We did spend the night in Grand Junction, Colorado. Rodeway Inn. Old, but not bad. And the beds were VERY comfortable. We accidentally left the room way too warm for us to be comfortable, however. We didn't get up terribly early, but did manage to grab the last of breakfast in the hotel lobby and headed on our way. There was a LOT of wind! We stopped for lunch at a Burger King in Denver while I tried to figure out my phone and maps, etc. It's always a happy little accident when I get the navigation to work for me. We went directly to Katie's house and spend the afternoon visiting, watching those crazy babies. My, they are busy ones! The boys came home from school, Casey was even home from work early. Troy Gardner came by early in the evening to pick up Grandma as she was spending the night at their house. They have a main floor room to accommodate Grandma with minimal stairs, and Katie does not.
Katie fed us all dinner and we mostly watched Winter Olympics on TV during our visiting time. The babies had a wonderful time jumping on the air mattress that we set up for our bed that evening.
I wish I would have taken a picture of the picture/painting that we took to Katie and Casey. She bought it while in Utah this past summer and it's a lovely picture/photo of the St. George Temple, where she and Casey were married. She's been saving a place over their fire place for it, so she got it hung while we were there and it looks lovely. But there's no picture to show you, Dear Reader. Maybe Katie will send me one. Shoot, it was in my basement all these months on the dresser in the guest room. I should have taken one then. ;-)
THIS picture, below, is another story. The top or first apple picture was taken while we were there. It is a painting I gave Katie. I did it in one of my art classes. I am taking a class this semester on Food and Culture (ANTH 3200) and there was an assignment that I thought I might want to use that painting in, so I asked Katie to please take a photo of it and send it to me. In the one below, you can see the reflection of the tv on in the background, and Katie holding up my phone and taking the photo. She is actually standing on her kitchen counter top! The ceilings in her whole house are very tall.
This picture, below, is the one she emailed to me last month. Can you see the dinosaur eye reflection just over the apples???? That creeped me out for so long. I kept trying to figure out how it got in there. Thus the duplication of the photography session, above. I think it's just a reflection of the ceiling can lights. But that is weird. Either that, or their house is haunted by the ghost of a dinosaur. Possibly a blue-eyed porpoise. ha.
Friday we just relaxed and Saturday, too. They have big squirrels that come into their yard. Below is Katie and Corbin looking out the back door at one. Katie has been putting nuts or food out for them. I think she can kiss the garden grow boxes in her backyard goodbye next spring! She's just going to be feeding the squirrels her fresh produce, whatever she plants. ha.
Below is (Lindsey Vonn ion the TV, and) Hailey. She is wearing only a diaper because that child will not keep her clothes on. Pink cowboy boots and a batman mask. Perfect fashion statement, don't you think?
Troy had grilled meats and there were salads. We played games, the kids all ran around and played with the two dogs that live there (which didn't make it very pleasant for Berenice staying there as she rather dislikes indoor animals and all the hair they leave behind. She'd only brought black slacks to wear--both dogs are light-haired and very sheddy.).
As soon as we all came home, it was time to get kids into the bath. Katie and Casey got things started and then left me to finish that and they went to the grocery store. I'm sure they don't get to do that very often without kids! Hayden has rather severe allergies to dogs, so it was imperative to get him out of the dog hair contaminated clothing and right into the shower , and he did. The next day was Sunday, so everyone else followed. The babies do NOT like to have their hair washed in the tub. At all. Hailey screams. But they were clean by the time I was done with them, mean ol' Grandma that I am. ha.
Corbin has really itchy skin and required a soothing oatmeal bath, so I had to clean all the bubble bath and soapy stuff from the twins' bath out of the tub before it was Corbin's turn. It think Katie said it is excema or however that is spelled. Poor kid.
Everyone stayed up late, but I was fading fast.
Sunday morning, I made some pancakes for breakfast. Some people ate them. Chocolate chip and banana ones, too. ;-) Church was not until 1 pm...the mornings just drag on, don't they? We tried to watch "Freetown," but that didn't go over really well. Katie had to run in to see the bishop extra early Sunday morning. She has a new calling and is now the secretary in Primary. With church beginning at 1 pm, that is when twins start to fade and get grumpy, but I think Katie was the most tired in Sacrament meeting. I do believe she would have nodded off if she hadn't been tending to children.
