Saturday, September 16, 2017

Birthday Trip to Vernal, Utah

Let me start off by saying I have the best husband there ever was. Now that that's out of the way, I can write about how great our 4 day trip to Vernal was. My birthday was  on a Thursday. The night before my birthday Darrin told me we were going to go on an overnight trip Friday-Saturday for my birthday and we should pack that night (Wednesday). HE helped the kids get all packed! I asked why we were packing Wednesday for an overnighter but he said that he didn't want me to have to worry about packing on my birthday. Then on my bday he told me my first gift-we were actually going on a 4 day trip and he'd already excused the kids from school, rescheduled a blood test I had to get done and switched me teaching RS with another teacher!! WHAT?! Like I said. Best husband ever. He had it all planned out and hotel booked. We were going to Vernal where we've never been and were going to be hiking, visiting museums, going to Flaming Gorge and having a blast. Here's the breakdown of the trip:

-Drove three hours to Vernal and checked into Hotel (Microtel by Windham)
-Got ready for bed. Kids were wild and we're jumping off the bed onto the floor. The hotel called our room because someone below complained about the noise coming from our room. Oops! :)

-Breakfast at the hotel. 
-Vernal Dinosaur Museum. The kids were pretty wild but we all thought it was really neat and learned a lot! 
-Lunch at sonic with a free shake for my birthday. 
-Adventure finding Moonshine Arch. Scary in our minivan with lots of deep dips in the dirt road. We finally found the trail. It was a mile each way and we decided flip flops were proper attire. Totally regret that. But, the arches were amazing and the kids did great hiking. We tried the hiking backpack with Rachel but she was too tiny and her head just bounced around so Darrin carried her the whole way. 
-Checked out the McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs. At first we totally weren't impressed and decided we aren't into Petroglyphs-they're pretty boring. But then we kept hiking and saw since really detailed shading ones and decided it was worth it this time. Petroglyphs of people holding cut off heads and a guy fighting a bear. Pretty neat! In total this hike was probably 2-3 miles. 
-Met mom and dad Simon at Winger's for dinner. 
-Came back to the hotel for swimming. It was Rachel's first time swimming and she was completely calm and straight faced :). 

-Breakfast at the hotel 
-Dinosaur National Monument park. We started by taking the shuttle to the Quarry Exhibit Hall where we saw the great Wall of bones with over 1,500 fossils embedded in the mountain with a building built around it. It was incredible to see that and visualize what it must have been like to be here when dinosaurs roamed 149 million years ago. 
-Visitors center and then on two hikes up by split mountain. Once again, the kids did so great on the hikes and we got in a few miles. 
-Vernal temple and walked around the grounds
-Denny's for dinner
-Walmart to get lunch and dinner for Sunday
-Hotel for swimming

-Got ready for church
-Breakfast at the hotel
-Drove to several churches for 9am church and they were deserted. We finally found out it was their regional conference today so there were no sacrament meetings.
-Got changed and headed to Flaming Gorge. Stops along the way like a stop where we looked for shark teeth and fish fossils that were supposedly scattered there. Found some cool stuff but neither of those things
-Flaming Gorge had amazing views! We also got to see the flaming gorge dam and visit the visitors center.
-Flaming Gorge Reservior and the boys and Darrin jumped in after much contemplating about it 😉. They said it was FREEZING and didn't go in again after jumping in once. 
-Back to the hotel to eat our dinner we got the day before. Microwave calzones and fresh salad. Yum!
-Swimming at hotel pool

-Breakfast at the hotel
-Checked out
-Drove to fantasy canyon which was amazing formations that looked like all sorts of creatures
-Park City for dinner and shopping to finish out my birthday weekend :)

We had a blast and I am so grateful that I was able to spend this time with my family for my birthday. Wouldn't have it any other way.