Friday, October 30, 2009

Family Vacation!

Note: This is a pretty long post. No one will be offended if you don't read it. Except maybe Julia. But she is easily offended these days, so don't think anything of it.

Hey, remember when we went on vacation a few weeks ago? No? Well, we did. And it was great! We decided that we needed a family vacation, just our family, and since we aren't hindered by kids in school, we thought it would be nice to go in the forgotten month of October. Also, October is a lot cooler than August. A bit cool in the mornings, but better cool in the mornings than scorching in the afternoons. I felt like the weather was perfect the whole trip.

We headed out on a Wednesday night for Moab. Julia loved the hotel. Well, really she loved 2 things about the hotel: the old style phone (we had to unplug it so she'd stop calling people), and the big mirror. Who doesn't love big mirrors?

Then we got to spend Thursday and Friday at Arches National Park. Clark and I went there on our honeymoon, so it was fun to revisit all those beautiful arches. And we finally made it to Double O Arch! Last time we were prevented from finishing the hike due to a fiasco, which we don't like to talk about, let's leave it at that. But we knew that we had to make it a point to get that hike in immediately, since we've been waiting for 5 years to see it. So Thursday morning, off we went.

Clark and Julia at one of the O's:

A family photo at Double O (don't you think it looks like a thought bubble?):

And we decided hey, we made it all the way to Double O, let's head the last half mile to Dark Angel. Which is cool, but not as cool as the arches.

After all that we were about spent for the day (and starving), so we headed back to town, had some food, and cruised around downtown Moab.

Then on Friday we did Delicate Arch and some of the other small hikes (Balanced Rock, Windows).

Can you see our teeny tiny family?

Julia loved the "Tweet tweets!" This raven was RIGHT next to us.

And a recreation of our favorite honeymoon picture:

Clark at a Window (Julia sleeping, which she did for a lot of the hiking time):

Shannon at another Window:

At Balanced Rock, we decided that Julia needed to stretch her legs and get some real hiking in. (If you can call a paved trail real hiking, which I think you can do when you are 18 months old).

Mostly, she liked to sit on the side. It's like a bench made just for her!

Friday night we met up with Suzanne, who also happened to be in Moab for a zoo class, and had a lovely dinner at the Moab Brewery. Good food, even better company.

After dinner we got out of town and headed to Cortez, CO. Google said it would take about 3 hours. It took more like 2 (maybe even less than 2).

Saturday was spent at Mesa Verde National Park. I had never been there before, and it was amazing. To think of people building these homes in the rock thousands of years ago is incredible.

Clark was pretty brave to carry Julia in the backpack while going up ladders and through tunnels. Ok, lies, we let her walk through the tunnels (since they are still taller than she is), but nevertheless, Clark was a champ.

Julia was less than interested in what the tour guides had to say, but we managed to get through 2 guided tours and 1 self-guided house before we hit major meltdown mode. Apparently 3 days in a backpack, plus all the driving in the car, naps on the run, and no crib in our second hotel make for a cranky cranky kid. There were a couple of time outs and lots of tears. So when we got back to the hotel, Clark and Julia crashed.

And the next day we headed home via Four Corners and Page, AZ. Since Julia and I had never been to New Mexico, and none of us had ever seen Lake Powell. Once again, Google said it would take about 9 hours. It took us 7. A pleasant surprise, to be sure, but wow. 2 hours off? That's a bit excessive, don't you think? Anyway, we all got our picture taken at Four Corners:

Apparently Julia has the same problem I do: an extra-long torso. All these tummy shots make me realize we're going to need to get some bigger (longer) jackets and tops.

And now we can say we've seen Lake Powell. From the car. But it still counts for something. And the McDonald's in Page is really quite nice. In case you were wondering.

We were exhausted when we got home, but it was good to get out of town for a few days and spend time together as a family. (I love how I say that like we don't spend time together every single day. You know what I mean.) Hooray for vacation!


alisquire said...

Looks like fun! We did almost that same trip when Ada was a year old. Good times.

I also have a very long torso, and I believe I've passed it on to my girls as well.

I'm intrigued by this fiasco...

Cheryl said...

Yes. How fun to visit all those National parks. and ps: the marker was found to be slightly off of the 4 corners:,5143,705298412,00.html

Clark said...

I was agreed long ago that we would never speak of the fiasco. I'm surprised that Shannon even brought it up . . . .

Melissa said...

If I'm not mistaken, that Dora sweat suit began with us (but as a gift from Carrie) and that jackets didn't fit Amy any better. And I consider Amy to be all legs. Sometimes I wonder why the 3m sized jacket is sold with the 12m pants. It seems to happen a lot.

Totally jealous of your fun trip! How fun to get to do all that hiking around. I hope we can join you guys someday!

Em said...

I'm impressed by how much ground you guys covered! I'd say Julia was a pretty good sport. Hadley barely lasts one hike in the back pack!

Celeste said...

Wow I had no idea! I guess I've been a little lost in my own world of survival lately :)

It sounds like so much fun! And you did manage to hit lots of places. I'm very impressed.