Thursday, March 17, 2011

Arches, Red Dirt & Wind ... Oh, My!

Two years ago, we took a little trip see Arches National Park.  We ran away for the last portion of the kids' Spring Break ... mainly because Mommy needed something to break up the "everyone's home" week ... and the kids needed something to look forward to.  In just two short days, we really packed it in!

Day 1 - Fresh and ready to explore

Still Day 1 - A little less fresh and ready to stop exploring
Top Five Memories of this Vacation:

  1. The anticipation of all that we will see and discover.  We arrived at the park just about lunch time and our first stop was the Visitor Center.  We looked at the maps, we watched the video, we touched all the "touch me" exhibits and tried not to touch the "please don't touch" exhibits.  We were complete psyched for the park!  As we drove to our first stop, the kids in the back with the map pointed out all the landmarks ... so fun to travel with kids who are perpetual learners!
  2. Holding on to our lunches and keeping our ears from freezing.  The sun was deceivingly not warm that day.  But we didn't discover that until we had dragged our lunch and the kids out into the open picnic area.  Brrrrr .... Brett remembers huddling with the kids, trying to get them to eat something and bribing them with "getting moving and getting back into the van."  I remember thinking, "Uh-oh ... not a great start."
  3. The final hike of the day.  We did get moving and enjoyed seeing lots of amazing rock formations (up close and from the van).  For the last trek, we saved the best:  Landscape Arch.  The second picture above is our crew headed out:  Aaron was practicing his Bionicle moves, Norah was hoping from rock to rock, Ashley was shuffling along holding my hand and Lydia was probably wondering if she would ever be freed up from her papoose.  Two seconds after this snapshot, Norah biffed it.  Total yard-sale ... and the fun was over.  She tore a little hole in her pants, a little hole in her knee and a HUGE hole in her pride.  She cried, sniffed, moaned and whined all the way to the arch.  And back.  At one point she actually wailed, "I don't even want to go to the hotel ... I just want to go home."  Which was exactly something I could be quoted as saying when I was younger.  My mom has vivid memories of me crying, "I just want to have my clothes in my dresser ..." about two days into a Yosemite trip.  What goes around, comes around!
  4. Eating wood-fired pizza at Zaz.  The dinner is buffet-style which meant that Aaron and Norah ate their weight in pizza.  Zaz did not make a buck on us that night.
  5. The hotel room.  Our room had three queen beds and a refrigerator that sounded like Darth Vader.  The bed situation was cool (where else can a family of six sleep comfortably?) and the fridge got unplugged. All-in-all ... a win!

Sorry ... one more ...

      6.  Dinosaur footprints.  On the way home after another day of driving the Canyonlands, we stopped off to see (and sit in) some actual dinosaur footprints.  This after veering off the highway onto a rutted and severely pot-holed dirt road.  More than once Brett & I looked at each other both wondering, "Will the tires stay on ... or will we be stranded out here in the middle of nowhere?"  They stayed on ... and we have pictures of our kids sitting in Allosaurus prints ... how cool is that?

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