Serendipitous Saturday (2 of 2)

So on Saturday when we got out of the car at the Squaw Peak overlook we noticed a few people unpacking paragliders.  The weather was gorgeous so we decided to stay and watch what happened.

When you’re driving around in Utah county you see paragliders high in the sky quite often but we had never seen any up close like this. They were only about twenty feet from where we were sitting.

E was intrigued by the people unpacking their parachutes but Mimi was much more fascinated by all the cigarette butts on the ground–gross.

It was really interesting to watch the gliders take off. It happened so fast that I missed it the first time.  They would just start running downhill and then the wind would grab the sail (you could hear the loud SNAP of it catching the wind) and they would in the air.

This guy below had a rougher takeoff than his friends, though.  The wind blew him back into the mountain and he bounced off the ground a few times before getting airborne.  It was a little scary–he was fighting for control and for a second it looked like he might crash into the observers. Just watching him made my heart race; I wonder what his felt like.

 But then just like that he was off like a bird.

If we had gotten to the overlook 30 minutes earlier we probably wouldn’t have waited to watch the gliders take off and 30 minutes later and they would have been gone already.

It was a special family outing, one that I’ll remember as a little bit magical because of our good luck.

Serendipitous Saturday (1 of 2)

On Saturday N and I took the kids and drove up into Provo Canyon to see the fall foliage.  The trees up in the mountains change color several weeks before those on the valley floor and usually by the time I think about going up into the canyon the leaves there have already fallen.

But not this year! We drove up to the Squaw Peak overlook and the views were amazing.

At night Squaw Peak is popular with college kids looking for a spot to park and make-out.  N and I never made it up there when we were dating–the laundromat parking lot next to my apartment complex was much more convenient 😉 –but I bet the views of the valley at night are awesome too. 

Olympic Game Park

While we were visiting my parents we drove to Sequim (skwɪm), WA. It’s located in the rainshadow of the Olympic mountains so it receives very little rain in comparison to the rest of western Washington.

The climate is excellent for growing things and when we’ve visited before we’ve picked raspberries and wandered around the lavender farms but this time we had one mission and one mission only: to go to Olympic Game Farm.

We’ve been there before but E was tiny at the time and slept through the whole thing.  I knew he and Mimi would love it this time around and they  had a blast feeding the deer/yaks/buffalo bread from the car windows.

The thing that most impressed me this time around was the smell of buffalo drool.  It was quite memorable 🙂

There are some pictures from our previous visit here.

Arches National Park

Last week N and I decided on the spur of the moment that it would be fun to take the kids down to Moab. Neither of us had been before and it’s only about a 4-hour drive from our house.  So on Friday N took the day off from work and we drove down.

Despite our best intentions, it was after two in the afternoon before we got on the road (I know!) so it was already the kids’ bedtime by the time we got into our hotel.  But since it was a special occasion I took E to paddle around the hotel pool while N put Mimi to bed.

After E and I got back from the pool Mimi was still super jazzed about our little adventure and amiably refusing to go to sleep.  N and I took turns trying to get her to lie down in her portable crib and she kept crying every time we put her down.  We couldn’t let her cry since it would have bothered the other guests so we did this up-and-down-and-rock-and-shoosh dance with her until after ten when she finally conked out.

The next day we drove into Arches National Park to look around and do some hiking.  The scenery was otherworldly and magical.  The kids were troopers: E held his own on the hikes and Mimi chilled in the baby carrier.

After a late lunch we got back on the road and made it home in time to give the kids a much-needed bath and put them to bed at their normal bedtimes–success!

It really was a nice trip.  The drive wasn’t bad at all and Arches is amazing with lots of kid-friendly hikes.  I’ve love to visit again.

Hill Aerospace Museum

On Saturday we took the kids to the Hill Air Force Base Aerospace Museum.  My dad is retired Air Force and I have fond memories of going to air museums and air shows on base when I was a kid.  I knew that E would love looking at the airplanes.

E went nuts for the planes.  The museum has about fifteen planes / helicopters parked outside but it also has two big hangers with more planes and displays inside.  I especially liked the display of WWII pilot helmets.  It was interesting and a fun sort of creepy with all the disembodied mannequin heads.

The museum is just outside the base gates and is open 7 days a week from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.  Everyone is welcome.  Best of all, it’s free!  (Donations accepted.)

There’s a gift shop but not a snack bar.  However, there are several tables outside so you can bring your own lunch and have a picnic underneath the wings of one of the planes.

If you’re planning on visiting, I would keep the weather in mind.  It was HOT on Saturday and while it wasn’t so bad when we were outside with the breeze, the hangers were pretty stuffy.  It must be difficult/costly to fully air condition such large spaces and by the time we were finished looking at everything we were all pretty sweaty.

The museum is in Roy, so it’s a little over an hour’s drive from our house.  On the way up we stopped for lunch at a new-to-us restaurant, Oh Mai.  They serve bánh mì and other Vietnamese-style sandwiches.  It was really good!  N and I got a few different types of sandwiches and shared them.  They even have a Korean-style rib sandwich with kimchi on it.  Yum!

Saturday Adventures

Normally we keep things pretty low-key on Saturdays but this weekend we were crazy busy. 

In the morning E and I checked out a neighbor’s garage sale and he was so excited by the experience that we decided to drive around and see if we could find any other sales, which we did. I scored a nice craft book and a pair of shoes and E got some art supplies. 

When we got home we picked up N and Mimi and went out for brunch.  Thus fortified we visited the children’s farm by our house where E fed the goats and sheep and rode on a pony and Mimi checked out the animals from her stroller.

When we got home Mimi was pretty zonked so we left her and N at the house and E and I went to the rec center so I could renew my membership.  We didn’t know about it beforehand, but they were having “Member Day” so E scored a few free balloons and was accosted by a friendly mascot.

Next we went grocery shopping.  E wanted to be a “helper” and pushed a kid cart around the store and I chanted “walk SLOWLY!” like it was a mantra.

That evening N and I went on a date down to the old Food4Less in Spanish Fork to watch a roller derby bout with friends.  It was so awesome.  We chatted with some of the girls afterward and they tried to recruit my friend Erica and me to come to their “fresh meat” tryouts.  (Hahaha!)

After the bout we decided that since we were already down south a visit to Cracker Barrel was in order.

Yep, all that AND fried okra.  –EPIC.