Hey guys! Happy 4th of July! I hope you all had a pleasant holiday weekend. I ended up having a fun time with my family at one of Utah’s lesser known national parks called Capitol Reef National Park.
For many years my Dad has loved going down to Central Utah to ride his dirt bike motorcycles and ATVs with his friends over the rough terrain. Last year he bought a property for camping and such that he deemed as ‘Adventure Acres’. He loves going down there and getting away from the stresses of life which I can certainly appreciate.
That said, it’s never had much appeal to me because there is no lake, beach or river to swim in and I’m not interested in motorcycles or ATVs at all. I also don’t like to camp if it can be helped and red rock scenery is pretty but not my favorite.
Nevertheless, almost my entire family including all 5 of my nieces were going down to Adventure Acres for the 4th weekend so I decided to finally check it out. It’s still not my cup of tea but I had a good time spending time with my family.
The only frustrating part of the weekend for me was dealing with the slow internet connection at the hotel because my friend Jonathan and I recorded our podcast on the Doctor Who finale and it took 2 days to upload! You certainly do become grateful for high speed internet when you are away from it. That’s for sure!
Capitol Reef is not as splashy as Grand Canyon or Bryce with it all feeling like a small town but it still is beautiful and a lot of fun to visit especially if you are in to hiking and motorcycle dirt biking. I just enjoyed hanging out with my nieces and spending as much time with them as possible since they live in Portland, Oregon and the DC area and I don’t get to see them very much.
Anyway, we ended up having a good time together and I particularly loved spending time with my nieces. Here are some photos of the trip with commentary:
So we had a successful day in Disneyland. I was amazed at how much we go through in 1 day. I honestly did almost every ride I wanted aside from the one’s that were closed (thunder mountain railroad and haunted mansion are closed 😦 ). Its hard for me to stand and walk for hours. I was hoping as I got in better shape that would improve but it really hasn’t. In fact, if anything its gotten worse as my pain sensitivity and fibro has increased.
Tomorrow I plan on taking things more slowly with breaks. I also bought shoes today that should help. I just wish my feet and back weren’t so sensitive. It would make things like this a lot more fun.
It was also super hot today. 99 degrees with high humidity. Made the whole day challenging for me; nevertheless, it is the happiest place on earth and my first vacation in 3 years. Still had a great time and am very blessed. The prices also seemed more reasonable than I remembered them. I don’t know if that is because everything else has gotten more expensive or prices at Disney have gone down. Either way it wasn’t too bad.
As I have mentioned many times on this blog that the last summer has been crazy for me. I have gone from having one job, to thinking I had no job, to having 4 jobs! In the next few weeks things should down as we have 3 of the vacation rentals converted into long term rentals. I am glowingly proud of my work with these rentals. I think it is amazing I found 3 long-term tenants in under 2 months without a real estate license. All I did was use Craigslist and KSL classifieds! It has also been shocking at the level of interest in a 6 bedroom furnished rental. We are easily getting 3-4 calls a day on the house. If I had my license I would go around Suncrest and call all the homes for rent or for sale and offer to manage their property. I certainly have experience to brag about! I finally had to mark the homes as sold on the old ads because I felt bad at disappointing people. In addition, the two families moving into our homes in Draper are very nice. They are great people- the best.
With all this work, (I have only begun to describe everything- it has been 7 days a week, long hours!) I was eagerly awaiting our family trip down to Southern Utah. I think I could have been happy going just about anywhere but it was a particular treat to go to Cedar City and attend 3 plays at the Utah Shakespearean Festival. It is a Tony Award winning festival with a traditional outdoor theater, renaissance food and a green show with entertainment before the plays. It is one of my favorite things in Utah. In fact, attending the festival is one of the first theater experiecnes I remember. When you are from a big family there isn’t a ton of alone time with parents. This made it particularly special when my dad took me at 8 years old to see Taming of the Shrew, Blithe Spirit, Merchant of Venice, and Volpone. I am not sure why it was just me but it was a great memory. I still have the old programs. Since that first trip I have been 5 or 6 times and just love it!
