When the kids turn 10, Nick told them that they could pick out a spot to visit. Sims chose Puerto Rico. Sawyer originally chose Italy, but this was not in the budget. She got a surprise trip to the Florida Keys. Parks turned 10 in 2016, but he didn’t know where he wanted to go. Over the past year, he finally decided that he wanted to visit the western United States. Thus, we headed to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Nick and I visited there 18 years ago and loved it. We were excited to share the city with the kids. We headed out on a Tuesday morning and arrived Tuesday evening. After a long day in the plane, we checked into our air bnb, found a local restaurant for some dinner, and hit the grocery store.
We arrived in Salt Lake City as the moon was coming up. It was a full, super, blue moon. It was amazing! (Not a great photo as it was taken in the car as we were going down the road)
While in Salt Lake, we took the kids skiing. We had a blast watching them hit the slopes. They have all skied since they were about 3 or 4. However, they learned in North Carolina-a big difference from Utah! They all rocked the slopes! We may have ruined them forever. 🙂
At the top of the mountain.
Taking a little break.
We also found several skate parks in the area for Parks to play at. He brought his scooter along.
Jordan Skate Park
Fairmont Skate Park
We also headed out to the actual Great Salt Lake and learned some of the history and science of the area.
Nick and Sharon
Playing on the shore
On the deck of the nature center
Checking out the critters in the shallows
Overall, a fun and very relaxing trip. The weather was perfect for hanging out-not great for snow fall, but there was enough snow on the mountains to enjoy the skiing. These days are going by too fast! It is times like these that I realize how quickly the time is going. I love that I get the opportunity to share these memories with my kids.
Two weeks without blogging on the computer-but I have been blogging in my head for the past two weeks. So where have we been? Well, my husband told the kids that they can each pick a place to go in the world when they turn ten. Sims turned ten in April of this year. He had a tough decision. The world is big place. He wanted mountains to hike in, and he also wanted to see the Caribbean blue water. After a good bit of research, Puerto Rico was the chosen destination.
We started the vacation on the east side of Puerto Rico. We flew into San Juan and immediately drove to a place a little north of Fajardo. Sims began questioning his decision in the first hour of being in Puerto Rico, as we got horribly lost in San Juan-one wrong turn took us into areas that he never knew existed. After weaving around people in the middle of streets and through tiny side streets, we made it to a beach road that took us the long way to Fajardo. On the east side of the island, the kids were entertained with huge iguanas and lizards everywhere, beautiful water and awesome hiking.
The favorite spot on this side was definitely El Yunque National Forest. El Yunque is a beautiful rainforest on the east side of the island. I think we could have spent a week in the rainforest alone. The first day in the rainforest, we did some sight-seeing including the welcome center, the La Coca Falls and the Yokahu Tower. The next day, we hit the trails. The main trail we took went to La Mina Falls where the kids played in the water falls. The main falls were beautiful but crowded, so we followed the water a bit and found our “own” falls to play in. The rainforest is the home to some awesome lizards who hide very well, birds with beautiful calls and amazing plants. Obviously, this was not a school trip-but being the dorks that we are, we took as many moments as we could to teach and learn.
After hanging out on the east coast, we headed over to the west coast to stay in the town of Rincon. Rincon was where the underworld opened up for the kids. We spent the majority of the week snorkeling in various areas. The water behind the house we stayed in had a small reef filled with all types of fun tropical fish. We went to Gilligan’s Island which is a little cay covered in mangroves. The kids discovered communities of hermit crabs, fish and more coral. They also had a lot of fun jumping into the crystal blue water off of the mangrove trees. Out of all of the beaches we visited, the snorkeling favorite was Steps Beach. Here the coral was much larger. Nick and I have been to many other places with a lot healthier reefs, but this was the first salt water snorkeling any of the kids have done. Thus, the kids were amazed the while time at Steps Beach. The find of the trip was discovered by Nick and Sims. They swam upon a sea turtle gliding through the reef. Sims and I went back to find him but he was gone.
Overall, the trip was a huge success. We all learned a lot. We had a blast. We weren’t ready to leave and of course this is not my only post on it. More to come tomorrow.