Monday, July 24, 2017

Draper Utah Temple

Nick and I don't think we have ever been to this temple before today, even though it's so close to home. There's a first time for everything.

Mount Timpanogos Temple

The grassy area leading up to the front of the temple is so pretty! Great day for this little outting. And a nice lady offered to take our photo :)

.

Provo Utah Temple

All the temple grounds were closed due to the holiday, which was fine. . .except this temple looks so far away.


Provo City Center Temple

We arrived just as the Temple to Temple run was ending on this Pioneer Day.

Payson Utah Temple

Day trip to see 5 temples. First stop, Payson. This one is beautiful!!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Vernal, Price, and Torrey, Utah Roadtrip Overview

We spent 5 nights away from our house doing a budget-friendly road trip not too far from home. We drove about 1,000 miles, experiencing new things, hiking, swimming, laughing, and enjoying God's beautiful creations. We saw so much wildlife, that we could nickname this vacation "The wildlife trip". Bunnies, deer, rabbits, prong horns, horses, ground hogs, chipmunks, squirrels, skunks, monarch butterflies, ants, humpback chubs, bats, ducks, Oreo cows, beetles, and more.  Sadly, no porcupines due to all the leaves on the trees, but the guy at the fish hatchery assured me they were there. Overall the trip was just ok. Things didn't seem to run as smoothly as our past vacations have, mainly due to kids fighting with each other, talking back, and the bigger kids having bad attitudes and complaining more than necessary. But, hopefully they are still creating memories of being with the family that they will fondly look upon in the future.

Total expense: $762

Hotels - $420
6/14 Comfort Inn Vernal 77
6/15 Comfort Inn Vernal 68
6/16 Greenwell Inn Price 69
6/17 Cowboy Homestead Cabins 108
6/18 Cowboy Homestead Cabins 98

Gasoline - $133
(53 gallons of gas at $2.50/gallon, so about 19 miles per gallon)

Entertainment - $18
Auto tour guide and Desert Wave Pool admission

Food -$191
(Food from Smiths, Walmart, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Subway, Arby's, Cafe Rio, Dollar Tree, Little Caesars, McDonald's, family reunion luncheon, Taft Travel Plaza, and Chuck Wagon General store. Plus we brought along candy, granola bars, jerky, nuts, fruit, oatmeal, applesauce, and canned peaches, olives, and beans.)

Here's what we did:

6/14
Left house at 6 a.m. to begin drive toward Vernal
Strawberry Reservoir overlook
Dinosaur National Monument Visitor's Center
Tram ride to the dinosaur bone quarry
15-point auto tour, including box canyon and petroglyphs hikes, Green River, Josie Morris cabin, and cool rock formations
Vernal Memorial Park cemetery to find Bartlett ancestor grave sites
Swimming at the Comfort Inn pool
Vernal Temple grounds
Sounds of Silence trail (3.5 miles) in Dinosaur National Monument
Stargazing with park rangers, using telescopes

6/15
Hotel breakfast of waffles
Ouray National Wildlife Refuge
Ouray National Fish hatchery
Lots of HGTV and resting
Moonshine Arch hike
Dinner out for adults only at Cafe Rio

6/16
Hotel breakfast of cold cereal
Clothes and shoe shopping
Stop off highway on our way to Price, butterflies and milkweed
Swimming at Desert Wave Pool
Meet up with cousins at pool
Taco salad dinner and marshmallow roast with cousins
Vera and Jamison slept over at cousin's house

6/17
Family reunion in Price, UT
Picture scavenger hunt around Price to sites related to my grandmother's family
Games, Brazilian BBQ, and raffle
Drive to Torrey via Fishlake National Forest
Check-in to Cowboy Homestead Cabins, meet dogs, enjoy beautiful mountain setting
Meet up with Nick's friend, Adus
Stargaze at cabin in the cool breeze

6/18
Egg, pancake, and muffin breakfast at Adus'
Hike near Grand Wash Trail, awesome cave
Hike Grand Wash Trail for about 1 mile each direction, enjoy cool rock formations
Found beautiful spot for kids to play in Fremont River
Hike to dinosaur tracks
Back to Torrey for lunch at cabin
Met up with Adus again for bb shooting
Colette went driving for her first time with Adus in his big truck
Tour of Lone Star Services sawmill
Tree swing across irrigation canal
Rest at cabin
Hamburger and oatmeal cookies for dinner with Adus
Another stop to the same spot along the Fremont River for Vera and Clive to play in
Vera's glasses got swept down stream :(
Back to cabin to meet owners, play with dogs
Good night's sleep

6/19
Returned home 11:15 a.m., worn out, and with a carload of dirty laundry

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ouray National Wildlife Refuge and Fish Hatchery, Randlett, Utah

I was first interested in going to the Ouray National Wildlife Refuge because I read you can find porcupines there.  We looked and looked, but could not see any due to all the leaves in the trees that they hide among so well. But, we did see so many other beautiful things that it was worth a trip regardless! The best landscapes, wildlife, bumpy dirt roads, and solitude. It was just our family, crammed in our car, with the kids standing up through the sunroof, taking in the amazing sites. A tour of the fish hatchery was a bonus! The guy there showed us around and told us all about what goes on.







Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dinosaur National Monument, Jensen, Utah

We stopped at the Dinosaur National Monument. Vera had a free park entrance pass from being a 4th grader, so it was free to enter. We looked around the visitor's center, then took the tram to the dinosaur quarry. Here we looked at the bones right in the side of the mountain. I remember this being so cool when I was a kid, but our children didn't seem to find it too interesting. We then headed back to the parking lot, ate a few snacks and fed some treats to ground squirrels, and then began the 15-point auto tour. We stopped to look at the Green River, hiked a box canyon near the Josie Morris cabin, looked at cool shapes and layers in the rocks, hiked to petroglyphs in the blazing sun, which really caused us to break into a sweat, so we then headed out of the park, to wait until the cool of the evening to return.

When we returned around 7:30 p.m., we began the Sound of Silence hike. It was a 3.5 mile trail that was quite challenging in parts. This hike really was a highlight of our trip! Overall we loved it. Probably because it wasn't hot, as the sun was low and completely set well before we finished it.   Good thing we had flashlights! We saw bats and lots of bugs. Piles and piles of pronghorn poop, which looked like cocoa puffs cereal, according to Clive.

At 9:45 p.m. we drove to the nearby campground and listened to a park ranger presentation about the stars. We even got to look in the telescopes to get a better look at the amazing sky.  

I love being out in nature with my family and this trip gave me time to reflect and ponder about how blessed we are and how important we must be that God gave us this beautiful world to live in.


Monument entrance

Green River/Valley view

Dinosaur National Monument Visitor's Center

Quarry

Quarry

Placer Point on the Green River

Exploring with my best friend

Elephant Toes Butte

Box Canyon Trail

Top of the hill by petroglyphs

Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs

Turtle Rock

Sound of Silence Trail
Sound of Silence Trail



Vernal Utah Temple

A quick stop at the Vernal Temple to continue the tradition of snapping a family photo. How we love the knowledge that we will be a forever family!

Vernal Memorial Park Cemetery, Naples, Utah

We stopped to find the graves of a few of my ancestors. I didn't think this would be anything exciting, but the children seemed to love running around the open space, reading grave markers, and thinking about the deceased person and how old they were when they died. They weren't the only ones happy to run around. So were the baby skunks. We weren't sure of the damage baby skunks could do, so kept our distance just in case! We were able to find a few graves of the Bartlett family, and were most interested in one in particular, that of my great-great-grandmother, Winnie Lydia Billings, and great-great-grandfather, Ashley Bartlett, who died just one year before I was born, at the age of 99-years-old.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Disneyland Marathon with Kiddos

We went on Spring Break vacation, driving 1,535 miles.

Our expenses:
Lodging $596.99
Food $361.37
Gasoline $188.20
Tickets: Six 4-day passes $1,710
Souvenirs $12.82
Parking $67.36

Total of $2936.74 for 7-day/6-night vacation (or $490 per person for our family of 6)











Details of our days below:

4/1
Cove Fort video and tour
Park in Cedar City
St. George Temple
Pizza for dinner, ice cream for dessert
Swimming at hotel
Sunset hike at Pioneer Park
Spent the night at St. George Inn and Suites $117.17

4/2
Pancake and waffle breakfast at hotel
Morning hike at Pioneer Park
Walk around Red Hills Desert Garden
Las Vegas Temple
Drive on Las Vegas Blvd to see Eiffel Tower
Crazy heavy traffic
Chicken, tacos, and burritos for lunch
Baker, CA large thermometer
Mojave Desert Lava Tube in Mojave National Preserve (my favorite part of entire trip)
Anaheim, CA traffic
Spent night at Anaheim Plaza $124.17

4/3
Early morning grocery store run for breakfast and snacks
Disneyland 8 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Super nice, overcast day
Turkey leg, churros, cotton candy, and beignets at Disneyland
Spent night at Anaheim Plaza $124.17

4/4
California Adventure 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Sunny, warm day
Salads, burritos, and pizza for a late lunch
Spent night at Anaheim Plaza $124.17

4/5
Disneyland 7:30 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Lunch at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe for sandwiches
More churros and beignets at Disneyland, plus Dole whip floats
Spent night at Anaheim Plaza $19.97 (free night redemption)

4/6
Pancakes and burritos for breakfast
Disneyland from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
More Dole whips at Disneyland
Lunch at Rancho del Zocalo for carnitas burrito, cheese enchiladas, and Mexican parfait
Heavy traffic out of Anaheim/Los Angeles area :(
Grocery store run for snacks to eat while driving
Sandwiches, nachos, and burritos for dinner
Spent night at The Orleans in Las Vegas $87.34 (such a nice, clean, large room!)

4/7
Grocery store run for breakfast and snacks
Quick rest and hike at Pioneer Park and Red Hills Desert Garden
HOME!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Pioneer Park & Red Hills Desert Garden, St. George, UT

We visited Pioneer Park and Red Hills Desert Garden three times on this family vacation. Once on Saturday evening (4/1), again the next morning (4/2), and then yet again on our way home on Friday after (4/7). It really is that cool! Clive could have stayed there all day and night, exploring every nook and cranny of that amazing place.

Nick and I loved the gardens and all the desert plants. It is a beautiful place.

This will definitely be a stop we make again and again in the future.

We climbed to the arch on top of the red rock, saw a few critters, and enjoyed climbing around, figuring out how to get from one rock to another. Super fun! Now this is what family time is all about!