Thursday, November 17, 2011

July Part I - Utah.

July was a month of visiting and being visited by family. We took Hannah on her first extended road trip, which means it took us 24 hours to drive to Utah, as opposed to our usual 18! To be fair, it wasn't only Hannah's fault we had to stop so much. I was in the clutches of first trimester nausea, and embraced every rest stop like it was heaven on earth. During our short few days in Utah we went to Hans' family reunion, where Grandma Hansen celebrated her 91st birthday! This was our first family reunion since Grandpa passed away a year before, and I have to admit there was a melancholy feeling of missing him among the family, and many wondered how Grandma was faring without him. It's obvious she would rather be with her sweetheart than here on earth with us, but even she couldn't help smiling as her hundred some-odd posterity sang "Grandma, I Love You" in the midst of the beautiful Utah mountains.

While in Utah we stayed with our good friends Rick and Aileena, who we met in Japan, and their sweet little girl Audrey. Hannah loved how little and cute Audrey was, and they played together nicely. I miss those guys so much, and can't wait for another chance to see them. So here's what July looked like:

Our fearless leader drives across the Western plains of Kansas. Probably the most boring scenery you'll ever see.
 Hannah looked like this most of the time.
 Tending to a killer tension headache with a heating pad. So glad we had the A/C adapter to do this.
One of our desperate rest stops was at the "Tallest prairie dog in the world" zoo, full of really sad, dirty animals, including "muntant" chickens (that's how the sign was spelled. I renamed them "mutant mutant chickens") and three legged cattle. I'll save you from the grotesqueries and leave you with this. Yup. That's it. The tallest prairie dog in the world, standing in the dusty, 106 degree heat of Hayes Kansas. Totally worth the $5 admission. 
We finally made it to Utah, and Hans water skied to his little boy heart's content on the Deer Creek Reservoir. I'm impressed his form is still so good! Grandpa taught him well.
Meanwhile, I spent some quality time with Rick and Aileena's sweet little sprite, Audrey-Camille.
. . . and Hannah traveled the foreign land of Utah in Style.
We drove over a thousand miles for this photo. Again, worth it.
 Children, grandchildren and great grandchildren wish Grandma a happy birthday.
. . . followed by some muddy fun in the creek. :)
Hans and his cousins have a longstanding tradition of building a dam to create a swimming hole in the creek. Good work, boys!
Some of our favorite people, Rick and Aileena. Thanks for letting us crash at your place!
 . . . and just like that, we were on our way back, this time with Uncle Jed as an extra driver, which shaved a good 6 hours off the drive. Here is Hannah, fervently reminding him NOT to poop his pants in the car.

Tomorrow will be July part 2 - where the visitors come to us (yippee!).


Trina said...

It's good to see you posting again, Suzie! These are fun posts to read :)

Suzie said...

Thanks. :) I feel silly catching up here when I've been so up-to-date on facebook, but I figure it's a good way to decompress before jumping in with the here and now. :)

Ariad said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip

Suzie said...

Thanks for reading, Ariad! It really was!