Jun 30, 2016

Tarzan at Tuacahn

Yesterday was the day my Girl Scouts have all been waiting for... we made our annual trip to St. George to see an outdoor play at Tuacahn. We took off about 1:30 with 4 vehicles. This year several of the families opted to join us, so we ended up with 26 in our group.

But that's counting Prima Donna who decided after we left that she would make the 4-hour drive by herself in her little old Corolla. This turned out to be a bad idea. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We arrived about 6:00 and that gave the kids about an hour to play in the pool before my sweetie and Gamer brought back pizza and it was time to get ready to go to the performance. We were seeing Tarzan and I was excited to see how they would portray the beasts.

Some of our party stayed at the hotel while 20 of us drove out to Tuacahn Amphitheater. Of course all the characters were human and they wore long hair coats and pants. The men had open chests and the women wore black bras. They were surprisingly realistic, especially the one that played the father of the entire gorilla family.

They did plenty of jumping and flipping and swinging through the trees. It wasn't my favorite show we have seen there, but it was certainly fun to watch. We got back to the hotel just before midnight and sent everyone off to their rooms.

This morning some opted to get up and go swimming and some opted to sleep in. Either one was great with me. We checked out of the hotel just before 11:00 and got on the road. Prima Donna had Drama Queen, Baby Doll, and Scout with her.

Just outside of Scipio, her car broke down. We caught up to them about 20 minutes later and babied it along off the freeway and halfway to Nephi on the back roads. Then the engine actually seized and I'm afraid she is now without wheels. Thankfully, we had enough room in our van to put them in with us except for Baby Doll who climbed in with Little Sis and her family.

We drove to an automotive shop in Nephi and they agreed to pick it up, but I think it will likely be headed to the junkyard. Prima Donna is devastated, of course. She is supposed to take possession of her apartment this weekend and it will be much harder without a car for her to move, but I'm sure we will figure it out somehow.

Jun 29, 2016

Coming Home

Every time I go somewhere that messes with the time zones, my sleep schedule is crazy and I feel like I can't get enough sleep no matter what I do. Sorry to disappoint you yesterday, but I did want to fill you in on our final day of our trip.

We spent Sunday night in Connecticut and checked out of the hotel late on Monday morning. (Not too late, you know I'm cheap and I didn't want to have to pay extra...) Our first stop was a WalMart to buy an extra bag. It's not that I bought a ton of extra stuff or anything, but one little gift for each person in my family can add up pretty fast. We repacked all the bags in the parking lot and then got on the road.

Our flight wasn't until 7:50, but with the traffic around Boston, we were worried about being late. Then of course we got there way too early. So we decided to get off the freeway and see if we could find a little ice cream shop where we could sit for a few minutes.

The GPS led us to a little creamery right across the street from Boston College. What a beautiful campus! We took a walk up the street and then decided to drive around a little more. After a while we made our way into the city and to the airport.

The airport was crazy busy, but we finally got our bags checked and we bought a little something to eat on the plane. Then our flight was delayed by 45 minutes. This airplane was not nearly as comfortable as the one we flew out on and my leg was killing me by the time we finally arrived.

We got to the house about 1:00 AM and all the kids were still up and waiting for us which was a little troublesome since I have 2 that are still in school. (They assured me both had an afternoon nap.)

We talked and visited for another hour and then fell into bed. It was so nice to sleep in my own bed I never wanted to climb back out!

Today we are off on another adventure, but that post is for tomorrow.

Jun 28, 2016

Guest Blog: Zebra Popcorn by Curly

Hi bloggers, Drama Queen here for just a second.  Mom and Dad got safely in just a bit ago, but Mom won't be up for posting until tomorrow.  In the meantime, you guys get to watch this really awesome tutorial that Curly made for school.  Enjoy!!

Jun 26, 2016

New York City

My sweetie was disappointed that we didn't get to see the Statue of Liberty yesterday when we went to the Yankees game. So today after we went to church and had breakfast with Twiz's family, we drove to Philadelphia to put Grandpa on a plane for Utah, and then we drove to Liberty Park.

It took us an extra hour or so to make the detour, and we saw the Statue from the New Jersey side, but it was worth the effort. The sailboats on Hudson Bay were beautiful and the skies were blue and the sun was shining. My sweetie even joked about walking into downtown Manhatten, but obviously it was too far so we just had to enjoy the skyline.

