Finally! I'm sitting here working on this blog :) Mike really wanted me to get the picture book made first and that was finished last night, so wala......our monumental trip! I was so nervous before we went. Really lets face it. A 2 year old a 1 year old and a pregnant momma in the car for 40 hours and camping 10 days....I just had a hard time putting it all together in my head. So thankful I didn't think about and just did it! The Kaelber family has started something really cool here!
The kiddos did PERFECT! I really mean it, PERFECT!!!! They car tripped it like they were pros! Aubs had just a couple melt downs, short in nature though. I blame it on her being rear facing in the car seat and she just felt left out. Mike and I would take turn crawling back and playing with her or bribing her with snacks and that took care of that ;) Brody had so much fun holding the I-Touch and watching movies. He thought it was the coolest thing. They also got REALLY good at taking naps in the car! So every couple hours we got to enjoy some quietness in the car :)
These pics are really out of order! We did the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Zion and then a few hours at Bryce Canyon and Arches National Parks. The next few pics are from Zion.
Mike couldn't wait to take us to Zion. He's been there numerous times before and always dreamt of the day we got to join him :) Absolutely gorgeous! There was a view every direction you looked! Our campsite sat directly behind a stream. It had rained a ton before we got there and so the water was rushing and just made our campsite that much more perfect!
Once in Zion you park your car and ride the trams. The kids HATED these trams. Each time we got on it was as if they needed everyone to know their presence. These really were some my most frustrating times. I hate being center of attention and goodness were we! I had to remember to just take a deep breath :) On a lighter note Brody called these buses "School Buses" and was so confused why they weren't taking us to school :)
Probably the best picture from the trip. Notice that rainbow top left corner?!! We worked out a great schedule at Zion (where we spent most of our time). Morning hike with a picnic lunch. Usually Aubrie would fall asleep in the pack during these hikes. We really stretched her because she takes a morning nap. Get back to the campsite around 1ish for afternoon naps. Late afternoon of swimming or just hanging out at the campsite, get dinner ready and then basically time for bed. It worked out great!
And there's our beauty :) And look at that view! It was beyond words at sunrise and sunset!
Another great part about Zion was our friends from California met us out there and we got to meet their sweet son! The kiddos were so cute together :) There's the stream also. Poor Brody lost a ball and a toy down that river. He really misses his ball. Every time we saw a river or a body of water he would quickly say, "I just can't see my ball anywhere" it was the most heart wrenching thing!
Now we are at the Grand Canyon. We spent 3 days there, 2 of which is rained and was cold! This was the start of the trip. I really had to make a conscious decision to stay positive and just go with the flow. The kids weren't phased by the rain and so we shouldn't be either, right? The great thing about camping is being able to wear the same clothes over and over ;) We weren't anticipating the Grand Canyon to be so cold so for 3 days we stayed in the same clothes. Goodness I loved it! It was so nice waking up in the morning and with no thought into it, grabbing the clothes from the day before ;)
There was a beautiful horse pasture down from our campsite. The kiddos loved seeing these horses. Aubs would squeal from absolute joy and B would wave and ask for the horses to come closer. It was great!
The sun FINALLY came out the day we left! It's okay though because we finally got to enjoy the absolute beauty and wonder of this Canyon! We've now been to both the North and South sides of the Grand Canyon and hands down prefer the North Rim! We enjoyed such a perfect picnic and ran off some energy before hopping in the car for naps and a couple hour drive to Zion :)
In Zion again :) On every hike we did there was always a struggle, and it was with Brody. He loved the dirt! I mean he wanted to do NOTHING ELSE but to put his hands in it and make tunnels and doors and hand prints. Our little mile hikes ended up taking a couple hours! At some points it got to be super frustrating. The Lord would quickly remind Mike and I why we were on this vacation. It was to spend time with our family. And so we joined him. We made a deal that we would hike 5ish minutes and stop for a dirt break ;) We met so many people this way just camped out on the side of the trail playing in the dirt :) And goodness did it make for a very happy 2 year old :)
I'm so glad the Sorenson's joined us!!! We just had a blast with them!
We got really good at this picnic thing!
Here we are at Arches National Park. Super cool place! Of course Brody and daddy had a blast on all the rocks :)
We ended our camping adventure with a hotel stay. A hotel had never felt so good before! We saved a few clean outfits for this night, even though everything still smelt of bonfire! But it was a great way to just unwind, jump on some beds and decompress.
We had an awesome time! We even bought a National Park Season Pass! Our next adventure will be the Smokey Mountains sometime after the baby comes :) Yes, of course there were some hard and difficult moments. The kids weren't always as sweet and innocent as they look above :) But it taught Mike and I to just let go. Try not to have a set plan, go at their pace, and just enjoy seeing things through their eye's :)