As of last night, we no longer have an empty nest. The last five weeks have flown by, because we were having fun. Not to worry, though, fun will continue; and besides, it is good to see youngest daughter again!
We've spent the past week meandering up to Utah, our pre-determined rendezvous point to retrieve our daughter. (As always, don't think we've left our house unattended.) Usually, the trip from our house to the Provo area takes about 9-10 hours or so. This time, we took 5 days. We stopped and played tourist as often as we wanted to.
1. We visited the Hoover Dam. The water level was low, due to the years of drought, but the dam itself was impressive. I'm thankful for such an example of great engineering and craftsmanship.
|Photo taken by putting camera out the window (in photo above) and shooting up.
|Look at the craftsmanship apparent inside the tunnels used for tourists! (The service tunnels, also on the tour nowadays, are strictly utilitarian.)
2. I'm thankful for air conditioning.
|Hoover Dam--but don't worry, it felt like only 112°!
3. I'm thankful that happiness isn't dependent on temperature. After Hoover Dam's heat, the Valley of Fire was no problem. We saw petroglyphs, lizards, and a wedding. We inadvertently crashed the wedding, when we pulled into a parking lot. Bride and groom and the entire wedding party had come all the way from Scotland to be married--in the parking lot at the Valley of Fire! Then the happy couple--she in her wedding gown, and he in his tuxedo--hiked up a steep rock for a photo shoot. Besides "Congratulations," all I could think of was how hot they must be!
(No photos of the wedding: I felt bad enough that we interrupted their ceremony with our arrival; I didn't dare take photos to document the occasion.)
4. I'm thankful for the comfortable give-and-take that defines the relationship John and I enjoy. For example, on the day we went to Valley of Fire, we also visited the National Atomic Testing Museum and the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory. I know John wouldn't have stopped at a chocolate factory if he had been traveling by himself, but he was more than willing to tour the factory with me--and he even gave me his free sample piece (which he probably would have done even if chocolate didn't give him migraines.) Likewise, I was happy to go look at rocks and learn about explosions. We have fun together.
5. I'm thankful also for the fun we have driving together. We spent more time than one might expect coming up with advertising slogans for a mortuary in Hurricane (HUR-u-cun), Utah. The winning slogan: "That, and so much more." The name of the company: Spilsbury Mortuary.
(Disclaimer: I appreciate the services that those in the mortuary business offer to grieving friends and family members, and I'm sure the Spilsbury Mortuary is a positive influence in the community of Hurricane.)
6. I'm thankful for the musical and acting talents we witnessed at a performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The mountains provide a beautiful backdrop to the Tuacahn Ampitheatre, but unfortunately, photos were not allowed. If you ever find yourself in St. George, Utah, go see a play!
7. I'm thankful for the beauty of Zion National Park.
8. Not only is Zion National Park beautiful, it presented me with one of the most unique hikes I've ever done: Zion Narrows. I'm thankful for the experience.
|Can you see me in the photo?
9. I'm also thankful for early morning hikes at Bryce Canyon National Park. (And fun with [untouched] selfies!)
10. Finally, and primarily, I am thankful for my family: John for the great guy that he is; my brother and his wife for hosting youngest daughter in their home these past 5 weeks; my children, who bring me joy; and my in-laws, who are celebrating their anniversary today with a houseful of kids and grandkids. (And of course I am thankful for my parents, my sister, my granddaughters, my grandma, and aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews. . . )
|Some of the bunch, and the best of the photos. I love these--and all of my--silly kids!
Thanks for a wonderful summer! Please link up your post below, and/or leave a comment sharing what you are thankful for this week!
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, Mother of Imperfection, Rewritten, Thankful Me, The Wakefield Doctrine
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