Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fishes Are Friends

My Granddad (Heidi Anne's Great Granddad) has just recently moved to Utah. He's been here a few weeks, however, it's about a 2 or more hour drive. It was the very first time they've ever meet each other. It wasn't a long visit but it was the first of many more visits to come. 

We had planned on meeting my sister at the aquarium but we were running a little ahead of scheduled. To help pass the time we went to Cabella's. As you may know, Heidi Anne was very jealous of the people staying in Tipis or in tents. We've deiced if we (and most likely when) we go camping it would be car camping. Cabella's seemed like the best place to wander around to look at fishing and camp gear to get an idea of what we would need. I have only gone camping once and that was in an RV (a great way to camp in my opinion) which means we don't have a single piece of outdoor gear.  We we're only there for a few minutes because that place is part museum and part speciality store. There are all these animals throughout the whole store. Heidi Anne found a pop up trailer tent she adored. It looked really nice the down side was the cost. As you can tell, she's saying "Please" so nicely. If only "Please" was REALLY a magic word. 
We were past the first display section when we deiced this place should be saved for another day. 
 Next was the aquarium, Somehow we've gone to the aquarium nearly every 18 months since the girls were born.
Her "Bestest Friend Kayla" and Rykken were so excited to see her. 
When Rykken came next to Heidi he said without any prompting "HI Heidi!!", he was acting like a "big kid" now-thus deemed worthy by the girls to include him in their little club. I have a feeling there are 2 "Bestest Friends" now.
It's funny to think how when you're in the moment trying to monitor the kids you could so easily miss the fun moments when they are just amazed at everything there is to look at. Somehow my sister and I seem to find those little Kodiak moments. 
 I have so much fun just watching the kids feed off each-others energy. I will admit somethings the overload of energy can get to me, but my sister seems to be able to rain it in. I know Heidi Anne enjoys herself a lot more when she gets to do activities with Rykken and Kayla.
I think another reason these get together turn out so well (an in no one fights, gets grumpy, gets board, ect) is how close in age everyone is. Kayla is 6 months older then Heidi, and Heidi is less then 18 months older then Rykken. So everyone is pretty much on the same page.
My sister had told me that they would be closing this aquarium down in December to expand to a new location. I just hope the new place has as many photo ops, I mean interactive displays as this current one does.
To be honest-they really do have fun hands on activities such as petting star fish, baby sharks and rays. 
Or seeing how tall you are compared to a Boa (I love how serious she is taking this!) 
While you're waiting for your turn to see the penguins, you can see how tall you are compared to different penguin species. I never realized how big they got. 
I would have to say they had a lot of fun.

Some Blast from the Past Pictures!! 

Warning: These Pictures will cause you to go "Ohh, they are growing up soo fast!"

Heidi and Kayla-Ages 4 and 4 1/2
Heidi and Kayla-Ages 2 and 2 1/2
Heidi and Kayla-Ages 2 and 2 1/2
Heidi and Kayla-Ages 1 and 7 Months

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tipi Tantrum

We stayed at Ruby's Inn. It's a very unique place because it has accommodations for all types of travelers. There are hotel rooms, RV parks, camp grounds, and tipi. Yeap, you can stay in a tipi. (Can you see where this is going?) 
Tipi Close Up
Most of the tipis were further away deeper in the woods and towards the back of the grounds. We had a lake right by our hotel room, which made a lovely view. However, just across the lake was one of the biggest tipi around. 
The View from Our Room
It didn't take long before Heidi Anne put 2 and 2 together. She (like almost any child) was upset that we weren't sleeping in a tipi. We explained that the people in teepees did not have a laptop, so they can't watch movies, and their teepees were so hot, and there wasn't even a bathroom. She still thought a tent would be more fun. That is when I had a brilliant Mommy Moment. 

I put a blanket between the two beds. TA-DA!! I had made a little fort just for Heidi Anne. She loved it. Now she got a teepee in a nice cozy room, with lights, no bugs, and a movie. Take that teepee people.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Mountain Goat in Grand Canyon

I think one of my favorite stops had to be the Grand Canyon. We were all so well rested and ready for adventure.
The views were just amazing, no matter where you were it's just breathtaking. Heidi Anne had a blast, it was all we could do to keep up with her.
I have learned one very important lesson while at the canyons-my child is part mountain goat. She doesn't fear heights, cliffs are nothing more then a mere annoyance, guard rails are more of a "guideline", and ledges are just places to get a better view. She just loved the whole canyon.
We would hike some trails but I could see she was just jumping at the bit.