Before arriving at the festival things were a bit bumpy. The original plan was to take the Greyhound down to Cedar and meet up with my family who would be arriving from California (they had to make the trip anyways because Anna was coming out to BYU). Tuesday night (the night before their expected departure) Madeline got very sick. We were even afraid she might have the swine flu but it was a different infection (still not fun but better than the alternative). At first we thought the entire trip would be off, but after a restful day and antibiotics she was able to travel comfortably in the car.
This delay meant I arrived on the Greyhound (which despite all the horror stories was quite pleasant and affordable) and saw the first play by myself. It worked out great because the hotel had a shuttle, and I had food ordered to my room. It was nice to have one day of vacation all to myself. That night I saw Henry V, which was excellent. It was probably just as well that the kids couldn’t make it because it was a pretty serious and war-torn play. I don’t know if they would have liked it.
On Friday the rest of my family arrived and we saw 2 plays- Comedy of Errors and As You Like It. The former was our favorite. It was funny and in an air conditioned auditorium. (As much as I love the quaintness of the outdoor theater, it was brutally hot and muggy). I have heard the festival is loosing funding and the shows aren’t able to get the professional actors they used to get. I saw a little of this in As You Like It. You think with all this stimulus money programs like the festival could get a little stimulus. It is after all a tourist attraction to the city and generates income while being an artistic gem. Oh well, that’s a topic for another post (btw, I have been selected to write a guest post for the blog http://rightwingchicky.wordpress.com. Still working on it but if you have any ideas let me know).
After the festival we set off to see Bryce National Park and Capitol Reef National Park for 2 days. Even with the car sickness, it was beautiful-red rock formations bursting of more than just red. Purple, orange, yellow, black, white and more. We even saw some petroglyphs and laughed about an ancient pictionary game gone array. Can’t you just picture someone carving in the stone and their wife saying “that’s supposed to be a warrior?”.
It was a lot of driving and we did grow weary of it after a while, but it was still a nice trip overall. The one hick-up we had was on Sunday my dad decided to take a dirt road to show us some of his favorite camping sites. Naturally I asked “why are we taking this road, when we can take the regular road”. My dad responded “Because it is beautiful and it is a smooth road”. I still can’t believe that a grown man was debating with me about taking a dirt road vs a regular road. To me it makes as much sense as selecting a horse and carriage over a car!
So, we are going down this dirt road and all of the sudden I hear a hissing noise- almost like a rattle snake but it keeps going.
My dad stops the car and yes, you guessed it- we had a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. To make matters worse we had borrowed the car from a friend and didn’t know where the jack was or any other items. We also had tons of stuff in the car, which we had to remove in order to the get the jack. It was one of the more complicated spares I have ever been a part of changing, but in fairly quick time my dad had it figured out and changed. Unfortunately as we were getting back in the car dad checked out the other tires and noticed a bubble in the another one. Clearly we only have one spare tire. I can’t over-state that we were in the middle of nowhere on a dirt road. It was the kind of place where you would expect to see a flying saucer!
We only had one car pass us on the dirt road as we changed the tire and they didn’t even stop to see if we are ok. Can you believe that? Rude! My dad kept saying we could camp out overnight but we had no tents or pillows. I am sure all of you can just see me camping out in the middle of nowhere waiting to be rescued. Naturally I prayed extra hard we would get out alive and without having to camp out. Thankfully we did just that, finally ending up in Price, UT.
There is a canyon going from Price to Spanish Fork and we were so nervous about the bubble in the tire that we decided to stay the night. It was just too risky going on a narrow highway without a shoulder on a bad tire. We ended up at the Price Holiday Inn in a double suite. The room was nice and we even got to swim before the night was over. Big O Tires was open at 8 am Monday morning, so we had the tires fixed early and got on our way early. As much as I enjoyed the trip, I was definitely grateful to be back home, safe and not stuck on a dirt road in Southern Utah. I certainly will not need to take the scenic route again for a while!
My family has been in town the rest of the week helping get Anna checked into college at my Alma matter Brigham Young University. It was so great getting her settled into her apartment. Today was the last day before my parents left and it was quite the goodbye. It brought back so many memories of my first year at BYU. It was a happy time in my life. I was so excited and ready to be out on my own. I am almost envious of Anna and all the great experiences she is going to have.
So, this has been a long, rambling travelogue. My apologies, but it was an eventful couple of weeks. Now I am back to work on sales tax, vacation rentals, real estate school, and Grabber events. Busy, busy, busy, but happy.