  Can't imagine being a mom taking the kids there alone.

Anyway, I spent most of the day playing with Austin.  His favorite part by far is the ball tubes right when you come in. You can drop balls through tubes, send them up through tubes with air power, crank them up a hill into more tubes, etc, etc.  Elise and Lucy joined him for a while, but eventually headed off to other parts of the museum. And after a good long time, I finally convinced him to check out the other parts as well.

Orange ones
Elise enjoyed gathering bins of balls of all the same color. In addition to this orange one, she also did purples, and maybe yellows.

He enjoyed working at the construction site, playing in the water area, hauling hay on the farm, driving the jeep, and loading his cart with groceries.

Driving the jeep

Hauling some hay on the farm
Hauling some hay to the farm truck

Then it was time for another trip back to the ball tubes, and finally I got him to go upstairs with me (mainly because I wanted to see what was up there) with the promise that there was a helicopter to look at.  But really the balls were his favorite. :)

He just has so much enthusiasm. Watch his fingers and tongue.

More of the same :)

Flying the helicopter
Flying the helicopter

Monday, April 23, 2012

Family Staycation 2012: Day 2

For our 2nd day, we decided to give the zoo another shot. And while it was still pretty crowded, we were at least able to find parking in or near the zoo parking lot, so I guess that was an improvement over Monday.  Mainly because we got there a little earlier in the day.

It had been a couple years since I was at the zoo last, and I was a little disappointed in some of the animals that seemed to be missing. No bears, no lions (there were tigers, but they were sleeping).  And of course the sea lions and penguins I remember from my childhood have been gone for a long time. There was a fair amount of construction going on, so maybe that was to blame for some of the animals being missing.  Just this morning I checked the zoo's website and it turns out that a new exhibit is opening in June that's supposed to have polar bears, penguins, seals, and sea lions. So I guess we just weren't there at the best time.

All that said, we still had a good time at the zoo.

These colobus monkeys were probably the most entertaining part for me.  They'd climb the net surrounding their pen and then swing on it until they could get close enough to the trees outside the net to grab some leaves or buds or whatever they were trying to eat.

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They still have some good gorillas, which the Phoenix zoo didn't have any of.

Elephant Eating

Elephant eating
Got good pictures of an elephant eating.

Nice view of the rhino
Saw a rhino up close.

Coley Moley on the Zoo Train
Rode the zoo train.

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Finished the day off with some artsy reflection shots on the waterglobe

After the zoo, we headed back up to Draper for sandwiches for lunch, and then had a fairly lazy afternoon, playing games, watching cartoons, Easter egg hunting, and just relaxing.

Back porch
Austin hanging out on the back porch

George made some tasty pork steaks for dinner and then we spent a little time in the hot tub, before calling it a night.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Family Staycation 2012: Day 1

As we've sometimes done in the past, we recently had a family vacation to....Utah. :)  Kimi was coming into town with the kids for about a month for a bunch of family stuff, and the George was coming out for a week, so my mom found a nice place for all of us to stay for a few days out above Draper (near Suncrest), and Natalie was able to come out as well, so we were all together (minus Elder Ben) for the first time since last July.

We started off Monday morning at the new City Creek Center mall downtown. I'd been there once before (the night it opened) but I think I was the only one.  We wandered around for a little bit (Elise pretty  much wanted one of everything at the Disney store) before getting an early lunch at Kneaders.

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Was just trying to get the temple in the shot, didn't realize George and his family were showing up at the time

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Not sure what Kimi and Lucy are talking about, but it seems pretty intense. :)

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Most everyone finishing lunch while Lucy and I were getting warm on the sunny side

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With the nieces

After lunch, the plan was to hit the Hogle Zoo, but when we got up there the parking was overflowing and even street parking was hard to come by, so we decided to go bowling instead (originally planned for Tuesday) and try the zoo again on Tuesday.

Bowling was fun, with bumpers and whatever you call those metal ball launcher things for the kids.  I remember being pretty young and bowling at the 49th Street Galleria and just kind of running up there and falling down and letting the ball go.  Today's kids have it so much easier. :)

We ended up bowling two games a piece (though Elise let people bowl for her most of the 2nd game), with Natalie barely edging me out (132-131) in the first game, and mom dominating the 2nd game.  I probably finished with the best overall score, but mostly we were just there to have a good time.

Austin found some other ways to have fun while waiting for his turn to bowl

Grandpa Tom watching the kids
And soon everyone wanted in on the fun

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Look at the form! :)

After bowling we headed up to the house and settled in a little bit, and then we were back in the cars loaded up to meet up with the Hardens for dinner at Chuck-a-Rama.

Sisterly Love
Elise showing her affection for Col-ay

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View from the back porch

After dinner we headed back up to the house, got the little kids and grandma off to bed and then the rest of us stayed up playing Dicecapades.  Lucy was on my team until she had to go to bed halfway through, but we still ended up winning.