Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mile High Fun

A couple weekends ago, we took a trip to Denver. We were able to take advantage of the extremely cheap flights and double rapid rewards credits that Southwest was offering and decided that we'd actually SAVE money by taking a little trip and using the free flights we'd earn for Christmas, when the tickets are much more costly. This was the first trip that we took together as a little family to a destination that we aren't very familiar with. TomTom showed us around town and we had a great time! Included for your enjoyment are the highlights.
We picked up our rental car upon arrival- a brand new Hyundai Sonata with only 52 miles on it! Are we the only ones who get excited about renting cars? That is one of the coolest things about being over 25. The car didn't have a tape adapter, but before we could be a bit bummed about that, we noticed that it did have XM radio. We spent the weekend brushing up on our Top 20, and I have to say that "Evacuate the Dance Floor" is one of the silliest songs I've heard. Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" seemed to be our trip song as it seemed to be one every time we were in the car. Calvin told us he got tired of that one.

Before we checked in to our hotel, we stopped at a Panera that was just across the street. I had had Panera when I was in Connecticut, but Tyler had never been. That place is amazing. Those baguettes... I can't even type because my eyes are glazing over and my mouth is watering just thinking about that bread.

Oh, I forgot to mention that it was VERY cold in Denver. When we arrived, it was beginning to snow. We realized we didn't pack poor Cal a jacket. We bundled him up tight with blankets, though. He spent the weekend looking up at us through layers of blanket.
Our hotel was really great for the price. The had very recently remodeled our room (so recently, in fact, that they were still working on most of the rooms on our floor), so we had brand new furniture including a king-size bed with pillow-top mattress, flat-panel HDTV, microwave, minifridge, completely new bathroom, etc. Even though the lobby and hallways didn't look that great, the room was outstanding. They "couldn't find" their infant beds, so I fashioned a crib out of things I found around the room. I was pretty impressed with my craftsmanship, and Calvin slept great both nights.
Calvin's makeshift crib on the floor.

Night #1 we went to Casa Bonita. I had remembered going with Rhonda and Matt when they lived in Denver, and I couldn't wait to go back. It was funny going back to this place as an adult because my reaction to it was completely different. I had remembered it as the coolest place I had ever been to besides maybe Disneyland. It was still fun, but I hadn't realized as a child that the food's not that great. At least it's all-you-can-eat. The shows were still very fun. Our table was right by the water, so we got to see everything. And, ohmygosh the sopaipillas are amazing! So hot and so good....
The Disneyland-esque queue to get seated.

Our flag is up; more food please!

This sopaipilla was burning my mouth in this picture.

The next day, we got our standby tickets for the US Mint, and headed to the Museum of Science and Nature, where the Hall of Life used to be. They had just opened a new exhibit called "Expedition Health" that I was hoping would be similar. It was definitely trying to be like the Hall of Life, but wasn't quite as interactive or cool. This again may be because I am 15 years older. It also may have been due to the fact that there were about 600 elementary school kids there on a field trip, so doing much of anything was difficult. We walked around a lot and I attempted to feed Calvin in public- successfully, if I may boast. :)
View from the museum window

Next was the Mint. This place was way cooler than I even remembered. It is one of the most secure buildings in the country because it houses 20% of the nation's gold. As such, we could bring no more than our wallets into the building. We even had to take our batteries out of our cell phones. It was very fun.

That night we ate at Cici's Pizza, which was delicious. There are only a few things better than pretty great all-you-can-eat pizza for $4.99. Especially if they have dozens of different toppings. The highlight, or perhaps lowlight, there was seeing this couple feeding pizza to a baby which couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 months old. They weren't just being funny to see if she'd taste it or gnaw on it or something. They spent the whole time feeding it to her, and by looking at them, I don't think they knew very much about infant nutrition or nutrition in general. I felt very sad and wondered what it'd be like growing up in that family. It also gave me confidence, though, that I am doing pretty okay as a parent so far.

Other great parts of the trip include our trip to Kokoro, a delicious little Japanese chain, for lunch and our aimless driving around the city looking at the amazing architecture. Notable amazing buildings are the Denver Public Library by Michael Graves and the Denver Art Museum by various amazing modernist architects.
Denver Art Museum

Another building in the Art District

Denver Public Library

All in all, it was a great little weekend! So much fun! We were able to really take it easy, but see so many things at the same time!
Excited to explore a new city!

Oh, darn, I didn't even mention the 45 minute trip to WalMart just to find Calvin a jacket! We stood in the checkout line with 2 registers open in front of us for 30 minutes... One of the most memorable WalMart fiascoes to date, and there are quite a few. I think you can all imagine what a mindblowingly trying experience that was without me going in to detail.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Halloweentime

Ahhh, my favorite time at Disneyland. I am really wishing lately that we could go back to Disneyland. I love all the pumpkins, orange and black, Miss Pumpkin on Main Street, and the perfect cool weather. Most of the crowds are in school, planning their Christmas or summer trips to the park. Fall is in the air everywhere you go. It's definitely my favorite time at Disneyland.

But we are still here in Provo. At least it's becoming fall here too. Or should I say nose-diving into winter? It was so hot at the beginning of this week, and then there was a storm. It has been cold and rainy ever since. I love it though. It love listening to the rain all night. And I love that it isn't hot outside. Tyler even said that he is "kinda looking forward to the snow this year." What?! Usually snow puts Tyler in a bad mood from December to March, but we both decided that it's going to be fun to introduce snow to Calvin. Today, Calvin learned about rain when we went for a wet walk. He was looking all around as the cars would drive past and loudly splash water on their way.

He is becoming more and more mobile as the days pass. He figured out how to roll to his left. He also pivots around on his tummy. He can also wiggle his way forward- though VERY slowly. If you put a very enticing toy in front of him but out of reach, he will scoot and shimmy and twist and turn until he finally reaches it. It usually takes him about 3 full minutes to go only 5 inches. I am sure he will beat his record every day until he is crawling around like a maniac.

I am excited for Halloween this year. I have been working on our costumes and can't wait to reveal them at the Ward Costume Party. Also, I think we'll be able to stay home this Halloween and wait for Trick-or-Treaters! I haven't been able to do this for years! I love seeing all the kids in their costumes.

I haven't been taking enough pictures lately, but here are a couple I like:

video
Carson keeps Calvin fit with their weekly workouts together.

Calvin and his Monchhichi- his favorite toy lately.