Saturday, October 9, 2010
Our trip to Utah and General Conference was fast to say the least and fun to say the most. I stayed with Ryan and Becca where Lydia entertained me with her wit and imagination. I met Caroline who is from Germany and lives with Ryan and Becca for the whole school year. She speaks very good English, but I think sometimes she doesn't understand everything we say. She is very sweet. And she wants to be involved in everything that we do. she is smart and inquisitive and I enjoyed talking to her. The one person that all of us were the most excited to see was Charlie. We couldn't stop kissing him and holding him. He doesn't do much, just lays there and smiles, but somehow that is enough for the most grumpy and tired of us all, it just changes everything. One night, Marty & Mindy hosted dinner at their house. Becca and Ryan made some chili and brought it and Mindy and Marty made chili and they put corn in theirs. Mindy made this yummy pound cake (they call it pound cake for a reason according to Mindy) and topped it with fresh peaches and some cream. It was all really sooo good. We played outside where Ryan showed us how to do a really frightening halloween scream where your uvula swells up and nearly bursts and Jeremy showed us what to do with those bean looking things that grow on the trees in M & Ms back yard. Then we went inside and played some silly games. You might ask yourself what they are doing so. So your mind doesn't wander into areas that it shouldn't, I'll tell you. You tie a string to a nail and then tie the other end to your back belt loop and then you try to navigate the nail into the opening of a bottle. At this point Caroline, Ryan and Becca's exchange student left the scene. I think it was too much for her. Who knows what she is thinking about us by now. I have never seen two young people who love babies more than Allie and Jake. Charlie was always being held by one of them and he loved it. Charlie loved all the attention that he was getting as if he didn't get enough attention at home. Raquel helped the little girls and Liam make princess hats. Oh yea, and Jeremy who doesn't want to be left out of anything. I left after this with Ryan and Becca and apparently we missed some very interesting family interactions I'm sad to say. Check Mindy's blog for those. It was so much fun being together and laughing and eating and laughing and learning and laughing and just being with family. Thanks Becca and Ryan and Marty and Mindy for putting up with all of us. It's always good to have family come visit, but I know it's good to have them go home and leave you to your own normalcy too. On Friday, we went to Provo to pick up Jake. Allie came later and met us at Cafe Rio. Look at these two. I love them. They are beautiful inside and out and they make the sun shine when they are around. I'm so glad they were there. We also went to this fabulous museum in Provo called the Bean Museum, named after a guy whose last name was Bean. It was filled with wild animals who, of course, were dead. The Taxidermist who worked on these animals was pretty amazing. It seemed that the animals were alive. They didn't have that old dead look, but looked alert and fresh. There were hundreds and hundreds of animals and the kids were really fascinated. I loved the moose because it reminded me of my moose experience way back in the dark ages in West Yellowstone. I love to tell that story, so if you haven't heard it, just ask me about it. This really big butterfly (about 4 1/2 feet tall and wide was made up of real butterflies glued together in a mosaic. The colors were so beautiful. I especially liked the green ones. There was a spider display that was really good, but really creepy. My only complaint is none of the specimens were labeled. The museum is three levels. We didn't go to the lower level (except Ruby and I did briefly and it wasn't much). If you go to Provo, go to this museum. It is amazing and fabulous and best of all it's FREE. Truly Becca knows every nook and cranny and if you want to know some place to go when you are in Utah, she is the one to ask. Especially if you want to know someplace really good, but Free. She knows it all. I wish we would have had more time to pick her brain and do fun stuff that is lurking around inside that beautiful head of hers. She said that someday she will write a book about the many adventures there are waiting for people in Utah that cost very little or are free, but I don't know when she would do that while writing for 2 or 3 newspapers (I forgot how many) and keeping up a couple of blogs and teaching piano and being a mother. It wears me out just thinking about it. After leaving the museum, we went to Cafe Rio at my request. Either my tastes have changed or Cafe Rio has changed because I think I won't request it anymore. It was good, but it's time to try something new next time I come. It didn't thrill me as it usually does. But we were really full when we left except some of us wondered over to Maggie Moos for Ice cream. They had coconut Ice cream, my favorite. Then back home for games and more fun. I'm exhausted just remembering. This is what the view from where we were sitting and where the choir was. And yet the sound was spectacular even way up where we were. It was really a fabulous experience that everyone should do. We were definitely in the nose bleed section. Look way down to the choir seating. They look like little dots. I can't believe how big the conference center is and how many people can get in there. The security is very tight and yet you really don't notice because it is done so efficiently and so sweetly. Those who serve in the conference center as guides and security are like missionaries and they just love you into the building and out again. There were a lot of stairs to go up and down which was hard on my knees. After conference, we went out on the balcony with a million other people and the view was spectacular. once you went out, you can't go back in. So if you went out and then you decided you needed to use the rest room I don't know what you would do. When you looked down from the conference center balcony, the city was teaming with mormons. There were some people there who were protesting. One especially loud and abnoxeous guy told us all we were headed for hell. Some people tried to talk to him, but he wasn't there to listen. Protesters have to pay for a permit to have a spot to do their thing. I guess he really believes in what he is doing and he thinks he knows what he is talking about. Like Anthony said, does he really think he is going to change anyone's mind and they are actually going to stop believing in the gospel because he is there spouting his hatred. This picture was taken by Anthony or Jeremy. I have to admit that I get a lot more out of conference when I watch it from the comfort of my living room, but it's not nearly as much fun. I miss everyone already.