Friday, August 31, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
On the first day we went to Knott's Berry Farm and that was fun, but not what we expected. It has become much more of an Amusement Park with big rides and not as much kids stuff (or so it seemed to me). Their river-rapid ride wasn't that good anymore. They shut off the waterfalls because someone had stood up to avoid getting wet and had fallen in. So people, follow the rules, because one person can spoil it for everyone. However if you really want to get wet, there are other ways.
We found a fountain outside the park and it had frogs in it. I liked them, so we cooled our feet off while my parents shopped.
We had an okay time at Knott's, but we thought best to focus our time elsewhere....like Disneyland. We were only planning on going two days, but since our tickets were for three days, we naturally used all three days. There is so much now with both parks so close (Disneyland and California Adventure) that you can easily spend three days there. We had a relaxing first day just doing rides that the whole family wanted to do (my parents are not roller coaster people so I was saving those to do with Miranda.) I got a few pictures with characters, but most of the time the lines were so long and there were so many children wanting autographs that I didn't bother. Here are a couple we caught.
Day 2 was not what we expected. Miranda was not feeling well and so she stayed at the Motel with my mother while Timmy, Dad and I went back to Disneyland. We planned on meeting up with them but they didn't show up at any of the meeting times. We did get to see the parade twice and go on lots of fun rides. We saw the Tiki Room and the Electrical Parade, and some amazing fireworks. But the whole day was overshadowed by the absence of two people. Here are some pictures of the parade.
We finally met up at 10 o'clock in the evening and I was glad to see both of them. Apparently Miranda had just gotten out of the emergency room. I won't go into all the gory details, but she had good reason to be there. So Thursday was new because we took her around in a wheel-chair all day. And my partner for all the roller coasters was out of commission. So, I spent some time by myself going on rides, but it is well worth it for Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. The wheel chair wasn't so bad and it does help you get on some rides faster. We got to get on the new Nemo ride much faster. The wait for that ride was ridiculously long, sometimes lasting up to 4 hours. We only had to wait an hour (whew). I really enjoyed California Adventure.
The river rapid ride was great for cooling off and Soaring over California was neat. I even liked things like the Tower of Terror. We jumped back and forth between the parks to get a bit of everything. Toward the afternoon, I finally convinced Timmy to go on the Matterhorn with me (he is a little roller coaster shy), but he loved it. Later we made it to Big Thunder Mountain together and he was totally thrilled. I was happy to introduce him to the great world of roller coasters. So we had a pretty good day overall. I spent ridiculous amounts of money on stuff for my girls (pushed by my guilt that they weren't there with me). I had plenty of fun at Disneyland. I can't wait to take my whole family sometime.
We did spend the last day at Universal Studios (which I also love). Well, Timmy, Miranda and I went (Mom and Dad went back to shop at Disneyland). We had a really good time. We got thoroughly soaked on Jurassic Park, and we freaked out Timmy by going through the House of Horrors with him. I told Miranda that is just isn't as scary when you are pushing someone in a wheelchair. At one point, a hideous monster leaned over and said, "Over to your right." Seriously, the monsters were helping us through the passageways. It was funny to me. I apologize that I didn't take pictures. It was hard to think about that and push Miranda around. I didn't think the girls would appreciate things like Jaws as much as Princesses, so I didn't bother. Tyler told me that I would be disappointing my blogging audience, but most of you have probably stopped reading by now since I am blathering. The only picture I got was in the Mummy store.
Anyway, so much fun, everything. It was really nice to spend time with my parents and siblings. I apologize again for being a slow blogger. It has been hard to get back into a routine that includes the computer. I hope you all are doing well and I will be seeing you around cyberspace.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
The most important thing that happened that day was a spiritual experience for me. As we drove for hours on end, we decided that home sounded better and better and that maybe we should drive through the night because the kids would sleep anyway. We already had a reservation in Winnemucca, so we stopped there for dinner a little after seven and I told the lady that we had decided to continue on. She gave me this sad look and said, "Well, I'll turn the vacancy sign on, but if no one takes the room, you'll need to pay for it." The whole thing? I asked incredulously. Well I guess that is the way it works, and I didn't realize this as I had never made a reservation before. Well, we went to dinner and Tyler said, "Start praying Maleen that someone takes that room." I wondered if we should stay if no one took it (I didn't want to just waste $80) but Tyler wanted to drive on regardless. After dinner we passed by and sure enough, someone had rented the room at that late hour. We said many prayers of thanks and continued on our way. It wouldn't have been the hardest lesson to learn, but I appreciate that the Lord heard our prayers and looked out for our little family. Tyler was a true hero. He grabbed an energy drink and drove us all the way home. I would wake up every once in a while and he would be going strong (always my knight in shining armor). It certainly was worth it to get up in our house the next morning and not in the middle of Nevada. Ivory even recognized the house as we came in. She blearily looked around and brightened. "Uh, uh, uh" she said pointing around. I know baby, it's nice to be home.
