Thursday, April 28, 2011

Family Vacation!

A tax refund calls for a tax refund splurge! Aaron had his last final last Wednesday so E and I drove down to pick him up in Provo and then continue south. (Of course E always checked her blind spots.) We drove to Moab and stayed the night there. The next morning we went into Arches. Here are the 3 Gossips. They make me happy. :) I had done some research and we decided we were going to hike Devil's Garden and Delicate Arch. We headed to Devil's Garden and started going. The first arch was Landscape Arch. Eliza came here last year five weeks before she was born... it was fun to have her outside this time. :)
While snacking there, we met a little furry friend.
On the way to the next arch, we came across some pretty cool rocks. Getting to the end of the trail was not what I expected... you climb up quite a few rocks and then walk across the top of a rock fin!
It was cool but kinda scary! Here we are at the end of the fin.
Pretty soon after that we saw Double O Arch (it is hard to see, but there is another arch under the top o!) Super cool!
We stopped for a bit and ate. I thought our stuff just looked so picturesque sitting there. :) We hiked a bit more on that trail and headed back. On the way in it had been windy, but on the way back it got REALLY windy. When we were walking across the fin, we had to hold ourselves against the wind praying that we wouldn't get blown off. It was REALLY windy. I was pretty scared but we made it just fine.
We ate lunch and were trying to figure out what to do. The thing both of us was most excited for of the whole trip was climbing Delicate Arch which we were planning on doing then but it was honestly too windy. We were a bit bummed but then were able to come up with a plan of switching our plans for the next day to that day in hopes that we could climb Delicate Arch the next day.
So off we headed down to Natural Bridges National Monument. It was a scenic drive and I thought it was pretty cool that we went through the mountain.There are three bridges in the monument. (Bridges are formed by water sculpting them, arches are formed by rocks falling out of them. Thought you'd like to know!) This was the first one and I thought it was beautiful. The hikes to the viewpoints were relatively short so we just carried E. It was very windy down there too. At one of the viewpoints, you can look down and see these ruins hidden in a crevice in the cliff. So cool. We just drove around and took a few hikes and then drove back and stayed the night in Monticello. We definitely want to go back and hike in Natural Bridges... it is BEAUTIFUL!

The next morning we headed into the Needles section of Canyonlands. On the way we stopped at Newspaper Rock. Loved it. It was a pretty drive into Canyonlands.
E was super excited to get back in the pack. She LOVES being outside!
We took a hike to see a bunch of 'potholes'. It'd be super cool to see them full of water! It never ceases to amaze me how different nature can be all the sudden!And here's a view of the Needles. E was cracking me up when she started sucking on Aaron's camelpak tube! We then drove back to Moab and got ready to hike Delicate Arch. Aaron was feeding Eliza yogurt and it was a messy deal! And then we hiked to Delicate Arch. It was awesome!
(Someone got tired!) :)
Here we are under the arch. We got E out and she loved playing on the rocks. Aaron got sick of me taking pics of him so I told him he could take one of me with my poles. :) I totally look like I'm skiing here... minus the snow. My knee and hip hurt pretty bad when I hike so these help take off quite a bit of the pressure.On our drive to the hotel she figured out how fun it is to take her socks off! Gotta love it when activities like this can take up an hour or so! We stayed near Hanksville that night. We got up and drove to Goblin Valley State Park. It's super cool. A valley randomly filled with, well, goblins.We took a hike but found that the trail was really poorly marked so we ended up having to pave our own trail to get back. Aaron scoped it out while I waited for the okay (in case it didn't work so that I wouldn't have to put my knee to more use!). His path did work and it ended up being a pretty cool hike.
It's crazy how easily eroded that place is. This is what the rocks look like. And then I ran my finger down it. (Yes, I am a terrible person who contributed to the erosion.) The rocks are made of sandstone.Ande here we are in the valley playing among all the goblins!
(We held her upside down through an arch. Her face makes me smile.) :) We stumbled across a geo cache!
And then we headed home. We had SUCH a fun time. It was wonderful to be together and have no school or work on our minds---just playing. Eliza was fantastic. We thought for sure she'd be unhappy but she was probably the happiest she's ever been which was amazing! We were so grateful to get away and be a family in nature!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Easter! (and the cure-alls)

I hope you had a wonderful Easter! And that you had a visit from the Easter Bunny!(I got the hat from a baby shower and couldn't think of a more appropriate day to have her wear it!)
My mom got Eliza the sweetest dress.

(mmm... tulip!) You may have noticed the string cheese in her hand. String cheese and Desatin are her cure-alls. 95% of the time letting her hold one of those two items will calm her down. :) She goes wild over them. She just loves to suck and suck and suck on the outsides. Kinda weird. I love it. :)(Adorable capris, huh!?!) And notice her new car! We use our Discover Card for every purchase and then pay it off each month. They pay us awesome cash back! Besides getting gift cards or cash with the cash back, you can also get stuff from their 'merchandise center'. And this sweet car was on it! It is a 4-in-1. It has glides to put under the tires so it is like a rocking horse, it has a handle in the back so the child can walk and push it, it has a tall handle so the parent can push it like a stroller, and then you can remove everything and have it be a car that they can push with their feet! I'm really impressed with it; it's so easy to change out the different parts and so far, she loves it! We'll probably just call it her birthday present. :) Hooray for 'free' stuff.

We went on our family vacation last weekend... it was wonderful! Post to come!