Thursday, August 11, 2016

Utah vacation - last one

We drove to Utah for the first time and the way there was pretty good.  The kids and parents did well and just watched a lot of movies.   We drove about 12 hours and stopped at a hotel in Kansas to get a good night's rest and be refreshed the next day.  But that didn't work out.  Freddy and I didn't get too much sleep.  He didn't do well not sleeping in his bed - so it was rough.  But the next day the driving went well.  So the hardest part of the trip was actually when we WEREN'T driving.  Kinda weird. 

Here we are at Little America after some ice cream....these guys are troopers. 

We made it there and stayed at the Kinderfarm for the first couple days and enjoyed the 4th of July of our childhood.  

Huntsville 4th of July

the race
 Luke ran the mile and Joey, Dave and I ran the 5k.  And in keeping with tradition of me running this race - I was really out of shape.  I was just super proud of myself for running the whole thing and keeping up with the boys.

the parade 

4th of July festivities

kitty cousins

Solenne's dog Bailey had puppies!  


Freddy kept freaking all of us out by climbing up ladders and slide while under construction.   He would just be standing on the VERY top of the ladder looking around.  Yikes!!
The slide was a hit as usual.

And a couple new fun things this year were...


zipline from katiehale on Vimeo.


2. the ESCAPE ROOM!!  Here are 2 of the 3 group anxiously awaiting their turn to go through.  Joey and Gracie spent hours setting it up in the studio.  It was pretty great of them.   Everybody seemed to really like it.   And it was all Grandma Veda themed.  It was called Grandma Veda's Lie Lie - so it was golf themed too and very cleverly written with diary pages, numbered and letter golf clubs, lasers bouncing off mirrors and walls and, of course, ended with hidden treasure.

Songer Family Talent Show

The next day was "friend day" where we invited friends to the waterslide/zipline madness.  And guess who came??!!  Suzanne Marie Hurst Stewart.  Oh, it was good to see her. 

That night was our high school 20 year reunion at Maddox.  Don't worry, I wore my Drama Club sweater to make sure people remembered how popular I was. 
 Random sweaty shots with a few people.  I really loved this night.

And since we didn't get nearly enough time at the reunion - we had a little reunion extension with Stacy and Nick.  They are exactly the same.  And I love them.

And this video is for the files so when Grace and Lucy are best friends at Weber High - they can be like - "remember when we danced to Shakira when we were 6?"

AnnaGraceandLucy from katiehale on Vimeo.

Eliza's birthday tea party at Grandma's!

London Bridges

That night the Burtons scheduled us in for an hour and a half.  They are good at playing hard to get and it's totally working.  They've got us wrapped around their little finger.   Just look at em. 

Hale Family Reunion in Grover

hiking "single tree"

Single Tree challenge (and like all challenges - this was also, I'm pretty sure, a mike malmborg invention)  Stand directly under FREEZING cold waterfall for 10 seconds.  

And it was at this very place that Kate got HIT IN THE HEAD with a ROCK!  Unbeknownst to us - our kids went hiking up above us and I was just talking to PREGNANT Kate who was holding BABY Osky and all the sudden a rock came out of nowhere and hit her in the head.   Oh, we were so mad at those kids. It looked like it hurt her SO bad!!  And we were really just very glad the rock wasn't bigger and also that it didn't hit Oscar!  And proving her resilience - Kate did the challenge - blood running down her head and all.  Crazy girl!

"Abs with Eliza"

My in-laws had SO MANY KIDS!  :) 

WHOLE FAMILY!!!  (just missing a few)

snapped some pics of a few cute families that I sure love


By the time we got to the ranch and put together a similar escape room as the Songer one - all the glitches were worked out and it went really well.  Good thing too because we had SEVEN groups go through.  Which was a marathon for Casey and Edith and Meri who ran the whole thing.   You would think I would have a picture of the winners but no, turns out the only picture I have is of the LOSERS.  Haha- just kidding guys. 
This was another fun story - about Grandma Ruth and a play that went big in Poland and she hid all the gold at the ranch because she felt guilty for telling Polack jokes... or something like that.  
Team 1: Wendy, Colton, Katie, Emma, Malan, Jeff, Isaac = 35:52
Team 2: Jon P, Tanner, Talmage, Jack, Cole, Chloe, Griffin = 29:51
Team 3: Vic, Mike, Herman, Sarah, Eveline, Jane, Olivia = 36:25
Team 4: Manon, Bronwen, Sarah S., Henry, Eliza, Maggie, Hudson, Trace = 26:31
Team 5: Jon H, Lisa, Mike, Willa, Hannah, Gabe, Chad, Charlie = 35:16
Team 6: Jacob, Tiffany, Juli, Katie B, Jenny, Ethan = 24:38
Team 7: Caleb, Kate, Emme, Gma, Gpa, Karen, Sam, Clint = 20:54


Eliza and Maggie

Mike P


Tanner (?) catching the frisbee

I love these girls with all my heart.  They carried my girls on the way out and I just looked back and thought - jeesh, I hope that when time fast forwards to when Lucy and Maryanne are their ages that they will be as polite and kind-hearted and classy as these girls.

hiking out

Freddy singing an original song called "I see a rock".  He serenaded Joey the entire hike.
Oh and on the way home he fell asleep eating crackers and Maggie noticed him sleep eating air.  It was funny but I only caught the last one.

iseearock from katiehale on Vimeo.

On Saturday we went to Fish Lake to meet up with Liz Macdee and the kids.   A pretty meandering river on the way there.

The kids!!

 (and SUPER cold water!)

Decided to rent a little boat for a couple hours

 Photos by Deb... I mean Joes

 Natural Bridges National Monument

 Sipapu Bridge

Katchina Bridge

Owachomo Bridge

We took another detour and drove down this cliff.  It was really cool.

It really had a dirt road but when you looked behind you - it was crazy to think you drove down that!

Valley of the Gods
(yet another detour)

4 corners

Stepping in 2 states while we wait in line.  (NM and AZ)

Ok - so with all this sight-seeing and detours - we realized we weren't really going to make it home without pulling an all-nighter.  (we had added an extra 6 or so hours on to our trip with all our lackadaisical meandering)  So we punched it on through - only we couldn't really "punch" it because when we went over 60 our van started to shake something fierce.  So, we went 60 when all the cars around us were going 85 - all. night. long.  Until about 8:00 a.m. we went to a garage and got a new tire.  The guy showed us our funky, swollen tire and said we were really lucky we didn't blow a tire.  We felt lucky.   And oh man it was nice to go fast again.
Freddy and the auto shop dog on the floor.

Because of all those crazy stops and slow goin's - it took us 32 hours to get home. (instead of 22)
And of course since we pulled an all-nighter - the remaining hours of the trip were spent slapping and punching each other until we got safely home. :)  
Oh, our home was a lovely and welcome sight. 

Great trip.
But starting next summer we'll start tripping from there instead of to there - which will be nice. 

Every story has a beginning...

Joey and Katie first met in Mr. Hawkes 3rd grade class at Valley Elementary. They became good friends in Jr. High and best friends in High School. Katie wrote to Joey on his mission in Tiajuana and Joey wrote to Katie later on her mission in Tokyo. Years later at the ripe old age of 25, these best friends finally fell in love... or maybe just realized they were already in love. They got married on January 22, 2004.

happy kids

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