Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trains, Planes, and Cars 2

On Day 8 of our vacation to Utah, we spent the entire day in Ogden. It was the museum day; we went to 5 musems!

We started off in the morning at the Treehouse Childrens Museum. I'd heard so much about it, and have thought about taking the boys there for years. They had a great time, and we spent several hours looking at all they had and playing with all the toys!

Jonah and Micah as firemen on the firetruck:

Jonah and Kanyon as Indians by the Tipi:

Ammon trying to pull the sword out of the stone;

Micah riding a horse in a rodeo:

Kanyon, Micah, and Jonah playing on computers in the heroes/book area:

Ammon playing along with an electronic trivia game on the giant state of Utah map:

After we saw all there was to see at the Childrens Museum, we ate a picnic at a nearby park, and then headed for Union Station. We walked through the entire train museum first.

Ammon and Kanyon on a historic train bench:

Micah and Jonah in an engine cab:

All four of the boys on a caboose:

Ammon playing with the "Candy Dancer":

There were several model trains running through miniature towns in glass displays on both sides of a hallway. We watched all the little trains for a while. It was fascinating!

After the train museum, we walked through the car museum and then the guns museum. Then we walked through the old waiting room in the center of the Union Railroad Station. I LOVE the floor!

And then we went outside to climb all over and in and around the historic rail cars.

This was the Elephant Ears Engine!

This was the last engine they climbed on before we left:

Our next stop was the Air Force Museum. We walked through the indoor museum section first. The boys loved looking at all the cool airplanes and helicopters and the neat paint jobs on them, too!

Then we walked outside around all the ginormous aircrafts!

It was very cool to see the large planes up close! It was also very hot, and we got some snow cones to cool down! We were still hungry after that, so I took the boys to a McDonalds with an indoor (and air-conditioned) playground, and we ate dinner and played for a while. Our next stop was to go miniature golfing. The boys were so excited! It's been a few years since they'd all been miniature golfing together!

Kanyon especially loved it! He was so excited! He wanted to go first on every hole:

There was one particular hole where the 3 older boys each got a hole in one. They were elated! Ammon's face shows his excitement after just seeing his ball go in the hole:

Micah cheering after his ball went in on the first shot:

Jonah celebrating when his ball got the right shortcut to get in the hole:

This photo was taken right before the 18th (and last) hole. It was also right before Kanyon started screaming and crying and throwing a very long fit after realizing the ball wasn't coming back and he had to stop golfing!

Then we drove across town to go to Sam's Club to get a few treats to take to the Drive-In Move Theater, which was just down the street. I'd been looking forward to that all day! My boys have never gone to a Drive-In, and I haven't gone since I was a teenager. We arrived a half hour before the movie began, and the boys started off by sitting by the car and snacking on the food we'd bought:

The theater is somewhat close to Hill Air Force Base, and the entire time we waited for the movie to begin, large jets flew low overhead on their way to land at the base. They were noisy and there was about 20 planes continually following each other! Thankfully, when it got dark and the movie began, they were no longer flying above us!

The boys began wandering around the area, and played in the gravel and found sticks to play with until the movie began. Boys will be boys!

We had pretty good seats, and since it was a weekday night, it wasn't overly busy, either.

We were so excited when the movies finally began! We watched Cars 2 and Zookeeper.

The first movie didn't start until 9:20, and the last movie didn't end until 1:00. I thought all the boys would be asleep by then, but only Kanyon was! I had such a great time watching the movies with my kids! Going to the Drive-In was one of my ultimate favorite activities this summer, and I want to do it again every summer now! I drove home to Tremonton after the movies ended, and the boys slept the whole drive back. It had been a very long day, and we got a lot accomplished! And other than Kanyon's screaming fits in the car, we had a great time, too!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Astronauts on the Farm & Kings in the Corner

Day 7 of our vacation to Utah was my all-around favorite day of the entire trip.

