Sunday, August 18, 2013
St. George/Zion National Park/Mary Poppins at Tuacahn Theater
So I move to Utah and we have one of the snowiest winters in over a decade and one of the hottest summers in decades. Go figure. Everyone here complains about the heat, and I try to stifle my laughter and my urge to call them sissies to their faces. I tell them the nicest way I know how, "Y'all, this ain't hot." The temps have consistently been in the 90s and even have creeped into the low 100s some days, and people absolutely lose their minds if it goes over 100. And then there's me who sends my kids outside to play on the black trampoline. I appreciate having grown up in the South so that I can now appreciate what a summer is like with less than 95% humidity on a daily basis. Add that to the things I absolutely love about living in Utah.
We went to see our Clovis friends, the Richardsons, who now live in St. George. It's about a 4.5 hour drive from here, but the drive, even though it is all interstate, is BEAUTIFUL all the way down and doesn't feel like 4.5 hours. We stopped to stretch our legs at the big mall in Provo going down, then stopped at the outlet mall in Lehi on the way home, so that's a nice way to break up the trip. I have said it before, I will say it again - Utah is a lot of things; ugly and boring is not one of them.
We went to see the Broadway production of Mary Poppins at an outdoor amphitheater called Tuacahn. The play and the venue were both amazing. Really neat special affects, and even fireworks built into the play. I took Ethan and Sara Katherine and left Elyse home with Jami's oldest since it didn't start until 9pm when it starts to get dark. It was such a fun night.
Jami and I found some time to sneak away and leave our little kids with her big kids to shop and eat around St George...two of our favorite things to do together! We went to this amazing ice cream place called Sub Zero. It's kind of like a Coldstone, but they actually make your ice cream in front of you from fresh cream and use nitrous oxide to freeze it, then mix in whatever yummies you want. It was too bad the kids weren't with us; they would have thought that was very cool. And holy wow; having fresh, fresh ice cream...heaven.
One afternoon we loaded up all the kids and drove over to Zion National Park, which is about 45 minutes from Jami's house. We have a free National Parks annual pass through the military, and it's my goal to visit all the National Parks in Utah before we move. (I think there are 4). There are many places in Zion you can't drive unless you're staying in one of the lodges, and they have a mandatory shuttle bus system to get you to whatever trailhead you want. We decided with seven kids of varying ages, we would pick an easy paved trail that led to a waterfall. It's one of the most popular hikes in Zion (if you can call a walk on a paved trail a hike; we did!). Had we not had the littles (3 and 4) we could have done something a bit more strenuous. There's a bad drought here in Utah this summer. We got a lot of snow in the valley this past winter, but not up in the mountains, so our reservoirs that provide all our water are very low and it's just not raining much here (which is one thing I do miss very much - summer afternoon thunder showers and storms). So instead of a rushing waterfall at the end of our hike before we turned around, it was a little trickle. But everyone still had fun, the little kids were champs, and the kids splashed around in the river at the end of the hike before hopping back on the shuttle bus to get back to our car. I can't wait to go back with David. You could spend a week in that park and still not do all there is to do there!
We spent the rest of the week just hanging out and enjoying the slow pace of summer days and being with good friends with no real schedule to have to follow. I love that she is close enough for us to visit each other. I stay homesick for my Clovis ladies.