Monday, June 15, 2009

Junior Rangers

At each of the National Parks, they have a junior ranger program, where kids can become a "junior ranger". They are given a workbook/ activity book and have to do so many pages in each book depending on their age. They also need to pick up a certain amount of trash with in the park, either see the park movie or attend a class given by a park ranger. Once they complete the activities for their age level, they take their booklet up to the rangers, and they pass it off, and then do the junior ranger pledge. They are then given junior ranger badges to wear and keep. So the kids became junior rangers at Zions, Bryce, and Capitol Reef. It was very cool and exciting, it also gave them something to be on the lookout for around the park, and were so excited when they "found" or "saw" what they were looking for..

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Funnies from our Trip

Not only did we have a super fun time on our trip, but there were also some memorable and really funny moments, a couple of which were caught on pictures... so here are just a couple:

THIS SIGN!!!!! There will be a $5.00 charge for whining.. I made the kids stand by it for a picture and let them know that they would agree and obey the rule on the sign.. unfortunately the kids don't have THAT much money... LOL but there was the cutest older couple in the restaurant where we took this and they were quite amused by it.

REAL OR FAKE COP??? ok this was sooo funny.. In the very small town of Loa, UT... this cop car was sitting off of the main road, right where you have to drop down from the 65 to 30 in a very short distance. Of course it freaked me out on the way in since I couldn't see who was in the car, but on the way back!!! oh my gosh, sooo funny.. We had to get out and take a picture of this "hard working cop" (yes that is a dummy!!!)
SLACKERS: just LOVE the name of this burger place, so we have to pick here to eat... yummy too, esp the garlic burgers
Sydney's choice of Play Friends: Wonder Woman and Luke Skywalker
We let the kids bring a few toys into the car to play with along the way, and these were Syd's choice of characters.. I guess both do have a sort of super powers and could be a great team- Luke with the Jedi force and Wonder Woman, with her invisible jet and cute and cold bracelets that have magical powers to fight off anything.
CATTLE ON THE FREEWAY: ok I've seen those signs a million times of the cattle crossing and never seen one crossing, or on the freeway.. but we were driving along and looks like one of the gang got stuck ON the freeway, of course the rest of his buddies were much smarter than he was to get caught.. do how do they get back???

There was also another sign on the freeway that made us totally crack up, I wanted a picture soo bad but couldn't get to turning around on the 2 lane highway.. but it said: "Fine will be issued for ANY uncovered load......" yup, cracks me up...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Animals while we were out & about

One of the really cool things about the national parks and taking some of the out of the way roads that we did was being able to see lots of wildlife. We also saw several other animals and the kids would get sooo excited each time they spotted some form of wildlife.. The ostrich farm was really cool to see on the way into Zions.. they were just all standing there, not really moving and facing the same direction, so of course, we had to take a pic... In the car, Austin got sick of saying oh there's horses or cows, or whatever, so he came up with " oh there's some neigh-ers, there's some moo-ers, check out those baa-ers" such a funny kid, totally out of no where, so that cracked us all up...

Deer, we saw at all 3 national parks, this pic is from Bryce:
Ostriches at an ostrich farm right outside of Zions:
Lots of lizards and different kinds too: Cute lil chipmunks, reminds me of the Disney Chip N Dale cartoons:

Day 3 Manti Temple

One of the temples we haven't gotten a chance to go by and visit is the Manti Temple.. and wow it is sooo big. I've seen it before but it's been a really long time. We took the route that would take us through the town, so that we could make sure we could check it out. The building is just gorgeous. One very cool thing, is that when we were driving away from it, you could really see it for such a long time and the view was amazing...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

DAY 3 Capitol Reef National Park

So originally when we were planning the trip we had no idea about what or where Capitol Reef was, but have to say it more than a pleasant and exciting surprise. The views were amazing and there was quite a bit to see in there. Years ago, a verrrry long time ago, the area was totally covered by water, which gave it the reef name. Then back in the late 1800s settlers came to this valley and started a small town. The climate makes it so that you can grows lots of fruit trees and is almost tropical like. But at the same time, there are several creeks and there is tons of flash flooding, which has also destroyed the village several times. When we were driving around there were warning where flash floods occurred and you could see where they ran through and over the roads too. There was some old ancient tribal art on the rocks, which was very cool to look at and the kids were entertained with it. We did a couple little hikes. In an old home, there is a cute little store with homemade items and the BEST homemade pies and ice cream. Yum. Also the deer there were sooo tame, they just let us come right up to them and take pictures. We even drove right up along side some, and they didn't even flinch.
Also the house that is in the picture below, not bigger than one room, was the house to one of the settlers that housed him, his wife and 10 kids!! The two youngest kids slept in the house with the parents, and the older kids slept on a ledge carved out of the mountain behind the house and they slept in the open there!!! Crazy.. But we had a great time and are hoping to get to go back again sometime. We didn't even get to see it all, but loved it and had a great time.

