Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Utah Trip 2017: Part I (July 14th-17th)

We started our drive down to Utah at 1pm on Friday the 14th. We left around when the kids would normally nap, assuming they'd get their usual 2-3 hours of sleep. That's not what happened. Tyler didn't nap for several hours, which meant he was making noise and preventing Allison from sleeping as well as she could have. She fell asleep pretty quickly into the drive but didn't even get a full hour and did not sleep again the rest of the day. She was tremendously whiny and cranky that day. Ty was okay since we could give him an Ipad to watch. When we tried the same with Allison, she'd watch for a couple of minutes before she'd start touching the icons and tossing the device away. There was a sweet moment, though, when Tyler shared his ipad with his sister by holding it so that she could see it.
We stopped to let the kids play at a neat playground at Union Elementary. It was a cool structure but far too hot enjoy. The kids hung out in the shade for the most part and didn't burn as much energy as I would have liked.
Allison had fun trying to collect pebbles in an old water bottle she found on the ground until she noticed that mommy was leaving her (daddy was still nearby behind the camera, but mommy needed to use the potty. Thank goodness they had an outhouse!).

We originally planned to stop in Pendleton for dinner, but the kids were happy and calm when we drove through it. We thought Allison might be falling asleep again and decided to continue driving. Unfortunately she got fussy right after we'd passed out of the city and we had to drive for another hour to La Grande, OR before we could find a restaurant for dinner. There we ate at an okay Chinese restaurant, but at least Allison was happy and adorable. She was so thrilled to get out of the car and had fun climbing on the booths and walking around the restaurant babbling at people and trying to eat their food. Tyler, on the other hand, was terrible. He was moody and grumpy and threw a loud fit that the entire restaurant could hear when Oscar took him to the bathroom. Tyler insisted he didn't need to go even though it'd been nearly 4 hours since he'd last gone.

From there we got frosties at the Wendy's next door and looked up hotels in Baker City and Ontario, OR. Anything beyond that would get us in after midnight since Idaho time is an hour ahead of Oregon. There was barely anything left to choose from. All of the last minute hotel deals I'd seen earlier were gone. I had to pick between a $260 3 star hotel or an $80 one star hotel. We chose the 1 star in Ontario, which was a HUGE mistake for multiple reasons. I've stayed in plenty of 1 star hotels, so I knew what to expect, but they've always been sufficient for my needs even if they weren't fabulous. I didn't have any expectations besides a comfortable place to sleep for the night. If I'd known how badly it would go I would have found a hotel there in La Grande or I would have continued on to Boise where we could have booked a decent last minute hotel for $100 or less, even if it meant arriving after midnight.

The first reason is that the kids both fell asleep for the rest of the drive, and once they've started sleeping for the night, they HATE being woken up, and they really struggle to get back down. Transitioning them to the hotel was AWFUL! We figured out how to do it on our Florida trip by taking them in one at a time and putting the first down individually before taking the other out of the car. This always worked out nicely, and they'd fall back asleep within a few minutes. It did not happen this way in Oregon. The kids both woke up alert before we'd even opened the door to our room. Ty woke up as soon as we turned off the car and Allison woke up just after I got us checked in at the front desk. Tyler was hyperactive and wired and Allison was just a big, wailing fussball. On top of that, the air conditioning wasn't on when we got to our room, even though they'd had 2 hours notice that we were coming and could have gotten it going for us. The room was stifling on that 100+ degree day. We did turn on the air conditioning, but it made annoying clanking noises and wasn't terribly effective. It took hours to get the kids to settle down and to get the room to a temperature that we could sleep in. We should have spent that time driving to a nicer hotel in Boise that already had an air conditioned room for us. I rocked and sang to Allison and tried to put her down repeatedly, but in the end she still had to scream and sweat herself to sleep in her hot pack and play. Oscar had to sleep in one of the beds with Tyler to prevent him from making too much noise and moving too much, and I slept alone in the other bed with all the blankets off wishing the room would cool down faster. I also discovered that I'd completely forgotten to bring my glasses on the trip, which makes late nights very difficult for me. I was not looking forward to 12 days without them. It looked like I'd also forgotten my contact case and solution since I hadn't put them in my one night bag. I got in the car and was going to drive to the nearest drug store to get some, but I would have had to go to Boise before finding one that was open that late. Thank goodness I did a little more digging and found my case and solution in my suitcase.

