Snow fell on Christmas Eve and it has been here ever since. We have a chunk of dirty compacted ice at the bottom of our driveway that I have affectionately started calling the glacier. It just won't go away.
It has been FREEZING. I wanted to find some really cool weather stats but my google skills have failed me. All I know is that there were only like two or three days where it was above freezing. Most of those days were single digits so it's not like we were all hanging out in balmy 30 degree weather or something. It was like four. Four degrees for a high. It sucked. I also know that the air was awful. We had some of the nastiest, longest lasting inversion that I can remember. We had the worst air in the nation at one point and I could feel it in my throat and eyes.
It was time to fly south for the winter.
Paul had a free night at Marriott that had to be used before February, it was stake conference weekend so we didn't have our callings to be responsible for and it was Martin Luther King day so the kids had Monday off from school. When all the stars align like that you have to take advantage. We asked David and Nancy if we could use their house in St. George for a night, we booked a hotel the other nights, packed up and hit the road between snow storms.
We got in pretty late Friday the 18th. When we woke up we got ready and headed for Vegas where the high was going to be close to 60 degrees. Oh happy glorious day!
Look at that blue sky. We hadn't seen a blue sky in weeks. It was so nice there aren't even words to describe how excited we were for warmer weather. Even Paul.
We promised the kids a ride on the New York, New York roller coaster. Paul didn't have any desire to go but we all wanted to share the experience with him. He reluctantly agree but we had to go first thing so he wouldn't chicken out, I mean change his mind. It was awesome because we had hardly any wait at all. The kids and I loved it. Paul is fine if he never rides another roller coaster in his life.
After the roller coaster and a few stops on the strip at Coke and M&M world we headed out to Henderson for some lunch. We fell in love with Panera this summer when there was one just blocks from our hotel in Boston. We've had some serious cravings that needed to be satisfied. We ate outside and sat with the sun shining on our arms and backs. It was the best feeling. We didn't want to ever leave.
After lunch we headed back to the strip to see the Bellagio conservatory and fountains. They are celebrating the year of the snake for Chinese New Year. It was magnificent. It's always so gorgeous with no detail left undone. Everywhere we looked we noticed something new and exciting.
It was time to go out and secure ourselves a prime spot to watch the dancing water.
I think the kids were texting friends almost the entire weekend. As long as they were present when we needed them to be we didn't mind too much. It gave Paul and I some together time.
After we watched the water we headed back in and took more pictures!
We stopped at a couple of outlet centers but didn't find any steals. I think all the bargains are in Primm but we didn't make it out that far. It was time to make our way back to Utah.
We got checked into our hotel pretty late. The next morning we decided to take it easy and drive around St. George. We also drove by our old house in Ivins. This is the view on the way out to our house from St. George. A lot of giant red rock formations. I hated it with a passion back then but now that I'm not living there I can almost see the beauty in it's uniqueness. Almost.
Tuacahn is near Ivins so we stopped in so that Paul could see the theater. They had this awesome picture cut out thingie left up from Christmas so of course we took full advantage. I think Paul thought the whole theater and the setting for it was pretty awesome. If they get good shows this summer I see an awesome date in our future!
It was off to the St. George temple where my grandparents were married many, many years ago. I love this temple. I think it is so beautiful. I had to take a ton of pictures. Of course!
Our only family photo from the trip. I'm sad that I'm holding my purse. It makes me look even wider than I am.
This one has a little glow to it because I am trying to use it in a project. The theme for the young me/women this year is Stand In Holy Places. I love that theme and would love to make something for Emma's room as a reminder. Anyway, that's why it looks different.
We got Taco Bell for dinner and then headed to bed. We thought we were going to have Monday morning and part of the afternoon to do a little more shopping and exploring BUT that didn't happen. We woke up at 1:45am to the sounds of vomit. Poor Andrew was sick. It wasn't as bad as it could have been but anytime there is vomit it's bad. We had a long and mostly sleepless night. We put him on the floor close to the toilet and hoped for the best. He did well, thank goodness.
None of us ate anything before hitting the road. We were too terrified.
I felt gross. I don't know if I was really sick or just sick with worry but it was the most uncomfortable drive home I can remember. Paul made the drive in 3.5 hours without any stops. Once we were home I got in bed and stayed there. I felt weak and achy. I wanted to die.
We had prayed and prayed that we would make it home without incident and I'm happy to say that we did. Andrew recovered nicely and no one else got the nasty gross sick so we're thinking it may have been the food.
Even with the illness at the end it was just what we needed to recharge. We want to go back already to soak up more sun but for now there are no real plans to do so. It was a fun and relaxing couple of days. It's always good to get away.