Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Trip Out West

This post has been a long time coming, sorry!  I already posted about the first half of Spring Break and this is what I did during the second half.  We got home from Ohio on Wednesday late afternoon and Kelly helped me pack up my stuff that night.Thursday morning, I picked my parents up around 6:30 a.m. and we drove to Midway Airport in Chicago, IL.  After watching my Dad get patted down (we talked about taking his picture during this), because he looked so much like a terrorist (or maybe because he has heart stints), we found our Southwest gate and waited for our plane to arrive.  The plane ride was fine, we had one of the flight attendants who like to sing behind closed doors, and the flight only seemed a tad bit too long.  We landed in Salt Lake, with this view from inside the airport,

View From the Airport

found our rental car, a very nice Chrysler 300 Touring,

Our Sweet Rental

then stopped downtown to tour the Conference Center.  The tour guides there are so knowledgeable and helpful and though we only took the short tour it was really nice.Then it was on to Rexsburg, Idaho with this being the view most of the way

Some of the Beautiful Landscape on the Drive to Rexburg

The drive was long but not unbearable.  We found Amanda's apartment at BYU Idaho and met a few roommates before running over to The Pita Pit for supper.  Next was a short ceremony where we watched Amanda receive her diploma, well at least the blank diploma holder, and then some photo time.

Mom and Dad with the GraduateMe and the Graduate

The Graduate Outside the Rexburg TempleThe Graduate

We then met some more friends of Amanda's at Frontier Pies where I had some good Lemon Meringue pie.  Finally about 1:30 a.m. (SB time) we finally crashed from a long first day of travel.On Friday morning Dad and I were treated to a good continental breakfast at the Comfort Inn where we stayed.  My Mom stayed with Amanda for her last night at her apartment. We took a load of stuff to the local DI before walking over for Commencement.  We were lucky enough to hear from Elder M. Russell Ballard for a second straight day.  He gave a great talk on using the Internet to influence the world and let our opinions be heard.  We then toured the campus, ate at Gandolfos Deli, and then back on the road.  This time we were headed for Bountiful, Utah to have dinner with the Coltons, who used to live in South Bend.  Here is the view from their balcony.

Bountiful Sunset

After dinner we talked for a little while and watched their daughters perform ballet and play the violin.  Then Mark Williams came and picked me up and I was back on the road, this time heading towards Provo.

I arrived too late to see the girls, although Janel tried to wake Sage up to say hi.  We talked for a little while and then I was ready to crash after another long day of travel.

Saturday morning Janel scored a new swimming pool for the girls and here is Sage and Eliza trying it out (minus the water).

Sage and Eliza

The Williams took me to BYU campus where we spent a lot of time in the bookstore and then looked at some art in some other building (failure to store that name in memory).  Then we stopped at another LDS bookstore, where I got one of the books that I had bought at the campus store for half the price (we would go back later to return the more expensive one and then spend that money on sweets).  All that shopping made us hungry so we grabbed some food from Cafe Rio and took it to Janel's parents house.

With some more energy it was on to the next activity, the zip line in the backyard.

Lets Get Ready to ZiplineThe End of the Ride is Kind of Bumpy

What we don't have any pictures of, was the ensuing activity.  Mostly because I didn't want any incriminating evidence of my dirt bike riding.  I did spill the beans, once I got home, so as not to get into trouble, since I was worried that Janel might squeal on me.  * Update - before I had a chance to actually finish this post, Janel sent me some great pictures.

 Mini Mini Bike Riding with SageMasked Dirt Bike Rider

Check Out That Air 

We stopped and picked up "I am Legend" on the way home and since we hadn't quite had enough activities for the day, Mark and I headed off to go hike to the top of the Y on Y Mountain.  It didn't look that far or difficult as we started out, but it was actually a nice challenge with a huge reward.  The hike sometimes seemed pretty steep and I must admit that I had to stop for quite a few breaks along the way (I think it was the altitude, it had nothing to do with my physical shape - HA).  After reaching the top we sat down and just looked out over Provo and the beauty that God has bestowed upon our land.  It was so peaceful and as we climbed down, we had a good time talking with one another and watching the sun set, what seemed like almost faster than we could hike down.

We hiked to the Top of the Y in Provo

The Sun Going Down While we Hiked Down From the Y

We finished the night by setting up a theater in the living room and watching I am Legend.  This was a really good and thrilling movie, although some people got quite scared during certain parts.

Sunday morning we went to Sacrament meeting and then Mark found someone to play the piano for him in Primary so he and I could see a few more sights in downtown Salt Lake before I had to leave.  We said goodbye to Janel and Eliza (and made the huge mistake of forgetting to say goodbye to Sage, who was still at church) before Mark chauffeured me again.

Janel, Mark, & Me

We made it just in time to see one of the showings of the Joseph Smith: Prophet of Restoration movie and I am really glad that we did.  It was a very moving movie.  We walked through the old Tabernacle and the Museum of Church History and Art.

And then on to the airport and my flight home.  No problems there and no singing flight attendants either.  Back at Midway, I walked over to where my car was parked, paid, and headed for home.  I was glad to be back home after a really long week of traveling but I had a really good time.

Thanks to everyone who made my first visit to Utah memorable!  I look forward to a return visit and maybe this time Kelly and I can visit at the same time. 


BettyS said...

Mickey, we are so glad that you could go with us on this trip. Then also happy that you could spend time with your friends and do some "real boy" things! Nice pictures and great post! Love you!

kellymear said...

Oh, this post is making me homesick! :) I LOVE Gandolfo's and Cafe Rio (which we actually have here too). And I'm always surprised how hard the hike to the Y really is. All those stupid switchbacks are so steep! I haven't done it since I had kids, though. It's been a while.

Anyway, what a fun trip for you Mickey! Great post. That picture of you on the dirtbike going over the jump is sweet! Looks like Janel's parents have quite the yard!

Oh, and BIG congrats to Amanda! I can't believe she's already graduated- that went SO fast. Dang!

Janel said...

That's right--free zipline and motorcycle rides and swims in our baby pool for anyone that makes it out to Provo to see us! (You were generous to not mention the lack of a doorknob on your bedroom door and the strange placement of the bed, though, Mickey!) I don't know if I will promise to be a party to any more scary movie sessions. At least not on the big screen with surround sound (thanks to the computer guru!). It was so fun to have you. Maybe we can get the whole family together next time!

Kelly said...

I'm glad you had a good trip, Sweetie. I'm also glad you came home. :-) I think we'll have to plan a family trip to Utah next summer. Sounds like fun. We'll let everyone know when so if you live in the area and want to see us you can.

kellymear said...

You really ought to include a little detour to AZ on that trip! At least we could meet up at the Grand Canyon or something? Doesn't a roaring game of Canasta Caliente on the South Rim sound exciting??

Mickey Standiford said...

Oh now that would be exciting! Do you think the kids would all play together and not fall over? :-)