Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vacation 2009

We were lucky enough to enjoy visitors last month. Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Rachel and Great Grandpa were able to come see us for almost a week from Kansas. After they stayed and played for a while, we all headed down to Utah for a family reunion. Be prepared for some insane cuteness in shocking quantities.
Our daughter loves the water (like most toddlers) and one day while playing with our visitors, Alyson had a brilliant notion. Why not keep some of this water for later? I was at work, so I'm glad Mom's as much of a paparazzo as I am. :)
Can't forget the sunscreen! Alyson loves to put lotion on - fortunately she's a whitey so she has a lot of that to look forward to in her life.

Hanging out at home while waiting for dinner. Check out my little girl - "Hey, Go long!"

Alyson with Great-Grandpa

Alyson's first baseball game with Grandpa, Grandma, Mommy and Aunt Rachel.

Oh yes, Grandpa knows what we like.

Heading to Utah. Alyson did such a good job! We had quite an adventure actually. While driving through a wind storm in Idaho, the truck in front of us lost a piece of its trailer. Yes, the flat 1'x5' piece of hard liner blew off of the trailer and into us. Fortunately it didn't come through our windshield or it would have wiped Alyson and me out.
We caught up with the driver and he pulled over to help us assess the damage. There wasn't much thank goodness - just a couple scratches that weren't that deep, scuffs on the passenger side mirror and a majorly bent antenna. I wish I had a picture of it - it was actually comical - almost a perfect 90% angle in the antenna - it added a nice touch of goofusness.
All in all, the experience added about an hour to our trip to get everything settled, and the rest of the trip was uneventful. This picture is Alyson playing with Grandpa towards the end of the trip.
Daddy and Alyson sleeping right before the reunion. Soak it up while you can, honey. :)

Grandma holding Alyson at Aunt Virginia's house. Not much interesting going on, but I love this picture, so it's in here.

The day after the reunion, a partial post party dessert was in order. Here, we're waiting for a table big enough for our group so that we can enjoy insanely good brownie sundaes.

Grandma, Grandpa and Alyson at Deseret Book in Orem after dessert.
That night, (Independence Day) we were lucky enough to go to the Stadium of Fire. Thanks Mom! (I mean Grandma) We had a great time. This massive flag had been used in many displays and events over the years and for the first time had the opportunity to fly free. It was beautiful and impressive.
Grandma, Grandpa and Alyson getting settled in our seats before the Stadium of Fire started.
After the major sponsors completed their drawings and introductions, we were treated to a four fighter jet flyover with live feed of the lead pilot. Veerrry cool.

Aly loved it, but of course, she is going to be a fighter pilot someday (or navy seal, or astronaught...)
My sister Rachel and me at the Stadium of Fire. Aren't we cute?

Alyson and Grandma applauding the Stadium of Fire dancers (before they broke out the fire dancing - that was insane).

We all loved being at the front of our section. It was easy to get in and out (easy escape turned out to be a very good thing at the end when there was a stampeded for the doors) and the added bonus was that Alyson just couldn't get enough of draping herself over it.

Oh, look! A couple of Black Hawk helicopters are coming for a flyover!

Yes, Alyson definitely loved those...
...and was looking for more.

Rachel and our cousin Brett.

It was shockingly loud there. We were treated to two different musical presentations. Shedaisy and the Jonas Brothers were both there and though I'm sure they did sound checks that day, it was too loud. You could hear it perfectly with your ears covered. The worst part though was not the bands. It was the shrieking, insane, beside themselves teenage fans. I was worried I'd have permanent hearing damage.

Looks like Mom and Dad (I mean Grandma and Grandpa) were worried about the same thing. :)
What a good sport - too loud, but still a good fan.

The beautiful, massive flag that was highlighted earlier was ready to be retired. I'd only learned that day that the approved and appropriate way to retire a flag is by burning. It has such a negative reputation, but it's respectful when done correctly. This had a marine escort and salute and a verbal salute highlighting the history and service of the flag. It was humbling to observe it.

Aly got lots of snuggles that evening - we were worried about the loud cheering and booms of the fireworks. I didn't think that she'd let us keep anything over her ears, otherwise I'd have brought her something to wear. I think being held close with our hands over her ears may have made her nervous, but maybe she was a little on her own. She was a very good sport though - she loved seeing the lights and the pretty colors, just not a fan of the noise.

The day we had to head home, Alyson got to play with Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa's dog Emma. She was so cute following her around.

She even wanted to follow her through her special door.

Playing Ring around the rosie with Great-Grandma

Sitting with Great-Grandma before heading back home.

So that Mom (I mean Grandma) could prove that I do exist, she tooks some pictures of Aly and me. Look! I'm not just a voice in cyberspace!

Playing with Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa's merry go round.

More random sisterly cuteness.

Ooh, Dad (I mean Grandpa) wants in on the merry go round action.

Mom, Rachel and me before heading home.

Oh, and Alyson has discovered the doggie door again.
But how do you get IN it?

Ohhhh! By opening the door!
I hope you've enjoyed our photo vacation. We had a blast!