Utah Vacation

Well, we're back! Whew, what a trip. Long, full, and utterly needed. The girls basked in their grandparents' attention and soaked up the camaraderie of cousins for almost two full weeks. I know now I will have to deal with the fallout - listening to Ava ask for Grammy, Papa, cousins, etc. for a LONG time. But it is worth it, yes indeed.

We spent the majority of our time in Park City, UT at a beautiful 4-bedroom condo in The Canyons resort. Grandma and Grandpa stayed at another condo as ours was overflowing with kids and their parents, but came over every morning and didn't leave until all had gone to bed. As I said in my other post, the weather was gorgeous and a much needed break from the heat of Vegas. I could give you a day by day breakdown, but honestly they all blend together at this point in my foggy brain. I know that my mornings were spent trying to keep Ava quiet so as not to wake the other family members (we get up and functioning probably two hours before everyone else, lucky them); afternoons doing something outside (farmer's market, playground, hiking, shopping, swimming) with a quick nap thrown in; dinner with all of the family and then off to bed.

Here is the one major lesson we all learned since our last big Kay family vacation, which happened to be in Hawaii when Elliott and I got married. Since then we have expanded from two babies age 1 to seven grandkids age 3 and under ranging in mobility, vocal, and social ability:

Kids do impact the vacation. I know, duh, right? But no more marathon games of Settlers or Phase 10, but marathon battles of toddler wills and sharing lessons. Elliott was surprised when I told him we played no games at all, but by the end of the night all I could think about was getting to bed myself and trying to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep before nightime feedings and bad dreams started and then the next morning was upon us. Also waking, naptimes and eating schedules are all different for every family, so even though we tried to eat and do activities as a family there were just some days when you couldn't get your feelings hurt that some people needed to eat right now or take naps right now.

After leaving Park City the girls and I stayed with Grandma and Grandpa in Provo for a few extra days, Sunday - Wednesday, heading home Thursday morning. This half of the vacation we took at a little slower pace. Ava loved spending time in the garden with Grammy (all the kids do) and mom and I tied a quilt for her humanitarian project at church. I had never actually tied a quilt before, so that was fun for me. It only took us two days - we were quick! I joked with mom that I was turning more and more into a Mormon (learning to tie quilts, etc.) and she joked back "we're making progress". I also did a little shopping in town to take advantage of the grocery sales in their area (yes, I did manage to find room for it in the overly-full car) and the quietness of the mall at 10am on a Monday (ah, silence IS golden). We capped the vacation off with a trip to the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City with Grandma, Sarianna, and her kids on Wednesday. The kids had a great time (generally little meltdowns) and it was a fun ending to an awesome trip.

The drive back to Vegas was pretty uneventful. Ava was a more whiny than usual for the first half of the trip (I thought for sure we would fall asleep at some point, but she didn't) and so I took it in stride (no DVD player busted out, yeah me!). We stopped at the Young Living Lavender Farm in Mona, UT about 30 miles outside of Provo. Not really my thing, even though I had wanted to stop for awhile, but I am sure Ava's glum mood impacted my opinion of the place. We walked around a bit, heading down to the back of the farm to visit the animals. Ava liked saying hi to all of the animals but lost it when the sheep said hi (and bye) back. Oh my, that was funny, even if I had to deal with the fallout of screaming child clinging to my neck. We didn't stop again until Cedar City (our half-way point) where we camped out at a picnic table on the lawn at the Randall Theatre for some Taco Bell lunch, visiting with some old friends, and running off some toddler energy. All that fresh air helped the girls to nap almost all of the way home, waking up (of course) right as we hit some horrible traffic and a bit of drizzle, where I discovered Ava HATES windshield wipers, sticking me in the car with a screaming child. Oh well, what can you do?!. But once we got through we stopped to visit daddy at work and it was all worthwhile. Elliott was SO excited to see us, I don't think he has smiled that hard in ages.

Now we are in the midst of putting things away, getting unpacked, laundry done (which has been seriously hampered by Ava's need to fold everything, resulting in my inability to have clothes, clean or dirty, anywhere in her vicinity or eyesight without her laying claim to them), and sleep schedules back in place. It may be a rougher patch here for the next few days/weeks but it was all worth it.

I will leave you with one last memory/moment from our vacation, too sweet not to share. Lily just LOVED her cousins and they loved her:


Skinner Family said...

I love hearing about your vacation! Yeah for the quilt project too. I'm learning how make shirts for humanitarian projects. I'm so behind as I sit and look at the small pile of three shirts.

Jennifer B said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation. It is so much fun to be around family and cousins. I love all the pictures of the kids (even if make me a little sad we weren't there). It is kind of funny that I feel like we are all almost like family. How funny. =)