To end this blog of vacationing, Tyler and I like to watch when the odometer hits an interesting number, so here it is for this vacation.
It is kind of hard to see, but it says 44444.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
The girls would pass it every morning on the way to breakfast and June said one morning, "I don't think I can stand another minute not being in the pool." So of course, we needed to go. The girls loved the jacuzzi, because they could stand on the steps and it wasn't too deep. Timmy and my mom joined us and we had a few rousing games of Alligator, Alligator, What Time Is It?
Ivory enjoyed the water for a while and then decided she was done. She looks pretty wasted on the bench there.
Tyler enjoys a nice dip in the jacuzzi as well. Looking pretty hot in the pink donut.
We didn't get over to Tim and Jeannie's until late in the afternoon but we made it in time to go to Ethan's soccer practice. He is quite good for being four. Tyler found a little lizard while we were there. It was the length of your thumb maybe and it was so cute. June was carrying it around everywhere and it was crawling up her arms and across her shoulders. We named it 'Charlie' but we released him back into the wild because he will be happier there. I would have taken pictures but we "forgot" the camera. Actually Tyler "lost" the camera at the pool, but we didn't know that until someone returned it to us the next morning. Thank goodness for honest people.
And while I am talking about California, can I just tell you how much I love the weather in Santa Rosa? The mornings are cool and then the mist burns off to a nice sunny day and eventually everything cools back down in the evening. It is so refreshing. I don't know if I would give up the Utah weather mystery where at any moment the weather could be completely different, but it was nice to experience the CA climate.
Friday, August 17, 2007
The day was really relaxed. We decorated and played. As you know we are supposed to have an activity and we decided since we have lots of little kids, we would go to a park that had water and a train. The train wasn't working that day, but I don't think the kids missed out on any of the fun. I apologize about all the pictures. I tried to figure out how to do the slide show, but I haven't mastered it. Instead, I just left a lot of my favorites out. So here are some of the ones that made the cut.
The rope bridge was a favorite. Everyone took a turn crossing it and some of us were better than others (you know who you are :) The pig with June cracks me up. Who looks happier to you?
Check out these cuties, Erin and Ivory
And of course, Tyler being serious as always
We had a blast. Tyler and I even had a contest to see who could climb the rope tower. The pictures tell it better than I can. My theory of climbing to the middle and going up from there was not the best tactic. I may have gotten stuck somewhere in the middle. It wasn't a contest (at least not a close one).
We came back for the opening of presents and once again you only get a few of the best pictures. The decorations were fabulous (thanks to Jeannie and Mom) and the cake, well it was simply delicious.
And we almost forgot about photographing the cake, but that may be the most important part.
So a fabulous holiday all around. And you know it has to be good when you get injured and the day is still wonderful. I burned my arm and sliced into my finger, and I still thought it was a splendid day (Tyler should know by now not to let me play with knives). I congratulate myself once again on coming up with Fete Day. Feel free to steal it for your family as well. And don't be fooled, this holiday may be for the young, but it also for the young at heart. Here are a few of my favorite grown-ups who will always play with us. We never get old if we remember to laugh and have fun.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Sunday was fantastic. I feel strongly that we should take the girls to church even when we are on vacation. And Tyler's best friend from his childhood lives just outside Santa Rosa. So we drove the 15 minutes down and went to church with them in the morning. They have nine o'clock church like we do, but that wasn't hard to make (Ivory is still an early riser regardless of her bedtime). The hotel we are staying at here has a continental breakfast in the morning, and I think we are spoiled by all the choices. At home you get cereal and that's usually it, but the girls have really enjoyed the waffles and danishes. June is a syrup hog. For a whole waffle, she probably asks for more syrup 15 times as she likes to dip her pieces.
Church was great but there was a marked difference between their ward and ours. Namely, children. When it was time for sacrament, it was SOOOO quiet! I felt like I needed to sit on my children, because they were the only ones making noise. And it wasn't as if they were rowdy, you could just hear a pin drop. But there were definitely less children than I am accustomed to. The Primary teacher told me that June was very cute. She raised her hand and asked, "Are there any more kids in my class?" (It was her and one other boy). No they said, but your teacher is coming soon. Church was great regardless and I enjoyed being in Relief Society.
