{ Utah Trip }

Our big trip for the summer was over the 4th of July weekend to Utah. My youngest brother was getting married, so we decided to try to combine both family reunion/get togethers this year. Our flight was scheduled to leave early on Tuesday morning so we planned to spend the night up in Atlanta in a hotel next to the airport. By the time we actually got everything packed, the van loaded up, ate dinner at IHOP (can you tell we love to eat at that place?) and drove up to Atlanta it was well after 10pm. The hotel we had booked a reservation at was having air conditioning problems so they booked us at a hotel next door for free! Yea for us! Since we would be leaving so early before breakfast was served they sent us on our way with box breakfasts for everyone. We checked into the other hotel, unloaded our tired crew, lugged in our suitcase, and I grabbed my camera bag just for safe keeping.

The next morning started out early at 4am getting ready. We managed to make it to the airport around 5:30am and our flight was set to leave around 6:50am. We thought we were doing great on time, kids were fed, no major disasters yet, until we were unloading the luggage from the van. Aaron turned around and casually asks “Do you have your camera bag?”

“What?” Where was my camera bag? Safe and sound back in the hotel room. How can you go to your youngest brother’s wedding, one summer vacation for the year, and two family reunions without a camera? We didn’t have time to go back to the hotel, so on we ventured on the bus shuttle to catch our flight. By the time we finally got to the baggage check in it was an hour to go until the flight left. We were proud of ourselves that we had made it there that early. Unfortunately, I guess you can’t check in your bags with only an hour to go. What? After begging a slightly annoyed airport worker we managed to get our packed to the max bags on their way to Utah. By the time we got all 8 of us through security, shoes, belts, and everything else back on our bodies, we were cutting it pretty close to make our plane. Remember Home Alone when they are running through the airport? That would be us. Running with 6 small kids to make our flight. When we got to the straight away we sent Brianna and Austin ahead to let them know we were coming. The guy at the gate yells down the corridor-“You have to run!” Permission to run-check. I felt like I was dragging my poor kids. We made it just in time for them to shut the gate-two adults, six kids, 4 suitcases, one stroller, one diaper bag, one carryon bag, and no camera! Enjoy the picture journey the kids helped to recreate to take place of our camera pictures!

Utah trip on the plane Brooke

Plane ride by Brooke

Utah trip on the plane Erika  Plane ride by Erika

Utah trip on the plane BriannaPlane ride by Brianna I love the mystery guy in the back of the plane sleeping. So funny!

We were so blessed to have really good flights from Atlanta to Houston and on the Salt Lake. Scott slept in my arms the entire time, and by the time we landed in Salt Lake we were all refreshed and ready for some fun. We are discovering that traveling with this size of family is not only expensive, tiring, and a lot of work, but that finding a rental car to hold this many is near impossible. We ended up having to rent two cars for the week-so I spent most of my vacation with my husband not actually with him. We had managed to get a hold of the hotel and they said that they hadn’t found the camera bag. Okay this isn’t your small credit card sized bag, this is like a backpack! I know exactly where I put it, next to a chair in the corner, so I was optimistic that it had just been overlooked. I was wanting a knew camera, but not under these circumstances. I was at peace with the fact that I would be walking away with no pictures from this vacation, but was still hoping that they could find it. I hadn’t downloaded my last batch of pictures either from it-last day of school, last time with the Johnson family=(, Brianna’s birthday, all would be gone. Lesson learned-always download pictures before going on a trip.

Utah trip car ride to cousins Erika Driving to our cousins house by Erika. I guess we did find a van to all ride in!=)

The first leg of our vacation was going to be down in Provo with my side of the family and for my brother’s wedding. We arrived at my oldest brother’s house, got reacquainted with cousins the kids hadn’t seen in over two years, and then went out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants-Los Hermanos. So good and so fun! I love going to a place and getting a long table for 24 and no one looking at you like you’re out of your mind. Only in Utah! It was a great night of catch up conversation and last minute plans for the wedding.

Utah trip eating at Los HermanosEating at Los Hermanos by Brianna

Utah trip eating at Los Hermanos BrookeEating at Los Hermanos by Brooke The dotty things are the food I have been told.

On Wednesday morning we picked up some freshly made bread from one of our favorite places-Great Harvest. Three loaves of Pumpkin chocolate chip ought to do it. We love treat bread! That afternoon Aaron and I got to go to the Salt Lake Temple so that our almost new sister-in-law Michelli could go through and get her endowments. It was the first time that I had actually been in the Salt Lake Temple and it was such a  special experience. When we got back we took our kids to eat at the Brick Oven. Love that place! Aaron and I think it’s funny that all the places we miss and love from Utah are food places. I guess when your pregnant or being sympathetic to a pregnant wife, food is always on the mind. The food was great of course, but the funniest part of the whole trip happened there. We were seated next to a large group that was celebrating a little girls birthday who was turning 3. There were aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas, presents, a cake they had brought, the whole deal. It came time for the waiters/waitresses to come and sing to her. “Where’s Katylyn?” (I don’t actually remember her name so it will have to be that) they all called playfully. I think they thought she was hiding under the table. All of a sudden here she comes walking from the main part of the restaurant completely naked, carrying her dress in her hands. Her parents were so embarrassed. I guess she could go potty by herself, she just couldn’t get dressed by herself. Our kids were trying to hide their laughs, …okay they weren’t really trying that hard, and her family just kept saying, “well, I guess she wanted to wear her birthday suit on her birthday!” That night we all went swimming at our hotel, all 13 cousins, a couple dads, and a grandma and grandpa. The moms mostly watched from the edge being the lifeguards, but by the end were probably just as wet from holding squirmy swimmers.

