I'm sitting here in a beautiful hotel suite in beautiful Sedona, Arizona with my beautiful family having a grand old time. After an exhausting fun filled day, the kids are unwinding in front of the t.v. and John and I are staring at our computer screens.
Since we are having a blast, I guess I can finally look back and laugh on the disastrous attempt at vacationing last go round.
Our trip to Moab was cursed from the beginning. Seriously, even this blog post has been cursed...it has somehow self-posted more than once, before I'd even written a word. So if anyone actually reads this and has already seen these photos, I apologize. Cursed, I tell you. Cursed.
The drive down itself was a nightmare. Okay, it actually was a little bit funny. Well, I laughed. John did not.
So to sum it up, the 3 hour drive took 5. During those tedious 5 hours we stopped 3 times for potty breaks, lost a shoe, heard "are we there yet" countless times and had a faucet of blood spontaneously erupt from Macie's nasal cavity. After not one, not two, but THREE exploding blow-outs by our sweet Tessa, we were officially out of wipes. Which didn't bode well considering the mysterious fecal matter on John's hand...we'll just stop there.
We all sighed a huge breath of relief when we at last pulled into our hotel. Only it wasn't our hotel. Our reservation was at "the other" Best Western in Moab. So we drove there. Nope, not that one. It was actually the first one we went to. Keep in mind we'd been in the car for way too long with a screaming diarrhea-ing baby and three
hellions rambunctious angels...oh, and we were pulling a trailer. Yes, back to the original hotel we went. It was at this point John decided to start speaking with a heavy western twang, or his version of one. Cole (who never EVER gets embarrassed) was mortified when John informed the hotel staff of their mistake with his new found identity.
Finally. FINALLY. We arrived and unpacked and headed to the pool.
Except when we got to the pool John realized we couldn't get in because he didn't have the room/pool key. The room keys were in the room. Oh, and we forgot Tessa's diapers. Oh, and it was at least 105 degrees. Oh, and the key to the trailer somehow flew out of John's hands and was sucked into the abysmal crack between the driver's seat of our car and the center console, never to be found again. Like never. Despite John spending a good half hour in the oven of a car, cramming his arm into impossible crevices, the key remains there to this day. Luckily only our bikes and most of our belongings were in that locked-for-all-time trailer.
Lessons learned (up to this point):
1. Always pack extra wipes.
2. Don't ever assume anyone else has the room key.
3. Don't travel with children.
After a trip to the hardware store, John and his McCoyverish ways, pried open the lock, recovered the room key, AND purchased diapers.
Finally, to the pool we went...
Where the kids swarmed their hero while Mom tried to restore her blood pressure.
So at this point I think we had a bit of fun. I remember thinking, was swimming in this mediocre hotel pool worth all that?
The laughter and joy on the kids faces as they leaped over one other may have been worth it.
Another lesson learned:
4. The local rec-center is always an option.
The next day we were off to explore.
I think I've blocked this part of the trip out because I can't quite remember all that went wrong except for that things did go horribly horribly wrong. I do remember driving around and around and around trying to find a parking spot that wasn't miles away. I do remember our water pack closure-piece was m.i.a. I do remember waiting 30 minutes in the sweltering heat for McCoyver to fashion a replacement part using hair ties and bobby pins. It didn't work. There's more I'm sure, but we'll just leave it at that.
At last, we were off to hike three miles to the famous Delicate Arch...
So we literally walked about 10 yards, snapped the above pics, stopped to tie multiple pairs of shoes, heard "I'm hot!" and "I'm thirsty!" at least a dozen times...it was at this point, John and I looked at each other and knew it was over. It takes a smart person to know when to quit, at least that's what we tell ourselves when things just get too hard. We returned the few steps to the car and called it a day.
More lessons learned:
5. Do not go to Moab or Arches National Park or anywhere in Southern Utah in June. Or July. Or August.
Feeling pretty discouraged, we opted to drive around the Park and see what we could see.
At one view point, an angel disguised as a discouraged parent much like ourselves, informed us of the ideal way to spend our day...
Just feet from the parking lot lurks Sand Dune Arch, otherwise known as the biggest sand box ever.
The kids wasted no time at all kicking off their shoes and exploring.
With shade here and there, it was the perfect place for a young family (way out of their league) to spend the day.
Tessa ate (and threw) plenty of sand and was in heaven in her Daddy's hands...
Macie showed off her gymnastic abilities...
Coley climbed, rolled and soared...
And Wyatt did this...
Which was so unlike him. Seriously I'm still shocked. Besides creating the biggest nightmare of sand in hair, eyes, nose, and mouth (not to mention ears, pillow, bed, undies, car, etc) he jumped and climbed to his heart's content.
Clearly we would highly recommend this area of the park to anyone with young kiddos, if you're willing to deal with the aftermath that is. Which brings me to another lesson:
6. Sand in every nook and cranny = Pain.
Despite the rough beginning, middle, and (SPOILER ALERT) end...there were some fabulous moments mixed in with the crazies and Sand Dune Arch was definitely top of the list for us.
Not the Best Vacation Ever - Part 2 coming soon.
PS. I love my family. More than anything. Sometimes I just need to vent, ya know. And let's be honest, pictures sometimes paint a perfectly unrealistic picture. Just keepin it REAL.
PSS. Arches National Park is stunningly beautiful.