— I had to make this post today so that my little sister would QUIT bugging me about it. —
When Eric and I were talking about what to do with our tax refund we wanted to make sure we put some of that towards a vacation and if we were doing Lava, we needed to look into getting one of the houses we stay in right away.
When I questioned my parents about it, they weren’t sure they were going to go this year as it was ‘technically’ my grandparents turn. Well we all knew that they probably weren’t going to go as my grandma has had quite a bit of surgeries in the last year. So I asked my parents something like, “If they don’t go, what days would it be?” My parents couldn’t give me an answer and Eric and I were getting annoyed.
We decided we’d still go on vacation, but we would do our OWN thing and we would head SOUTH! We talked about taking the kids to Moab or to St. George and though we didn’t make a firm decision at that time, we knew we’d go one of those two places.
As the weeks went by my parents FINALLY gave me a date for Lava, but it was too late and we had already made our own plans. By this time we had firmly decided on St. George as there was more to do when the kids got rowdy than there is in Moab.
We were blessed with the chance to get a free 2 night stay in a hotel in St. George. Eric’s dad had got it somehow, but because he’s had some health problems recently they weren’t going to be using it. It was nice and gave us a bit more spending money.
I was laughing at my parents and siblings the day they left because of the weather and I knew they were going to be heading into worse, and we were going to be enjoying the sun. Yes, I’m mean.
We left bright and early Monday morning, the 11th. We really had no plans for this trip. We just knew what our destination was and we went from there. We had a nice drive and saw signs for Cove Fort. I had no idea what Cove Fort was or that it even existed. But we had nothing but time and we decided to stop – plus, it was about time to let the kids out for a stretch.
Cove Fort has a long history for the LDS church and the Hinckley family. The prophet Gordon B. Hinckley’s grandpa was called to get the Fort set up as a safe place for traveller’s. It really is an interesting story. They only needed the Fort for a few years and then it was sold or something. In the 1990’s President Hinckley and some of his family members went about rebuying the place and restoring it. It is an awesome story and I am probably getting some info wrong. The point is, you should visit it if you get the chance. It gave us all a new appreciation for the Pioneers.
After the Fort we stopped for lunch. After lunch we drove some more…DUH! We were about 30 miles outside of St. George when we noticed we were low on gas. I didn’t think about it because we made it on one tank of gas when I went with my Mom and sisters in September. I’m not sure why Eric didn’t think of it, but we were in a place where all the next exits had NO SERVICES. We made it to La Verkin (Which is a bit out of the way and OFF the freeway) with the tank like this:
After relaxing for a couple hours we decided to head to an amusement place they have there to go mini golfing. The weather was so nice that we didn’t even need jackets. We let the kids golf in order of birth. Nathaniel was mad that we were telling him what to do, so when I said, “Go put the ball in the hole,” he decided to throw it into the water instead. Lex went next and hit the ball so hard it LANDED in the water. He had to share a ball with Eric the rest of the night. Shaylyn, Lex and Nate stayed one hole ahead of us so Eric and I could actually have a ‘game.’ Tanis preferred to stay with us, but were weren’t keeping his score. Eric of course won….After golfing was over we had some pizza and then headed back to the hotel to call it a night.
The next morning we took it kind of slow. We had the hotel’s breakfast (it was okay) and then went swimming at 10:00 IN THE MORNING!!! It wasn’t exactly warm, but it wasn’t cold either and the pool was heated, so it was nice. The older kids LOVED it. Nate didn’t want to be in a first, but eventually warmed up. Ailey really wasn’t sure of it all at first, but by the end she was laughing and smiling and having a BALL!!!
After we got cleaned up and dressed we headed for lunch and shopping. We spent too much money and the kids got too much chocolate – but we all had fun. We had dinner at Olive Garden, which Nate slept through, then headed back to the hotel for the night. The 2 older kids played Magic with Eric, while I mindlessly watch TV and kept the little kids from causing problems.
In the morning we spent a lot of time figuring out what to do. Our original plan was to drive through Zion’s Canyon and then head home. Eric talked about maybe going to the Grand Canyon as well. I told him if we were doing the Grand Canyon, I’d prefer to stay somewhere and extra night. Eric wasn’t too thrilled by that idea at first, but eventually relented. We tried to find a ‘cheaper’ hotel, but they didn’t answer the phone and Eric called 3 or 4 times. So he called the Holiday Inn there. Thankfully they had a room available.
So we got all packed up and headed through Zion’s Canyon. The kids loved it – especially the long, dark tunnel. It was so dark, that I couldn’t even see the kids to take pictures of them. I had to guess where they were at, but the pics turned out so awesome and you can see how happy the kids are.
After a couple hours we ended up in Kanab and it was right at lunch time so we headed to Pizza Hut. (I know, we eat A LOT of pizza in this house) The guy at Pizza Hut was AWESOME! He had seen us coming and got a table all set up for us. He opened the door for us and was just generally terrific. The pizza was okay too. 😉
After lunch we got checked into the hotel and headed to the Grand Canyon. About 20 minutes into the drive we see a sign that said some road was closed that led into the Grand Canyon. We were worried for a bit and then Eric thought that maybe it was just a side road or something. But as we drove a bit more he was like, “Wait, I think I might have see something saying the Grand Canyon was closed.” So while Eric drove, I got onto his phone (he’s got the data plan – I don’t) and looked up the Grand Canyon’s website. Sure enough the West Rim of the Grand Canyon is closed until MID MAY! Oh, well at least we got to see part of Arizona.
We turn around and are heading to the hotel and Eric decides to call his Dad just to give him a laugh. While he is talking with his Dad I remembered driving by a cave that we thought about checking out in the morning. I thought that since we didn’t get to see the Grand Canyon we could see that.
Eric thought it was a good idea as well, so we headed to the cave. We were surprised – it wasn’t like a cave we were thinking. Sure it’s a cave, but it’s not like Timpanogos or anything. It’s just a cave that they used way back when as a dance hall and tavern type thing. Kind of interesting. But so not what we expected.
The guy who ran it was named LEX (Seriously! I wanted to take a picture of him and our Lex together, but ran out of courage and then the place got packed…) and his Dad and Mom restored the cave or what not. It was another bit of interesting history that I never would’ve known, but kind of fun. Mainly this place was a tourist trap. LOL.
After the cave we went to another little museum place. There’s been a few movies made in Kanab and so they had a few little props in this place. Mostly it’s all run down, but it was fun for the kids and made Eric interested to watch the show that most of the props were from. (I can’t remember the name right now)
We then headed back to the hotel and let the kids go swimming. They were so happy. However this was an indoor pool and the water was FREEZING. The older kids didn’t care, but Nate would NOT get in. So Nate and I waited until a single girl got out of the hot tub then we went in there. After swimming we headed back up to the room.
Eric wasn’t hungry, but I was – so I was mean and made him call a burger place and then he went and got the food. It was a yummy burger and I was so glad he was willing to go get it for me.
We all then went to sleep around 9:00. Eric wanted to be out of the hotel around 9:00 so that he could be home by 5:00.
We were then headed home, but Eric stopped us at this cute little place that had more photo props – which we didn’t use. It cost $1 each for the petting farm and photo props, but Eric didn’t want to pay for that. So instead we spent $30 on a necklace and this sign for me:
All in all it was an awesome trip and the first one we’ve been on with just OUR family. It was so nice to spend that time together without any major plans so that we could take things as they came. It worked out that Eric took the whole week off and the kids were on Spring Break. The timing was perfect and the weather was nice as well.