We walked to the end of the pathway until the road turned toward Ellis Island and then we retraced our steps and climbed back in the car. We still had several hours before we would get to Connecticut and our last hotel room of the trip. Since we are flying out from Boston tomorrow, we thought it would be good to break up the drive a little.

Anyway, we plugged the address for the hotel into the GPS and blindly followed its directions. It wasn't long before we found ourselves in the craziness of the lines for the Holland Tunnel with little opportunity to escape. We were on our way to downtown Manhatten, like it or not.

Our little detour took us an extra hour and a half. There were thousands of people milling about from the Gay Pride parade that had just ended. I have never seen so many police officers in my entire life!

We finally got through the insanity and ended up on the open road. By 9:00 we decided we had to stop for dinner, so we pulled off and happened upon the Blue Colony diner. The food was delicious and we could have easily shared a meal with the amount that was served. They also had an absolutely amazing bakery and we each chose a dessert to go.

We are finally in our room now and I decided to sneak a taste of my baklava... yeah, it's pretty much gone. If you ever get to Sandy Hook in Connecticut, it's right off Exit 10. Bring me some baklava, would you?

Jun 25, 2016

New York Yankees

I loved the baseball game at Fenway with my sweetie, but I was even more excited for the Yankees game against the Minnesota Twins today. I wanted my dad to experience Yankee Stadium, so for Fathers' Day we bought some pretty decent seats and took him to the game. Teach and Twiz came with us.

My sweetie insisted we leave about 7:30 AM. He was worried about traffic, but mostly he wanted a chance to visit the memorial park before the game started. I'm so glad we did! We were some of the first ones through the gates and we headed straight to the memorial. It is right down on the field and it includes numbers and metal casts of all the greats, Mickie Mantle, Yogi Berra, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth...

I was truly amazed at how many legendary players were Yankees. By the time we were finished, there were probably at least 100 people waiting in line.

We made our way to the 2nd level and found our seats. They were fantastic seats, but they were in the sun. We bought some chicken sliders and fries and decided to wait in the shade until the game started. We eventually returned to our seats and proceeded to watch the Yankees put down the Twins 2 - 1.

The board flashed a sign that said over 40,000 people were in attendance. The traffic leaving the stadium could have been much worse, but we prepaid our $35 parking pass, so we didn't have to wait to get out. We were back in New Jersey before 7:00.

We dropped Teach and Twiz off for their family get-together and then we drove to a little Italian place for dinner. Now we are back in the rooms, packing up to leave tomorrow. Grandpa flies out Sunday afternoon, my sweetie and I on Monday, and Teach & Twiz on Tuesday. We will stay in Connecticut tomorrow night and then fly out of Boston. We have had so much fun on this trip! I love spending time with my sweetie, but I am ready to go home. Mostly I'm ready to sleep in my own comfortable bed...

Jun 24, 2016

New Jersey Reception for Teach & Twiz

Heading to the party
The grand entrance
We had such a full and fun day today! We got up this morning and drove to Ocean City. We walked along the boardwalk and ate lunch at a little cafe. While we were eating it started to rain and pretty much everyone was leaving so that made quite the traffic jam getting out of town.

But we still got back to the hotel in plenty of time to get cleaned up for the Wedding Reception. New Jersey weddings are way different from Utah weddings.

We were assigned to a specific table in a nice banquet room. There were about 10 tables and then one special one for Teach and Twiz. We waited for them to make a grand entrance and then they danced together. After that, Teach danced with her dad and then Twiz danced with his mom and then we were allowed to eat dinner.

Dancing with Dad
Cutting the cake
It was an Italian place so they served all kinds of pasta and such on the buffet. My favorite was the parmesan chicken and the carrot cake cupcakes. After food, we had a great time dancing and watching Teach and Twiz dance. Then they cut the cake and served ice cream.

We stayed until almost 10:00. The music was so loud, I'm afraid Grandpa won't be able to hear at all tomorrow. We are getting up early to drive into New York, so I'd better get some rest.

Jun 23, 2016


We hadn't planned to spend time in Philadelphia and then Grandpa said he had never been there, so of course our plans changed. We arrived at Independence Hall Visitor's Center about 10:30 and were pleasantly surprised to get tickets for the tour at 11:45.

It was a rainy, overcast sort of day and I think that kept some of the tourists away because we got right in to see the Liberty Bell. When we came last time, I just had the kids look at it through the glass; the lines were so long. Today we didn't wait at all.

