We made it home safely just as everyone got sick and it started to snow. Wheee!
I need to get a guest room for the Tiny Dark Lord to sleep in. Kid never got out of bed and slept like a log as soon as we put him down. Must have been a combination of exhaustion + nothing to get up and play with.
Also, the Tiny Dark Lord really is the best. He was just up for anything, and spent the whole time telling us how great everything was. "I love this bunk bed, Mom!" "I love hiking!" "Oh, this is so very beautiful!" "This is my one special rock from hiking!" I will cherish these memories when he's a teenager sulking his way through our family trips (or trying to get out of them altogether, which was my tactic as a teenager).
Loki was also great, aside from the constipation issues. He was fine in the Ergo carrier and even fell asleep in it a few times. He's just so chill and happy. I love him.
Our friends John and Loni brought their little guy Max, who is around 18 months old, and he and TDL actually enjoyed each other's company. The best was when they both rode in a double stroller around town and just jabbered at each other. GH's theory is that the Dark Lord can still remember Max's language ("Baby") and so was comfortable conversing. (Or it has something to do with being a Parseltongue.)
Max also loved little Loki and paid him way more attention than the Dark Lord ever does. Loki, in turn, loved Max a whole bunch.
We learned the small town business customs in Panguitch. The stores and restaurants don't list their hours. If it's dark and locked, that's how you know it's closed. When our friends asked an employee at Joe's Main Street Market (the local grocery store) when they close for the night, I think he said something about sundown. Plus you've got the whole tourism and not-tourism season happening. So I bet more places are open (and open for longer) during the summer.
Burgers at Henrie's Drive-In are good. And cheap. The friends who grabbed their shakes, though, said they were kind of icy. So maybe watch out for that.
Bryce Canyon National Park is pretty. And expensive. It's $25 per car to get into the park, but you get a 7-day pass. Of course no one could double up with us in the Accord because our two car seats take up the whole place. Yet another opportunity to dream about a Swagger Wagon. (The other opportunities involve TDL pushing open his door and narrowly and/or actually hitting the car next to us in parking lots. But I digress.)
The couple who doesn't have kids did all the long hard-core hikes, and the rest of us did easy baby stuff. We did the Sunrise to Sunset hike one day and the Mossy Cave trail the next. We weren't there at a great time of year for Mossy Cave, because the waterfall wasn't running yet and the ice in the cave was almost melted. And it kind of seemed like you could do Mossy Cave for free, since it's before the park entrance where you pay your $25. Just a little something to think about . . . There was a big group of teenagers there on a "prom date," which (I believe) is a Utah (or Utah-influenced) thing for extending the prom festivities all day
On our way out of the park we took Kim's recommendation and stopped for lunch and pie at the Bryce Canyon Pines restaurant. It was a little pricey for sandwiches and burgers, but everything was good and the portions were huge (like, you could probably share, especially if you're going to get dessert). GH got the chicken cordon bleu sandwich and I got the club sandwich on marble rye (which I could not finish). They also had some of the best fries I've ever eaten. I didn't want to ask how they made them so good, because it probably involves double-frying or batter or some other artery-clogging thing. Loni ordered Dr. Pepper and they brought it out to her in a quart-sized mason jar. And then gave her a huge refill for the road.
|Sorry about the poor lighting . . .|
And then . . . came the pie. It's about $5 a slice, which should be your cue to share. I wasn't picking up on cues, though, so GH and I each ordered a piece, like idiot people. I got coconut cream, which was tasty. He and John ordered the strawberry banana (plus ice cream) and oh my word. That stuff really was so good.
On Sunday morning we packed up and drove home. When I wasn't driving I got to knit, and we watched the beginning of Saturday night's General Women's Meeting on my phone until I couldn't get a signal anymore. The drive home took a lot longer (6 hours instead of 4.5) because we stopped for lunch at In-N-Out in Centerville and then had some lovely snow to deal with. The boys were really good, though:
I had the iPad loaded up with movies, but I never had to give it to TDL. He was happy with his magnetic drawing pad and took a long nap.
On the whole, the trip was a success! We might try it again some day.