Sunday, January 1, 2012

PART III Tri-State Winter Whirlwind....

PART III: Our Winter Whirlwind Consisted of Birthdays, Babies, Bows (on presents) Boots, Blue (toes, noses, etc), Below Zero, and any other alliterative way to describe our Tri-state Winter trip!

I wish I could have completed our trip re-cap in the December entries, but when you return home late on the 29th, it's a miracle I even fit in the first two parts!

PART III - Utah Leg
We arrived in American Fork the evening of December 26th. It was sad to see such an absence of snow, as the same time of year, I recall seeing more of an abundance, but the area is still beautiful.

The kids' cousin Aubrey just returned from his mission to Germany, and we quickly went to the Pizza Pie Cafe in Highland with Chris's sister AnneMarie, and also cousins Maren and Carson Hatch. Pizza Pie Cafe spells diet death, but if you're going to "mess up", that's the way to do it! The picture above is from the interior of that particular location. I meant to get a picture of it when Chris and I visited in
March, so I made sure to get it this time. I want that sign for my kitchen.

The next day, 12/27, we met up with Chris's sister Susie, and went to the Salt Lake IKEA with her and all the female grandkids (Maren, Jacy Taylor, Hana Taylor, Megan Taylor, Mikelle). I think Christian and Alexander were the only boy cousins to go with them. It was
"Kids Eat Free Tuesday", so it was a madhouse of an adventure in the IKEA restaurant. Still, those Swedish Meatballs are yuuu-uuumy.

I also realized that even though IKEA is addictive to me, when you have to consider the prospect of driving home 600 miles,whatever you buy and wondering how you can put it in an already full car full of stuff, it's easy to resist!

Also, Wyoming did a number on our car. And we couldn't find a car wash in Wyoming to save our lives. Well, there was one in Evanston, but it wasn't working because they said someone drove through the door to the entrance. So our car was happy to get a wash after IKEA. As we are waiting, we saw this sign. What do you think I thought it said at first?
I don't blame them for not washing grandmas. That sounds like a huge liability issue.

I mentioned in PART II that there are 8 grand kids on my side of the family. On Chris's, there are 16 and Alexander is the youngest. Here is a few pictures of 12 of the 16 grand kids plus Mikkel's new bride Lise. Mikkel is the oldest of the 16 and kids hung out with him down in our neck of the woods last September, as mentioned in
this entry. He just got a married a few days before this and he and Lise drove to Utah from Texas on their way to Rexburg Idaho to start their Spring semester of school. He is the one on the top with his arm around Lisa. Aubrey, who just returned from his mission, is the top right. And Nick's grin just cracks me up. (Nick is to the left of Lise and Mikkel).

And we got a smile out of Mikelle! (below)

Of course, AnneMarie, having her youngest (Maren) already in her teens was reminded of her baby days when Alexander went to town in her house. I don't think we caused any permanent damage (I hope). Here he is with his cousin Aubrey's "Welcome Home" balloon, and wreaking havoc on the upstairs Christmas tree.

With his Aunt Susie

The next day, December 28th, we were due to leave that evening. However, we were excited to see our niece and cousin Isabelle arrive from Texas, who was also stopping in American Fork before heading up to school in Rexburg Idaho, just like her brother Mikkel and new sister in law Lise.

We all went out to lunch at Zupas (yum!) and then afterwards, Chris, myself and the kids took a stop at the American Fork Cemetery to visit the kids' other
Uncle Gary's resting place (Gary Hatch).

Uncle Gary's bench has the Christmas wreath next to it.
The back of the bench (below).

Alexander in front of the bench (below) of his middle namesake. We were still in the first trimester of his pregnancy when Uncle Gary passed away. We hadn't really announced his pregnancy yet, but we did so in a low key way when we went up to American Fork for his funeral in May 2010.

When we went back to AnneMarie's (well, Chris and the kids did first - I stayed at the cemetery and jogged/walked back. Any exercise that could be commenced during so many Holiday food indulgences is a good thing!) we met up again with Isabelle and as we were preparing to leave that night, we made sure to get pictures with Isabelle and the other cousins who were there. Alexander still had some trouble acclimating to so many new people, but he seemed to really take to Isabelle.
And here he is with his cousin Aubrey. Boy, Aubrey sure does look like his dad!
Christian (on Aubrey's lap), Alexander and Isabelle.

Left to Right....Maren Hatch, Carson Hatch, Aubrey Hatch (holding Alexander), Isabelle Deal, Mikelle and Christian.

After we packed the bulk of our stuff in the car, here we are chilling at dinner before hitting the road.

That night, we drove to Cedar City. We weren't about to do the whole 600 mile trip all night. We stayed the night in Cedar City and then headed home on the 29th. We said "bye bye" to the bulk of the snow once we headed out of the Cedar City area. There was a little bit on the mountains northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada and then Kingman, Arizona, but the evidence of snow on the ground was gone once the elevation diminished south of Cedar City.

One thing that was sad to me was whether in Idaho, Wyoming or Utah, I didn't see one falling snowflake. It is a such a peaceful and beautiful sight that I looked forward to, and yet the precipitation schedules didn't cooperate. Oh well. Not having any snowfall did make for some safer driving conditions.

That is our Family-Visit Winter Whirlwind Tour of 2011! Happy New Year, and here is to a brand new year!

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