Monday, April 30, 2012

St. George / Zion's National Park

We went on vacation! It is so hard for Gage to get away from work sometimes. He really needed a break and we finally fit it in. When we were deciding where to go we wanted something low key, that we wouldn't be running from place to place. Can you believe it we actually wanted to relax on vacation. We finally decided on Zion's National Park...and a hotel in St. George. It was PERFECT. In addition to making this as low key as possible we put the kids in charge of being our photographers. We bought 2 cheap digital cameras and let them go to town. The kids were great in the car. We got an early start. Hoping the kids would be able to sleep. I woke them up and had them go to the bathroom. The took them out to the truck and said it was time to leave for vacation...WHOOPS! That woke them up and they both were awake for then next 3 hrs asking if we were at vacation yet. 
Kami told us about an awesome park in Cedar City that they always stop at to break up the drive. IT WAS AWESOME! It is called Bicentennial Park. It is huge, and has everything... Little monkey bars, lots of slides, a jeep, a ship, a rocket, tons of swings, ropes, balance beams, fossil discovery, and lots more. The kids loved it. I think we played there for over an hour. Levi loved being out of the car seat and being able to stretch. 

 When we made it to St. George our first stop was "The SPINNY Park." It's real name is Cottonwood Cove Park. But all of the toys spin. It was so much fun too. Gage and I played on the big toys while Trevin and Chey played on the smaller ones. Levi enjoyed the shade. This is when we gave the kids their cameras. 
And the picture taking began. We ended up with lots of heads chopped off or fingers covering the lens. Here is our trip througth the eyes of Trevin (4) and Cheyenne(3).
 Cheynne at the spinny park. Trevin says his favorite part at the park was playing catch with dad on the hill (you can see it behind Chey). After teh park we checked in at our hotel. We stayed at the coral hills best western and it was great. Breakfast and two pools! The two pools were a must since swimming was a daily activity and the thing the kids wanted to do the very most on vacation. Me unpacking. Trevin taking a picture of himself in his captain america stuff. (There were about 12 of these.) Next Gage in the hotel.
 The next day we headed to Zion's. We saw a LIZARD! ...and another and another The kids were so excited every time and took a picture every time. Next Chey took a picture of mom and dad hiking (do you see us?. Sugar had told T&C that there would be cactus where we went hiking and so they were on the look out. The first big one we saw Trevin had Chey and Dad pose with it. They both had lots of pictures of cacti.
 Trevin thought it was great to take pictures of anything he wanted... Trees... Eventually we told him that that the pictures would be more fun to look at if he made sure people were in the picture. So he did even though we have no idea who some of the people are! He even did what he sees everyone do. He turned the camera around and took a picture of himself. 
 The first hike we did was "The Watchman" its a 3 mile hike round trip and took us about 3 hrs. It was fun and the kids did a great job. Gage and I took turns carrying Levi. Cheyenne was carried for just a little while on this one. After hiking we headed back to the truck for some lunch.  Levi was happy to hang out while we ate.
 Now this is the part that the kids were most anticipating... THE BUS! Trevin and Chey took lots of pictures out the windows. And Cheyenne enjoyed getting a break and getting to rest a little.  
 We hiked to weeping rock and enjoyed the coolness from the water and the view (0.4 mile round trip). Our next hike was to the emerald pools they were very low and barley trickled from one pool to the next. We had planned on just going to the lowest pool but the kids were doing good so we ended up going to the middle pool. The kids had fun jumping across the water here. Instead of doubling back we headed to the kayenta trail which took us back to the Grotto instead of Zion's Lodge. At one point we got to walk through a small opening/cave and Trevin wanted to take my picture. We figure that hike was just over 2 miles total.
Trevin walked the entire time. Chey was only carried for about 3/4 of a mile (not all at the same time). And Levi was a champ. He was a perfect baby and made life so easy. 
All three were asleep with in 5 minutes of getting in the car. So Gage enjoyed a drive through the mile long man made tunnel.
We made a stop at the Zion's visitor center a couple days later. They also got to get in their swimming suits and play in the man made creek by the tabernacle. Even though it was chilly and rainy that didn't slow them down. Later that night we went out to dinner with Biker and Nuny. We went to Texas Roadhouse... The kids favorite part - the peanuts!  

We all had such a great time and the kids were so excited about everything that gage and I couldn't resist taking some pictures with our phones too. Here are some more pictures and a few activities that the kids were too busy playing to take pictures. 

Mini Golf at Fiesta Fun. 
 Trevin LOVED it and did a really get job. He is a very determined little boy. 

 Cheyenne had fun for the first couple of holes having dad help...but she did kick the ball in to most of the holes. 

They loved their golf clubs. 

The fountain near the creek at the tabernacle. 

The creek. I would have spent all afternoon here, but the kids were so tired. 

The carousel.

Nielsen's custard! YUMMY.

The outside pool.  

 The inside pool. 

Our little champ! Really he could not have been better.

 The end of the watchman trail. Aren't they a good looking bunch. 

The lookout point on the Watchman loop. These guys were such great hikers.

My family put up with me posing them for this one picture in a tree. The kids weren't very excited at first. 

On the "train bus." The buses had two cars. On our last ride. We sat at the very front of the back car. Where you could see the back of the front bus that  had a big advertisement for not feeding the animals. Trevin and Cheyenne were both very concerned about this picture of a man with stitches from being bitten by a squirrel. Well it required quite a bit of explaining. Then I told the kids not to worry about it and just look at the trees. Well that didn't distract them at all! By the end of the ride we had half of the bus laughing about the dangerous animal at Zion's that you shouldn't feed cause they will bite you. Like alligators and Sharks!

Our little photographers. 

 The view from weeping rock. 

The lower Emerald Pool.

The middle Emerald Pool. 
Fun story... While hiking the trail between the two emerald pools Cheyenne and I walked around the corner and realized we walked right into someone's picture. I apologized and he said no I was talking a picture of your family. "What?" He worked for some shoe sole company and was doing an article on trails that everyone can hike. Our family was apparently the perfect example so who knows maybe you'll see us in an article for a shoe sole company one day.;) 

 Our only whole group shot. 

There were beautiful views. Here's a picture that is a little more clear than Trevin's.

The crack/cave that Trevin wanted to take pictures in.

Waiting for the bus. 

 Hiking by the "DIXIE" rock. No, we never got sick of hiking. And it made getting the kids to sleep at night very easy! 

In the crack. 

 After checking out of the hotel, we went and played in the sand dunes in snow canyon. 

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