Monday, May 28, 2012

Odasso Family Travels. :D

So we've been home a week and i'm just now blogging. Are you surprised? Haha! I've been such a slacker at blogging. Oh well. Anyway, here's a rundown of our vacation, complete with pictures! (Though I don't have pictures of every awesome thing, sadly)

On Thursday night, the 10th, we headed down to Ephraim, UT, where we stayed the night at Willow Creek Inn. We enjoyed free breakfast in the morning at the hotel before heading down to Manti for Brad's little sister's wedding! Alyce and Nathan were getting sealed in the Manti temple, and we were so blessed to be able to attend. The sealing and sealer himself were AWESOME and great reminders about the importance of marriage, families, and our purpose here on Earth. I'd like to think it wasn't just pregnancy hormones that had me crying a little bit. :) Alyce looked beautiful and we are so happy for her and Nathan. I didn't take any pictures at the sealing, but she has plenty of great ones on Facebook.

After the sealing, Brad, Katie and I continued on down to Cedar City, UT, where we unloaded at the KOA. A KOA is basically a campground (mostly RVs) but this one had these cute little cabins and a buy one night, get one free sale going on. You know how I am about finding great deals. :D
Katie enjoyed playing on the bunkbed. (No worries, we didn't let her sleep up there)
 Brad loved the free WiFi, even if it was a tad slow.
It was such a nice place to stay. The cabin had heating and air, a bunkbed as well as a queen size bed, a little desk and chairs, and a few shelves. The porch had an adorable swing and then we had a picnic table and firepit. Plus, the bathrooms at this particular KOA are AMAZING! Nicer than the bathrooms in our apartment. Haha!
We didn't do much for the rest of Friday. We took Katie to the little playground at the campground, walked around for a bit, checked out the KOA store, and then roasted hot dogs and smores over a fire for dinner.
Saturday, we lazed around for a bit before heading 45 minutes down the road to La Verkin, UT. Alyce and Nathan had 2 receptions, one in Orem on Friday and one in La Verkin on Saturday. We skipped out on the Orem reception because it made more sense for us to keep driving south, rather than back and forth. Since the La Verkin reception wasn't until 6, we just hung out for most of Saturday. We met up with Alyce, Nathan, Brad's dad, his wife Rachel, and Brad's sister Adrienne and her husband James for lunch at this little bistro-type place in Hurricane, UT. It was supposed to be this yummy Mexican place called Durangos, but had apparently closed and been replaced by this cafe. We ate there anyway and the sandwich I ordered was pricey, but ended up tasting SO GOOD. MMMMMM! Anyway, after that we chilled at Nathan's parent's house until the reception.
 Thanks for letting us be a part of your special day, you two!
Saturday night, we headed back to the KOA for the night. Sunday morning we checked out and headed to the local ward for church. It was Mother's Day and a really nice meeting. They had a variety of gifts and sweets to hand out to all the women at the end and we got to choose what we wanted (there were plants, books, and sweets). I picked out a bag of three chocolate covered pretzels and Katie got into the bag and pulled one out before I could even blink. I let her have at it to keep her busy while we started the drive down to Las Vegas. Things got a little messy, but cleaning up messes is just part of being a mommy! And they are only little and willing to be covered in chocolate for so long.
In Vegas, we stayed at the Fiesta Henderson. It was in Henderson, about 15 minutes from the strip, but actually not too bad. The room was only $20, so I expected the place to be a dump, but it was actually really nice. Brad's dad, sister, and their spouses were in Vegas as well, so we hung out with them for a few hours before they left for the airport. After that, we stopped at Cabela's to see the fish and just wander around, and then we had Johnny Rocket's for dinner.
And then I attempted some belly pictures. Haha!
Bright and early Monday morning, we headed off for California! We generally take some backroads from Vegas to Palm Springs, but took the interstate this time in order to meet up with some friends in Rancho Cucamonga. I got to see my bf Daryn for the first time in SO long! (Ok, it's only been since September, but still.) Daryn and her husband Mat actually live up in Northern California, but were down visiting some family and friends, so we were able to see them for a couple of hours. It was awesome.
We spent the rest of Monday checking into our hotel and hitting up the pool.:)
Tuesday, we ventured off to The Living Desert. Katie enjoyed the petting zoo most of all.
She also loved looking at the snakes and saying "nakes! sssssssssss!"
After a couple of hours, Brad couldn't stand the heat anymore (it was only 90 degrees. Haha!) so we headed back to the timeshare for more swimming.
Katie LOOOOOVES the pool and we went swimming almost everyday we were there. We spent most of the time in the shallow 1 and 2 foot areas of the pool where Katie enjoyed walking around by herself. Unfortunately, she also loved dunking herself underwater a little too much. A little scary the first few times for Brad and I, but we got over it. The girl just loved to stick her head in the water! We tried to teach her to keep her mouth closed, but she couldn't resist opening her mouth into a huge smile every time she went under.
We had dinner by the pool one night. Nachos for me and Katie, hot wings for Brad. We also fed a little scavenger bird right next to us who enjoyed the nachos as well.
Wednesday, we drove out to Cabazon to see the dinosaurs. I hadn't been since they built this huge robotic dino exhibit and outdoor museum thing, so that was kind of cool to check out.
Katie and Brad inside the T-Rex. Sadly, the long neck (I don't remember it's real name. Lol!) was closed so we couldn't go inside. :(
Thursday we spent some time with my sister Katrina! We mostly just hung out at her house with her fiance, Myke. We also went to check out their wedding venue and play with the million ducks that were following us around. Thursday night, we had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, and then walked around The River in Rancho Mirage for a bit.
Friday we went up the tram! I've been up about 5 times before, but never had the chance to actually walk around or hike or anything. 4 of those times was for winter formal and the first time was 5th grade, which I don't really remember very well.
It was right around Katie's naptime though, so we mostly just wandered a bit and didn't do any hiking.
I don't care if you don't want to see us kissing. This is MY blog afterall. :D

