About in Salt Lake City, again

I guess I'm making up for my time off, because this is a big post coming your way!
We headed out as early as we could last Thursday morning for Salt Lake City. Carolina had a freshly diagnosed ear infection, and a recently sprouted 4th tooth - so we weren't quite sure how 5 hours in the car would go. All things considered, she did well. There was quite a bit of screeching, mostly because her brother was annoying her. But she did eventually take a nap and play on the iPad a little. And finally, we arrived at our first stop - In N Out Burger! Honestly, this is probably our favorite excuse to come to Utah :)

I had a cheeseburger and a cheesy daughter...
Right next door was the Super Target, so of course that was our next stop. We picked up a few things we might need and a shirt that Liam picked out... you'll see it later. The drive into SLC is quite beautiful - the mountains are so huge and gorgeous - this picture really doesn't do it justice. The weather was beautiful and warm - ranging from 68-74 degrees, perfect.

 The kids were seriously ready to run around and were enamored with the hotel.

 The view from our room - it really couldn't have been any better! Lina doesn't look happy in this picture, but when she saw me get out my phone she said "Brother! Picture!" And she sat and faced me and kept yelling at him until he cooperated too :) Once we'd settled into the room we headed out to do to explore. We went to our favorite semi-outdoor mall - City Center, sampled some all-too tempting chocolate, visited the West Elm (which was a must-do on my list!), Lush, Nordstrom, the Disney Store - all the places we don't have at home... and then tracked down the Trader Joe's and found too many yummy things to buy.

For dinner I wanted to try the Pei Wei - Lina and I loved it. Todd was underwhelmed. Liam ate crackers.

 Back at the room and these little monkeys still had so much energy, I let them jump on the bed a bit - with close supervision. Then we hit the hotel pool. Liam picked up right where he left off last summer, and Carolina loved it since it's basically just a big ol' bathtub. She kicked her little legs like crazy. It was a super busy day - and the kiddos were tired. Thankfully we had found a suite with two rooms that wasn't too pricey, so Carolina slept soundly in her own room and the 3 of us shared the other. Liam totally loved hanging out together in our room and sleeping together - after the trip was over, he told us it was his favorite part :)
The next day we downed some breakfast and headed to the zoo. Once again the weather was perfect and already very warm for morning. The Hogle Zoo is now up there on my list of zoos, we're definitely going back next year when they open their new African Savanna exhibit. They had elephants (a baby one too), giraffes, tigers (no lions?), grizzly bears, polar bears, seals and sea lions, rhinos - tons of animals! The kids enjoyed it, but I think Todd and I liked it more than they did in the end - Carolina had a hard time staying in the stroller and Liam had a hard time walking ;)

 Oh yeh, there's the shirt he picked out - he told me "Mom, this shirt is hiwarrrrious, dogs don't wear sungwasses!"

Ahh... the ups and downs of taking pictures of children...

Oh this is one of my favorite things - the kids picked out a toy before we left the zoo - and of all things Carolina picked an eagle. She pointed right at it "Eagle!" and that was that - then she told me "Mom! Eagle! Picture!" So I had to take a picture of it. I think it's so precious. but even better (and I don't have a picture) is that Liam picked a rubber snake, dubbed him a boy, and named him Krissy!!! Ha!

They were a little tuckered after that :) So we drove around looking for a good doughnut place and then found a restaurant (The Red Iguana - it's a legend, I think there's always a line - but you should go anyway).

Then there was Ikea, and another mall, then some driving around and sight-seeing all the crazy-huge-fancy Mormon buildings and grounds and memorials. I would've liked to get out and take a peek - but parking was hard to find at that point on a Friday, and we were feeling pretty bushed. We hit the hotel earlier that night, which was really all the kids (and their parents) wanted to do at that point - the kids, so they could be free to run around - and the parents so they could rest! Our drive home held a bit more screeching, and a few more stops - but I did finish a book I wanted to read on the plus side!
It was our first time coming home from a trip to this house - I liked it! The kiddos were super pumped to be home and were happy little sweethearts for the rest of the day. We were so glad we went, even if it was exhausting and maybe cost a little more than we planned. We feel blessed that we are able to take our family on little trips like these - they are so special and full of memories.

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