I knew that we (well, Katie and Casey) were hosting Troy's family for Sunday Dinner after Church, but I assumed that it was at 6 pm like we did on Saturday. Nope. Turns out it was right after church at 4:30. So we did do a lot of meal preparation that morning. Katie had stuff in the crock pots, I made a salad and peeled potatoes. She made some yummy BBQ ribs. Mmmm.
We all went to church at 1 pm and stayed for the whole block of meetings. The house smelled really good when we got home. The Gardner's came, we all ate (Grandma was there, too), all the kids were there. Saturday evening at Troy's, only one of their three kids were home. It was a wild and crazy afternoon/evening with kids running and screaming through the house on Sunday afternoon. But they were happy and really did play together well for the most part.
We decided, after watching the weather reports, that it would be best for us to leave that evening and get out of town before the snow storm hit the following morning in Denver. So we did. We quickly packed, said our Goodbyes and followed Troy and Ecstacia and family back to their house to get Grandma's things and then we left. We'd initially planned to leave early Monday morning and drive the whole way home (10 hours!) to Cedar City. But you know what? Leaving Monday morning would have been so much worse. We wouldn't have been able to see anyone because they would have all been asleep. It snowed that day all across Coloradao, so we would have been going much slower. So it was just better to get on the road Sunday night. That meant we had to stay another night in a hotel so we just went back to the same one in Grand Junction. There's no way we could do all 10 hours after leaving Denver at 7:30 pm. We knew we'd have to break it up again, and I was glad for that, actually. The Rodeway Inn had a decent price (less than $60 per night) and we knew the beds were comfy. It wasn't snowing when we got up to go Monday morning, so that was good.
But --BOY!-- was it ever windy! Yikes. It about blew us off the road. There were many clouds and storms were rolling in, but it wasn't snow that we had to drive through until we reached Salina Canyon in Utah, so that was a good thing. AND northern Iron County was kind of snowy and wet . Those were the only areas. But considering how bad it could have been, we were very pleased. Driving on snowy roads all the way from Denver would have taken way more than the usual 10 hours going the speed limit. As it was, we were home by about 1:30 pm on Monday and had to shovel about 7 inches of heavy wet snow off of Berenice's driveway that had fallen the previous night and that morning. That was a nice workout for me and Mike after sitting around for a few days. We didn't bother to shovel our driveway when we go to our place. We just came in, ate lunch, unpacked, and I read some newspapers and took a nap. I was bracing myself for going back to work the next day. BUT--it's only a four day work week!
Sun on the mesas in the distance in Eastern Utah. It was quite stunning.
Snowy Salina Canyon. Mike followed a big diesel truck down the canyon, so they kind of helped clear the way for us.
Oh, and we listened to a couple of audio books on this trip, too. Going there, we listened to "The Teacher's Funeral." Coming home, we listened to "Chasing Vermeer." Neither were spectacular, but we enjoyed the first one more.
When we left Cedar City on Thursday afternoon, I had a really bad lower back ache. I'm not really sure what caused it, but it required ibuprofen. I also used the seat heating feature in the car. It's very warm and isn't just the seat bottom, but also was like having a heating pad on my lower back. it was lovely. It felt fine, as long as I didn't move. It didn't start to feel better until Sunday. It's fine now (Thursday the 22nd), but was kind of bad for a couple of days. I had to be very careful about how I moved or lifted. And even getting in and out of the car was difficult. I think perhaps my too-tight-pants waist band from Thursday at work may have caused part of it, but perhaps it began on Wednesday at Water Aerobics when I did some different wall exercises that may have strained some muscles back there. Ouch. I won't be doing those again any time soon.
It sure was fun to spend time with Katie and her family. We didn't accomplish anything (except that one clean bathroom and a few loads of laundry folded) like projects, but we did get to read stories and wrestle with and tickle little ones, so that was nice.
Till next time!