Twin rocks:
Gorgeous cliffs and scenery:
This is so intriging how the rock has just worn away: Old tribal rock art: One of the first settlers homes- home to parents and 10 kids!!!
Old fashioned store and home, with very yummy homemade pies and ice cream: Valley view: Jeremy in the "reef":
LOVE how the sun just highlights this rock area:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

DAY 2 Bryce Canyon National Park

So the second day we headed to Bryce Canyon, we actually drove right through Zions again and headed up to Bryce which was a gorgeous drive, lots of rocks, cliffs and lots of green everywhere. Bryce has more of a forest-esty feel to it, pine trees and a higher elevation. The "hoo-doos" are the rock has worn away over time with harsh elements. We watched the movie and it's really crazy how they form over time. Lots of amazing and great views, the morning started a bit overcast when we got there, so the first photo sites are kinda cloudy, but right when we got to the main area, the sun cleared and got some great shots of the canyons... The colors in Bryce are totally breath taking, the colors really pop out- oranges, pinks, and some reds, it's really pretty. In fact, I have to say I think the Bryce views won my heart. The kids looked for prairie dogs the whole time, but we couldn't find any, instead we saw several deers and cute chipmunks..

view pic with the kids: Kids @ Sunset View:
Jeremy @ Sunset view:
Love how the light really makes the colors stand out: What a grogeous sky, blue blue blue and pretty white clouds:
Tons of Hoo-doos: Two caves that have opened up: A cave that has formed from the elements eating away at the rock:
Great view:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 1 ZIONS National Park

Well we planned a fun family trip to see some of the National Parks that are in Utah, and we got 3 in our little trip, which was very exciting. We still have several more that we plan on seeing, but thought we should take advantage of the beauty of our state. We did quite a few hikes through Zions, none of the really crazy ones, but family friendly ones. Our favorite spot was the Weeping Rock. The weather was really cool and kinda overcast, but by the time we got there, the sun had come out and made for some great photos, which I was happy about. There is such a difference when the blue sky makes the red in the rocks really pop out, it's just gorgeous. Luckily a nice woman offered to take our family photo, and I love how it turned out, so I was grateful for that. We took the shuttle to each stop and were able to see alot. We also did the 1.1 mile inner tunnel drive, which the kids thought was pretty cool... just don't look over the side of the cliff on the drive up... I couldn't believe how many out of country visitors there were visiting the parks, so it makes me more excited to know that we got the opportunity to see such beautiful scenery...

Welcome to Zions
Our Family on a hike to Emerald Pools:
Austin & Sydney at Weeping Rock:

Views from Weeping Rock:
Cool Angle looking out from Weeping Rock: Taken while we waited to drive through the tunnel:
Taken while we were driving, love the depth in the rocks:
On the Hike to the Temple of Sinawava:
the 3 Patriarchs:

Visiting Grandparents

It was so nice that we got the opportunity to stop by and visit with Jeremy's grandparents on our trip. We have missed them that last couple of times and so we were grateful that everything worked out so we could stop and visit. Jeremy's grandma has a "kids drawer" in the kitchen where they can each pick out a toy to keep and take with them as a memory. Austin picked a metal scoop, which I'm sure will make a great dirt digger, and Sydney picked out a cute elephant puppet, that she names Ellie, which became quite her little friend on the trip.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dinosaur Park & Driving Adventures

What an adventure we had.. We decided to go up to the dinosaur park, we have been wanting to do that for a long time, but never quite made it.. The kids were really excited, and the place was pretty cool with lots of dinosaurs all over the park, a little cheesy but the kids were happy and entertained by it all. They also loved the play area, and spent quite a bit of time there, while mom and dad, took a "rest" in the shady area... The kids even made a group of friends to play with there, and had lots of fun. I wish we lived a bit closer, we would go more, but it's kinda a long drive.
Afterwards, since we were at the base of the canyons, we thought we would drive through the canyons and kinda explore around there.. Well we ended up in Huntsville and Eden, which I have to say are gorgeous areas!!! So peaceful and relaxing, and with some quite large houses, which I wouldn't mind having.. Then we had to get gas, and Jeremy thought we needed to explore more, and bought a map.. We took some crazy back roads and explored a part of Utah we would have never seen.. like Morgan.. (very small), saw lots of reservoirs, pretty scenery and a lovely rain storm... We ended up in the valley right by Park City, so stopped there for a bit.. Then headed off and home.. Quite an adventure and some fun times.. glad we did it.

Ok, this totally cracks me up of the kids:

Austin was soo excited to see all the dinosaurs... esp T-Rex Yup, I think Jeremy is really scared
Sydney very curious about this big guy
some cool scenic drive photos