"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Chalk the Block

Despite the autumnal rains, the annual Chalk the Block event still took place last month. We took the little kidlets to watch the art in action:

I'm fascinated with artists who select temporary art forms, like chalk or ice sculpting. What an interesting documentary that would make: delving into the psyche of leaving your mark, but only for a little while. I think naturally most artists want their art to last beyond their own years, so I'd love to figure out what's behind the desire to create just for the experience and not the end product. Because it was so rainy, there were a lot of artworks that were damaged by the nightly thunderstorms. It was interesting to see the artists who were frustrated by the setbacks and those who embraced the art media and consequent challenges.
We're seriously considering doing this next year, and already have a few ideas of what we're going to draw. We saw lots of Disney shenanigans, and some pretty serious portraiture, but only a few pieces that were entirely original. So, obviously some people catered to their audience while others just wanted to show off their mad skillz. If you went next year, what would you enjoy seeing?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cove Fort

One last pit stop on our way home was to give Cove Fort a quick visit. Oh, pioneers, you are so swarthy and amazing:

It was a humorous way to spend Kirk's birthday (Surprise! I got a fort for you for your birthday!) as we learned some interesting pioneer facts, saw some great pioneer craftsmanship, and listened to a knowledgeable and pioneer-loving tour guide.

The last time I visited the fort, there was an owl nest in one of the gun slots above the entryway, and there were 3 fuzzy owlets that we got to see up close. This time, the rain made the stairs too slick, so we only got to enjoy the main level rooms.

Have you been? What do you remember most about it?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Grand Canyon

So, the Grand Canyon, it turns out, is in the mountains. Don't judge. Kirk and I have only been there as kids and don't remember silly details like altitude. On one of our day trips during our family vacation, we drove the 6 hours there and back to visit this world wonder high in the mountains. So, our sunny St. George attire was a little inappropriate for the cold mountain mists that greeted us there:

We watched the clouds roll in and out of the canyon as the mists appeared and disappeared in a gentle ebb and flow. It was quite cinematic, straining to see the gorgeous view and then the clouds suddenly clearing to reveal the entire majesty of Grand Canyon. Under-dressed though we were, we still took our time letting the magnitude of this wondrous world sink in. This world is incredible!

We also did our fair share of puddle jumping ("Coldy-coldy!" she says, after a frigid surprise. Duh. We've been telling you that the whole time.) and snuggling our pantless beauty to keep her legs warm after the history's biggest diaper blowout known to motherkind. Also, special thanks to the world-traveling Australian hiker who volunteered to take the only non-selfie family photo on our entire trip. What a nice fellow, and what great composition. Thanks, mate.

We were expecting our minds to be blown, and we were not disappointed. This may need to be its own family vacation some time, now that we know it is an actual camping destination and not just some stop along a highway somewhere.

Have you been to the Grand Canyon? If so, was your mind blown?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Valley of Fire

You guys. If you've never been to the Valley of Fire, you need to go, like right now! (Seriously. If you wait until summer rolls around, you'll be too roasty-toasty to enjoy it all.) We met up with my fun uncle and spent some hours wandering around the wind-carved canyons and rocks. (You know how every family has the fun and favorite uncle that all the kids like to play with? That's this guy. I still love being with him, and now Pepper gets to enjoy his company too.) 

This is where I spent my childhood summers...and now I have to pay to get in? Darn state parks, ruining lives. And so it goes, and so it goes, according to Billy Joel. Regardless, the fire-red rock, petrogyphs, and silky sand on my toes are deeply connected to my heart:

On our stroll to Mouse's Tank, a natural cistern in the rock, our twinkle toes toddler decided the best method for hiking was to to climb directly up and over any rock on the trail. That meant tripling our hike time, bless her heart. However, we saw three wild goats in the canyon along our way. Good sign, yes? We also saw this heart-stopping rainbow. What a view! Double-good sign. I'm pretty sure were meant to be there that day.

Good signs. Good company. Good day. Tell me about a good day that you had recently. What made it so great?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Great Family Beginnings

The St. George temple holds a special place in my heart. It is the place my parents were married, my grandparents were married and my great-grandparents were married. It's a sacred place full of historical and personal significance, so we made a stop on our family trip to pay tribute to great family beginnings:

It was gorgeous there! The weather couldn't have been more perfect, the landscaping was breathtaking, and we learned tons at the visitor's center about the construction and history of the building. Kirk even ran into an Australian acquaintance while we were there. Small world, etc.

We also managed to shatter the sacred silence with a 2-year-old tantrum (or three). Not the special tribute I imagined, but there you have it, if I'm being honest.

What places remind you of great family beginnings? I'd love to hear!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"Ine-o-sawls! Rawl!"

One of the activities we squeezed into our family vacation was a trip to a dinosaur tracks museum. Pepper loves dinosaurs. I mean, looooves those ferocious reptiles like they were her best friends. We play dinosaurs at home all the time. Chasing and growling and stomping hide-and-seek is our go-to game. So, she lit right up when she saw where we were and spent her time there stomping and growling and yelling, "Ine-o-sawls! Rawl!" (dinosaurs, growl):

 Please note: this museum is mostly vast expanses of tracks (aka, big chunks of rock) and "No Touching" signs, which is a little difficult for a 2-year-old dinosaur fan. However, the redeeming qualities for our toddler were the movie at the beginning and the interactive learning room filled with puzzles, coloring materials, and toys. (Yes, those dinosaurs are giving each other hugs. Dinosaurs are friendly creatures at heart.)

The redeeming qualities for parents were the vast knowledge available for gleaning and, quite frankly, the learning room too. See my pterodactyl rubbing? I should totally be an artist.

What activities in your family bode well with the adults as well as the kids?