Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Vacation

Because we're currently mooching room and board from my parents, and because my parents are awesome, we got to take a pretty amazing trip this month. We started off by driving through Utah. First stop, St. George. We basically just stayed there for the night, but we did run by the temple. It was huge and beautiful, of course.

Jay told me, "Mom, you can hear the ocean in these flowers."

The boys loved running up and down these stairs. I'm pretty sure this was the original entrance and I'm glad I didn't have to hike up this way every time I wanted to go to the temple.

Jay felt like the king of the world up there.

But the most exciting part for the boys was playing in the sprinklers.

After St. George we went up to Beaver Dam where my aunt and uncle live.
We had such a blast at their house! The boys loved that it was cool enough to play outside.

And so did the rest of us. 
It was definitely nice to be somewhere green and breezy.

Leo was very impressed by their garden.
Especially the corn (which he loves).

Aunt Karen busted out the pool full of sawdust and the boys got to dig for treasures.

Jay was enthralled by the marble run. 
He spent hours sending marbles down the shoots.

And Leo even tried roller skating.

We left Beaver Dam and headed up to Yellowstone.
We passed the Grand Tetons on the way.
(I literally took this out the window as we drove by.)

As we got near Yellowstone I said, "I want to see the Grand Prismatic Spring and Mammoth Hot Springs. What does everyone else want to see?"
"No one has anything they want to see?"
So we just went wherever I wanted to go.
Which was fine with me.
We pulled up to Old Faithful just in time to see it erupt.
The boys were suitably impressed.

Every time we saw steam rising up from the ground after that they would yell, "Geyser! Geyser!"

We stopped at the Grand Prismatic Spring next.
(It's much more impressive from the air, but I liked it anyway.)
And there were several other springs right near it.

The main spring in this area dumps 4,000 gallons of boiling water into the river every minute.

We stuck our feet in to see how warm it made the water.
It was still nice and cool, but not cold like a river in the woods in Wyoming would normally be.

I even tasted it to see if the spring water made it full of chemicals, which it didn't.
And then I immediately remembered all the warnings about drinking the water without purifying it and was pretty sure I was going to be sick all night.
(I wasn't.)

On day 2 in Yellowstone we drove up to Mammoth Hot Springs.
Apparently there was an earthquake there a while back and the spring is pretty much dead now. 
I was a little bummed about that, but it was still pretty cool.

Also, we saw almost no wildlife while we were there. On our way out there was a buffalo on the side of the road. Everything else we saw was super far away and along the lines of, "Look, I think that's an elk. . .or a dead tree. . .but probably an elk." On our way through Idaho we passed a drive-through bear park and saw 10 times the animals as we sped by on the freeway than we did in two days at Yellowstone.

We spent the next couple of days at my aunt and uncle's house in Burley, ID.
It's the perfect place for little boys to run wild, and they loved it.
Their favorite thing to do was jump on the trampoline.

They also loved climbing up, and sliding down, the cargo net in the tree house.

(There happens to be a perfectly good slide just to the left of the net in this picture, but we couldn't convince them to come down it instead.)

Uncle Marvin let them drive the tractor, which was pure heaven.

And they even got to jump on the tramp while a crop duster flew back and forth over their heads.

On our way back through Utah we stopped for the night at Aunt Krystal's house. 
The boys got the best sleep of the trip on her couch.

Leo also got a very unrealistic idea of how gardening works. Krystal and Dan would let him plant and water a seed, close his eyes (because seeds don't grow while you're watching them) and stick a bunch of fake flowers in the ground. He liked it so much that they ran out of flowers. He ended up growing a banana, an orange and an onion before they were through. When he showed me the banana I said, "But Leo, bananas don't even grow from the ground. They grow in trees." He replied, "Well mom, I planted a seed and it was right there in the dirt. I guess some bananas do grow from the ground."