Checking out the map

Independence Hall was just as amazing as I remember from before and we had a really good guide, so that was nice. We also visited the other buildings on the square before walking over to Franklin Square. Last time we didn't see the museum, so we decided it would be worth $5 each to go in. Ben Franklin was such an amazing man! I'm so glad the world has deep thinkers like him (and like my sweetie.)
Visiting with Ben Franklin
After we left Franklin Square we stopped to eat philly cheesesteak at a little diner. It was good, but didn't live up to the legendary cart we visited when we were in Philadelphia last time. (We looked for the cart, but couldn't find it.)

It was just after 4:00 when we climbed into the car. We were expecting tons of traffic, but honestly, it wasn't that bad. We were back in Sicklerville about 5:00.

Tomorrow we are thinking to run down to the beach during the morning hours. We have to be at the reception at 5:30 and we will need time to clean up. Our trip is more than half over, but we still have so many fun things to do.

Jun 22, 2016

New Jersey

Today was mostly a travel day. We left Connecticut before 10:00 this morning and drove pretty much straight through with a couple of stops for gas and goodies. I thought it was so funny that in New England you can actually buy a lobster roll at McDonald's. I'm sure it's not much like the one we had in Maine.

We had to pick up Grandpa at the airport in Philadelphia at 5:15 and we were a little worried about traffic as we whizzed by New York. As it turned out, we did see some traffic, but nothing like we expected. We even got into town early enough to check into our hotel before we drove across the bridge to Pennsylvania.

We were finally somewhere that I recognized from our last trip with the kids a few years back. The bridge and the boats were still just as stunning as they were the first time I saw them. We made our way back to the hotel and we have just been relaxing the evening away. I washed all of our dirty clothes and rearranged all the bags. It's so weird not to have a bunch of stuff to do.

I spent 20 minutes on the phone with the kids, settling misc. arguments and soothing feelings, reminding about homework and other commitments. It's hard to be away. I still want to be so involved in what the kids are doing. For a while my sweetie was thinking maybe it was just time to go home, but I convinced him that everything would be ok without us.

Some people have to parent long-distance all the time. For us it is only 10 days.

Jun 21, 2016

Concord and Plymouth Rock

We got up and checked out of the hotel in Boston. My sweetie really wanted me to see Concord since it was one of the places he has spent a fair amount of time during his travels for work (it's where he buys me the yummy Priscilla chocolates!) and it is one of his favorite places.

We parked the car and wandered around, visiting the cemetery, visitors' center, kitchen gadget store and of course the chocolate shop. We drove through the Minute Man park and admired the beauty of the scenery and talked about the hardships suffered for our freedom.

Then we were off to see Plymouth Rock. The rock itself was not that exciting, but the water and the boats were so beautiful. We toured the Mayflower II and it was so interesting to listen to the historical actors explain about the living conditions of the people who were so anxious to come to the new world. I can't even imagine 102 people living in that tiny space, feeding their families, entertaining small children, living, breathing, and dying.

We checked out the little gift shops lining the road and finally climbed back in the car. About another 45 minutes and we were in Providence. My sweetie wanted to eat at Not Your Average Joe's since he had eaten there in Boston. Their bread was amazing! We also shared their meatloaf and their lettuce wraps; so good.

Dinner was perfect and kept us out of most of the traffic as we made our way into Connecticut where we are spending the night. Tomorrow we meet up with my dad and Teach and Twiz in New Jersey so we better get some rest.

Jun 20, 2016

Fenway Park

Old North Church
Today was a long day and I can prove it. For the first time ever, I got over 20,000 steps on my fitbit!

Bunker Hill Memorial
We started out the day a little later than we should have and that caused us problems finding a place to park. We finally went all the way to the other end of the orange line and the lot happened to have one spot there saved just for us.

We got on the train and made our way back to the center of the Freedom Trail so we could continue our trek. The Paul Revere house was fun and different, but I have to confess that the Old North Church looked pretty much like the other churches we have seen on this trip.

Replica of "Old Ironsides"
We walked through a couple of parks and some old cemeteries. Then we made the long hike to Bunker Hill. Honestly, it was a bit of a disappointment. The museum didn't have much in it and as we were walking across the grassy area to the monument, all I could think about was how much blood had been spilled in that very spot.

Riding the ferry across the harbor
The last part of the journey took us to the Museum for the Constitution. Now that was an amazing museum! The kids would have loved all the hands-on exhibits and life-sized people. My sweetie was pretty disappointed that they don't allow anyone to tour the boat on Mondays, but I was ok with it and he had seen it before.

