This was the day Ben became interested in photography and borrowed our camera to get all kinds of neat shots.
Super Dad, again!
Abbey is queen of the mountain!
Aww, cute couple!
I love my baby's hugs.
One last stop to see some wildlife. Be careful of this one...she's crazy!
We found some bison that you could get really close to, while having the comfort of being across a small river from them (feeling somewhat protected).
And our last few cooking adventures over the fire. Hanging around the campsite, cooking and relaxing were a really fun part of this trip!
Madgie and I in front of their little RV.
Here's the whole group!
We took two separate paths out of Yellowstone. Chris and Ginny went straight back to Salt Lake City, but we took the longer route in order to make a quick stop in the Grand Tetons. On our way out of Yellowstone, we stopped to get a picture by the sign.
We made it to the Grand Tetons (which was not far)!
Madgie and Patch decided to come along on our route for some extra sightseeing.
Absolutely stunning views from the drive.
We got to the visitor center, which was under construction, and decided to take a quick boat tour.
On the boat.
Playing by the lake.
On our drive back to Salt Lake City, we had to go through a totally desolate area where we got no cell phone coverage and saw no people (or other cars). We did see cows grazing everywhere and no fences to keep them in, so we had to stop and wait for a few to cross the road. It was, as Paul says, an adventure! Finally we made it back to Salt Lake City. Madgie and Patch left the next day as they got a call that Grandma was in the hospital and not doing well. So they rushed back to Jacksonville to be with her. We spent the morning cleaning out and returning the RV's, but then in the afternoon, we decided to relax and take the kids to see Finding Dory in the theater. It was Matthew's and Brendan's first time in a theater and I think they enjoyed it!
The next day Uncle Chris, Aunt Ginny, and Brendan left to get back to Cincinnati. We had an extra day to spend seeing Salt Lake City, so our first stop was going to see the Great Salt Lake.
We were surprised at how far out the water was and also how shallow it was. There had been a low snow fall that winter and they get all of their water from snow melting from the mountains, so the lake level was really low.
Matthew was excited to play in the sand.
It was a long walk out to the water's edge - probably about a half mile on hot sand!
Finally we got to the water. It was so shallow that we had to walk more to get out to where we could float. It was a little chilly.
But finally we got in and were having fun floating in the salty water.
Even I had to get in and try it out!
Matthew wasn't such a fan of the chilly water, but he did enjoy looking for rocks on the beach and throwing them into the water.
With the high salt content, we found that we were able to skip rocks really easily, which was fun for everyone!
While we dried off we noticed that the salt just stuck to our bodies. It was a little gross to have salt dried on your skin - so much that it was visible and hard to brush off. A shower sure felt good!
Just some selfies!
We also decided to go see Temple Square, which is the big Mormon Church. It was beautiful, although you are not allowed to go inside the Church if you are not Mormon. We did take a tour of the grounds though and learned a lot about the religion, which was very interesting. There were also excellent museums there about Mormonism. It was very informative.
This is inside the Tabernacle where the famous Tabernacle Choir sings. We were unable to hear them as their practice times didn't coincide with our timing in Salt Lake City, but it was still neat to see.
The tour got to be a little too much information for Matthew, so I took him outside to just walk around the grounds. It is really beautiful there with a lot of statues and fountains and gardens.
And the next day we headed home. We had some flight delays, but everyone was so good. Here's Matthew and I hanging out at the gate waiting for our plane.
Once we got into the air, this poor baby passed out. He wanted so badly to sit in my lap, but the flight attendants would not let him for take off. So after a lot of crying, he finally settled down like this and fell asleep. Sweet sweet baby!
What an awesome trip we had!! I can't even describe how great this trip was. The kids got to be outside, run around with their cousins, see amazing sites, and just relax and have some quality family time without any electronic distractions. It was great that Paul didn't have to check in with work because of the lack of connectivity too! Thank you to Madgie and Patch for this trip! And thanks to Aunt Ginny for going along with the camping. Next trip choice is yours!! Love you all.