We never expected to be so taken in by Janis' sister Elaine and her husband John, and by Janis' sisterinlaw Colleen and her mother Beth. They were so kind and insisted it was no trouble to feed us nearly every meal starting Saturday night all the way through Monday night! It's not easy to add an extra 6 people to your table! However, Pat and I kept commenting on how relaxing it was. He said, it was the most relaxed vacation he's had in a long time. There was a fantastic BBQ and I ate a whole huge burger in spite of myself because it was so good, and home-made donuts with everything you could want for breakfast, and delicious fried chicken and BBQ chicken and all the picnic fixin's, and terrific pork loin with the best potatoes and corn and desserts! We thought we were just having 4th of July with all the family and were surprised (happily so) that we got to have much more time with them!
Below is the big picture dump with as many activities as I remembered to take pictures of. The first thing we did in Blanding is their water park and the kids had a great time, but for me and LN there wasn't a space anywhere to sit or a bit of shade that wasn't taken so it was pretty hard and I wasn't thinking of taking pictures. It was really busy because anyone with any connection to Blanding comes home for the 4th of July weekend since they really know how to celebrate! Next some sight seeing:
|The boys out site seeing in Blanding. The tower.|
|Old Pioneer Home.|
|D pulling wagon.|
|Finding a geo-cash.|
|Fun mound of dirt that the boys later found out was a home that you could go into pictured below.|
On the Fourth there was a parade and it was so fun! The boys especially loved the big fire trucks and construction trucks that sprayed some fierce water! I got to sit next to Colleen's mom Beth and she is almost 99 years old and just as spry as can be. Last year she was the grand marshall of the parade as the oldest citizen of Blanding.
|Getting ready for the parade!|
|Setting up our spot|
|LN sitting on the curb ready to grab candy!|
|My favorite! Not only was this band playing Hoop-de-doo our favorite polka song which is actually the only polka song we know, but just check out the name of the band. Gadianton Band.|
At our hotel there was a pool and we'd go swim whenever we could with Matthew. We did our skits for everyone too. It was so nice to sit on the lawn and enjoy a)grass, since that is a luxury here in NM, and b)seeing other families having BBQ's on their lawns, and c)have beautiful trees shading us and sidewalks and nice yards for the kids to play in. I never knew how much I'd miss those things.
One of the days there we all had a BBQ in the park. It was the best park. Old school. Blanding really seemed like a cross between Utah and New Mexico. There were a lot of Native Americans there like here, along with the pioneer stock. I fell in love with one little Indian boy at this park and wanted to take him home with me!
|Old school slide would make you shoot off at the end!|
|Old teeter-tooters! Notice how S and E are exactly the same weight. E is shorter but S is skinnier.|
|Old see-saw (I think that's what it's called). All I know is all of this equipment was adult friendly and look at Pat and Dallas go!|
Pat and Matthew were spinning the kids and I felt so sorry for them when I heard that two kids got thrown off (one was Evan and he got scraped up), and two other kids threw up. Yet I wish they'd bring back real playground stuff like this. Can you see Dallas in these nearly getting thrown?
|LN loves swinging and had a great time. Funny story: LN fell and was crying and that made Papa Scott start crying. I was chuckling but it was very sweet. The world needs more caring people.|
Sam and I went early in the morning on the Fourth to run the mile run together, but when they shot the gun and it was time to start he suddenly didn't feel good and the sun was too bright. He really is very sensitive to the sun and has trouble with his eyes so we just walked a bit and then quit.
Then late at night there was a small fair where we let the kids ride three rides each and then we all sat on a blanket to watch the fireworks.
The firework show was so awesome. There was a band out playing good music and then when it was finally 10pm they started the fireworks. Once I thought it was over and we all got up and suddenly the REAL finale started and it was so spectacular! We all went back to our hotel happy, having had a great vacation and in the morning bid farewell to Papa Scott and Janis who were right next door to us and started the long drive home. Our car did break down twice, but was quickly fixed and we made it home safe! Thanks so much for inviting us Papa Scott and Janis! We had such a great time!