Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fantastic Friday

Friday, August 5, found me at a kid's fun center with Elly, Nathan, Matthew, Maggie, Becca and some friends to celebrate Maggie's sixth birthday. Most of the celebration took place at the small, kid-friendly water park on the premises.

Nathan immediately tried out the big slides. He loved them! He tried talking Matthew into joining him but Matthew fearfully refused. They played together on the shark slide for a while but Nathan soon made his way back to the big slide for the big thrills.

The smaller whale slide was just right for Becca, Maggie and friends.

Becca joined the dance competition in her swim vest. She could not be persuaded to take it off! Eventually, Maggie was rocking away, too.

After much cajoling, Matthew finally got brave enough to try the big slide. One run and he was hooked! Soon Maggie and her friends were hitching rides with Nathan to careen down the slide as well.
Becca was perfectly happy to flit back and forth between kiddie pool and whale slide.

Party time! Who could resist the smiley-face-with-sunglasses cake (made by Elly)....

...or the shark's teeth, ice cream and lemonade or root beer provided by the fun center.

After the party and as part of the entertainment, we watched Maggie catch handfuls of real money in the wind tube and then "fish" for a prize. She caught a colorful light rod.

The planned two hour party turned into a four hour one, The kids were having too much fun. What a wonderful birthday party for Maggie! I'm so glad I got to help out.

I left the party at the originally scheduled departing time so that Jim and I could make the drive to Morgan to join some of my family for dinner and the rodeo.

We enjoyed having the chance to spend time with family! The rodeo was an interesting cultural experience. It was especially fun watching the kids chase after the bunnies and ride the frisky sheep.

What a super fantastic Friday!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The End of July Found Us In Adventure Mode

Last Friday night we were in the mood for a date night adventure. We considered going on a bicycle ride but decided hiking to Doughnut Falls would be the perfect activity for a hot summer day. As we drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon, we were struck by the beauty of the towering cliffs and the lush green vegetation. The well-traveled trail to the falls meandered through meadows covered with wild flowers, quaking aspen groves....

...and evergreen forests alongside a turbulent stream.

Because of the excess amounts of water cascading down Doughnut Falls, getting close was almost impossible. Jim bravely clambered over some rocks, soaking his feet in the process, to get a better view and a photo or two.

After several attempts, we finally got some pretty good photos of ourselves.
Meadows filled with yellow wild flowers caught our eye as we drove from the trailhead parking lot. What beauty and serenity!

We continued the drive up the canyon to the ski resort Solitude, hoping to find a place to have dinner. The first restaurant we encountered was packed. Even the appetizers at the second were out of our budget. We explored Solitude for a few minutes, in spite of our rumbling tummies, and found ourselves enchanted by the place. It's already on Jim's list of favorite places to ski! We ended up stopping at our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner as we made our way home.

Early the next morning, we loaded our bicycles in the truck and drove to the Jordan River Parkway for a bicycle ride along the river trail. We rode for about eleven miles along a paved trail through cow pastures, natural areas and developed parks. The sights and smells brought back memories of my childhood and the farm, located in an area a few miles north, where I spent about nine years of my youth. It was a fantastic ride!