experienced some good, some very very bad and everything in between.
(If you live in Utah and get offended by people who don't like it here you may want to back out of this post right now.)
One of the most discouraging things about living here in Utah is there is nothing of interest for us close by (I know many people who would cry foul at this statement but this is how we feel.) especially, in the winter. We try so hard to make the best of it here but honestly we are at the end of our rope. There are only so many times you can go to Arches, Zion's, St. George or Salt Lake. Honestly, there isn't a lot to do here unless you are outdoorsy and we aren't. We prefer city stuff. Both Paul and I feel like we need to get out of this state but we can't until he finishes school. Even then we don't know if we will be able to.
It is impossible for us to take fun and exciting little getaways like we did when we lived in California. When we lived in the Bay Area we were 45 minutes to San Francisco, 45 minutes to Sacramento, 45 minutes to the coast, a couple of hours to Tahoe, a few hours to Yosemite, Monterey, Santa Cruz, etc. etc. The possibilities were endless! Here it takes at least six hours to get to a "large city" (Which would be Vegas and really you can only do that so many times or Boise, yes Boise, as in Idaho.) and it takes much longer than that to get to somewhere pretty. (For me something pretty is something non-desert so you are looking at a 10-12 hour drive) Also I would like something warmer right now but the only place that's warmer around here is St. George. It's fun to go there every now and then for something different but it doesn't cure our craving to get away. It certainly isn't pretty and well, it's still Utah. Plus I hate running into the polygamist in Wal Mart and Costco down there. Yes, I am serious.
Last weekend was our churches general conference. General conference is held the first weekend in April and the first weekend in October. We don't go to our regular church meetings that we normally attend on Sundays. Instead we get to listen to our church leaders speak to us over several sessions of conference on Saturday and Sunday. The conference is held in Salt Lake but we are able to watch them on the TV or in our case we Tivo it to watch later. Now that I am an adult this is my most favorite times of the year. I love to hear the stories and the guidance that our leaders share with us but it is hard on the kids. They get bored really quickly.
This year we asked my mom to take the kids for the weekend so Paul and I could have a romantic weekend. We thought we would get a nice room up in Park City for a couple of nights so Paul could ski again, I could relax while he was skiing, then we could shop and play after he was done. Well it is still winter rates here for the ski resorts and the rooms were several hundred dollars a night. There is no way we are going to pay that kind of money to stay so close to home.
We looked into staying in Salt Lake but since conference was going on rooms were more expensive there too and downtown Salt Lake doesn't have a ton to offer. We've been there and done that to death.
I tried to convince Paul to drive down to Canyonlands National Park or Bryce for a night or two so we could explore and see if it was worth going back with the kids but then we heard the weather was going to turn bad so we thought we better not. Also with gas prices so high and high room rates due to late notice booking we would be spending upwards of five hundred dollars for two nights...in a desert. No thank you.
We decided if we were going to spend money like that it is going to be somewhere great. So we booked our anniversary trip to New York City! We spent less on our two flights than we would have spent on a weekend in Utah. Score!!!
I finally get to see her! I'm so excited I can hardly wait. I'm going to be crossing things off my bucket list left and right.
Anyway we were sad that once again we couldn't find a way to get "away" around here but we did the best we could with what we had.
We went up to Salt Lake and dropped the kids off with my parents. Paul and I headed to Blue Iguana for dinner. We had a little bit of a wait but it wasn't bad. The food was delicious and we had fun at dinner.
We got piña coladas and dug right into the chips and salsa, my favorite foods on the earth.
After dinner we were going to go walk through the Gateway (An outdoor mall in the state with the greatest snow on earth. Brilliant!) and do a little shopping. It was actually a really nice evening. I told Paul it was going to be weird to walk around without getting snowed or rained on. Our plans were foiled, there was a Laker/Jazz game going on and literally no where to park near the mall. Seriously? Yes, seriously. We gave up and drove home shaking our heads the whole way.
The next morning we headed to Park City. The day started out warm but really windy. You could tell a storm was blowing in. We did a little damage at the outlets and then headed back to Salt Lake to try the Gateway again.
The warm day had started to melt some of the snow off of the ski jumps. I bet they are covered again at this point. We've been getting a lot of spring snow. Grrr!
Once we got to the Gateway sure enough, it started raining. I swear it is never dry when we are shopping there. I got a few cute things at Ann Taylor. They were having 50% off of clearance so that was fun. We went out to Noodles for dinner and then headed home again. We picked up the kids Sunday afternoon. It wasn't the romantic weekend away that we had hopped for but it was better than nothing.
Monday night we took the kids to see our next door neighbor in a production of the King and I. I thought they did great. Andrew didn't really like the story but he loved seeing his friend on stage. Emma has seen the King and I before so she did well and enjoyed it a lot.
I am always so impressed with the performances the schools put on around here.
Paul and I are still running at the rec. center. I am running for 25 minutes straight now (Which is huge. At the beginning 90 seconds was hard) and he is running for 20 minutes. He gets to try 25 tomorrow. I am at the point in the program where I will only be doing solid runs with no walking. I'm trying to build endurance and speed. I'm not worried about speed at all. Our race is April 30th (We just registered so it's official. We are doing this!) and I am feeling really good that we are going to be able to do this.
Sometime Tuesday or Wednesday I went to make some scrapbook pages. I just had an urge to make something. That is when I discovered that my external hard drive with all of my supplies (hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars worth of kits. Before you pass judgement realize I've been buying for a very long time.) and all of the pages I had ever made had died. I didn't realize you needed to back-up your back-up. I thought I had done everything right but no, it's all gone. We are going to try our best to get stuff back (We have to ship the hard drive out to someone who can work in a clean room) but there are no guarantees that they will be able to recover the data. I am heartsick over it.
I was able to download all the kits I bought in the last year from one of the stores I buy from and my darling friend Gennifer graciously let me download things from her store. I now have kits to work with but I am still out a ton of money, a ton of supplies and a ton of time. I have been digi-scrapping for over five years. That's a lot of pages that are just gone. I have some on my blog but other than that...I try not to let myself think about it. I keep praying that they will be able to recover the files and I will be able to get my stuff back.
Thursday night we decided to go to Trafalga with Maggie and her kids for some laser tag. It was great. We played two rounds, ate some nachos, climbed the rock wall, played in the arcade and took a lot of pictures. We had a really good time.
Yep, that's me up there in all my glory.
I can't tell you how much I love this picture of Kyle. I makes me smile each time I see it!
Emma's like spider woman. She kept going right to the top.
Friday night was quiet and totally laid back. Saturday afternoon we started celebrating Andrew's birthday. More on that to come later!