We found a shady spot along the trail and I decided we needed to get all that energy drained.
**SIDE NOTE-There is a picture of Heidi Anne's Aunt Millie that looks almost EXACTLY like this. I wanted to get a copy of it soo much so everyone could see the 2 pictures of Millie (at 4 / 5) side by side with Heidi at 4. As you can tell-I wasn't able to get a copy-hence the 1 picture below. But imagine this same picture above next to a in a more grainy duplicate-then you sort of get the idea. IF I happen to get a copy, I'll post it like I wanted to originally.**
So I stayed on my little rock in the shade while they went along the rest of the trail. I had fun chatting with other mothers who made the same decision as I. Which was, let the dads' take the kids through the hike to ware them out.
Singing "I Stole Mommy's Spot"
After different trails (or the same one back and forth) it was time for lunch. Again, we let her pick the table in the middle of the woods with a lovely view of the canyon.

She watched a hawk as it circled around a cliff while we started to unpack for lunch. Suddenly she was trying to swat at some bugs. These bugs turned out to be wasps. Yeap, our table was the home to a hive of wasps.

We hightailed it to the car where we had a car pick-nick.

 It worked out nicely, we still had a pretty view of the canyon, that hawk, and enjoy our lunch while being a safe distance from the wasps. Being well feed and sting free we resumed exploring Grand Canyon.
You couldn't help but get caught up in the Heidi Anne atmosphere. She was so enthralled with everything at the canyon.

Hey Let's Go! Happy as can be...(Totoro Moment)
She would pick up on little things like how the clouds made patterns on the mountains, how far far away you can see, the storm in the distance, the different levels and colors on the ridges. 
I'm almost positive that a 4 year old had to be with the explorers when they first saw the Grand Canyon-otherwise it would be named something like "Okay Sized Canyon" or Colorado River Canyon, or "I've seen Better Canyon". Honestly, being there with my little girl, it was the Grandest Canyon.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Here Comes the Storm

 You can see miles and miles from Rainbow Point. That was when we first saw some dark clouds. We figured we would go check in to the hotel and just rest until the clouds passed.We've had so many wildfires here lately, that my biggest worry was to have dry lightening-with us at 9,115 (and some cases 9,118 feet) high.  
We went to Ruby's Inn, checked in, set up a movie to watch until it looked a bit better outside. Instead we all fell slept for a few hours. We woke up at 5-ish. Just in time for dinner! However, the trip had messed up Heidi Anne so much; she thought her 2-hour nap was a whole night. She was so sure that it was breakfast time not dinner. She only believed us after the waitress at the restaurant confirmed to her it was dinnertime. 
After we ate the clouds still had that foreboding look; we decided it would be safer to stick close to the hotel. 
We explored the stores, galleries, and the area surrounding the Inn. That is when we noticed the clouds starting to gather and darken, which officially put an end to our outdoor adventure for the day.
 Heidi Anne had other plans. There was so much energy in her little body was really bouncing off the walls. 
She kept reminding us that we promised to take her swimming. 
Pretty Please? I want to Shwim

We looked back outside and things seemed to have calmed down, the pool was indoors, and we needed to drain her of energy. 
We were at the pool for about 40 minutes when we started to see some sprinkles. No clouds, but just sprinkles.
We got outside-BAM-downpour! It was still sunny-but it seemed like the heavens opened. Just as we got into our room the lightening struck.
Chances of rain in Southern Utah16 out of 365 days.
Chances of it raining in southern Utah while I am on vacation? 100% guaranty.

Yeah, we were in for the night after that. We planned to take Heidi Anne outside to stare at the stares, since Bryce is one of the best places in the world to stargaze. Thanks to the storm, we had to go to plan B- watch a movie. They both feel asleep so quickly.  
Movie Time!
The lighting was so bright and the thunder was explosive. Yet, they both feel asleep so quickly. I on the other hand could not sleep a wink, so I just watched the lightening. Not quite the stargazing I planned on, but it worked.