I like the dentist, clean lines, change, absurdity, and the moment right before an airplane hits the ground. I've been an athletic trainer and a jr high science teacher, now I get to be a mom and fitness instructor. Welcome to the latest adventure
We were able to sneak off to Utah to camp and hike with some of our friends. It was so nice to have a couple days away from the kiddos. We hiked the West Rim trail for 17 miles.
We might have taken an hour to find the trail head, but what is a little delay with good friends for company? One of the roads was closed because of flooding. The rainstorms were so intense, someone died hiking the Narrows three days before. We thought West Rim was safer.
We love the Coopers.
These dead trees made their own arches.
We found where the red ferns grow.
Someone carved Rachel's name in the dirt.
This is a our Dasani product placement.
This is at the top of Angel's Landing. I don't think I wish to do that hike again.
J and I went on a mommy-daughter date because M isn't good at waiting in lines. I decided to go nice and early this year because riding a hot air balloon is on my bucket list. $2 a ride is a pretty sweet deal too. We were #5 in line and it was perfect.
Until they said kids had to be at least five.
I know I could have lied, but I have a very delicate conscience for these sorts of things. And I have a three year old who is very good about telling everyone she meets she is almost 4. Maybe next year we can ride "the cowboy balloon."
J of course took the whole thing in stride and it didn't make her sad at all. Thankfully, there was a Ferris wheel with no restrictions. We drove past a school carnival and she pointed out the Ferris wheel and surprised me by knowing the name and what it was (some cartoon introduction I'm sure). We went ahead and went to the carnival because she was so excited to ride it, only to find she was too short. Same thing at the state fair last year with TWO different Ferris wheels. Needless to say, it was a very exciting thing for her to finally have her first ride.
I think it went up as high as the hot air balloon did.
She wasn't scared one bit. I did that thing that drove me nuts as a kid when my mom did it. Your mom probably did it too. I threw my arm across J every time I felt a jolt of nerves. I was never scared of things until my mom randomly grabbed my arm and startled me. I stopped doing to J after about three times, but still, Hello motherhood!
She went down this giant slide like a champ.
She stayed on longer than I thought when she rode the mechanical cow.
We took awkward selfie in front of Cars
And what did she want to do the most? Go back to the booth and finish coloring her paper mask. Something we could easily do at home.
One of the few touristy things I did in Seattle this round was tour Theo chocolate factory. It was some mighty fine chocolate and so many wonderful samples. It was as close to Willy Wonka as you can get.
Here is Lil' Sis modeling our hairnets in front of the mural of chocolate sourcing.
Here are the beans in the elevator, getting ready to be dumped into the roaster.
Ever wonder what you do with a theater degree to pay the bills between shows? Chocolate factory tour guide! He's spooning out the raw cocoa beans, also known as nibs.
They are bitter, like a pecan shell, but taste pretty good in a chocolate bar.
Sis snapped a pic of me mid nib chew and I think unflattering pictures belong on the internet.
We had a great time in the kitchen where we got to try a bunch of the expensive truffles. They make a caramelized onion one that tastes good, yet odd. They also have fun with molds, like this Han Solo one.
I loved the tower and facade on the church we went to.
We played shuffle board at Sis's apartment, because all swanky downtown apartment towers need shuffle boards.
One day we walked the two blocks to Pike Place Market and bought delicious food. Out of the ridiculous amount of amazing food consumed on this trip, the Beecher's grilled cheese was the only one photographed. The pho, the pastries, the Top Pot donuts, and the magnificent caramelized coconut meat with roasted pork from the Vietnamese place, will regretfully never make it to Instagram. At least until another hipster puts them there.
This really awkward selfie will have to do. I apparently need more practice, or to be born in the 90's to master this skill.
It was such a fun trip and I am so thankful to all the people who watched and ferried my kids so I could do spend some quality time with my sister!
Once a year Smithsonian Magazine will give out two tickets to your choice of participating museums. We headed to our favorite downtown Mesa dinosaur museum. My brother was up with his kids so he met us there.
We thought it was funny that the typewriter was in the ancient technology section along with a phone booth
Little Alaina is getting so big at 6 months old
Attack of M!!!!
M had fun with his Uncle T.
J liked finding fossils
M just enjoyed the little broom.
We actually found some little bits of fools' gold to take home.
M thought the rope was just to prevent the adults from swimming.
He also felt it was his mission to knock down everyone else's towers.
A picture of the whole family on our adventure!
This was his idea, not mine.
Oh Magnatiles! I wish you weren't a $100. I might end up buying them anyways.
We are so happy we had the chance to meet up with our Sahuarita family!