Friday night we stayed in a slightly scary, kinda gross apartment in Desert Hot Springs. Lol! My friend Jeni's mom had a rental apartment that she let us stay in for free. The carpet was brand new that day, but didn't say much for the rest of the place. (dead cockroach on the floor in the kitchen?) but hey, it was free. And kind of an adventure. Almost made me feel like the Boy Meets World episode after Cory and Topanga get married and move into that awful, nasty apartment. :D

Saturday was the big day! One of my best friends, Nicole, got married to her best friend Nathan! I am so grateful I was able to be there to witness their happy day.
I have to include the story about this moon. Friday, we were driving out to my sister's place in La Quinta. We were on the freeway when I said to Brad, "Hey look! The moon!" we were getting off the exit though and he didn't see what I was talking about. A few minutes later, we were stopped at a stop light when a truck stopped right in front of and next to us. It was hauling the moon I saw on the freeway and told Brad that was what I was talking about. We looked at it for a while, wondering what it was for and what it was made of and where in the world it was going. Anyway, we're at the wedding reception, and what do you know? The moon was there!! Part of the decorations! What a coincidence, right?!
Anyway, we had to leave the reception early, so I only have this quick, not so flattering snapshot of me with the bride and groom, but don't they look so happy?
The wedding and reception were from 4:30-9:45, but we left around. . . 7 I think it was? We had to drive through the night to make it back up to Utah. Anyway, overall it was a great trip! Not quite what I was hoping (my original plans included Sea World and a trip to the beach), but still so nice to be back in my home area for a while. I forget sometimes how much I miss that heat and the feel of the sun. Man, i'm a desert rat through and through.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Vacation, all I ever wanted. . .

We are FINALLY getting outta here this week! YAY! Traveling is probably one of my favorite things in the world and when i'm stuck in the same place for too long, I start to go stir crazy! Sure, i've been up to Idaho a couple of times in the last few months, but that doesn't really count. ;)

Friday, Brad's youngest sister is getting married down in Manti (eeep!), and then we are staying the night at a KOA in Cedar City. I was hoping to actually pitch a tent at the campground, but Brad said no. :( Instead, we are staying in a cabin on the campgrounds. KOA's across the nation were having a buy one night get one free sale for this weekend, so I took it! We'll spend Saturday exploring Cedar City and maybe trying to meet up with Brad's dad before the wedding reception in La Verkin that evening. Then it's back up to the KOA to sleep. We'll find a church to attend on Sunday morning and then it's down to Vegas! If we're not too tired, we'll take Katie to see some of the free attractions on the strip before settling down in our hotel for the night. Then, it's up REALLY early Monday morning to drive down to Southern California! One of my best friends, Daryn, and her husband Mat, will be in the area and i'd LOVE to see them before they head back up to NorCal Monday afternoon. We'll check into Palm Canyons Resort in Palm Springs in the afternoon, where we'll be staying until Friday morning. Then, for the week, it's all the valley stuff. Living Desert, Whitewater, visiting my sister, seeing the Dinosaurs out at Cabazon, street fair on Thursday, etc. . . We'll also head to the beach on one of the days, not sure which. If any of you have any recommendations as to which beach, let me know! One that is toddler friendly, with not too many rocks, and within 2 hours of Palm Springs. Thanks! Saturday is Nicole's wedding!!!!! CRAZY! We still need to find a place to sleep on Friday night before we head out to Bermuda Dunes for the wedding on Saturday. After all is said and done, we'll be driving through the night to make it back up here before church on Sunday. I was hoping to not head back until Sunday afternoon, but apparently Brad is badly needed to sing in the church choir that Sunday. :)

Anyway, i'm sure none of you were really that interested in our travel plans. I'm just super excited. Can you tell?!
Oh, and nobody better think about robbing us while we're gone! We have some amazing friends who will be feeding our kitties for us, so you thieves are out of luck. :D

Last but not least, i'm looking for input. Best foods to bring on a road trip? Ways to keep a 2 year old entertained in the car? Great tourist stops along the way? Can we stay with you on Friday night? Haha.

I'll leave you with some pictures as a reward for reading this boring post.

That's my little cheese!
 Baby kisses!
 First they're sour. . .
Then they're sweet. . . (name that commercial!)