We went all out this summer and took the girls to Salt Lake for our family vacation. Actually, there's so much we're always wanting to do down there and we never have enough time to do it all, so we were thrilled to do as much as we did.
We left Pocatello on Wednesday evening and stayed that night in Tremonton with Nick's cousin Jen and her kids. Thanks Jen. We all had fun spending time with you guys.
The next morning we made our way to Hogle Zoo. We didn't even lose anyone (that's for you, Sarah B.) and really enjoyed ourselves despite the 100+ degree heat. The girls rode the first of the three carousels from our trip,
ate our packed lunch with Dad under a welcome umbrella,
and rode the train (which is exactly the same ride as the one I remember as a kid).
We did actually see great animals, too, but you've all seen pictures of those. Nick and I were pretty impressed by seeing rhinos from less that two feet away and hearing small monkeys make huge territorial calls. All in all, a successful trip thanks to two great kids and a rented wagon.
That evening we went to a new water park in Draper. Sorry no pictures. It was WET! The place was new this year and perfect for kids. There were several slides that Emma was able to go on by herself and with us, and Ashlyn even went down one. She hated it though and went to the hotel with Nick's mom shortly after. Next year. Emma, however, was nearly impossible to get out of the water. She's a bit of a water rat (until it comes to swimming in a deep pool - we're working on that).
The next day we went to a Charles reunion in Orem where Emma was the first in a tempting sprinkler perhaps five minutes into the party. Water, remember? Then she played a key part in helping soak grandpa and aid him in drenching everyone else. It was fun and hot.
From there we headed up Provo Canyon and stopped at Bridal Veil Falls. My sister and I used to rollerblade to these falls years ago. It was a trip down memory lane. Everyone had fun, especially our little water rat. It was so cold our feet became numb rather quickly, but it felt oh, so good compared to the heat. Even Ashlyn loved getting her feet wet. This picture is of Nick's sister Lacee and Emma wading.
Next stop, Park City. We took the girls on the Alpine Slide. Wiggly Ashlyn rather scared me on the ride to the top, but we all survived. The ride down was great despite getting behind the slowest person on the mountain. I guess it just made for a longer ride. Emma didn't mind a bit.
The next morning we went to the aquarium with Nick's parents. I love aquariums. It's probably from growing up in a landlocked state, but I love ocean life. While it wasn't really big, the exhibits were very well done. I was really impressed. The one thing I really wish they had was a tide pool. We loved the ones we saw in Oregon last summer. I highly recommend this place, though.
Before leaving, we had to go visit the aviary. It's a beautiful place that is often overlooked in Salt Lake. There is an amazing collection of birds there, and just the landscaping is beautiful. The girls loved the rides the most though. They went on yet another carousel (the 2nd one was in Park City), went on their first ferris wheel ride, and got to fly in airplanes. Here's one for ancient amusement park rides. They sure made for happy girls.
All in all, it was a great trip. The girls stayed happy for most of the entire trip despite crazy sleep schedules. It was fun spending time with Nick's parents, sister, nephew, and other family. We enjoyed spending our last night with my grandma and finding our house and yard in great shape when we got home. Now we're just anxiously looking forward to our mom and dad retreat in October. Domincan Republic, here we come!
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