Afterwards we went and just hung out with Mark and Stacie. They are the kind of people that you could just talk to forever and I am very saddened that we don't live closer. And I am kicking myself that we forgot the camera at the hotel, so you will just have to imagine a cute couple.
Ivory took a good nap and then we had to be off since we had family in town :) We went back to have dinner with Tim and Jeannie but my great uncle was there as well. Jim Haire (my grandmother's brother) and his friend Tim Cole were visiting and it was great to see them. Because of the distance, these are people we see about every five years. The last time we saw them, we didn't have children, so you can imagine our family looked a bit different this time.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
The second day was really just more driving but with less of a schedule. We drove most of the morning and decided to stop in Reno for lunch. We had a cooler full of sandwhich stuff and yogurt so we just needed a place to picnic. I was impressed with our luck. It took us less than five minutes to find a nice little park after we got off the freeway. Not bad huh? We must have park radar.
And this park was filled with geese and ducks. Randomly we had put the rest of our bread in the car since we figured it wouldn't stay fresh, so we even had something to feed the ducks. I wouldn't recommend driving all the way to Reno, but these ducks were awesome. There were so many that they would come eat out of your hand. Ivory was a little hesitant but I would be too if I met a bird that was bigger than me. It was a good break and the girls all rested well as we left to officially enter California.
Our finishing trip was rather uneventful. California's scenary is definitely better than Nevada and there are some landmarks that are very familiar to me (I grew up taking trips to CA every year). The Call Box is native to California highways. It is simply a phone for travelers to use in case of emergencies. My mother says that she and her brother used to do exactly what the sign says. They would yell "BOX!" everytime they saw a sign. And perchance if they saw a sign that said 'Call Boxes for the next ten miles' you can bet they would call out "BOXES, BOXES, BOXES, etc." for ten whole miles in order to drive my grandparents crazy. I thought this was funny and I started calling out "BOX!" when I saw the signs but Tyler quickly quelled that, but he did take a picture for me.
We finally got to our hotel and quickly unpacked so we could go visit family. Let me tell you that even though the ride to relatives was only a few minutes away, Ivory was not a happy camper about getting back into the car (poor kid). We went over to visit Tim (my uncle), Jeannie, and their two kids Erin (8), and Ethan (4). They have such a fun house and fun kids that the girls were at home at once. We stayed for dinner and then took kids back to bed. Don't worry, there is plenty more to come about family (and pictures too). The girls still love the novelty of the hotels. Ivory likes to bounce on the beds and she makes herself at home wherever she is. As for me, I am still waiting for a good night's sleep to find me. I guess there really is no place like home.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Driving with children doesn't have to be impossible. I certainly would prefer to have only children 3 years and older but that wasn't really an option. But I had prepared with maps, games, coloring books, movies, stories and treat bags. And if we caught Ivory at nap time we had at least two hours reprieve. I had ideas about stopping at the Salt flats to take pictures but the car was quiet with sleeping children as I drove through and I figured I would leave well enough alone.
We stopped for the night in the 50s. I kid you not. I felt like our hotel was something right out of the past. Then again, we stopped in Winnemucca (I don't think I was expecting much). It was one level, with green trim and the picture says most of the story.
We ate dinner in the hotel and I think the girls thought it was a grand adventure. I learned a valuable lesson that night. There is no rule that says that you can't sleep with your husband just because your kids don't get along. Tyler and I split up the girls the first night and we hardly slept at all. The girls tend to twitch, kick, roll, squirm, and do just about anything but allow you to rest. Consequently, the girls now take turns sleeping on the floor and Tyler and I share a bed (for all those who think this may be harsh, it always seems the person on the floor sleeps better--go figure ).
All in all, we had a great time the first day. We had some great moments that will stay with us a while. Naturally when you are driving with air conditioning on, and kids talking, and general road noise, you can't always understand each other. We were following a large truck carrying pipes and I was interested in the patterns they made from our angle. I said to Tyler, "It is like we are following a beehive and the pipes are honeycomb." Tyler responded, "Yeah, except that they aren't Mexicans." I sat there for a while trying to figure out what Mexicans had to do with it. I never figured it out, so I finally asked and Tyler just laughed and laughed. He said, "I said, they aren't hexigons." Yeah, that makes a lot more sense. It was only a hour later when Tyler asked if I brought shampoo and I answered, "Well, I think she has gas, but you can check the baby's diaper. He just laughed and said, "SHAMpoo" It is important not to take anything personally while driving, you never know what the other might REALLY have said.