A good portion of my life has been spent playing the piano for everyone else's diva moments. Now it's my turn. I invite you to accompany ME through my life's diva and, well, not so diva-like moments. It'll be entertaining. Promise.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Trip 2010

WARNING: This is a super-long post. There, you've been warned. ;)
We had been planning this trip to Boise/Oregon for over a year. If you are a regular frequenter of my blog you will remember the countdown ticker that used to be at the top saying how many more days were left. I think it's the longest trip we've taken as a family. Almost 4 weeks, 6000 miles in the car, and 7 States driven through. Here's the story...
We started out the first night in El Paso. After a ten-hour drive, Aaron did NOT want to be cooped up in the hotel room so Shawn kept him busy looking at the freeway traffic right outside our window. The child is fascinated with cars, buses, and trucks. They had a pool we swam in for awhile after a dinner-run to Subway.

We stopped in Phoenix the next day and stayed with our good friends Johnny and Stacy. Lamo didn't get a picture. :( Next day we were on to SLC to see Granny J. This is her when she saw my t-shirt. It said "Baby Under Construction" with an arrow pointing down to my stomach. Yup, #3's on the way in case you didn't know. My extended family in SLC didn't know yet and they were all really excited. We stayed up late with Granny playing Pinochle then went to breakfast with her in the morning where Aaron was a little stinker at the table and Kaylee got the biggest chocolate chip pancake I have ever seen in my life. You should have seen her eyes bulge when they brought it out. There were so many pics I wish I would've gotten, but I guess it's always that way on vacations when there's so much going on at once.

This is my cousin Syd. She is a speech therapist and was working with Aaron in SLC before we left. She taught him the sign and how to say "more" and he still does it today...it was so cute to watch her work with him. She really is talented at what she does.

So off we went for the 6-hour drive to Boise, which was heaven after the 11-hour drive the day before from Phoenix to SLC. Can't say I was a fan of the driving. Not a good idea with a two-year-old. Maybe when they're all Kaylee's age....
My mom and dad were on their porch waiting for us when we got there. Dad was so exited to get Aaron and Kaylee out on the hot wheels and the wagon. Kaylee's almost too old for the wagon, but they had a two-wheeler there for her that she rode around the block. She has a good friend there who lives just down from my parents - Oakley - who is her age and they have fun riding and playing together.

We stayed in Boise for about a week. Kaylee helped Grandma fix pancakes one morning...

The day after we got to Boise we went camping with Shawn's brothers and their families in Idaho City - about an hour north of Boise. It was a perfect camping site...what I miss so much...the scenery is not the same here.

This is Kenzie the "mom". She loves babies and always was offering to help hold.

Kaylee and Aaron had fun with their cousins on the Smith side.

G-man cooked dinner. :)

YUM! I don't care what it is - food cooked outdoors on a campfire always tastes so stinkin' good...

Brayden and Brockton...two peas in a pod.

Jason making dutch oven birthday cake for Carson. He blew out the candles too - what a neat birthday memory! (Unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries at that point and I didn't catch the celebration...sigh.)

We ate a lot on this vacation. And I mean A LOT. I think we had 3 BBQ'S in 4 days. Everything was so good. These next few are at Derek and Laura's house in Boise.

Laura has a camera that does the sequence photos so she was getting a bunch of everyone jumping. D-man got excited a little too early on this one... :)

I love Shawn's face in this shot - kind of hard to see, but a great smile. :)

There we go - now we're together.

Kaylee at the splash park with Maddie - she got along really well with her.

Aaron loving the playground.

I love this shot of Kaylee holding hands with her Aunt Laura. Laura is an AWESOME aunt...she is always having the nieces and nephews over to do fun stuff. While we were there she had Kenzie, Maddie and Kaylee over to spend the night. She and Derek are adopting a baby next month after several years of waiting...I can't wait to see her with her own...she'll be a great mom.

Well, on to Oregon. A little history...my parents lived in the coastal town of Seaside about 6 months after they were married for a little while and fell in love with it. They have been going back ever since and a few years back they bought a time share at a resort there. So starting 4 years ago they have gathered whoever of the family can go and we all head up there for a week over the 4th of July. We went 4 years ago but didn't go 2 years ago because I had Aaron. This year my sister-in-law Mandi had a baby the end of June, so Mike and his family couldn't make it. But Jen and Josh, and Dave and Leticia and their families were there and we had such a good time.
This is Dave and Jen (my bro. and sis.) the first night we got there at Norma's - a GREAT seafood restaurant a block away from the Pacific Ocean.

Jen and Josh's little girl Jill. I LOVE her curls!!

Trying to keep the kids busy at the table with the phones...the chaos never ended!

No, Dave is not drinking alcohol....he is drnking a raw oyster in sauce after we all pooled money as a dare for him...I never had any doubt he would do it. Notice Leticia in the background with her hand over her mouth...that's code for "I can't believe I will have to kiss that mouth later on!"

The whole fam at Norma's.

This is the wheel we spun every night at the ice cream/taffy store. We had a nightly meet-up time to go get ice cream. If you got one of the numbers on the wheel you got a prize, but every spin got you a free piece of taffy. Too bad you could only spin once a day. The trademark of the ice cream shop was as they were giving you your cone they would put a little ice cream on top and hand it to you while saying, "This is for you cause your extra special". After hearing that every night you start to believe it! :)

The fourth of July...I LOVE this holiday. Especially at Seaside. Nothing like fireworks over the pacific. And see that view? That was from my brothers room...nice, right??!!

Kaylee and Brett excited for the fireworks to start.


We drove into Portland one day to visit the Zoo...it was fun apart from almost losing Shawn's wallet. They have a neat train ride there that the kids loved.

