After our cruise, we decided to head south to Utah to visit our kids. Because we’re planning to serve a church mission very soon (but not sure when), we figured we should get in some quality family time before leaving them for a year. We expect to go down once more, so I suppose this is our penultimate trip.
As always, we had a grand time. We celebrated my birthday by hanging out with Tara and her family, including a gaggle of grand-nieces who are (roughly) the same ages as our kids. They’ve all grown up together– hanging out from time to time– so everyone has a good time together. We played a few big games of Catch Phrase but the real party was when we played Secret Hitler. Accusations flew in a myriad of directions, and no one knew who was what. It was hilarious and exciting. Ollie, who isn’t really into strategy games just yet, just enjoyed some time with Tara’s dog Cody.
Speaking of Alex, one morning we noticed we had matching shirts. It was totally an accident, and it was even better when Alex said “hold on” and pulled out one of Ollie’s shirts… that matched as well. We sat down for a photo, but Ollie refused to smile for the picture and instead insisted on biting his shirt sleeve. When in Rome…
Speaking of Ollie, he’s much more into books these days. He laughs and reads along and points out things on the pages. It’s a blast– I love reading books with little kids.
Alex is enjoying his job as a process engineer for the Purple mattress company. One of the perks they offer is for employees to receive a free mattress. He and Kaitlyn haven’t chosen theirs yet, so we decided to head over to the mattress store and pick one. Ollie saw a wonderful opportunity to “test” the mattresses by jumping on each of them.
Although we’re not really in the mattress market right now, we’ve heard a lot of good things about Purple, so we tested a few ourselves.
Alex and Kaitlyn worked through a few before deciding this one was the best. I have no idea what model it is, but they know and that’s what matters. They’re planning to order it soon, and also pick up a “power base” that adjusts the bed via remote control (Alex can buy one of those units at a steep discount from the factory).
Since we were in Utah, where church temples are almost as common as billboards for accident lawyers, we visited the Draper Temple and enjoyed some family time there.
The next day, Pepper and Kyra went to the newly-opened Orem Temple, which is less than ten minutes from the Villa. Imagine that! The temples we visit from Montana are all over three hours away: Cardston Alberta, Spokane Washington, and Helena Montana. It’s nice to be in Utah and have so many nearby options.
While the two of them were being spiritual and holy, Zack and I hit the slopes. We went up to Sundance ski area, where I strapped on my skis for the first time this season, and Zack pulled out his trusty Dewalt snowboard.
He told me every time he goes boarding (at least weekly), someone comments on his board. At one point during the day I was waiting at the bottom of a run as he made his way down. Dewalt’s colors are yellow and black, so his board is easy to spot. Sure enough, a guy standing near me shouted to his friend, “Check out that guy– he’s got a Dewalt board!”
The weather was… interesting. At the start of the day it was raining, which then turned to enormous snowflakes. The clouds rolled in over the mountains, and visibility at the top was terrible. It was hard to see the terrain, and the mix of wet snow and fresh powder was unlike anything I’d been on before. Later, the skies cleared above us and the sun came out, and the conditions were amazing. Here’s a shot where you can see the cloud bank rolling over the tops of the mountains, about to engulf us once again in fog and snow.
After the mountain, Zack and I had some pizza. They messed up my order not once but twice, and as a result we got two free pizzas and an apology coupon for another free one later. Zack was thrilled because it meant he didn’t have to cook meals for a few more days. Then we headed over to the pinball arcade and had a blast playing pinball and a few ridiculously cheesy video games.
As always, the visit was a ton of fun and seemed to end too soon. We finished with a night at Tonyburger, where we said our goodbyes.
We’ll miss these yahoos, but we’re excited to see them once more before our mission. Now we just need to know when and where our mission will be…