Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our Fantastic, Fabulous Spring Break Adventure (Part 3 of 3)

     Day #8- Crazy morning! The wind picked up and really started to blow! We actually had a park ranger come tell us to leave. He said a BIG storm was coming in and it was expected to bring 40-50 mph wind gusts and a LOT of rain/snow. The kids were already dirty, but the wind made it even worse! Just look at these faces!! :)

     Some of us went on a quick ride, while the rest stayed back to pack up camp. While we were riding, the sun went away and it got a little "gloomy"...we knew it was time to get out of there!
     The Martins went home, the Quarnbergs went to their friends house in Cottonwood, so that left us, the Stockings and the Stegs. We finished packing up and made it to Williams, AZ. The storm was here and it was really cold! We got a hotel (with a pool), ate some dinner and went straight to the hot tub. I feel bad for the hotel worker that had to clean out that pool filter after we were in it...we were DIRTY!! It was great to take a nice hot shower and climb into a nice clean bed :)

     Day #9- We woke up to snow...a LOT of snow!! Around 18-20 inches to be exact! We watched a snow plow get stuck in the hotel parking lot and people trying to dig out their cars (even though they couldn't go anywhere, all the roads were closed!), so we booked another night at the hotel :) We spent more time in the pool and drank hot chocolate from the hotel breakfast room. For lunch, we walked through a snowstorm to the Denny's located in the hotel parking lot. While we were eating, the snow stopped and the sun came out! Good news: They had opened Highway 64 to Cameron, but only temporarily because the storm wasn't over. We cancelled our 2nd night, packed up the truck, and headed to the Grand Canyon! We were so excited! We got to the Grand Canyon and we were disappointed. It was a blizzard! We couldn't see anything because it was fogged in and it was sososo cold!! Poor Regan couldn't handle it. Walking back to the truck she said,"Mom, I think I have frostbite." I told her she was fine and she didn't have frostbite. Her response was,"Yea, I do. I can't feel...[pause] lots of things!" It really was freezing!!

     After leaving to go home, we found a decent view of the Canyon without fog! We all jumped out to see it and get a quick picture. Don't ask me why I'm leaning in, but I am and I look like I'm sticking out my booty. So embarrassing, but whatever! It took a while to get home because we drove in a snowstorm almost the whole way. In fact, they closed the road right after we went through. We pulled in our driveway just before midnight. It was a great week! Definitely a Fantastic, Fabulous Spring Break Adventure!!

Our Fantastic, Fabulous Spring Break Adventure (Part 2 of 3)

     Day #5- We left the Valley of the Sun in the morning and headed back up to Bagdad to see Chad's sister Sally and her kids (Grandma Donna again too! Papa was having surgery in Showlow) First thing we did was walk to the park. The kids had so much fun! After getting back from the park, Grandma Donna took the kids on a buggy ride. Even Lydia came over with her buggy and kids! It was great to see her and her family! Such a fun day with our cousins :)
Mollie and Grandma Donna

Grandma, Sally, Me, and Lydia (This ones for you Lydia!! hehe)
     Day #6- After spending the night with the Torbets and Grandma, we got up early to head to Sedona for some camping! Some of our friends from Fruita came down to go camping too and also mountain bike. It was a great camping spot and the kids enjoyed getting really, really dirty! This first day, the boys went on a ride first thing and us girls let the kids play and got things set up/organized. When the guys returned, they took the kids (and Chrissy) to see some hieroglyphs located close by where we were camping while us girls went for a ride. It was so great! The trails were absolutely beautiful! We found out that there is a whole network of trails to ride, you can lose track of time pretty easily :) It gets pretty cold in the evenings, so we all enjoyed the campfire that evening. It was super fun!!

After the ride. This picture was taken by a "professional" who posed us and took pictures from various angles...yeah, we totally made fun of her :)
Self portrait taken on the trail

Yeah, we're awesome! :)
     Day #7- It was a good morning! The kids got started early with the hula hoops (fun item to take camping btw) and we laughed pretty hard at Mollie. She wanted to show us how she can hula hoop with only one hand :) She looked like Michael Jackson putting her hand in her crotch! Regan spent most of her time making flower soup and hanging out in a "fort" they found/created. Carli also enjoyed the hula hoops with her friends and all the kids spent a while working on building steps for the ditch by our camp. They love the outdoors!

