Monday, March 20, 2017

Chasing the Heat

Jeff and I were heartbroken upon realizing our annual spring St. George vacation probably wasn't going to happen this year. Jeff got a new job so he no longer gets a free week off work after busy season in the middle of April, which is when we usually go, plus I'll be 9 months pregnant in the middle of April, so it seemed as though it wouldn't happen this year. 

But our hearts were aching for it and upon realizing our opportunity to experience our favorite spring trip was slipping away, we made a few very last minute plans, pulled Eli out of a day of school, scurried down to St. George, and enjoyed the heavenly 70-degree weather. Best decision we've ever made. 
First stop was the children's museum. A family favorite!
Jeff and I spent at least a half hour looking through these vacation pictures and laughing hysterically at the various faces of Carson Excell. He's always got a new look to give the camera, so appreciate the faces he pulls because he puts a lot of thought and effort into his facial contortions. 

The Cox Crew had plans to be in St. George the same weekend we skipped town, so we made a party of it! Eli and Carson picked up a few Minecraft tips from the Minecraft Master, Tyler. 
We found an awesome new park that has officially made it onto the must-do list every time we're in town. 
Behind Jeff is a volcano that "erupts" every 30-45 minutes. If you recall, Carson is obsessed with volcanoes. When it came time for it to erupt, Carson plopped himself down on the ground and watched in awe as steam emerged from the top of the volcano. He was a little disappointed the show didn't include hot lava. 

Lincoln was a little slow to warm up to the park, but he eventually started wandering around with me. While we were exploring the volcano, there was a little opening where Lincoln caught a glimpse of a train through the trees and across a field. 

He FREAKED out. He immediately forgot all about the slide he was about to conquer and ran over to the train, screaming "TRAIN!" on repeat until we found it. Yes. The park has a little train that circles the park, and Lincoln WAS NOT going to let us leave without experiencing it. I've never seen him so excited. 
We rounded everyone up for the ride. 

And it's just occurring to me I didn't even get a good shot of Linker on the highly anticipated attraction. :( His ear says it all. 
Lincoln loved the train ride. Every night we ask the boys what their favorite part of the day was. It's now been weeks since we went to this park, but every night at dinner Lincoln says, "Train Park" as the highlight of his day. Best day of his life right there. 

The faces of Carson:
On Saturday afternoon we hit up another St. George must-do: Pioneer Park!
The weather was perfect. The boys had snacks and water in the car on the way over, so we opted to leave our water bottles in the car for our hike. Carson became thirsty mid-hike and began eyeing the water bottles Laura was holding. Laura very graciously shared some of her water with Carson. 
Carson found a little arch he was very proud of and then found the big arch with the other kids. We also wandered over to this big radio screen thing where we ended our hike.
When we got home, Carson eagerly drew a picture to depict the day's adventure. Things to note: The 2 arches he found, a biker he saw, the big screen thing we ended, the Yukon parked down at the bottom, everyone who was on the hike, including Laura, holding her water bottle on her hip that he was ever so grateful for. 
We still had enough time for one more adventure on Saturday. My friend had told me about Glitter Mountain right after we got back from our last St. George trip, so I've been anxious to check it out for a while. We decided to give it a try. 
From what I understand it's an old mine of sorts? When you pull up to it, you see these two hills that sparkle and then it dips down into an area where you can mine for clear, sparkly rocks. 
Eli was super skeptical of going to a place with a name like Glitter Mountain. He was playing it cool the whole way there telling us it was going to be dumb and that he was going to stay in the car. As we approached, his interest grew. When he saw people hammering away at the wall and someone carrying around a pickaxe, it was like Minecraft come to life and he was all about it. Two minutes in, he was yelling in frustration that we didn't think to bring a pickaxe or even a hammer for that matter! Luckily we found another all boy family there with an extra hammer that they let us borrow. 

Carson and Jeff admiring their loot. 
Lincoln and I preferred to find the rocks that were already mined for us all over the ground. 

If your kids like Minecraft, they'll love Glitter Mountain!
We closed our trip with a visit to the St. George Temple where we asked someone to take our picture and we got this. 
"Do you want a close up too?" He asked. "Yeah!" I responded. That was this one. 

The boys found the lights that shine on the temple and pretended they were tablets for a good while. 
Eli's got the right idea. 

Eli climbed to touch the doors of the temple, turned around, saw the American flag flying in the air, and his patriotism overcame him as he took a moment to recite The Pledge of Allegiance. 
This is Carson's superhero pose. It's his go-to. 
"Let's get a brother picture!" I said right before this picture was taken. Upon seeing what the brothers were offering us, Jeff and I looked at each other and said, "Yeah, that's about right." This perfectly sums up who these little dudes are. Note Eli's "cuties" perched on each shoulder, Lincoln ripping a budding flower off the temple grounds, and Carson in full character giving it his all. Love these little buggers.
I'm so glad we snuck away! I always love the memories we make in St. George and it was another fabulous spring trip!


Eric and Justine said...

I have to know the name of that looks amazing!

David and Mary said...

I loved this post! I laughed, I cried, and I really miss everyone! It looks like you had a wonderful time in St. George. I am so glad you found some new places to show us when we get home. Items I loved: Carson's picture! Temple lights as tablets, the picture someone took of your family, Eli's love of glitter mountain, picture of the grandkids waiting at the train!

Kim said...

I, too, loved this post. And I loved Mary's comment. We distant grandmas love it when you post pictures and tell stories of what is going on in your life.

I laughed out loud at the family photo experience in front of the temple. And then I did a double take when I saw the picture of you and Jeff. Since I have hardly seen you during this pregnancy, the pregnant view of you caught me a little off guard.

The last picture of your three boys depicting their personalities is so great. I love the little buggers, too!!

Rebecca said...

That park looks awesome! And glitter mountain looks awesome! And the children's museum! And the temple! I obviously need to spend more time in St. George!