Visiting with Rob's great aunt Elizabeth was our first stop the morning after we arrived, which was maybe a tactical error, as the kiddos were jet lagged and a little bit horrible while we were there. She was very understanding though and we did get this sweet picture of Amelie and her beautiful great-great aunt.
Grandpa Anderson won Toby's immediate and lasting admiration when he asked him to help tighten some bolts. They also played Mexican Train (dominoes), Ticket to Ride, and spent hours discussing dinosaurs and fossils.
We went with Grandma and Grandpa to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point and had a great time learning, playing, and exploring.
That is a giant sea turtle skeleton chasing Charlotte and Toby.
We had to go have lunch at our alma mater after that, buy some new BYU swag, and teach the kids about lounging on the quad. Amelie was unimpressed, but Charlotte thinks maybe she would like to go to BYU and major in art.
Then we took advantage of the availability of free babysitting and went on our typical Utah date- dinner at an Indian restaurant followed by a drive and walk around in the mountains.
Rob was daring enough to cross this "bridge" while I stayed safely on the bank and took his photo.
He made it to the crazy rocks on the other side and of course had to climb on them. Though you can tell, even he is a little tense with that balancing boulder so nearby.
On Friday we invited some of my old friends and roommates, and some of Rob's cousins to join us for a picnic in the park. Here is beautiful Anna with Rammy. He has dimples every bit as deep as hers, which are amazing! Also, despite having not seen each other in a looooong time, Anna and I were wearing the exact same shirt in different colors. Too funny.
Anna (with Rammy,) Karen (with Amelie,) Me, and Alecia (with Austin.)
I am blessed to know so many amazing women! (Note: Karen's hair is not gray, she came directly from the school where she teaches and had been playing the part of Ilsa from Frozen for her students that morning because she is a cool teacher like that.)
Sweet Cissy and her oldest, Matt.
Cissy and I were friends way back when we were teens! She hasn't aged even a little bit.
You might think we were done with dinosaurs, but you'd be wrong! The Natural History Museum at the University of Utah was hosting a special exhibit on the history of chocolate with a guided tasting, so obviously we had to go to that! I loved the interactive exhibits for the kids like this one where Jake explored a replica of a dwelling for ancient man that had "peek-a-boo" type doors to learn more about what different parts of the space were used for.
Rob's parents, sisters Becky and Rachel, and cousin Annie and her kiddos joined us for this one and we spent like 3 1/2 hours there! It was a great place but we didn't even go to one level at all, because by this point a few of us were starting to come down with colds and were feeling tired and achy.
We rested up and went to church on Sunday. After that, Rob was still feeling pretty awful, so he stayed home with Charlotte and Amelie while the boys and I went to have dinner with my friend Suzanne and her family. Connor had to go to bed early, but I did get a picture of Gracie in all of her fancy finery chilling with my boys.
I love whenever I get a chance to spend time with this girl, but it was like a speed-talking marathon as we tried to fit a few years worth of visiting into a couple of hours' time... while supervising our kids!
Monday was our last day in Utah. We had planned to see more of Karen, but she was sick. And I also had hoped to see my friend Sarah, but circumstances prevented that from happening as well. Rob's sister and her family live about 100 miles away and had just had a new baby, but we couldn't seem to fit a visit there in to our schedule either. So we talked Grandma into visiting Temple Square with us.
Oh, and one more museum. The Church History Museum has a fun exhibit about the pioneers, so we made a quick visit there and let the boys use their muscles pulling a handcart.
Then we visited the Conference Center which was completed in 2000. This place seats 27,000, if I remember correctly, and there are extensive rooftop gardens and beautiful original pieces of artwork. We enjoyed our brief tour.
This is the view of the Salt Lake Temple from the roof of the Conference Center. We had such a nice visit, and only wish that we could have seen more people and spent more time with those that we did see. We came home quite worn out and a bit under the weather, but we are sure to all be well again in time for Easter. Thank you to Rob's Mom and Dad for hosting us and feeding us such yummy food! We are so glad we were able to make the trip and spend time with you.