Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spring Break 2014--HUZZAH!

We were very, very busy over Spring Break.  Awesome busy!

Way, way back on New Year's Eve, a certain grandaughter (*cough* Rheanna *ahem*) tried to wheedle her grandparents into coming to visit for New Year's so she wouldn't have to go to Avila Beach with her family till after attending the Stake Youth New Year's Eve dance and the super-girly dress-up party preceding it.  Then said grandparents could drive her to Avila Beach to join her family.  She was unsuccessful, but did receive a consolation prize.  They promised to come see us during Spring Break.  And thus, from such humble beginnings, the planning began.

We first traveled to Uncle David and Aunt Lizzy's house to join up with all the fam' and hob-knob.  The next day we moved the hob-knobbing to the grounds of the Sacramento temple.

 Above, you see Rheanna taking any opportunity she can to stand next to someone and establish that she is taller.  She will tell you that she was just trying to get a picture with Lora, but I am not fooled.

Below, Grandma is pondering whether anything will entice Grandpa to leave the comfort and solitude of the minivan to enjoy a picnic with the rest of the family.  Lizzy looks doubtful.

Grandma will tell you she was just enjoying the view of the beautiful (and large) park in front of the temple.  Again, I am not fooled.

While Meriel climbs a tree, Cassidi fills up on vitamin Dirt.

  After we had eaten lunch and I had laid the foundation for a good sunburn on my neck, we headed to Sutter's Mill.

 Here, my dad is explaining the way the mill works to Lora.  Unfortunately Lora doesn't understand his crazy Moon Language.

Luckily, I am fluent in Moon Language, so I translate for her.

We continue to explore . . . .

Tim directs traffic.
David and Lizzy
That kooky Mitchell.  He's always huggin' trees.
Believe it or not, Ian actually wanted to push the stroller.
She kept these on long enough to get the picture--then I think she broke them.
Rheanna is strill trying to be taller than everyone.
Keller puts up with it all.
So does Grandpa.

So after ransacking Sutter's Mill and leaving it utterly desolate, our motley crew eventually made it's way to our house to recuperate on Thursday.  On Friday, it was on to Yosemite.  Some of us were a little concerned about trying to get in on a Spring Break Friday which also happened to be the day before Earth Day.  There was a bit of a line to get into the park and once we were in, we were led farther and farther away from Mariposa Grove (our destination) by primitive signs that enticed us with taunting promises of "Additional Parking," but we were able to finally find a place to park and eat some lunch.  For which Sarah was very grateful.  Because she was the one who was worried.  Not me.  Never me.

I'm sure that Sarah is laughing at my children's discovery of an ant's nest full of super-friendly ants.

It seemed like we were parked so far away from where we needed to be, but it turned out to be a small jaunt down a hill and through the historic pioneer village.  Then they had free shuttles running every 20 minutes that picked us up and drove us to the trail head.  Very convenient.  Sarah is very grateful for the shuttle too because she was also very worried about how we would get all the way to Mariposa Grove.  But again, I wasn't worried at all.  I never worry.

The bus quickly filled up heading to the Grove, and the kids saw that some people had to stand.  They thought that was the coolest thing ever, so that's what they did on the ride back even though there were plenty of seats.  Declan has been giving me fits lately by unbuckling himself while we are driving and crawling all over the van.  When he saw that there were no seat belts on the bus and that he was actually allowed to STAND, he was in heaven.  So after about a 15 minute drive, the shuttle spit us out at the Grove and we started on our trek to see some big ol' trees.
Rheanna is kinda mimicking quite a few of the tourists we saw.  They sure do love to pose for the camera.

"I once saw a tree trunk THIS BIG."  This is the bottom of the Fallen Monarch.

Little Lucy

Declan thinks everything Grandpa does is the coolest.  Especially the way he sits on wooden fences.
So we got to see some pretty big trees, but just a head's up for you:  if you want to get a family picture in front of the California Tunnel tree, you will have to get in line behind the large family taking every conceivable sort of group photo they could think of, and not letting ANYONE walk through.  But we waited, oh so very patiently, and they finally moved on, allowing our miniscule family to get this memory-maker shot and then head back.

"Whew!" says Cassidi.  "Being carried or pushed in a stroller all over historic parks, in shuttles, and up hiking trails to see massive trees for a week sure does wear a person out!"  Amen, Baby Girl.  Amen.

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