On Monday morning, we went to the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake. I've wanted to go there ever since I was in high school. I used to LOVE learning about the solar system and the stars and planets so much! In fact, when I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up! The Planetarium was so interesting, and the boys and I looked at all their interactive displays. By far the boys' favorite one was a giant closed-in obstacle course with balls in it constantly moving, a model based on Newton's Law of Motion & Force. It was so huge, it was two stories tall!

The downstairs portion:

 The upstairs part:

There was information about asteroids and planets and the sun. Here's Kanyon on Mars!:

We learend about the space shuttle, the space station, and the Moon. This is the boys walking on the Moon:

We read about gravity, and light distance, and what we'd weigh in other worlds. We loved their weight scale!

After going through the entire planetarium, and making a stop at the gift shop before leaving, we headed to Pleasant Grove. It was about lunch time by then, so we stopped to eat at my favorite childhood restaurant in Pleasant Grove....

It was so delicious! Our burgers were huge, and the boys loved eating what they called "real" hamburgers. They kept commenting on how the burgers were so much larger than the ones we get from Burger King or McDonalds! I had sweet potato fries with mine, and they were super yummy, too! It was the perfect lunch spot!

After lunch, we drove to my Grandma Rose's house in Pleasant Grove. Every summer, I take the boys to visit one of their great-grandparents (sadly, there are only 4 of their great-grandparents still living). This year it was Grandma Rose's turn for our visit. We spent two hours visiting and playing at her home. We ended up doing what I loved doing at Grandma's house when I was a kid: playing cards and drinking hot drinks!

We sat around the kitchen table: Jonah and Micah played war, Ammon and I played several rounds of Kings in the Corner with Grandma, and Kanyon sipped on his hot chocolate watching the rest of us play! Ammon, Grandma, and I took turns shuffling and dealing the cards, and Grandma whooped us on several rounds of play! 

We all had a great time, and words cannot express the joy I felt doing things with my boys at grandma's house that I used to love doing there as a child. My grandma taught me how to play cards when I was a kid, and I can remember drinking tea and sitting around the table playing cards and feeling so grown-up! I love that my grandma still has the same cupboards in her kitchen now as when I was a kid, too! I feel right at home in her house! And my boys really enjoyed being there, too!

After Grandma's house, we went shopping at a crafts store in American Fork where I bought me some new cricut cartridges, and I can't tell you how happy that made me! Then we drove to the Thanksgiving Point Farm Country. Every Monday night in the summer, they have family nights centered around themes. That specific night it was all about Astronauts, and I thought it would go perfectly with our trip to the Planetarium earlier in the day. They even had a photo backdrop all set up that I thought was so cool!

 When we first got there, the boys each made their own astronaut helmets and Jet Booster Packs:

After those were made, then they each got to launch a rocket several times. After the rocket launched into the air, they loved running around trying to catch it when it was falling to the earth, too!

Then we participated in the Astronaut Scavenger Hunt. All around the farm, pictures were posted with information about astronauts and space shuttles and NASA and telescopes. We were given a paper with phrases that had missing words, and we had to find the corresponding hidden picture with the information on it to fill in the blanks. So, as we walked around searching for the clues, we looked at all the animals, too. And of course, the boys had to have a pony ride:

I think it's so funny that even though we live on a ranch with horses and cows, the boys were so excited to ride ponies and pet calves!

Even though they liked looking at animals that they get to see all the time, my favorite was one I've never seen: this beautiful white peacock!

After we completed the scavenger hunt with all the correct answers filled in, the boys were each given a popsicle, and they ate them while we went on a tractor-pulled wagon ride.

Then the boys spent a while playing inside two of the buildings with some of their interactive activities. They had so many cool things! Before we left for the night, I sat on the cowch. I really want one of these!

After Thanksgiving Point, we drove back to Tremonton for the night. I went to bed with a smile on my face--it had been a successful day, and I felt like I was on the moon! Visiting my grandma, playing on the farm, and learning about astronauts all with my boys sure made for a fantastic day!