Utah Whirlwind

Our summer trip to Utah was briefer than it has been in the past, mainly so we could squeeze in a Yellowstone trip at the end.

The days were just packed. I’m impressed that I was able to hit all of my delicious Utah food places. And could still squeeze into my jeans afterwards.

We went to:

— Visit Uncle Alex at the Krispy Kreme donut store! He gave us two dozen donuts for free!!!

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Watching the donut machine at work
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Waving hello to Uncle Alex

(It took us the whole rest of the day to eat them all.)

— A family reunion (on the Hansen side) at Mountain Dell Park up Emigration Canyon. Face painting was the kids’ favorite part.

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I was very impressed with the rainbow on Katie’s arm.
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Hanging out with Grandpa
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Gorgeous butterfly
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Amazing unicorn!

It was held in the same park and pavilion where our old ward in SLC held their annual summer picnic. Coincidentally — the reunion was scheduled on the same day as said picnic. Alas, we did not stay. (That would have been weird.)

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See – -“Hanson is labeled for 8/29, followed by “Monument Park Ward”

— The Utah Museum of Natural History (which we visited after the reunion, because we can’t stay away from that place, apparently)

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— A glorious trip to Day Murray Music to browse around

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There are FOUR ROOMS just like this. I haven’t found anything like it here in Seattle

— A reunion dinner with the Plethora and Plethora “cousins.” Eleanor was shy at first, but soon reconnected and had a blast.

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I think this is Sophia leaping on top of Katie & Eleanor
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Eleanor and Sophia
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I think this is only a third of the kids who were at the party. Wow, we are reproductive!

— The Living Planet Aquarium (Which was very nice, but way overpriced for what you get. There was a massive, mulistory play area that cost an extra $3, but featured multiple overstuffed couches for lounging adults. There was nothing aquarium-related about it in the least, but still. Genius idea.)

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Since Eleanor learned to make cording at Quiet Heart Wilderness School, she’s been very interested in rope and rope bridges
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I discovered that staring at fish through thick glass makes me motion sick. Yup, I’m just that much of a wimp.
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— Dinner with the Jones family, who live in Colorado but were visiting Utah at the same time as us. Caitlin taught all the kids how to play Nerts.

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Katie isn’t in this picture because she ganged up with the youngest Jones boys and played “animal hospital” all evening

— A drive to Cascade Springs, in the mountains above Provo. Randy and Kathryn hadn’t ever been there before, which surprised me. It’s one of the best hikes in the area for really little kids. Despite this, Katie managed to whine about the trail being too difficult the entiiiiiiire time.

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Katie and Brian on the trail
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I love the little Japanese bridges
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Another bridge walk with Grandpa
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I asked Jeff to pose for a picture, and he began to lounge on the boardwalk. Oh, that boy.

— The hike was followed by a trip to Midway to eat lunch at Tarahumara, our favorite Mexican restaurant. We have yet to find a good Mexican restaurant in Seattle, so this was muchly appreciated.

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Yes, Katie had a hamburger. Sigh.
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Glorious fajitas, handmade tortillas, 20 kinds of salsa.

It also didn’t hurt that Tarahumara has added a bakery since we were last there.

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All cookies should be this large in proportion to your face.

— A visit with DeLynn’s stable. What a dream to ride barebacked on all the donkeys you want!

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— Finally, a visit to the Museum of Natural Curiosity, which our kids remembered (and still loved) from our Utah trip the year before. Coincidentally, the Jones family was there visiting at the same time.

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Katie cares for a “mouse” in the animal hospital. Each stuffed animal has a sensor inside so the correct X-ray shows up on the screen. Clever.
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Playing in the water area. (I was in charge of following Katie; the other kids were all over the place)
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A sensor turns this sandbox into a topographical map of whatever “islands” the children build. Waving your fingers in the light makes “rainfall” as well.

This was the last of our whirlwind Utah stay; unfortuntately, it ended on a stressful note. On the drive home from the children’s museum, our car began stalling in traffic. The engine would just spontaneously die, along with all the electrical systems. We couldn’t even turn on the hazard lights to warn other drivers that something was wrong. I am incredibly thankful that it didn’t happen on the freeway. I was very stressed out about the repair (especially since we had just replaced the radiator the week before) but it turned out to only be a faulty battery wire that took an hour to fix and cost $70. Whew!

Onwards to Yellowstone!

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Eleanor insisted I take this picture of her with her hat string around her head at Tarahumara. Silly girl.

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