Monday, August 18, 2008

Salt Lake or Bust!

You know you have reached the pinnacle of successful parenting when both of your kids declare you the best parents, ever! And, while they may only be saying that because they are overwhelmingly grateful for the weekend trip that you so thoughtfully provided for them; it’s still a triumph worthy of a mention.

Or ten.

So, yes, our weekend rocked and, I don’t mean just for the kids; Jana and I spent most of the time laughing until our sides hurt (when we weren’t cringing in terror at our respective husband’s tendency to drive on the interstate as though they are NASCAR champions and not mere mortal men fortheloveofgod!) and toasting our good fortune with tiny bottles of wine, purchased at a liquor store prior to crossing the state line because we couldn’t remember if Utah was a dry state or if they sold alcohol and god forbid we be without our wine because, hell yes, we are that pathetic.


After leaving our house Friday at noon, we arrived at our destination in the early evening, ate a leisurely dinner and let the kids play in the pool before calling it a night. This was about as much excitement as they could be reasonably expected to handle after the whole Surprise! We are vacationing with your best friends! announcement earlier in the day.

Saturday morning, following breakfast at the Cracker Barrel, we headed to The Lagoon where we were thrilled to find ourselves among the first in line to enter the park. We got an awesome parking space, right in front of the main gates and, since our tickets had been part of our hotel package and we didn’t have to stand in line to purchase them; were in the park in record time.

From there, the day was pretty much a blur of activity. I remember roller coasters, bumper cars, water slides, an ice cream cone as big as Jana’s head (really!), cruising down the lazy river on an inner-tube while trying in vain to keep my butt out of the frigid water, watching a dragonfly land on the straw that The Girl was drinking from and marveling at how long it sat and seemingly stared at The Girl before flying away, applying sunscreen to small-and some not so small- bodies dozens of times, rescuing our rented tubes from the hands of several small children who seemed determined to abscond with them- multiple times, and-finally- closing down the park at the end of the day.

Needless to say, all five children fell asleep the minute their heads hit the hotel-issued pillows. The adults, I should confess, were not far behind.

Sunday morning, we got up early and ate breakfast at Mimi’s CafĂ©, which I highly recommend. Jana and I had the Eggs Benedict and both plates were cooked perfectly which, if you know your Eggs Benedict, is a tricky thing to do.

After breakfast, we journeyed to the Great Salt Lake where we intended to dip our toes and to let the kids float about in ideal peace.

Our first stop was the visitor’s center on Antelope Island. The kids enjoyed reading about the lake’s unique properties and the boys, in particular, enjoyed viewing the numerous and huge spider webs that were strung between the buildings rafters. The gigantic-ass spiders in the middle of the webs were most impressive as well but, I have tried valiantly to block that image from my mind’s eye so any description I could give would be lacking in detail.

You’re welcome.

Our next stop was the beach area where Hugh, Chris and the kids were quick to change into swimsuits, grab towels, and make for the water. Jana and I had no intention of dipping more than a toe in the water, so we moseyed along, cameras in hand, ready to capture the Kodak moments of our lives, just like a cheesy commercial.

The warm sand under our feet felt heavenly as we made our way to the water; however, as we neared the lake, the sand became less sandy and more salty, so we had to slip back into our sandals. The air seemed to change rather rapidly as well; from a pleasant almost ocean scent to what can best be described as open-sewer-on-a-hot-day. IN HELL.

It was that nasty. But, we soldiered on.

When we were about fifty yards out, plugging our noses and laughing at our squeamishness, Jana pointed out the thick black mud surrounding the lake and deemed it the culprit behind the aroma. It wasn’t until we got right up to the mud that we realized, to our horror, that the mud was not mud but was, in reality, a massive, hovering swarm of tiny flies. Flies that breed on the water, just like the information at the Visitor Center said but in like, living, breathing, swarming color right before our eyes. And, in our hair, around our ankles, in our mouths, etc.

Jana and I did the logical thing, we screamed like a couple of ninnies and busted ass back to the relative comfort of the sand but, not before snapping a couple of pictures of Hugh, Chris and the kids who had braved The Swarm to enter the water just long enough to be able to say that they had done it.


Back on the beach, Jana and I recovered from the experience by downing the last of our tiny bottles of white merlot; all I can say is, thank God for tiny wine bottles.

After the rest of our crew showered the filth salt and sand from their bodies, we headed back to town for lunch and a little shopping before loading up the wagons and heading for home. It was past ten o’clock by the time we pulled into our drive-way and both kids had slept the majority of the five-hour ride home.

Hugh and I fell into a coma the minute our heads hit the pillows and I enjoyed a dreamless sleep; which comes as no small surprise considering the trauma caused by that swarm of flies, I assure you.

Today, I am back to work and, this evening, we have back-to School night at the Middle School. Summer, it would appear, is definitely over.

Thank goodness we rocked it so hard while we had the chance.

So, kids, how do you feel about going back to school?


  1. That sounds like a really good time, except for the flies - eewwhh!

  2. Sounds like a great time to an end of summer trip!! Good luck with the days to come!
    and YUCK flies so thick they look like mud!! wow those are some tough cookies you are raising!! :)