First of all, I wanted to say THANKS, C! for your word of encouragement yesterday about the girls and their sicko-ness. Our pediatrician said the same thing...better to get them exposed at a young age. But it sho isn't fun. :)
So, for vacation this year, we are going TO.............I'll tell you in a minute. First, let me tell you how we came to our decision. Y'all's suggestions were AWESOME. So awesome in fact, that my little plan backfired. I figured we'd read a suggestion and be like YES, that's IT! But no. It ended up being like, "Ohhh, let's go here! Wait, let's go HERE. Yes! I wanna see that!" And now we have a million places on our list we want to see thanks to you guys. Y'all are the best! It was a super tough decision because you really couldn't go wrong with any of those trips. We narrowed it down based of time of year and length of the trip and how much we could do in that time. We REALLY want to visit New England/Cape Cod and stay for like two weeks. I could probably stay in Maine for a month. Sigh. Benjamin, that Oakland House place is incredible. I've always wanted to visit Yellowstone and Yosemite. Ha, ask Sara how she pronounces "Yosemite." We thought about a West Coast tour. My parents visited all the highlights earlier this year and said it was beautiful. We almost went with Victoria/Vancouver or the Canadian Rockies. Those were two tough ones to let go. Katy, my dad was born in Scottsdale! My grandparents said the sky was always so big and blue! So many places I want to go...so many places I hadn't thought of. I pulled all of the details of each trip up in separate browser windows. I had about 57 pages opened. That's how Mom reads the internet. When she used to borrow our iPad, I'd grab it to look something up and there'd be 100 windows opened and I'm like, "Mom...bookmarks!" But she does it on her iPad, too, and her home computer. So weird. (Also, a side note, if Mom is on her iPad, she's not flipping you off. That's how she scrolls. Ha, get it...scrolls...rolls...nevermind.) Anyways. We compared all the options...
...and we narrowed it down to Newfoundland (staying in Gros Morne National Park) and Zion (in Utah). Mom and Dad can keep the girls in August or October. Gros Morne closes in September, so we'd have to go in August. It's also a prime time to see icebergs and whales! And, oh my word, it looks like a place straight from Lord of the Rings. So beautiful. And Zion...who knew such a place existed. Well, almost everyone. But, I've never been or really seen a lot of pictures, but I started looking and, mother of pearl, that place is amazing. We couldn't decide. We did what any logical adults would do when making a fairly major decision...we flipped a coin. An honest to goodness coin toss. Tails won...
Mrs. Micki was the one that recommended this fantastic place out West. Here is her suggestion:
Book cheap flights to Las Vegas. Stay one night there to watch old people on oxygen tanks gamble. Drive to Overton and visit Valley of Fire State Park. Leave there and continue on to Zion National Park in Utah. Lots of great hiking, horseback riding trails, drives, etc inside the park. PLAN YOUR TRIP TO BE AT THE PARK DURING A FULL MOON. Yes, I did mean to 'shout' this part. One of my prayers is that should I live to be very old I always have the ability to close my eyes and pull up the memory of driving through this park during a full moon. We have visited in summer, fall and spring. Two of our three trips were during the full moon. Wish all had been. Planning to return. This isn't a place to just hurry through. The relaxation, renewal, joy and peace are found in the details and taking time to unwind and soak it in.
Mrs. Micki...I'm just going to come right out and ask...
No, seriously, we are SO excited. Actually, Mom and Dad visited last year (I think y'all and my parents would be good travel buddies). They went on a tour out west and visited the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce. They said Zion was the most beautiful. They stayed at the lodge inside the park. (They ended up in Vegas. My parents are HUGE party-ers. As soon as the bus pulled into the neon glow of the city, they hit the hotel buffet and watched the History Channel in their room the rest of the night. WILD!!)
Here is our Zion plan. We're staying at this adorable little house right outside the park entrance. Look how pretty! And yes, that is a piano. Because, "Hey, I think I'll go to Zion National Park and play the piano."
We plan on hiking most of the time. Doing the scenic drive on the shuttle. Visiting the arches. Playing the piano.
I think we're also going to do a day trip to Bryce Canyon...
...and a day trip to the northern rim of the Grand Canyon.
I cannot wait! I've heard you really can't picture the beauty of this place until you've been there. We're very excited. Don't worry, Mom, we won't climb any waterfalls. Here's a question...on a calendar, is a full moon or a new moon the symbol that's blacked-out? I can never remember. Because, we might be going on a full moooooonawwwwoooooooooo!
For those of you who wanted to stay at Mommajoe's, you are more than welcome to, but the stay comes with special conditions. Mom is very hospitable, BUT...
1. You will have to take your shower at 6:33 p.m. so the laundry can be done.
2. You will probably have to make some sort of craft and if she likes it, she'll keep it and you won't be able to take it home.
3. If the wind picks up a little bit, Mom will wake you up and you will spend the night in the tornado room. And it's cold in there.
(I kid, I kid, Mom... :) )
No, but seriously, that's all true.
Thank you all so much for your suggestions! I'm already thinking about our next excursion to the great beyond (a.k.a. North America) from the tips y'all gave. Mrs. Micki, I'll Facebook you about getting "the goods" to you. David's office is about 3.7 seconds from the new building, so I might get him to run it by.
Shannon, a four-week trip across the U.S.?? Dude, I'm totally coming with you.
I'm gonna do another giveaway pretty soon...be thinking about your most embarrassing moments!