Waiting for the game to start
We ended our Freedom Walk by way of the docks and the ferry ride back up the river. By then it was nearly 4:00 and we were both more than ready for lunch. We stopped at Legal Seafood because I wanted to try some really good clam chowder. My sweetie was less enthusastic, but he went along with the idea. We were both pleasantly surprised with how good it was even though it was a little pricey for lunch.

The hot dogs were amazing!
Another train ride took us to Fenway Park so we could watch the game between the Red Sox and the White Sox. Can I just say that the hot dogs at Fenway are amazing?! Even though the seats were a little small, we thoroughly enjoyed the game and the party atmosphere. We left during the 9th inning because the game was tied and I wasn't feeling very well. Multiple train rides took us back to our car and we got to the hotel just after 11:00  to find that none of our keys would work. That was a bit traumatic, but the desk attendent reprogrammed them and soon we will be off to bed.

We are leaving Boston tomorrow and will be slowly working our way toward New Jersey. I'll keep you posted.

Jun 19, 2016


After church
Ready for best lobster rolls ever
We got up early this morning so we could be in Lynnfield by 9:00 for church. That means it started at 7:00 AM Utah time. I have to confess to sleeping through most of the meeting, but at least I was awake for the sacrament and I really enjoyed singing the songs.

After church we headed for Maine. It took us several hours to get there because of the traffic. My sweetie wanted to show me the beaches of New Hampshire, but that turned out to be a big mistake on Fathers' Day. There were so many people! We finally got by them and it was a smooth ride the rest of the way to Portland.

So windy; selfies were hard
I had found a beautiful park on the Internet called Fort Williams on Cape Elizabeth, so we headed there. The water was so blue and so were the skies. I loved this pic I snapped while we were eating lobster rolls for lunch. And yes, I actually quite liked them. It was my first time eating real lobster and based on the things I had heard from my sweetie, my expectations were low, but even he was impressed with Bite of Maine's foodtruck.

We walked down to the lighthouse and took some pics and then we went along the cliff walk. Every angle was just so amazing. It reminded me of our stop at Lake Michigan so much that I wanted to touch the water even though my sweetie cautioned me that it was very cold.

Most of the time we were on sheer cliffs with huge rocks at the bottom, but eventually we got around to an area where we could walk out on the beach. My sweetie was still in his church shoes, so I traipsed through the small round stones until I was in sand and then I slipped off my shoes and socks and waded into the water.

It was cold! But it felt so good as I curled my toes in the sand. It was obviously fresh water with no shells, only the smooth stones. I put my shoes back on and hiked back up the beach where my sweetie had been taking pictures.

Then we left the park and drove into downtown Portland. I love looking at new places and just people-watching. It wasn't long before we were back on the road and on our way to Boston. We arrived at the hotel just in time to watch the last game of the NBA finals. What an upset for Cleveland to win!

Tomorrow we are going back downtown and then to Fenway to watch the Red Sox play. Love watching baseball... but then you knew that already.

Jun 18, 2016


On the subway
I have so much to tell you!

We got to the airport in plenty of time to catch our flight, but sometime very close to that, I discovered that my car keys were still in my pocket. Fortunately, Bossy hopped in her car and sped out to the airport just in time to grab them before we had to enter security.

The flight was pretty comfortable for such a long time in the same seat. We landed in Boston just after midnight, but by the time we got our car, made our way to the airport and checked in, it was after 2:00 AM.

Morning came way too early and we didn't get off as quickly as we had hoped. We drove to the subway station and then took the train to the beginning of the Freedom Walk. My sweetie had been on the path before, so he knew all the best things to see.

He thought I was a little crazy when I suggested we have lunch and the "original" Boston Cream Pie at the Omni Hotel. But he humored me and it turned out to be delicious and pretty reasonable for such a nice place. It was by far the best Boston Cream Pie I have ever eaten!

Since we were already behind and we figured we would have to come back on Monday or Tuesday to finish the Freedom Walk, we only did half and then drove out to New Hampshire so I could see where my sweetie has spent so many hours on his project for work. We did a drive-by of all the places he likes to eat and the other sites he has visited. I love that everything is so beautiful and green out here.

Then it was back to the hotel. We were both tired and ready to call it a day. When I got out the computer to write my post for you, we discovered that the battery was dead in my mouse. I went down to the front desk to see if I could buy some, but the sweet clerk said they didn't sell them. She then rifled through her drawer until she found a flashlight and pulled out two batteries in the size I needed and dumped them into my hand. She wouldn't take money for them, but as you can see, they worked great.

Tomorrow we are off to Maine.