Now is as good a time as any to talk about hotel living. It's interesting what everyone has picked up on, and what we do and don't like about it. Our little family has never stayed in so many hotels before; any trips longer than a week have been mostly staying at someone's house. By now we're experts.
Poppy learned the first night that there is always a Bible in the nightstand drawer. She learned this because she likes to open every drawer in the place, and what fun to find a book in one of them! Now in every room she goes straight for the Bible drawer, takes it out, and totes it around the room officially. How exciting to also find a Book of Mormon in the Utah hotel rooms! She'd know that blue and gold book anywhere. Hazel loves the breakfast. We've mostly stayed in hotels with help-yourself breakfasts; I think Hazel has made herself a waffle almost every morning on this trip. With plenty of syrup, whipped cream if there is some, and heaping loads of whatever else looks good. We try to also get some fruit down everyone at breakfast. Ginger has put herself in charge of shoes. Her sisters waltz into the hotel room and kick their shoes off where they are sure to be tripped over. Ginger collects all shoes and lines them up in pairs by the door. She also puts all the coats in the closet, and helps me lay out the next day's outfits in a drawer.
It would take a lot for me to complain about staying in hotels. I don't have to clean, make the beds, do dishes, minimal laundry. It feels like such a luxury, even in the budget accommodations we've had. Granted, the pillows suck, you can hear through the walls, and I can't watch TV with the kids asleep. And it's a pain to pack up and unpack every day. But I am not complaining. Not yet.
Now. After a hearty breakfast in the lodge, and packing up the car, we started to head out of Zion this morning. As we turned east, Ed said definitively, "Well, we are now officially on our way home." And that is just one of the many differences between how Ed and I think. To him, we'd hit our western apex, and now, heading into the sun, we were on the way home. To me, nuh-uh. I'm on vacation until I start to see signs for Arlington, so no matter what direction we're headed, we are NOT headed home until there's nothing else we're going to do or see. And that ain't today.
I did have to stop in the Visitor's Center just one more time to get the girls t-shirts for their Easter baskets. I hadn't gotten them yesterday because I wanted to check out a couple shops. Why are vacation t-shirts so ugly and lame? I went back because I liked the Utah Rocks! shirts best. Also some finger puppets for Ginger and Poppy, and some pioneer bar soap for Hazel. Easter baskets are almost done!
We headed east out of the park, a different way than we'd come in. My camera was packed in the back, so I didn't get any pictures of the drive, and I'm sad about that. Canyonlands galore; one of the most beautiful drives of our trip so far - Highway 89 north to I-70 and then I-70 east to 191 and Arches. Ed drove today, and I could have read my book, written postcards, napped, etc. But all I did all day was stare out the windows in a trance, with my feet up on the dash. So good for my soul.
But I was still entertained. We've had some good audio books on this trip. First we listened to How to Train Your Dragon, which we finished today and which was one of the best acted audio books I've ever heard. Completely gripping for the whole family, especially since we've never read the book or seen the movie. Then we tried some Tales of King Arthur I got from the library, but it skipped too much, so we started Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone today. My girls have of course heard of Harry Potter, but they've never read the books nor seen the movies. Vague idea it's about wizard stuff. It was so fun to sit with them through those first chapters when Harry finds out he's a wizard, and starts to learn about the wizard world, and explore Diagon Alley. They are entranced.
We landed at Arches National Park around 3:30 p.m. and spend 2.5 hours doing the quick tour - main road plus a few viewpoints and short hikes. We had to sacrifice quantity for quality, as all the girls wanted to do was climb, climb, climb. We couldn't deprive them of such prime climbing opps. I didn't even go in the gift shop.
Poppy threw a tantrum on the way down from Delicate Arch viewpoint because Ginger has having a turn in the backpack. She got even madder when I took a picture of her crying. But then I picked her up and distracted her with Backyardigans talk. She's a total junkie, and all it took was, "What are all the songs in Mission to Mars?" for her to start listing and singing them. Bought me enough time to get back to the car, and she was asleep before we were out of the parking lot.
We had NY-style pizza in Moab, a quick dip in the hotel pool, and off to bed. Another FABULOUS day on the road.
DVD: Prima Princessa Swan Lake
Activity: Travel Connect Four
Poppy: magnetic farm tin
Snack: Pizza goldfish and cinnamon bears
High Point: The fresh air and rock climbing at Arches.
Low Point: It's a toss-up between losing Ginger at Zion Lodge after breakfast, and Poppy pooping on the sheets before going to sleep tonight.