The good news is once we did fall asleep, we all slept reasonably well. I think we got about 6 hours and no one had any difficult middle of the night wake ups. The kids also slept really well during the drive the next day since they'd slept so poorly the previous day. The rest of the drive really wasn't bad at all.

Nothing in Ontario particularly appealed to us for breakfast, so we drove over to Nampa to eat at Cracker Barrell. Unfortunately Tyler had an enormous anxiety meltdown there. A couple near our table calmly said "hi" and waved at him, and he yelled back at them "DON'T SAY 'HI' AND DON'T WAVE!!!"  We had to take him out of the restaurant where he continued to get upset whenever anybody walked by him. Oscar was worried to bring him back in at all, but I told him to let Ty know there was a juice box waiting for him, and that seemed to do the trick. He came back in and ate happily.

From there we continued on to Boise and got off the main freeway to take the kids to the Discovery Museum of Idaho. It's part of the free travel passport we have with our local children's museum pass. Allison fell asleep within a couple minutes of arriving, though, so we decided to get back on the freeway rather than waking her up. She slept well and Tyler fell asleep too, so we were able to make it all the way to northern Utah before we needed to stop again. There we went to an A&W that served root beer soft serve ice cream. Yummy!

We had a little bit of a delay getting to Layton thanks to some extensive road work going on, but we arrived safe and sound a little before 5pm. The kids were thrilled to get to granny and grandpa's house and play in the backyard. Little miss Allison looked adorable digging in grandpa's gravel pit he'd piled up for building a backyard castle. Oscar helped his dad load in the gravel to level out the surrounding surfaces.
Apparently this is what water squirters are for.
Allison's first time on a trike! She never quite got the hang of it, but she clearly wanted to.

That had even more fun when granny brought out the water table. Tyler dirtied it up with a bucket of water from the castle, and Allison kept trying to drink it. Martha brought her out a sippy cup of fresh water to drink, but of course, she just wanted to play with the cup and dunk it in the water.

 Helping daddy dig! I liked when she used her hands to scoop more dirt onto the shovel

The next day we went down to West Jordan to hang out with my family before church. Allison didn't like standing on the tramp but did enjoy sitting and being bounced on it.

Tyler soaring like Peter Pan 

After that they went inside to tickle the ivories and change for church. Mike's kids are taking lessons and learning how to play my old piano.
All dressed up for church with cousins, including my dad, who Tyler calls cousin Grandpa.

Their church was at 1pm, so we had to bring Allison home early to get a nap while Tyler fell asleep on my dad's lap and slept through all of primary.

That evening we drove back to the Hunt house for dinner with the Anderson family. Allison quickly discovered Grandpa's DIY slides.
I love her little "whee!"

She took a little break from sliding to watch some "Bubble Guppies" before heading back for more with Tyler and the Anderson cousins.

Tyler was drawn away from his trains long enough to join in on the fun. He had fun attempting to pull Justin down while Justin hung on to the edge.

He and Mary were adorable going down the slides together, though the pictures look like she's choking him.
Later he shared his motor train and tracks with his cousins
And had fun in the backyard

The next day we hung out with baby Jane before I joined the kids and mom and dad at Lagoon. I hadn't intended to take Ty this time. He'd been having so much anxiety lately that I didn't want to spend all that money just to have him miserable there.

 Allison had fun getting good and messy with yogurt.

It was so hot! Thank goodness there were a few clouds here and there.

The novelty of Lagoon has worn off on Mike's kids. We did a few rides in the morning, but they seemed a bit bored and they kept asking where Tyler was. I missed him immediately and knew he'd make it more fun for everyone, so we decided to have him join us after he'd gotten a nap.

When he got there we did the train, the Tidal Wave, Rattlesnake Rapids and the Log Flume. I was surprised Tyler liked the water rides since he usually doesn't like getting splashed. But getting him psyched up for it and getting splashed with cousins is much more fun than getting splashed unexpectedly without them.
After that we did some kid rides, including two new ones. We liked the Safari one. It reminded me of the Kangabounce at Wild Waves.
A storm rolled in and the girls wanted to leave, but Tyler really wanted to stay with Ethan. We did the Dinosaur Drop with him before taking him out to the car. The weather got better, so I took Ty on a few rides that only he could do, like the helicopters. I would have stayed all night with him but around 8pm he said to me "mommy, I want to go back to granny's house with my Elmos."

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