If you don’t follow Sara and me on Instagram (and maybe if you do), you might not know that we’ve both been out of town on vacation. So if we haven’t answered your emails or questions or if you’ve generally been feeling neglected, that’s why. We still love you. We’re here now.
I had really great intentions of getting home on Saturday morning and getting a real, live blog post together. It didn’t happen. I
was am tired. So even though this is more The Scoop-y, we’ll be back with real food later this week.
I did think it would be fun to show you where we went, where we ate, what we did (like how “where we ate” is one of the things I listed? Yeah, my vacations basically revolve around food. It’s a big deal.)
The last time we did a long road trip (and by “long,” I mean Louisiana to Orlando; “long road trip” has taken on a whole new meaning), I was 8 weeks pregnant and it was up there with the more unfortunate events of my life (honestly, that whole Disney trip was fairly unfortunate–it was hotter, more crowded, and I was way more pregnant than I was ever anticipating.) So I was expecting the worst. 3 days each way of driving? After every horror story I heard? I was worried. But honestly, it ended up being really fun. Like…really fun. My car smells like crackers and maybe mildew, but it was really fun.
We ended up leaving on my baby’s (okay, he’s 2) 2nd birthday. Which meant that between packing, loading up the car, and plowing through loads of laundry, we were celebrating his birthday. For a family that adheres to VERY strict bedtimes, opening presents at 10:00 pm (while sitting on an Ikea stool because the dining room table was covered with stuff) was quite an experience.
It took us about 33 hours to get there (and less time to get back…more about that in a minute. I’ve discovered there are people who stop at every possible stop and there are people who drive straight through and we are people who drive straight through.)
Our first day, we drove from central Louisiana to Amarillo, Texas. An hour out, we got stuck in traffic, but we got to see an amazing West Texas sunset.
We got in late and had to leave early and people were pretty grumpy by the time we hit middle-of-nowhere New Mexico.
That was the best we could do. My oldest did not like the bear (or anything else that day.)
Friday Night Lights the night before, Breaking Bad the next day. The New Mexico desert is desolate and beautiful.
When we were planning our trip, we deliberately took a longer route on the way out because we figured we’d see The Grand Canyon. We booked a hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona and figured we’d see it at some point.
Until we realized that even though we were close, it was still an hour away and that JUST going there and back would tack on another 2 hours to our trip, not to mention, you know, getting out and looking around. It wasn’t happening. So we’re just saying that we got really close to The Grand Canyon and we’re calling it good. Maybe someday.
When we got to Utah, we were thrilled to discover that the speed limit was 80. 80 miles per hour. I’m 33 1/2 and I’ve never seen that speed limit before. It was big. We were getting close.
Things started flying by when we hit Utah County, where my husband and I went to school, met, got married, and had 2 kids. I lived there for 9 years and it kind of feels like home to me, so seeing the “Y” on the mountain filled my heart with all sorts of happiness.
Then we drove through one of my favorite places on Earth, Sardine Canyon. It’s the mountain pass between where most of people in Utah live and where I grew up and it’s pretty much always guaranteed to be beautiful.
(Yep, those are bugs on my windshield. 33 hours, peeps.)
We finally got to my parents’ house in Logan (where I’d never been, by the way. They’ve had a hard time figuring out where they want to live now that we’ve all moved away.) I was pretty impressed by their view.
The next morning, we went to Herm’s Inn for breakfast–it was so delicious and way cooler than any place I ever ate at in Logan when I was growing up. Eggs Benedict Florentine? Yes, please.
We had shave ice (which was maybe the best shave ice I’ve ever had, in or out of Hawaii) at Hokulia Shave Ice (sidenote: I always feel like I should branch out from tiger’s blood and I always regret it. Somebody stop me.)
We played with cousins, cooked, ate, swam at the Logan Aquatic Center, went to movies (I dragged my husband to The Fault in Our Stars, which he ugly cried through, then he dragged me to Transformers, which we both agreed could have been its own trilogy and even though we both fell asleep, we only missed one or two potential endings.) My kids loved lighting fireworks with their cousins when it wasn’t 42 million degrees outside.
After lots and lots of fun, we headed down to Salt Lake City for a few days on our own. We visited Temple Square…
My husband’s younger brother got married in May, but because my kids were still in school, only he was able to go out for the wedding, so we went to Flatbread Neapolitan Pizzeria with my brother-in-law and meet his adorable wife. The prosciutto pesto pizza sounds weird, but it’s kind of amazing, and my kids loved making their own pizzas.
We went to The Museum of Ancient Life and then hit up the little farm. My older son was not interested in the pony ride, but my daughter loved it…
and my two-year-old was apprehensive at first…
But then it kind of turned into the best day of his life.
We also went to The Museum of Natural Curiosity, which recently opened, and it turns out that was a bad decision for a couple that has a mild-to-moderate phobia of crowded spaces. My husband said it was like seeing the face of hell (my kids come by their dramatic tendencies honestly) and also called it The Museum of Parentless Children. Hopefully it will still be awesome when school is in session in another year or so because I don’t think, even if we lived there, we could go back without some kind of prescription anti-anxiety medication anytime in the near future.
We showed our kids all our old stomping grounds in Provo. We couldn’t leave without a bag of chocolate covered cinnamon bears (which either seems to delight or horrify people–not a whole lot of middle ground there.)
Sadly, our two weeks was up and we had to come home, which ended up being not quite as long when we didn’t do the almost-Grand Canyon detour. There were lots of desert thunderstorms in Utah and New Mexico and the sky was beautiful.
My son consistently complained that my daughter hogged the bed (and tried to snuggle him) but if you look closely, you’ll see he is the bed-hogging, blanket stealer.
We only had 5 hours to drive our last day, and we woke up at about 5:30 to no power in our hotel, so we booked it out of there pretty quick and got back home as quickly as we could. We were ready. It was time. We had a great time, but it was so good to be home.
Now…a couple items of business–in case you haven’t heard, Sara’s Huckleberry Pie Ice Cream won Kroger’s Private Selection Ice cream contest! If you want to meet her, she’ll be sampling her ice cream in Fred Meyer stores in the Boise area over the next few weeks!
Also, on a much sadder and serious note. Most of you guys know that water-related accidents are something close to our hearts, so when I saw that a friend had lost her sweet little 3-year-old baby boy to a drowning accident, my heart just hurt.
If anyone wants to read more about their story and/or is in a position to donate financially to their family (to help with medical and funeral expenses, as well as transportation from Texas, where it happened, back to their home in Utah), you can donate here. Regardless, I know their family could desperately use any thoughts or prayers. Hug your babes, be careful, and be kind to each other because we just never know.