Friday morning our kids woke up at 6am (which is 8am Eastern Time, and really, later than we had anticipated), and we were up and running. We headed to the Natural History Museum of Utah so Julia could see some real dinosaur bones. We have a family pass to our local museum, which is part of the ASTC Passport Program, which basically means we can get into science center/museums around the country for free. It has paid for itself in vacation destinations alone. I am so glad we bought that thing, even though our local museum is somewhat small. It was money well spent.
So, the museum. We had built up these dinosaur bones for Julia, and I for one could not wait for her reaction to seeing them in person. Unfortunately, I think the kid was a bit overwhelmed by everything. We were on vacation, we'd done a fair amount of traveling the day before, we were with extended family, and we were at a museum with lots of things to see. And then the "dinosaur sounds" started playing. And she sort of flipped out. She said the noises were scary and she didn't want to hear them anymore. I think the noises scared her a bit, and it was the straw that broke the camels back. The floodgates opened, and she was in full meltdown mode. Thankfully we got away from the noises and calmed her down a bit by pointing out the skeletons. Specifically, I asked her for the name of a nearby dinosaur skeleton, and she told me, "Parasaurolophus," like it was no big deal. I then repeated it back with the incorrect pronunciation, for which I was scolded. But the scolding seemed to bring her back down to earth, and she was happy the rest of the time, so I'll take it.
I had hoped for a lot more excitement and awe, but at that point, I was just grateful we weren't crying. Julia quietly enjoyed discovering all the dinosaurs and guessing at their names. I think she liked it a lot. Ella found a window, so she was happy. We eventually moved on and saw Native American ruins and gems and got to put together the parts of the cell. Then Ella and I spied some ants, and I thought they were pretty amazing, all those little black creatures working together to dig tunnels. I guess Ella thought they were neat, too, because she kept kissing the ant dome.
To finish it off, the girls fed Al the Allosaurus some money (which brought back childhood memories for me), and headed home with Grandpa and Aunt Jessica (stopping at McDonalds for lunch on the way!). We split ways at this point because my sister Whitney was going through the temple for the first time - hooray!
Clark and I picked up my grandma and headed out to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. I was glad we could have grandma on the drive with us; it gave us a little extra time to visit with her. And really, I was honored to help her get into the temple and get dressed. It's one of the thousand little things that I wish I was around for more often, so I'm glad to do it when I get the chance.
I was so grateful we got to do a session in the temple. It's pretty tricky getting to a temple out here, and while we try, we don't get there as often as I'd like. And to be there with all my siblings and my parents? It was a tiny taste of what heaven will be like. It was a great moment for the Anderson family.
Afterwards we met back at my parents' house and ate some delicious pizza from Mountain Mike's. What a gift, we had an entire afternoon without children. We owe Jessica big time. Someday, we'll return the favor, I promise.
*As an aside, you might notice that I have no pictures. I'm sure it comes as no surprise, but I took very VERY few pictures our whole time out there. Most of the time I saw someone else taking pictures, so I didn't even bother. If you have any pictures of this trip, would you be a dear and send them my way? It'd be ever so appreciated.