I hope you are ready! This post is going to have a lot of content from my trip this past weekend to Utah. We celebrated Juju and Riri's birthdays, attended Mariana's cheer competition, took pix of Elias and his family Christmas tree shopping, had a blast at Utah Lake, and my trip ended with an adventurous blizzard drive to the airport.
I will take this post chronologically, starting with Friday. When I arrived at the airport, I had to rush to get the rental car and drive to the twins' school. I surprised them by picking them up early. They were surprised when I showed up in their gym class. When we got in the car, I told them that I was taking them to the penguin experience at the Living Planet Aquarium, they FREAKED OUT. We had a blast at the aquarium and the penguins were ridiculously cute. It was truly an amazing experience.
The video below tells a pretty good story of this part of the trip. There are also photos below the video from the penguin experience and from the rest of the aquarium visit. Below those photos is another video of just the general aquarium visit.
CHEERING FOR MARIANA!
Saturday morning the girls and I went to Mariana's cheer competition in Salt Lake City. It was really fun. I forgot that I liked cheer competitions. Mariana and her team did well. Mariana is just a radiant beam of smiles while she cheers. She really had great presence and energy.
Video and pix found below.
THE FAMILY TREE
Then on Saturday afternoon I went with Elias, Sara, Ellie and Jude to take pix at their Christmas tree place. The lighting was absolutely perfect and we got some nice pix. It was really, really cold and we could only be outside for about 10 minutes. The babies were cold with quivering lips.
On Sunday, after having a birthday breakfast at IHOP with the girls, we drove out to a state park on Utah Lake and enjoyed playing on the ice, taking pix, going down a long road that goes out into beautiful marshlands, and let Yana drive.
ELIAS' HOOPTIE GARAGE
Elias took me for a tour of all the cars he and his friend are working on at their house. You can see from the video, I know a lot about cars.
THE SNOWY JOURNEY
I arose Monday morning early. I decided I would leave a few minutes early. When I walked outside, I immediately noticed it was snowing. Elias lives in a basement of a house with no windows in the living area. So I had no idea it has been snowing.
I had to brush about 2 inches of snow off of the car. When I got on the road, I was able to manage the snow on the back roads. When I merged onto I-15 North, the roads were a bit snowy, but very manageable. I initially thought it would take a bit longer. However, the further I drove, the more it snowed and the worse the roads became. It culminated with about a 20 minute stoppage that not even the snow plows could get around for a while.
I technically made it to the airport before my flight left, however, I was not there in time to check in and get to the gate. So I took a later flight. My entire journey took over 12 hours when it should have been about 5.