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Helpmeet: The other week on our Joshua Tree trip, John commented, “I can see why people don’t like vacationing, if they have to plan and do it all theirselves.” When I pointed out that he plans all of our trips himself, he said, “yeah but I don’t have to do all the packing and meal planning etc.” I thought it was nice of him to appreciate my “invisible effort” for our vacations.

Maturity: Our first full day at the cabin (out of nine), I asked Maggie to unload the dishwasher. She started saying “I still have to do that? But we’re on vacation!” And then caught herself, laughed, and unloaded the dishes.

Cabin Daze: We spent nine nights at the cabin and did not get tired of it. We searched for hikes in American Fork canyon, and did one every day. We hiked 26 miles, over 20 with the kids, during that time, and saw gorgeous mountain views all over. We got caught in a thunderstorm and pouring rain the first day, huge hail the second day, and the third day we snuggled at home while it snowed. Then we enjoyed fresh snowy views the next few days. The kids played pool and Wii, ran around outdoors, we snuggled in hammocks and read and relaxed. Wally also, loved hiking. Utah mountains are beautiful in the spring and there was green everywhere. It was glorious.

Simplify: Me: I’m only bringing four outfits, packing more than one gray shirt is silly.
Me: wears gray shirt while traveling.
Me: wears the two gray shirts the entire time.

I’ve been wearing the same gray v-neck pocket tees nearly every day for a few years now. No regrets. Also, no one has noticed. Also, also, I see other people wearing them all the time, because they’re from Target.

Hippo Ice Cream Scoop: Jodi was over yesterday, and last night, she and John and I got to digging around in the drawers and cabinets and Susan was telling us where stuff came from. It reminded me of when mom was lying in bed dying, except we didn’t write anything on sticky notes. Anyway, I mentioned that I want her hippo scrub brush when she dies and Jodi was like “no, I’ve been looking everywhere for one as good as that!” And Susan was detailing how she uses it to clean her toes. So apparently we will be fighting over her decades old, used, toe scrubber when she dies.

Yellowstone: We’re road-tripping it up still. We drove to Yellowstone from John’s parents yesterday and spent all day in the park today. Because we had Wally with us, and dogs aren’t allowed in any trails, we took during doing a lot of things, and got to do some things twice. We first did the Firehole Canyon drive, where we took a family picture, just like we did on our last visit - when Maggie was 2, and I was pregnant with Dalton. Ben we went to the paint pots. I took all the kids through the loop in the rain, and then went again with John, by which point the rain had moved on.

We went to the Grand Prismatic Spring area, where we left the girls behind on the first trip, then John took them for round two. Then John and the older kids hiked to the overlook, which looked amazing, but I decided to skip it. We then had lunch in the Old Faithful parking lot, and got to watch it erupt as a family, including Wally. I watched Wally while everyone else did a loop walk to see lots of other geysers (their favorite was Anemone geyser).

After Old Faithful, we drove to West Thumb. John and I left the kids to do a hike, but it took us three tries to find the trail we wanted, which was actually the boardwalk to lot of geysers and mud pots, some of which were IN the lake. We got sprinkled on a bit as we watched a huge storm pass over the other side of the lake. The boardwalk was so cool we decided I would take the kids through it. I retook a pic John and I did, in the same area, only with sun in the background. Ten minutes later, we were hurrying through pouring rain and hail, and super close lightning and thunder from another storm that blew in. Yikes. We drove in the rain back the way we came, and by the time we got to the Continental Divide sign we wanted to take a pic of, the sun was back.

On the way home we stopped at Biscuit Basin, where John and I walked around with the boys - lots of colorful pools, and did the other Firehole Lake drive. And saw some bison.

Picking Raspberries: Grandma Susan told me a story about a job picking raspberries when she was 13. The lady picked her up at 4 in the morning and drove a bunch of teenagers in the back of her truck out to her raspberry field. She picked raspberries until 11, and got $.10/basket. She said she was lucky to get $.40 some days, if you got assigned a row that didn’t have a lot of ripe ones.

Maggie’s Salsa Dream: Maggie had a dream that we were on a boat but it was raining really hard so we weren’t having fun (wonder how that idea entered her subconscious). So she made it a lucid dream (which the kids think gives you power to control your dreams) and gave us all the power to fly. We saw lots of blue whales below and then landed at a restaurant, which had dad’s salsa. She says the salsa was very detailed for a dream.


© 1999-2023 Susanna Chadwick.