Wednesday, June 18, 2014

SURPRISE Kick-off the Summer Trip - Part I

Oh man, the anticipation leading up to our SURPRISE Kick-off the Summer trip was way intense.  I gave myself lying privileges to the kids leading up to this trip because they were totally trying to investigate were we were going.  They knew this trip was going to be epic because we were going to be gone for over a week (normally our Surprise Kick-off Trip is just two night's long).  I tried to keep them thoroughly confused with having them pack a wide variety of clothing.  The kids had decided that we were definitely going on an airplane (perhaps my lying priveledges might have helped them believe this idea).  In addition, they were also thinking it might be some warm sandy beach because we had brought plenty of warm attire.  

So we loaded up all our suitcases in the back of the mini-van EARLY Saturday morning.  After driving several hours the kids started getting worried that perhaps we were not driving to an airport.  I had packed mesh bags full of snacks (one for each hour of the trip -- 24 snacks).  In each baggie of snacks there was a puzzle piece to give the kids a clue of where we were going.

This was the picture that I had made into a puzzle.  (Note that I picked something that light look a bit like a beach...I know, I'm terrible.)

After about four hours of driving in the car the kids were getting a bit restless and grouchy.  Birch suggested that we let the kids play Twenty Questions.  The rule was they could not ask us something directly.  After about an hour of playing they finally figured it out...a week filled with Utah Fun!!  First stop Grandma Virginia's (SLC) and then Leah and Geoff Wright's home in Mapleton.  Then the BIG DOUBLE Surprise was hiking with the Cox family at Zion's National Park for several days.  The last stop was Matt and Jessica's house in Holiday, UT.
As soon as we got to Grandma Gina's in SLC everyone was so excited to get out of the car and go for a dip in her Condo's pool. 

Then we headed up to Grandma's 12th floor condo overlooking downtown SLC and dined on pizza.  Grandma then shared with all the kids the all about the painting that she and her late husband, Rudy painted.

We had a terrific couple of hours together and I loved every minute of seeing my kid's interact with Grandma Gina.  Then we all piled back in the mini-van for the last hour drive to Mapleton, UT.
We celebrated Father's Day in Mapleton with Leah and Geoff's family.  My kids are sure lucky to have such an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Daddy!
Geoff built this fun (and scary for me to watch) zip line.  The kids loved it!

Nate and Isaac playing a mean game of Frisbee.
My heart stopped each time Chloe went down this thing.  I thought of so many "what if's" that I finally had to request that she curb her zip-line appetite.
Chloe really is a beauty!

Alysee and Lucy loved playing together.  I LOVE seeing my kids with their cousins.

Cute cousin Kate
Monday we enjoyed the morning scouting out the BYU campus and eating lunch at the Cannon Center (think all-you-can-eat cafeteria...heaven for the kids).  We also went rappelling at Red Ledges in the Wasatch Range.  At the base there was this cool old Aztec Sun carved in to the rock.
Alex is a sucker for cute little cousins!  They all love him!
Chloe started out quite excited about the idea of rappelling.  THEN...she realized what she was actually going to do she decided that she was not at all interested.  In hindsight we should have set her up to be more successful for her first time rappelling.
Birch ended up strapping himself on as well and basically dragged down the little girl.  Let's just saw she wasn't interested in going a second time.
Nate scampered up and down this rock face.
Love me some sista' time!
I won Kate over when I offered her some snacks.
Pretty cool to see Tyler so confidently rappel.  A year ago he was trying to finish his Rock Climbing merit badge and he struggled so much with the rappel portion.  He is now so brave!

Nate and and cousin Isaac
Coop wanted NOTHING to do with the rappelling.  Uncle Geoff would have none of that so he scooped up Coop and took him to the top.
It might have taken a little peer Daddy pressure until Geoff and Birch finally convinced Coop to give it a try.
I think Coop was saying, "Not so bad."
Alysee and Lucy were like mountain goats scampering up and down.  They LOVED rappelling!
The afternoon was just as fun as the morning as we filled it with swimming at the Provo Rec Center Family Pool.  It was seriously so fun and really reasonably priced!
We finished off our visit with a quick family photoshoot.
Hard to not want to kiss this guy!

I won't even tell you what Leah was trying to do to me here.  You'd think I was the younger sister with her attacking me.
We really did have a perfect few days with the Wright family!!  They treated us like royalty!!

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