Utah trip swimming Brooke Swimming at the hotel by Brooke

Thursday morning we spent some time with just us and the kids. We took a fun trip touring around BYU, visiting the bookstore and spending too much, outfitting everyone with new BYU shirts (the Johnson’s would be so proud), getting yummy bagels there, driving by our old apartment and work places, and hearing our kids say over and over, “This place is so cool!” I loved Austin’s comment the best: “I mean, I knew I was going to go to college, but now, I am totally coming to college! This place is awesome!” We think so too, buddy! We had planned on hiking up to the Y later, but I think that will have to wait until another trip.

Utah trip Y mountain AustinY mountain by Austin

The girl that my brother is marrying, Michelli, is from Brazil, so on Thursday afternoon all the adults  went to eat at a Brazilian restaurant. It had great food, and it was fun to see part of the culture. Mitch went on his mission to Brazil, and has a great love for Brazil. It was a great match when he later met Michelli at BYU. That night we did last minute errands for shoes for the girls for the wedding, took bike and scooter rides to a park, and hung out enjoying being with family.

Utah trip Playing with cousins on scooters ErikaRiding scooters in the driveway by Erika

Utah trip Playing with cousins at school park ErikaGoing to the playground by Erika

Friday was the day of the wedding. We dressed everyone in their cute purple dresses and tuxes and headed to the Salt Lake Temple. It was a beautiful and memorable wedding ceremony.

Utah trip Salt Lake temple Austin Salt Lake Temple by Austin

The kids waited patiently outside until picture time. They thought it was so funny that during the big group shots of the family, that the photographer kept moving around only one person..me. Do you really have to make the pregnant one trudge up and down the stairs three or four times? The kids sure thought it was entertaining.

Utah trip Salt Lake temple Brianna

Taking pictures by Brianna

Utah trip Salt Lake temple Erika 2

The Salt Lake Temple by Erika

The reception was that night back down in Provo, so we headed back there to wait for the new bride and groom. The reception was a lot of fun. Lots of food the kids enjoyed, dancing Brazilian style, the kids having fun decorating Mitch and Michelli’s car, and a very late night for us. We were glad to sleep in the next day. Utah trip Wedding Reception Brianna Dancing at the reception by Brianna

Utah trip Wedding Reception AbbyDancing at the reception by Abby

Saturday we checked out of our hotel and went to hang out with the cousins for a while at my brothers. We all went to see “How to train your dragon” at the dollar theater, and then headed up to Salt Lake to see Aaron’s side of the family. We were staying right there in Salt Lake so we could be close to all the fun temple square attractions. We went out to eat at Golden Corral, went swimming that night with all the cousins, and then turned in for an early night. We had been up late every night and we were exhausted.

We found a ward that met later on Sunday, and Aaron took the kids and the rest of his family to church. Abby had woke up sick that morning so I stayed and slept with her. That afternoon they were able to go tour the conference center and we all went to a nearby park for  a walk. Monday we went to Pioneer park for a while and had a picnic lunch, played soccer, let the kids run free, and then headed to a waterpark. I forgot how many kids there are in Utah. I don’t mean that in a bad way,  but it was packed with kids everywhere. It was a lot of fun, but we were noticing how different from Georgia. In Georgia, it is so hot even when you get out of the water, but in Utah you get out and it is cold! Okay, not cold cold, but you feel like to need to run for a towel right when you get out. I never thought I would want humidity. The kids loved the lazy river the best, and even Brianna got convinced by her cousins to try every waterslide. We order pizza that night, played games, ate Oreos, and called it a night. Our flight left the next afternoon, so we packed up that night. We had since gotten a hold of the hotel back in Atlanta and they had found my camera. I was so glad!

The next morning we enjoyed one last leisurely breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa Starbuck, said our good-byes to everyone, and then headed off to the airport. Our trip back was great. Sleeping baby, splurging on headrest TV’s for the flights so we could watch a World Cup game, lunches on the plane, treats at the USO (military lounge) at the airport, and finally coming home to our soft beds. We had such a fun trip. It’s amazing how fast a week can go by. The kids are already planning our next one out there. We love you family! Thanks for a great week.

*More pictures to come when I can convince my kids to draw some more.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry that you left your camera in the hotel, but getting the kids to draw pictures was a great idea!! So cute. And yes, the Johnsons are so proud that you all got new BYU shirts. And yes, Austin, you do want to go there for college!!!