Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Park City and "Up"

Saturday we originally planned a trip to the Hogle Zoo with Natalie (Johann's sister) and her husband Bryan. We got to the zoo around 11:30 and it was sooooo crowded. Considering the zoo isn't very big and there were lots of big cars (minivans, SUVs etc) packed like clown cars with children and parents we decided to pass on the claustrophobia that would surely ensue if we had gone in. Instead we backtracked a little and found our way to Park City since we had never been. As we drove through Park City looking for the shops we noticed the Olympic Park and headed up there. It was a surprising amount of fun and I'm still trying to convince Johann to go back and ride the bobsled. =)

Ski jumps

Cutest bobsled team the U.S. has ever had (especially the little one if I do say so myself)!

While we were there, some of the ski jumpers were training. I never thought about how they practice during the off season but there you have it, they jump off and land into a pool. It was a lot of fun to watch them flip...scary but fun!
Then of course we had to all take a picture with our faces in the skier cut out:

Natalie (Johann's sister)




Bryan (Natalie's husband)

After the Olympic park we drove around "historic Park City" (it was raining and I didn't feel like getting wet, so in the car we stayed). Then we decided to head to SLC's Gateway to see "UP". We bought tickets then wandered around the mall for a bit. Henry's favorite store was the luvsac store, see below:

I was pretty nervous during the previews because Henry was very squirmy. I thought, "great, I'll see maybe ten minutes of the movie." I've only ever taken him to a movie once before when he was about 9 months and it wasn't that bad but it wasn't easy either. As the movie started however he settled down and aside from being a little squirmy and going back and forth between everyone he did a pretty good job and I didn't have to leave the theater once! I'm glad Henry sat through the whole film because it was a good one. The film was sweet and funny and as pixar always does, it presents some social issues to think about; the spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down, right?

We ended our day with dinner at Albertos then headed home. It's nice having Henry getting older and better at being out all day. Hopefully we'll be able to make more day trips like this one in the future!

Memorial Day Weekend

The Sunday evening before Memorial Day, I came home after helping work on a delicious cake with my friend Lena for our Memorial Day picnic, and Johann was watching a special on PBS. This particular special wasn't about the already fallen soldiers but about the amputees from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. After watching men and women continue to flood into Walter Reed, I just couldn't help but have one feeling that has continued to linger: war sucks. I don't care what your political persuasion and I don't want to get into the idea of justifications for different wars or anything like that but the act(s) of war itself and the toll it takes on the human body and, more importantly, spirit is devastating.
I remember while we were driving to the store here a few months ago we saw a truck with a bumper sticker that said, "Give War a Chance." Seriously? I don't think I or most people of our generation understand what war does to our brothers and sisters. Obviously, we haven't learned the lessons of the past.
Another overwhelming feeling I had is how terrified I would be if Johann or Henry ever had to serve in a war. I realized I am probably not as strong as all those men and women who serve, have family members serving, have fallen or have family members who have; for those who serve and especially on Memorial Day, those who have given their lives, I am truly grateful for their willingness to sacrifice though I would rather they did not have to.
Okay, now on to the cheerier side of the three day weekend: the picnic.
In the late afternoon we headed up Provo canyon with our friends Lev and Elena. We went further up than Johann or I have ever been and its quite a beautiful drive. We ended up at a park that was not nearly as crowded as we had imagined. We unloaded and Lev set himself to the task of making a fire for the meat. Initially there were so issues but after Lena was able to get some lighter fluid and Johann spotted some good brush it got going. In the meantime Henry wandered around, tried to go near the fire of course, saw a dog, was afraid or the river then got acclimated thanks to papa and popped bubbles.
We ate, chatted, played with Henry and enjoyed the beautiful great outdoors. It was such a nice afternoon. =)

Fire which Henry was fascinated by

Picnic location by the stream

Henry playing pop the bubbles

Papa and Henry holding his rock from the stream