Sorry for the radio silence. There are usually two reasons for it. One is because I am being lazy and not inspired to write. The other is when I am so crazy busy, I don't have time to write. We just got back from a family vacation and that falls into the second category.
You can expect vacation posts for a bit in order to catch up. I am confessing now to lots of phone pictures. (Mostly in Disneyland.) I know the quality isn't as good, but let's be honest: I almost always have my phone with me, and the DSLR camera can be a bit...bulky. My motto is a bad picture is better than no picture.
So let's get on the road. We have a lot of ground to cover, literally. The impetus for this vacation began with a conference for Tyler's work. They decided to hold it at Disneyland to celebrate 50 years in business and a new president. (This is review, but sometimes a reminder is helpful.)
If we are going to CA, we like to visit our family there, even if they don't live close. If we are going to CA, we like to get to the beach. (Living in a landlocked state, the kids don't get that privilege very often.) Our original plans did not include a beach trip, so we had to wiggle things around to get everything squared away. The itinerary looked something like this:
Sunday- Drive like crazy for CA
Tuesday- Disneyland for the fungoers, conference for the breadwinner.
Wednesday- Disneyland for the now sunburned, exhausted fungoers...more conference for the breadwinner.
Thursday- Pool / More driving like crazy
Friday- Family Visits
Saturday- More family
Sunday- Drive like crazy for home
That is a lot of posts to catch up on. And lots of pictures to include. But since we went for the memories, it would be foolish to forget them.
Sunday dawned bright and early. We had the car already packed and we got out the door just a little after 7am. Yes, I am very proud of us. It does take a bit of planning to get seven people shaking in the same direction. This was a day of driving. A lot of driving. We had originally planned to drive on Monday because we didn't want to miss two days of church. But the beach wasn't fitting in the plan so well, so driving got bumped up to Sunday. Since we were driving through Utah, we figured it was most likely that we could find a sacrament meeting to crash.
Eleven o'clock rolled around and we were in St. George. It took a couple tries, but we got to a building just in time. There were NO children there. (Well, there was one baby in the back, but they left early.) Our group probably brought the median age down a couple decades. Even Tyler and I were looking quite spry for that assembly. We didn't stay for the whole meeting which was just as well. I'm pretty sure they didn't have a primary. But St. George is a retirement town. And the lady we sat next to was very kind. She shared her program and hymn book.
We were really close to the St. George temple, so we made a quick detour to look around. I had never been to that temple before. It is beautiful.
Back on the road. Not much happening to be sure. We had designated snacks to keep the troops in line. Tyler made these amazing activity books to keep the kids busy. (Really, I wanted one.) This shows our map on the left, with stickers to track the journey. (I took this picture after we got back.)
Once again we survived with no movies or devices. A small miracle of its own.
Now, I'm not sure if you recall Tyler's fascination with stopping to see strange sights along the way. He figures if we are in the car, we are going to stop to see something educational or bizarre. On previous trips, we have stopped to see the Sacajawea Statue and the Twin FallsCanyon that Evel Kinevel tried to jump over.
This time....what did Tyler find for us?
Why the Bonnie and Clyde Death Car. If you want some history on Bonnie and Clyde, you can go here. Although I'm sure you have heard their names before. After their spree of murder and robbing, they were ambushed in Louisiana and cops filled their car full of lead. They didn't make it. But the car became an object of fascination. It went on tours and made millions of dollars. It has since found a permanent home in a casino on the border of Nevada and California. The glass made it hard to take pictures, but you get the idea.
That is a lot of holes.
I'm guessing they put the name on the car AFTER the incident. Bonnie and Clyde seem too smart to be driving around advertising their presence.
There was another car on display. It was owned by a man named Dutch Shultz. (You probably have NOT heard of him.) He filled his car door with lead so that bullets could not pass through. It worked. He didn't die in his car. He was killed in a bathroom instead.
There we are. Yes, those are my children. In a casino. On a Sunday. It was awesome.
Tyler took the opportunity to teach a lesson about the ills of gambling. It went something like this: Tyler said, “Kids, look at all these people in here.” The kids dutifully look. “What are they doing?” You all know the answer to this, which goes something like, “They're smoking and staring at electronic boxes, occasionally pulling the one-armed bandit...oh, and losing money.” Tyler also taught them about the math behind losing to the house. I think hearing about it was good, but seeing it...now that's power. I'm pretty sure our kids will never fall into a life of gambling.
Our sightseeing put us behind schedule, as it always does. But who cares! We are still together as a family even when we are an hour late.
It was hot crossing the desert. They don't call it Death Valley for no reason. We sat in an air conditioned car, but it said it was 114 degrees outside. Whew. Hot.
Our travels took us down to a friend's house. My best friend Tricia's parents live an hour or so away from Anaheim. They also live not too far from some nice beaches. They were so kind to let us stay with them for the night and use their beach supplies in the morning. Jim was on duty and even had dinner ready for us when we arrived. (A hot dinner after car snacks was just what the doctor ordered!) His wife Cynthia, sadly and ironically, was in Utah...visiting Tricia. We missed her by a day. Their house was so perfect for our group. They had this great room with four bunk beds. (Or do you say two bunk beds because it is assumed that there are two per set??)
And a room for Tyler and me attached.
There was even a sky painted on the ceiling.
And the view was amazing. (This was actually taken in the morning fog. Still gorgeous.)
Tyler took another vantage point from his phone.
The girls were thrilled with the play room under the stairs.
But maybe even more with the cats. This is Bilbo. (The kids affectionately called him Bimbo.)
And this is Gigi. She was a little more timid, but just as cuddly if you could make friends with her.
So, we made it to California. It was starting to feel like we were really on vacation.
To be continued in... Seven Palefaces Meet Mr. Sun.