Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Vacay- Leg 3

On Saturday morning, we headed out for the final leg of our journey, our trip home. This was mercifully the shortest drive of our whole grand tour, just three hours. I think the boys might have died of excitement if it had taken much longer. We rolled into town just before lunchtime and went to our very dear friends' home where we would be staying, the Larsons.

Tim and Anne had driven all the way from Indiana to Page, and Shaun and Melissa were in town to see everyone as well. This gave us the perfect excuse to stay in town where we had more room and the where the kids could be with their friends. Lunch at RDs was our very first order of business. Once we were filled with burgers, fries, and Oreo shakes, it was off to the lake without further adieu. The Larsons joined us along with the Martins that were in town. I don't know if the water ever felt that good!

One of my favorite parts of our visit to Page was one that I don't have any photos of, attending our ward. I was so glad that we were able to be there over a Sunday when we could see all of the people that we love. Many of those people we would not have seen otherwise. For so many years they were our friends, our support, our family. It felt so good to be able to greet them and tell them how much we had missed them.

The rest of the days we were in Page were spent playing at the lake and enjoying the company of our friends and family. John and Michelle even came over for a couple of days to enjoy some lake time. I even got to go and get my hair done while I was in town by my friend and very favorite hairdresser, Melissa.

The Larsons were the best hosts ever! Just like the way I felt when we got together with our cousins in Durango, it was picking up with our family right where we left off. Our kids had the best time and wore each other out.

No matter what they say, you can go home again! Love to all of our Page family!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Vacay- Leg 2

The second part of our trip was a quick, but wonderful one. My parents decided early this year that they wanted to serve another mission. They opted to go to Cove Fort, UT for six months to serve as tour guides at the historic site. This is a place that we have driven by a million times on our travels between Arizona and Utah. I had heard of it, but had never stopped to see what was there.

We made about a six hour journey from Durango to this small Fort at the junction of I-15 and I-70. As we arrived in the early evening, my parents were able to give us the tour of the site. It was really fun to hear them share with us what they had been doing as well as the history of the Fort. For those who don't know, Brigham Young called families to go and colonize all over Utah in the latter half of the 1800's. As the prophet and president of the church, Brigham Young would travel to many of these small towns and settlements, and Cove Ft. was built as a stopping point for him and other church travelers. Ira Hinkley, an ancestor of President Hinkley was called along with his family to build and maintain it.
 We got to have a barbeque and spend the night with Grandma and Grandpa, always a treat! I am always amazed at their stamina, their commitment, and their dedication to their beliefs. What wonderful parents I was blessed with!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Vacay- Leg 1

Some of our very favorite things to do as a family have always been outdoor activities. When we lived in Arizona, that usually meant going hiking in some beautiful canyon, camping in a scenic mountain forest, or, best of all, frolicking in Lake Powell. Theo and the boys were able to make a trip to Page over the Christmas break, but being winter, they were unable to do any of those things. We had discussed many options for when and how we would get back for a summer visit.

We settled on early July to make our trip which would be in three stages including stops in Durango, CO, Cove Ft., UT, and finally Page. Unfortunately, Theo and Drake both had to stay behind due to school obligations.

And so, off we went to John and Michelle's house, an eight hour journey. We arrived in the afternoon and were able to cross paths with another branch of our family that had been visiting with the Gilleland clan, the Hannays. One of the things I love most about getting together with family is the way our kids can pick up right where they left off. From the moment we arrived, the boys abandoned themselves to all of the fun to be had at the Gilleland homestead. Swimming in the pond, basketball in the shop, sleeping in a huge pile of blankets together, all the good things to be had by boys in the summer.

The second day we were there happened to be the Fourth of July. Originally, we had planned to drive up to Silverton to spend the night and enjoy their small-town parade. Rain put a damper on the plan, and kept us in Durango instead. Michelle has been very active in local politics the last several years, and arranged for us to be in the Durango parade representing the Republican Party candidates. John drove us in the pintzgaur while we waved our flags and banners.

 The next day, the weather was moderate and lovely, a perfectly mild summer Colorado day. We decided to take the kids out to the Animas river for a float. This is something that we have never done with all of our kids in all the years we have been visiting Durango. This year, we felt like they were finally all old enough that we could do it. John, always the man, took all of the kids in tubes while I served as drop-off and pick-up person. The water was chilly, but the kids had a fantastic time riding the waves.

 That night, we had ourselves a Navajo Taco feast! I have actually been trying to improve my frybread making skills since we moved to Texas since if I don't make it, we don't get to eat it. It turned out rather delicious if I do say so myself, and I could almost taste home.

 I don't think it gets much more beautiful than the sunset over the Gilleland pond. Oh how we love that place!
Three days in Colorado, and it is never quite enough. The first leg was a fantastic one!