I got back from my Sedona trip Monday morning, the same time as Raef and Zach headed out for their very first real scout camp. They went to Bear Lake for the entire week. I really missed them. It made me realize even more how much they do for our family. They are so important and it is a big void when they are gone. But I am grateful they could go and grow on their own. When they came back, they were both happy and had a positive experience. That was a relief for me. I didn't see them for about 10 days. I have never gone that long without seeing them. Wowzers.
While they were gone, my dad came to town to visit everyone. He arrived Tuesday morning. I picked him up at the airport and then we went to City Creek so that he could see it. Then we met Jamie at Gateway and had lunch with him.
My dad has picked up a new hobby: photography. He absolutely loves it and it coincides well with his love of long drives. On Wednesday we drove the Alpine Loop. We stopped at different vistas for some photo opportunities and then let the kids get out at Bridal Veil Falls.
There was a trout pond and a man was there with a huge bag of fish food. He was letting kids have some to feed the fish. My kids just loved it!
We ended up in Provo and first stopped at the BYU Paleontology Museum. It is right next to the football stadium and is free! I couldn't believe how much Harry, Julia, and Eli loved this museum. They were ecstatic looking at the specimens and wanted me to see everything as well.
We then went to the campus and wandered around the Wilkinson Center and ate lunch at the Cougar Eat. I can't believe how much I remembered from when I was a five year-old living in Provo, but I did. We also stopped at the library because dad was trying to find a portrait of one of his professors. He couldn't find it, but it was still fun to try. Dad enjoyed buying my kids treats. Nothing has really changed in that department!
We also met up with Catye and Mike at a playground in the area and every night Jamie, Leah, Catye, and Mike and their kids came around for dinner; all or some of them for every night dad was in town.
On Friday, we hit the road for another drive. This time it was the Golden Spike National Historic Park. Holy cow, I had just been there last month, right? Sheesh. But his two choices were the Golden Spike or Wyoming. I can tell you right now, there is nothing in Wyoming! No way! Plus, it was farther, so I settled for this drive.
We got home around 5 pm and Rinar, Raef, and Zach were all waiting to greet us. It was a happy reunion. We were able to play 8 and Back with dad and my siblings. Dad really wanted to play that game with everyone. And no surprise here, but Rinar won again.
I am very grateful that I could spend this time with my father. It has been a long time coming. I hope it can be a more frequent occurrence in the future.