We went to Utah to visit my family, and most importantly, to meet my niece who is now seven weeks old. It's a pretty big deal, as we are a small family, and she is the first-born--and probably only born--grandchild my parents have. And trust me, she is cute, cute, cute! Of course I have to fight my mom to get any cuddle time with her, though!
This is the first time I have taken my stepchildren to Utah, and a lot of times I go to Utah alone while my sweetie stays home to work. He wasn't going to go this year either, but he was hired for a new job, so he took a few days between jobs to travel with us. He stayed for only half the trip before flying home.
This trip home was obviously different than the ones in the past. Everything revolved around what the kids might like to do. We went to a the Discovery Gateway children's museum in Salt Lake City, and while we were at Gateway, the kids danced around in the water at Downtown Olympic Plaza fountain. Although not quite as excited, we also visited the new Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum, or better known to the locals as the Dinosaur Museum. The kids weren't that thrilled with the museum, despite the fact that the new museum is a lot more kid-interactive than the Dinosaur Museum that I grew up with. (I was nostalgic for the the fossil-crowded, musty museum of my childhood, so I wasn't too impressed either.) We also visited a real splash park where we had a picnic. Oh, and I did my best to wait and wait and wait for the sun to go down on Independence Day so we could see the fireworks display. About 30 minutes before they started, I was ready to go home and go to sleep. The kids? Wide awake.
Usually when I visit my parents we spend time driving around like everyday is Sunday afternoon in 1955, looking at the sights, which right now in my hometown would be new houses on every piece of land one can find. We went on one drive to Dry Fork Canyon, where we also stopped to show the kids the Remember the Maine memorial on the cliff wall (after all these years, I still cannot fathom painting on that steep cliff wall) and to see if it the creek was really dry. It wasn't--yet.
We also frequent the coffee shop for iced coffee drinks to cool us off. Sometimes we'd go more than once a day. This time around I went twice. I really missed that ritual.
It wasn't like the typical summers at Mom and Dad's, and it wasn't very relaxing. It seemed like we were constantly on the go, and constantly trying to keep the kids occupied. Don't get me wrong, though. It was fun in a different way. However, the day after we came home, I announced to the kids that that day would be mine to do what I wanted, and they needed to entertain themselves and let me do what I wanted to do.
The first thing my stepson asked was, "Can we go swimming?"
Obviously it's going to take a few days to train them back into the idea that the world revolves around me--not them!