Best Friends- Aubree and Regan with their flower soup
3 Hula Hoop Girls...they can go forever!
     The girls went on another ride in the morning, so the guys took the kids on a mountain bike ride too! Apparently it was a little too hard for most of their ability levels, but Chad said that our girls were so tough! They never give up! Love these girls :)

     When the guys went on their afternoon ride, us girls (and Monroe) took all the kids to the Cottonwood Rec Center to swim. The shower alone was worth the entry fee! It had a great water slide, lazy river, giant hot tub (for adults only), and lots of other fun water things for the kids. Even though they had TONS of rules and super strict lifeguards, the kids had a blast!!

Pirate pose...Arrr!
     On our girls ride we found the "7 Sacred Pools", which was really just 7 little holes full of water. We talked to a local tour guide who told us that they don't know why they are sacred but apparently there is a "vortex" here where you can get spiritual and physical energy. There were literally people randomly doing yoga around Sedona, so we decided to do some yoga too! Personally I think it was pretty weird :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our Fantastic, Fabulous Spring Break Adventure (Part 1 of 3)

     What a week!! We had one super fantastic Spring Break! I call it an adventure because we had a couple of crazy moments that we will never forget. We were gone for so long and I have so many pictures and stories to tell that even thought I am going to do a "quick" overview, it would be too long if I didn't split our trip into 3 parts. (BTW- If you want a more detailed description of our trip, you can go to my new personal blog)
     Day #1- Our first day was really spent driving, but I will bypass that day and get right to the good stuff! We drove down to see Grandma and Papa Dare in Bagdad, AZ. We stayed the night on Saturday and went to church with them on Sunday. It was good to see them even though Papa was still dealing with his blood clot. We dropped off our camper before heading down to the Valley for a few days.
     Day #2- We spent the rest of Sunday with the Brownlows. We LOVE them! They have been such special people to us and our girls. We talked, laughed, the girls helped make a special dinner, swam in their hot tub, roasted marshmallows/made s'mores, and stayed up way too late (as usual!)
     Day #3- We met all of our cousins (minus the Webers) at the movie theater for "Movie Monday". Only $5 for a movie and popcorn! Wish we had that here! We saw The Lorax, which was really cute. It was even more fun being with family. We took up an entire row WITH kids on laps :) So much fun!
     After the movie, we went to a park to celebrate Maddi's 11th birthday. It was such a blast! It's times like this that make me want to move back to AZ. Sure love my family!
      Day #4- The 4th day of our Spring Break started at the Phoenix Zoo with cousins again. Cameron (my little nephew) decided that to start off our zoo "adventure" he would make his mom really happy and throw his  shoe in the lake. We couldn't believe it! So funny (for us, NOT his mom) Luckily, Danielle saved the day and once it floated close by the edge she went in to the water to retrieve it! It was great...we even had people cheering when she got it! We saw lots of animals and just enjoyed our time together. So fun!
     The Phx Zoo has an exhibit called "Sting Ray Bay" where you can pay a couple bucks and actually pet a sting ray. We thought it would be fun for the girls to experience it, so when the rest of our group left to go home, we bought our tickets. The girls were a little nervous at first, but once they tried it they were really enjoying themselves. It was pretty cool! They are very curious creatures that have no problem coming right up to you. After petting them for about 15 or 20 minutes, Mollie started to scream! I grabbed her and pulled her back from the water and a sting ray came with her!! It had bit her and was still on her finger! It fell back in the water making a huge splash and Mollie was crying about her finger hurting. Poor girl! Her finger was red and she was pretty scared. I told her we could just leave, and surprisingly she said, "No!" My brave little Mollie put her hand right back in the water to pet one again!! My favorite part was that her hand was back in the water, but she was still crying! :) It was an adventure! Grandma Whiting told her that she might be the only 5 year old EVER to be bit by a sting ray. Regan got really excited and exclaimed, "Mollie! You're gonna be famous!!" Love it!
     The girls wanted to go swimming, so we headed to the Straders after the Zoo for a dip in the pool. Personally, I think they are crazy...it was cold! To end our day, we went to Grandma and Grandpa Whiting to one of their favorite restaurants, Golden Corral. Our girls had never been there before and they LOVED it! So happy we could be with them!!