Ah...the Pacific Ocean. Isn't the sky and water beautiful?!?!?! We took a surrey ride one morning down to this spot and took pictures after I left my mark...sometimes you can't wait with a baby pushing on your bladder.

Seaside is a total tourist town....they have the arcades, the train ride, the carousel, all the souvenier shops...it's fabulous.


Another gorgeous sunny day. This is Astoria. It's about 20 minutes north of Seaside right on the border of Oregon and Washington. Isn't it gorgeous?! We climbed up to the top of a column and this is where these pics were taken.

Looking down from the top of the column.

Astoria is the town where The Goonies was filmed. Being 80's kids, we LOVE that movie!

This is the house next door to the Walshs' in the movie...this one had been completely changed.

This is the Walsh's house...the one where Chunk did the "truffle-shuffle" in front of it.

Aaron keeping himself busy at a toy store in Seaside while Kaylee shopped.

The morning we left...breakfast at "Pig in a Poke". Dave's always a good one to smile for the pic. :)
The morning after we got back from Oregon we went over to say goodbye to the Smith gang at Garrett and Danielle's house. They were having a garage sale and the girls set up this cute lemonade stand.

Shawn and G-man.

On our way out of town we stopped at Helen's Chinese in Mtn. Home. This is my friend Janet...she was my YW leader when we lived in Mtn. Home. We have stayed in touch over the years and it was so fun to see her and her cute daughter again.

We stayed in SLC for a few days on the way back. We got to see my cousin Scott's homecoming from his mission. Then mom and dad took Kay to Lagoon and Shawn and I took Aaron to temple square. He loved the room with the Christus.

So, we have driven I-10 several times now on our various moves and vacations and every time we go I see these signs every 5 miles or so for a good hour on the freeway advertising something called "The Thing". It's at an exit somewhere in the middle of nowhere...either in NM or AZ, I can't remember. It's all a blur by that point. Anyway, I told Shawn that's it...after all these years of wondering I have to see what "The Thing" is.

We went in and of course you have to pay a little to see "The Thing", so the kids were cute trying on some hats while dad payed.

We go through the door and follow these yellow. bigfoot-type foot prints that lead us through various hot buildings with all sorts of old stuff in them. We got all the way through the buildings and ended up back in the store...and we're like, wait a second...where was "The Thing"?!?!? So we back-tracked and our best guess is this...

You can't see really well cause of the lighting but it's a mummy in a see-thru coffin. The only reason we thought that's probably it is there were two footprints in front of it, where that didn't happen any other time through the maze. LAME-O-ROONY!!!
Oh well, at least we know what "The Thing" is now.
The last night of our vacation...can you tell that they've had it?!
Last meal before we got home in?? You guessed it...Mc'Ds. I swear those people make so much money off of crazy-eyed parents who've been couped up in the car with screaming kids for way too long. The Playland's are a hit with us.

We had such a great time. My only regrets were I didn't take enough pictures, and that we didn't get to see Larry and Dorothy and Mike and Mandi plus kids. The stuff on this post isn't even half of all the stuff we did. We had so many fun nights of cards, games, MURDER (a funny game we play). We sat and watched the sun go down over the Pacific Ocean (thanks, Mom!) and learned about the "flash of green" you see right before it disappears under the horizon (thanks, Dad!). We got to see so many friends in AZ from our old ward, that, again, I didn't get pics of...LAMO!! So many more kids now from when we lived there 5 years ago! It's neat to see everyone's family growing. I love my family so much and times like these make me look forward to heaven where the distances (and endless freeways) won't exist. We've been back to reality for a few weeks now and school will start in less than a month. It's a great life!


  1. hahahahaha... the thing... I have stopped there. On my road trip with Gabe and Tynan... worst buck I ever paid. lol. But the old Rolls that apparentlty hitler drove in was cool. Gave us something to talk about while on our drive to cali. lol. Love all the pics. Glad you all had fun - but more glad you back!

  2. What a fun, exciting trip you had!! It is so fun to see all your pictures! I feel just horrible that we may have been able to see you as we in Utah on July 8th and 9th. Were you there then? We drove down on the 8th and went to Lagoon on the 9th and left for home on the 10th. Heck, that may have been the same time little Ms. Kaylee was there. :( Anyway, you all look great and I am glad you had fun.

    p.s. How are you feeling?

  3. DA QUITA!!!! What a good recap. It was so fun to get to be with you and the fam. Love you tons, and remember...you're special!

  4. Wow! What a great recap of the vacation! Glad you guys had so much fun! I ha doso much fun with kaylee and the girls when we had our "girl nite" :). We got your card in the mail! That was so sweet of you guyS to send. .we had so much fun while u guys were here! hopefully we can see you guys more often in the near future..:)

  5. YEA! I have been waiting for this post. I am so jealous- it looks like heaven! Love you and you look so cute!

  6. Oh Koth, looks like a blast!! Love all the pics!

  7. How fun! You must be exhausted! I totally love the picture of your grandma and her reaction to your shirt. So cute. Glad you guys are back safe and sound. How are you feeling? We would love to watch your kiddos if you need a date night!

  8. Congratulations on Baby #3! Wish I could have seen ya when you passed through SLC. Glad you survived the drive with 2 kids. You're brave!

  9. FUN times! ...and thank you for letting us know what the THING is now we can save our hard-earned $$ ;) So many adventures! I am sure the memories will fill your heart for a long while.

  10. The Thing!! LOL My old man has us kids all excited to see and we were super disappointed. He loves to tell the story of the Thing. :) Looks like you had a much deserved vacation. Your babies are growing. Next time you're in SA I will babysit! :)

  11. PS...Congrats :) You may use the name Sarah.