Saturday, December 31, 2011

Summer recap

I never got around to catching up on the blog, so this is just a recap of everything that I missed from over the summer.

At the end of June we drove down to St George for a little road trip. We went swimming as soon as we arrived. Last year Chase screamed when we put him in the pool. This year he didn't scream, but he lifted his legs up trying to keep them out of the water. I think it must have felt a little cold. He was happy to sit on the side and be cuddled in a towel until we went inside.

We visited Zion's again, of course.

We always love visiting the upper emerald pools, and kids love splashing in the water at the top.

On our way back down we saw a rattlesnake close to the path! Some other hikers nudged it along with a stick to get it away from the trail.

On our way back to St George we stopped in the ghost town of Grafton. I loved seeing the old houses and especially the cemetary there.

Many of the headstones were those new Utah settlers who were killed by the Indians.
While in St George we also visited Snow Canyon, which was super close to town.
There are petrified sand dunes, lots of cactus, and amazing scenery.
We hiked to a "lava tube", which was more like a cave. The air temperature outside the cave was at least 110, but inside it felt about 30 degrees cooler. It was amazing! The cave was pitch dark, and went on and on. We explored a little bit, and really enjoyed the break from the heat.

We made one more stop at Snow Canyon, to "Jenny's Canyon." It was a super short walk, not even a hike at all, and the slot canyon there was spectacular.

We will definitely be going there again!

The rest of our time in St George we enjoyed swimming, shopping, and seeing the 4th of July fireworks show downtown with some friends.

In the middle of July we had the Hill family reunion. We all enjoyed hiking around Silver Lake with my parents, and several other family members.

Here's Chase having a sweet conversation with Grandma Hill, he loves her!
At the end of July we went to Florida to see Derek's family. We enjoyed lots of time at the beach, and Chase discovered how much fun the waves can be!

The kids loved swimming around with their cousins, and taking the little inflatable boat as far out as they could.

We visited the Jacksonville Zoo all together, and had a great time even with the extremely hot temperatures.

The kids all got along great, and they spent lots of time together.

The night before Mark and Jill left Jacksonville we all went to the beach and got some pictures right before sunset.

The next day was our last day in Jacksonville, and we spent the morning at the beach. Ethan and Julia searched for (and found) shark teeth. And Chase spent plenty of time digging in the sand.
That night we drove down to Orlando and the next day we went to Disneyworld's MGM park.
At the Honey I Shrunk the Kids park at MGM

I love Julia's face in the picture! She was terrified to go on the Rockin' Roller coaster, but once it was over she decided that it wasn't so bad and went on it 3 more times.

Our favorite part at MGM is always the Fantasmic show that they do right before the park closes. We went a little early and saved seats, and 5 minutes before the show was supposed to begin it began to rain. There was some lightning too, and they ended up canceling the show. We were SO disappointed, but knew that the later show was really too late to attend because our flight was really early in the morning. We got out to the tram and waited in line to board. When it was finally our turn Derek turned to me and asked if we should stay and go to the later show. I did NOT want to stay. We were all drenched from the rain, and Chase was so tired and ready to go to bed. I left it up to the kids though, and they decided that they wanted to stay.

So we headed back to the giant line for the show, not knowing if it was even going to happen at all because it was still raining. I stopped in the restroom to change Chase into his spare clothes from the diaper bag, but they were wet from the rain too. Derek went in search of some milk for Chase, and luckily found some at a restaurant, and they even gave him a cup of hot water to warm up the milk. The line started to move and we all went and found seats in the center of the amphitheater. It was still questionable as to whether or not the show would be happening, so when it started everyone cheered. The show was amazing, as always. And in the end we were glad that we had stayed. We changed everyone into dry clothes in the parking lot since our luggage was in the trunk. The kids fell asleep in the car on the way to the hotel, and we had to wake up Ethan and Julia to help us carry everything up to the room. We got to our room at around 1am, and had to leave at 5am the next morning. We nearly missed our flight that morning because we should have gotten up earlier, but thankfully we made it, and Chase slept through the entire first leg of our trip. What an eventful way to end our vacation!

In August Ethan's competitive soccer team was in 2 back to back tournaments, and that took up a lot of our time. It was especially challenging trying to keep Chase off of the soccer field.

Ethan really enjoyed all the extra soccer hours, so that made it worth it.
Robyn and Eric came to town with their kids in August, and we were able to go to the Thanksgiving Point petting zoo with them.
On the hay ride at Thanksgiving Point

We enjoyed a picnic lunch, and seeing all the animals.

Julia's soccer season started back up at the end of August, so that added one more set of games to attend.
And Derek's parents came to visit too.
The night before Robyn and Eric left we watched a movie on a big screen in the backyard, and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire pit.
We also went to Seven Peaks several times during the summer since we had season passes.

We took Derek's parents to Bridal Veil Falls.
Chase really enjoyed playing in the water, though he lost a shoe down the river.

We also took Derek's parents up to Squaw Peak to see the lights. There was a lightning storm across the lake, and fireworks at the baseball game, so we had 2 shows to watch.
Right before Derek's parents left we visited the Thanksgiving Point gardens (our second time for the summer). It was spectacular, as always.
And Chase enjoyed all the water fountains.
It was quite an eventful summer!