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
4th of July festivities
Solenne's dog Bailey had puppies!
SONGER FAMILY REUNION
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...
1. The ZIPLINE!
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
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.
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.
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
RANCH ESCAPE ROOM.
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
CALF CREEK HIKE
Eliza and Maggie
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.
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.
(and SUPER cold water!)
(and SUPER cold water!)
Decided to rent a little boat for a couple hours
Photos by Deb... I mean Joes
THE DRIVE HOME
Natural Bridges National Monument
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)
(yet another detour)
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.
But starting next summer we'll start tripping from there instead of to there - which will be nice.