Saturday, January 31, 2015

July Trip Out West: Visiting Family in Utah

After a fun-filled week in the San Francisco Bay Area, we hopped on a one-way flight via Allegiant Air to Provo.  The direct flight has only been operating for a year and I have to admit that I was quite mad when I found out considering my friends could have been visiting me for a measly $50 dollars each way!  Gotta love the cheap flights (although they have an extra charge for everything.)
Daxton was pretty sad to leave all his cousins and not very happy about being on another plane.  He did end up falling asleep on my lap for awhile which was wonderful, but he woke up very ornery.

Thank heavens for technology and snacks!

By the time we landed he was in a much better mood and even entertained some of the passengers with his funny antics.  I just kept feeling so grateful I was traveling with Daddy and not on my own!

We only had two days to spend in Utah before needing to be up in Idaho for a family reunion, so we had planned in advance that we wouldn't be able to see any friends.  It was pretty hard knowing we were so close to loved ones and not able to see them.  The only friend we were able to see was my good NZ friend, Heather.  She saved us hugely!  After looking at all the different rental car options it was going to cost us triple the amount if we rented from Provo as opposed to Salt Lake.  So Heather drove down from Lehi, picked us and all our luggage up (I'm still super impressed we were able to squeeze it all and us inside safely!) Then she drove us up to the rental car company in Salt Lake.  We did take her out to a quick lunch to say a big thank you for saving us!  It was so good to quickly catch up and made me sad we couldn't spend more time together.

After we got our rental car, we continued to drive north to Layton area where Dallas's younger sister, Ashleigh and her family live.  They were so kind to let us stay with them for a couple nights.  We met them for a yummy dinner, but after a full day of traveling Daxton was NOT in the best of moods.  This poor kid had already been drug all over the country and just wanted to sleep.
So I'm the nice mom who still forced him to take a picture with his adorable cousin Brynn!

After dinner we went back to Ashleigh and Robbie's place where they surprised me with a birthday cake.  It was pretty sad that I had totally forgotten that it was my 34th birthday!  I guess that's what happens when you get older.  Ashleigh made a beautiful and yummy cake for us all to enjoy.

Funny how the second he saw the cake his mood was much cheerier!

They also had a present waiting for Daxton, which was so sweet!  It was a Jake and the Neverland Pirate set including a spy glass, map, and headband.  This remains some of his favorite toys after over six months of playing with them, so a big awesome THANK YOU to Ashleigh and Robbie!  You guys are the best!

We wanted to make sure that we were able to spend at least an entire day with Ashleigh and Robbie since we usually only get to see them once a year.  I love hearing Dallas talk about his younger (and only) sister.  He loves her so much!
We thought it'd be super fun to take the kids to the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake.  It turned out to be a really hot sunny day, but after coming from Florida we hardly noticed.  We all had a great time looking at all the different enclosures and letting Daxton and Brynn run around like crazy monkeys.

Dallas, Daxton, Me, Ashleigh, Brynnlee, and Robbie

Daxton noticed the train right as we entered so we ended up going on it first.  I love the picture below (top left corner) where Daxton is freaking out about getting his picture taken and Brynnlee is looking at him like he's crazy.  They both have such strong personalities!

It was fun to wander around the zoo and see things that have and haven't changed.  I'm pretty sure there's a picture somewhere of my drinking out of this same Lion head from my childhood.

We also had a lot of fun climbing on all the different animal statues throughout the zoo; the lions being our favorite.

The Hogle Zoo is a smaller zoo, but they've made some fun updates to it that were cool to explore.  Daxton was pretty excited about seeing the elephants.


Looking for sea lions
I love Brynn's cute little pig tails.

Trying to document family fun can be quite difficult with a crazy 2yr old!

The kids' favorite part was eating yummy soft serve ice cream cones.  It was a perfect messy treat for these sweaty toddlers!

They are pretty proud holding their own ice-cream cones!
Gotta love those sticky lips.

After spending the day at the Hogle Zoo we all drove over to Dallas and Ashleigh's cousin's house, Steve and Brynn Perkins.  They were so kind to cook for all of us!  Everyone had a ton of fun catching up, playing in the back yard, and eating yummy food.  It had been several years since Dallas had been able to see his cousin Steve so he was really glad things worked out to spend an evening at their house.

Dallas, Ashleigh, and their cousin Steve

The next day was Sunday and we had just enough time to swing by my Aunt Alice's place for a quick visit.  Aunt Alice is my mom's oldest sibling and has been so generous and kind over the years.  I have so many fun memories of us kids playing in her backyard, eating yummy food from her massive garden, and staying at her house.  We wanted to make sure that we were able to spend some time with her, even if it was only for a short visit.  Daxton loved all the little knick knacks Alice has around her house and he especially loved her rocking horse.  He would have stayed on it all night if we had let him.  It was a very nice visit with Aunt Alice and so kind of her to let us drop by with little notice.

Sunday afternoon/evening we drove down to Alpine to our Uncle Scott and Aunt Karen's house.  They planned a small Whitt Family gathering and even surprised me with a birthday cake!  It was so nice of Karen to think of me on my birthday weekend.  We loved getting together with the Whitts.  They are always so much fun!

Whitt Family in attendance: Uncle Steve, Uncle Scott and Aunt Karen and their four children, Cousins Angela and Nick, Michael and Kristin and little Bradley, and Megan.

Scott and Karen's home was absolutely stunning.  Not only was the inside incredible, but they had the biggest yard for the kids to play.  Daxton loved jumping on the tramp, playing in their play ground, and running around on their gorgeous grass.
It was another beautiful day spent with loved ones and the perfect way to finish are SUPER fast visit to Utah.

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