On Friday we decided to take off and go visit Arches National Park. Last time we went there, it was almost exactly 5 years ago. Things were so different back then. For once, we had only 2 kids to chase after, one of them wasn't even walking yet. We decided we'd waited long enough and it was time to pay those red rocks another visit. To make the story short (because I do need to get some sleep tonight, and because I have too many photos anyway, so another post will be coming shortly), the trip was quite unforgettable, including the scenic, albeit not visible in the dark, detour on our way back (because 4 hour drive wasn't long enough for adventurous folks like us!).
We made a half-way stop at the Dinosaur Museum. Apparently, aside from all the cool dinosaur bones, it has pretty fun stuffed puppet dinosaurs that even adults can't resist. Also, we found out that no matter how impressive those dinosaur bones are, our kids are more interested in the living things, like alligators and turtles.
The weather was perfect down at the Arches. Breezy 70s, bright blue sky and lovely sunshine. And we were pleasantly surprised to find out that it was National Parks week so the admission to the park was free. We didn't tell the kids where we were headed until we were all in the car and leaving Salt Lake City. Those guys... You tell them about something exciting coming up in a week, or a few days, or even a few hours and they will be dying of boredom until the event actually happens, because all of the sudden everything else looses its appeal and becomes un-fun. Their brain tunes everything around them out, and all they can see, think and breathe is the *event* that they have to wait for. So yeah, we didn't tell them, which saved us a lot of whining and meltdowns :) We also decided early on, that since they weren't involved in the decision making, and it was Mark's and mine idea in which kids had no say, we'd go out of our way to be patient and understanding with them during the trip. This resolution came in handy a few occasions, like when we entered the Arches National Park and Elijah realized that it wasn't going to be a park with a playground, so he spend some time complaining that he didn't want to go see the 'big old boring rocks'. Once the initial disappointment wore off for him, he enjoyed hiking and exploring as much as anyone else did. Now when he sees the photos of those 'boring' rocks, he exclaims with excitement 'look, mama, it's the Balanced Rock! I loved being there!'