Friday afternoon, we headed to Logan. My grandma had planned a family trip for the next day, and since they were going to have the entire extended family together, they had decided to do family pictures first thing Saturday morning.
Josh & I had our date night on Friday night at the Beehive Grill. It was so good!
Then bright and early Saturday morning, we headed to the park by my uncle's house in Richmond. We had to be there by 7 AM! We each took turns getting family pictures, extended family pictures, grand kids pictures, etc. I can't wait to see how they all turn out.
I took a few pictures on my phone while we were playing around waiting for everyone to finish up.
I LOVE this picture of my sister and Daxsen. She and I were sitting on the bench visiting when Daxsen climbed up between us. He is becoming such a big boy! Anything his brother, or anyone else for that matter, can do, so can he. He sat between us like he was one of the adults.
See what I mean! He looks like such a grown up boy in this picture. He's got his cookie grahams and his juice box and he was going to town with them. I've always felt like he was my baby nephew, but not anymore, he is getting big!
After pictures, we headed to McDonald's for breakfast.
After that, we headed off to Idaho, with the plan to meet up at Craters of the Moon National Monument. Only my mom and grandma had been there before, so we were excited.
Craters of the Moon is an area where a volcano erupted like 2000 years ago. There was several different areas where you can get out and take different trails to see different scenery and different landscape of the hardened lava. It was a lot of information to take in, while trying to spend time with family and chase two little boys around. So I have a lot of pictures, but can't give specific details about them. Mostly, I took the pictures because I thought something looked cool.
As we were driving into the park, Josh spotted this rock chuck, so we stopped to get a picture of him. I should also mention, that was while driving up the road at highway speeds, Josh spotted a burrowing owl. He often has to look for them for his job, but usually while on foot. He's taking a few pictures for me, and I think they are so cute! I keep joking that he needs to get me one as a pet. So when he saw one, I was sad I didn't see it too. We thought about turning around, but didn't know where everyone else was and didn't want to hold them up.
When we pulled up to one area, there was a group of people taking pictures of a rock. We were pretty sure they had found some kind of creature, so I quietly walked to where they were standing, even though it was clearly the end of the pathway. But it paid off because I got a few pictures of a squirrel.
My aunts Renee & Janet.
One of the stops was this large peak of cinders that you could hike up. It didn't look THAT huge, so we headed up. You can't see it, but it has a false peak. Then it goes flat for a little bit and then heads up again.
Finally we made it to the top! My mom & grandma stayed down below with the boys and my aunt Renee and Janet stayed there too, but everyone else made it up there. The view was beautiful so I'm glad I did it!
My uncle Glade, Aunt Tamara and their family.
The only problem with going up is, we had to climb back down.
About half way through the park, we stopped for a break. My grandma had a cake to snack on. I think this area was the boys favorite because they could run where ever they wanted to. Every where else, they were strapped in a stroller, or having to hold our hands so they didn't wander off the pathways. This area gave them a chance to burn off some energy.
You can't see it well, but Daxsen is rubbing chap stick all over his face, mostly in his ear.
Then we were off again. At the next area, there was 2 pathways. We decided to split up. Most of the group went one way, but Alden, Josh & I headed the other. We knew it had a cave and we wanted to check it out.
We didn't realize it until later, but this was that cave. A person can enter it, but at their own risk.
I wish I understood all the science of the area so it would make a little more sense. Most of the area is very desolate. There is some plant growth, but not a lot. Only where plants can find cracks in all the rocks to take root in. But as we were hiking this area, we suddenly found ourselves in a highly vegetated area.
At the top, there was a view point with a map that points out several descent points of the area. Again, I can't remember them all, but behind us, to the right, is the cave we would be in later.
The last area of the park had a path that included three or four caves. Most of them are an "enter at your own risk" type of cave, but the last one is big enough that you can walk through most of it. Its still rough terrain, but big enough that you can stand, rather then crawl.
Almost everyone was able to go into the cave. My grandma has been before, so she opted to stay in the car since she has a hard time getting around sometimes. Vanessa and Daxsen started that way with us, but Daxsen was getting cranky, so she opted to take him back to the van. Once we got to the cave, we decided that might have been ok. It was enough work taking Valex through, it might have been harder with 2 small kids. I'm sure we could have done it, but I'm not sure they would have enjoyed it.
Valex was pretty excited at first. We kept his attention by telling him to watch for a bear. He told us he was going to tell the bear hi. Josh asked him what a bear says and he said "rawr". Then he asked what does a bat say? He thought about it for a minute, then he whispered "bat, bat, bat". So then we taught him to flap his arms like he was flying like a bat.
About half way through, the terrain got rougher. Up until this point, we had just packed Valex on our hips. But when it got narrow, we tried to get him to ride piggy bank on Josh's back. He did NOT want to. We put him on Josh's back, but he would NOT wrap his arms around his neck. I stood behind Josh and told him to stand. I thought he would since he might fall, and would grab for Josh's neck. Nope, he is just as stubborn as his aunt. We finally got him to wrap his arms around Josh's neck, but he didn't love it. But it made it easier for Josh to carry him through the cave. When we got back to the van, Josh told Vanessa she needs to teach her son to ride. She thought he meant horses, so she told Josh that he couldn't teach her son to ride unless he taught her too.
Finally to the end! In reality, its really not that long a hike. At the end, Valex told us the bear had left to go eat lunch. Such an imagination! He had wanted to go into the cave, until we got there. After that, he wasn't sure. But once we were out, he wanted to go again.
After we finished at the park, we headed back to Pocatello where my grandma had gotten us all rooms. We agreed to meet at the Applebee's for dinner.
As we were driving, Josh kept his eyes peeled for another burrowing owl. We decided if he saw one, we would stop this time for pictures. And it paid off! I can now say I have seen a burrowing owl. They are so cute!
Sunday morning, the original plan had been to spend the day at Hot Lava Springs. But the night before, we learned that their pool would be closed. Since everyone had been mostly excited about the slides at the pool, they decided to skip going there. Instead they decided to spend the morning at the hotel's pool, go to lunch and then head home.
The hot springs is what I was the most excited about for this trip. So I talked to Josh and we decided that we would still go spend the morning at the hot springs and then head home. I'm so glad we decided to do that. It was the perfect way to end our mini vacation.