Over Christmas our family drove down to southern California with my brother and his wife for my grandpa’s 80th birthday. Yes, we drove to southern Cali.It was about 23+ hours and 1600+ km, one way. I know, we’re a little crazy. But it was so much cheaper than flying, and we thought it would be an adventure.
The drive turned out to be pretty decent, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was anticipating. We broke it up into 4 days (Edmonton-> Lethbridge, Lethbridge-> Bountiful, Utah, a break day, and then finally Bountiful-> Barstow, Califronia). I spent some time before the trip gathering some new activities and books for the kids for the car, a lot of things they got for Christmas were bought specifically for the drive, and I loaded our iPad with episodes of Paw Patrol plus a few movies. The kids spent their time alternating between looking at books, coloring, eating snacks, and watching lots and lots of movies. They were pretty good for the long drive for the most part, I was really proud of them.
On our break day in Utah we went into Salt Lake for a few hours. We mostly spent our time in the City Creek Mall, but did take a quick stroll through Temple Square. It was a little chilly that day, and we forgot to bring our kids’ toques and mitts, so we didn’t stay too long.
My only regret is that I didn’t grab any pictures of my kids with the great-grandparents in Bountiful! I guess this just means we’ll have to do the drive down again soon!
On the way down we detoured through Zion National Park. It added a few extra hours onto on of our days, but the scenery was so beautiful.
One day, because of John’s extreme enthusiasm for rock climbing, the whole family drove out to Sawtooth Canyon. We took some family photos with everyone and then split up so a few of the guys could go climbing. There was a fun dinosaur park at the canyon for the kids to play around in, and my boys just loved climbing on the rocks.
Wyatt also loves his Papa. He followed him around this whole trip, these two were practically attached.
I gave my sister-in-law my camera and she took a few photos of us exploring. Isn’t this one fantastic? I love the lighting and that suspicious expression on Wyatt’s face. The following four images were all captured by her, but this is my fave.
Once the sun started to set it started to get pretty cold, so this is when we headed back to the house.
On New Years Eve we celebrated by Grandpa’s 80th birthday (which was actually New Years Day). During food prep my aunt had a table of crafts for all the great-grandkids. They made cards for Grandpa and decorated crowns. Porter spent so much time concentrating on tracing the letters my mom wrote out for him saying, ‘I love you!’.
In the middle of drying dishes with my Auntie Sharon.
My cousin Jared made a dip that was so good Peter and my mom (play) fought over it.
During dinner prep everyone just sort of hung out. The kids all had fun playing with a stack of dixie cups. I love how expectantly Porter is looking up at my dad, who has his eyes closed!
And here is almost everyone during the dinner! Grandpa had finished and left, and a few others are missing too.
We had a photo booth set up to take silly pictures with my Grandpa. This is all of his grandkids, minus Mandy.
And all of the great-grandkids.
How many people does it take to light 80 birthday candles?!
The birthday man himself, the one and only Paul Campbell.
Months before my aunt was on everyone’s case about writing a letter tp Grandpa. She and my uncled compiled all the letters and a few pictures into a book to give Grandpa on his birthday. It book turned out great and was so fun to look through. I wish I had time to read through all the letters. Grandpa loved his book.
It was so fun to be in California with all my family. Everyone on my mom’s side was able to come, except for one cousin who was too pregnant. It was just so nice to have everyone together, to see and talk to family I don’t get to see that often. I wish we didn’t all live so far away from each other.