Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Family Road Trip

This year, for the 4th of July week, Ryan & I took a couple days off work and headed on a much needed road trip (well... much needed by me at least). I love road trips. I spent the whole day before we left getting ready and I was so giddy for the change of scenery, it didn't even feel like a chore. On the 4th of July we got up early and left by 7:30am. I love the feeling I get pulling out of our driveway with the car full of luggage and the kids all bundled in the back seat.

One the drive, the kids were as good as can be expected. Harvey did great for the first couple hours. Wendy was asking for a movie before we even got on the freeway. I tried to give her the road trip experiences I had as a kid, which basically consisted of looking at the scenery out the window, singing silly songs and trying not to get in fights with my little sister. Wendy humored my desires by singing along with me and looking up every time I pointed out a horse or group of cows. She wasn't just humoring me, though, as we drove through the gorge in Arizona. With red rock mountains jutting up on either side of the highway, she stared up and out her window with her mouth wide open, yelling, "WHOA!! These are the GIANTEST rocks I ever seeeeeeen!! No... these are the GIANTEST rocks I ever seen!! WOOOWWW!" It made me smile, I could have listened to her little voice squeal with excitement all day.

*wearing our patriotic red, white & blues

After 10 hours of driving, we arrived for a quick visit with my aunt & uncle and their 7 kids. We had lots of family there (all passing through on the way to our reunion in Idaho). We totally lucked out that my parents were there and graciously offered to watch our kids so we could go out with our friends, Sam & Nikki, to Stadium of Fire (a big 4th of July celebration in Provo). This was an especially big favor because my daughter HATES fireworks. I cannot emphasize it enough. This little girl has a major fear of fireworks. I can only say that if I believed in reincarnation, I would be certain she had suffered through a war in her past life because she looses it. It's as if she thinks the fireworks are bombs falling from the sky to take her life. She is inconsolable. I apologized to my parents as we left. I knew their hopes of enjoying any type of fireworks would be ruined. (and I was right... they ended up in the back seat of the car, Wendy's hands over her ears, with a movie playing on the dvd player to distract her.)

Sam worked his magic and got us some great seats at the Stadium of Fire. We got to see an Osmond, Scotty McCreery (from American Idol) and the Beach Boys perform before watching an amazing fireworks show (and that's saying a lot - I'm used to Disneyland fireworks so I'm a hard one to impress). Utah really knows how to celebrate the 4th of July. They do it way better than California. The day is full to the brim with festivities and parades. I got choked up in appreciation for my country a couple of times that day. Ryan and I were wondering why the difference is so big. We decided the reason in that the majority of the people living in Provo have a rich heritage of ancestors that came to this country in search of religious freedom. Maybe that's it. I don't know, but I highly recommend a trip to Provo for the 4th at least once in your life. You won't be disappointed. 

*my mom with the kids in the car during the fireworks. see how happy they look? what an amazing grandma!

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