Sunday, August 31, 2014

Utah Part Dos

Our venture south began with a pit stop at the new aquarium in Draper.  This place has all the best animals, is totally wheelchair accessible, and all three of us got in for less than the price of one ticket to Monterey Bay.  So we were jazzed.  The penguins heard Nate was coming and prepared for him a dazzling spectacular full of swim races and high jump contests.

 This fake orca was an inexplicable highlight.

Next we went to visit our friend Presley and her family.  Presley has SMARD just like Nate.  We loved meeting them so much that as soon as we got home I started searching real estate in Orem. 

Two SMARD kids and one SMARD carrier (little sister Charlotte, who I think Nate has a crush on).

I bet you can tell what is going to happen next here...

After we got home Nate asked me a million times if Presley and Charlotte could drive to our house to come play.  I told him it was kind of far for them and he was like, well, we did it for them.  So I guess he has a point.  Mindy, why have you not hopped in the car for a visit yet??!

We stayed at a hotel in Provo and just tacked up a sheet between our two beds in hopes to get Nate to sleep at a decent hour without being distracted by the wild partying of his parents.  The first night we put him to bed and almost instantly we heard a little voice calling from the other side of the sheet to his aunt and uncle.  "Brian! Lisi!!  I need more of you!"  Nate tried to keep the party going but by the looks of it Lisi just wanted to be left alone.

Every night Nate tested the limits of his vent's ability to prevent suffocation by sleeping like so. 

We dined at all of our old haunts which we loved but was super boring for the kid only eats through a feeding tube.  I generously provided him with a bread basket to keep him happy at Gloria's and he found countless things to do with it, including "playing baseball". It took me a second to realize what he meant by that.

We visited Uncle Bryan's work and rode the company golf cart around.  A highlight for Nate and fans of wind-swept hair everywhere.

We went to the dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point, which was a great museum, but for Nate it just didn't stack up to the one in Ogden.  He just wanted to rush through it to get to the outside statue dinosaurs that don't exist there.

Stay tuned for the last of our journey...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I-80 is not my friend and other tales from the American West

We decided to take a family vacation.  The idea began with us looking into taking a trip down to San Diego and somehow ended up with us traveling to know, because that's where Mormons go on vacation every year and who are we to rock the boat.

Taking a trip makes us anxious and we never feel excited for a trip beforehand.  There is so much to prepare for and Nate requires life sustaining items and if we forgot one of them it would be a disaster.  We have taken trips to Southern California but driving across endless desert, where any hiccup could be very problematic, was more nerve racking.  Nate, after all, only has about 6 hours of battery and about 6-8 more hours of life after that.

But, at least for now, we can still do things with Nate and if we can do them then we should try.  It keeps us fit and him experiencing more life than our little apartment.  So we set out and the drive there was a fantastic worry-free experience...until about an hour into the drive.

As we were driving, one of Nate's critical pieces of equipment suddenly stopped working.  We ended up having to go almost all the way back home to pick up another one from our supplier.  With that out of the way we then hit major construction and a bad accident.  Normally it takes about 3.5 hours to get from our house to Nevada, but this time it ended up taking us about 7 hours.  So there was that.

Thankfully, the rest of the trip went swimmingly and we arrived safely at our good friend's in Salt Lake.  Nate loved it.  Like, he really, really loved Dave and Katie's house.  For days and days he didn't want to do anything but hang out with Dave and Katie at their house and maintained that his favorite part of the trip was being at their house.

Thankfully, we totally did NOT forget to snap a pic of Nate with Dave.  As evidenced by the following picture.

First stop on our "the very top of Utah" portion of the trip was Logan where we got together with some friends and Nate had a blast playing with Truman and Ava.  He was running on about half the sleep he normally gets so he was a bit moody but had fun.

We made a pit stop at the Lowe family motherland of Wellsville, UT where we hunted for Nate's great-great grandparents' home and got spooked out of taking a picture since the homeowner had just arrived home and was giving us the stank-eye.  T.G.I.GoogleMaps, right?

On our way back to Salt Lake we followed up on a tip from Katie and stopped at a dinosaur park in Ogden that we had never even heard of and it was a hit.  Inside the museum were your run-of-the-mill dinosaur fossils, which Nate gave a thumbs up.

Outside the museum was where the real magic happened.  There are fifty of these life-size, painted dinosaurs hanging out in the woods.  They did a pretty good job making them look real, especially the T-Rex who had just killed his lunch and was lapping up a puddle of blood (not that far from the truth).

Sunday brought us a day at Temple Square.  We visited the temple, visitor's center, the tabernacle, Brigham Young's house, and the conference center.  But with every new site came another request from Nate to just go back to the temple.  He was psyched on this place.

Salt Lake (and especially Dave and Katie) had treated us well, but it was time to make our way south to P-town.  To be continued...