We got to head north for the long 4th of July weekend and we had the best time! My in-laws booked a cabin at Kohl's Ranch in Payson so we headed up there Friday, the 1st, once Trent got home from work. It's not even 2 hours away, but we did hit holiday traffic when we got into Payson so that slowed us down a little. We got to the cabin around 9 that evening.
Got this shot of Janie after she fell asleep. She has almost outgrown the Pack 'n' Play. She barely fits!
That night it stormed like crazy!
Saturday morning we headed to Heber for their parade. I guess they decided to have their 4th of July festivities on Saturday. We found ourselves a spot to sit and got situated, only to find out we were sitting in the Water Zone. Turns out they have a Water Zone and a No Water Zone and in the Water Zone people literally come with barrels of water and water guns and come ready to have a water fight and get soaked!! We were far enough away from the road that we weren't too worried about getting wet, thankfully. It was pretty entertaining to watch everyone though!
So anyway, the parade was supposed to start at 11, so 11 rolls around and we're not seeing anything. Eventually a police car comes down and a little later some fire trucks (the forest fire truck dowsed the people with water!) and then we sat twiddling our thumbs wondering what the hold up was with everyone else. WELL we later found out that most of the parade turns off before the Water Zone. Um yeah, we're newbies!! We had no idea and no one mentioned anything about it!! Thinking back we all realized it made perfect sense. Of course they don't want they're floats to get wet..haha. Oh man! Kind of a waste of time, but it was nice to be outside :) I was absolutely loving all of the time we got to spend outside during this trip since it was a good 20 or more degrees cooler than back home.
Trent kept saying our saving grace was the Bites donuts and popcorn I sent him off to get for us while we were waiting :) This is the only picture I got from the "parade" (whoops!). Janie insisted on holding the big bag of popcorn..haha.
As we were heading out we drove by a bunch of the floats, so at least we got to see a few of them..haha. And then Janie cried/screamed almost the whole like 40 minute drive back to the cabin. Then we really were thinking that whole parade fiasco was a total waste of time..ha.
We got back just in time to have some lunch and take naps :)
Tanis and Kent got Aiden and Janie these little fishing poles and they just loved them the whole trip! They spent lots of time "fishing" in the creek :) If you remember, it had stormed the night before so the creek was super muddy. It cleared out some over the next few days.
They kept getting their lines caught in one another's so Daddy and Grandma spent lots of time untangling them.
The view walking back to our cabin. So pretty!
I loved that we ate dinner every evening out at the picnic table :) Saturday was pizza night!
That evening we headed back into Heber for fireworks. Tanis and Kent had gotten tickets to reserve us parking spots and a spot on the lawn so we didn't think we needed to head there super early, so we headed out around 7:45 for the 9 o'clock fireworks. Well just our luck for the day, the parking lot was blocked off when we got there and we were told it was full even though we had reserved tickets!! We were so disappointed. So Tanis and Kent paid more money to get us into a different parking lot quite a ways down and we decided to just watch from there. Bummer!!
The kids sat in the bed of Kent's truck. Aiden was really worried about the fireworks being loud so he wore these headphones, but then he and Janie fought over them the whole time :/
Janie is so long!!
None of us were too impressed with the fireworks. They lasted maybe 15 minutes. Of course we may have enjoyed them better if Aiden and Janie weren't bickering the whole time..ha.
We got a tad lost on the way home and Aiden fell asleep in the car. We made it inside and he promptly fell back asleep on this ottoman..ha.
Sunday we headed to Church at the Christopher Creek Branch. There were so many visitors that they had people in the chapel, Relief Society room, Primary room, YW's room, and every room was just bulging with people! We watched on a screen from the YW's room.
We headed back to the cabin and had a pretty easy going Sunday.
We loved this swing just out front of our cabin.
A little later we headed to the Tonto Creek Hatchery.
Then we headed down to do some real fishing. Just down the road we went to Rancho Tonto Catch-A-Trout. Basically it's a man-made pond chock full of trout and you have to keep the fish you catch, no catch and release.
We were talking about popsicles/ice cream in the car so the kids were pretty excited when we found out they had popsicles!
I should have known, but Janie got super messy eating her popsicle and it took a bit to get her cleaned up because Trent had to go back to the car to grab the wipes.
In the meantime, Kent and Aiden (I don't know if Aiden actually helped at all..haha) caught a fish within like 1-2 minutes and I totally missed it! I was so bummed! No pictures with Aiden and the fish :/ And then they caught another one right after that (as I mentioned, that pond must have been chock full!), all while I was cleaning Janie up..ha.
Here are the pictures Trent was able to get on his mom's phone. You can see the fish in the net.
I think it was a tad traumatic for Aiden to see a live fish and realize we were killing it. I think he's officially decided that his pretend fishing is the way to go ;)
We decided to stop at 2 fish. Here's where the owner guy chopped the heads and packaged them up for us.
Aiden's got our bag of fish ;)
Then we headed back for naps and had fajitas for dinner later that evening. Oh and T&K grilled up the fish!
After dinner we headed up to the park. So funny that they had this tiny little wedding chapel on the grounds.
Janie always stopped to turn the wheel before she went down the slide :)
Monday, the 4th, we had a nice slow morning and just enjoyed being outside and reading, and the kids spent lots of time in the creek.
Got this shot from the kitchen window..ha. I was inside with Janie while she napped.
Off to "fish".
The creek was still really muddy upstream.
As always we had to get a family picture in our red, white, and blue. I absolutely love the 4th of July and dressing in red, white, and blue. I feel so privileged to have grown up right outside of D.C. and the older I get the more grateful I feel for our freedoms and the beautiful country we live in and for those who have made that possible.
We had to try a few different places ;)
They convinced me to get in the creek ;)
It is so funny to watch Trent and Janie together. She bosses him around (all of us really) and he complies ;) She didn't want to get in the water so she kept pointing her little fingers where she wanted to go and Trent would carry her over..haha.
She is so stinking cute!
I got lots of pictures of these two "fishing" together. So adorable!
"No more pictures Mom!"
Don't know what Aiden's doing here, sticking out his tongue!
She looks so cute and tiny next to Trent :)
We had a perfect 4th of July dinner - hot dogs (I will always choose a hot dog over a hamburger if I have the choice), watermelon, and chips :) And after that we made s'mores (over the grill..ha).
Just a random picture later on. The kids loved getting inside the ottomans and having us push them around..haha.
The kids with Grandma and Grandpa Knuckles in front of our cabin :)
Trent and I were inside getting ready to head to fireworks, but we caught this picture from the window. Aiden met a little friend who let him try out his remote control monster truck :)
That evening I talked Trent into going to the fireworks in Payson. It's not the 4th of July without fireworks! Tanis and Kent had decided they didn't want to, so we left the kids behind with them (Aiden only felt like he needed to see them once and we had gone to the ones in Heber on Saturday).
Let me tell ya, we were super impressed with Payson! We left around 7:30 and had read to park at the high school and buses would be there to take us to the park. We thought we'd hit crazy traffic and long lines for the buses, NADA! Zip! It was so freaking easy!
We made it to the park with plenty of time to spare, found a spot to sit with our blankets on the hill, and enjoyed being out with so many other people and watching everyone play with their glow sticks on and light up toys :) And there was a band covering all kinds of great old songs. It was so great!
Tried to get a picture of all of the fun.
I absolutely loved laying out under the fireworks! That's the way to watch them! My favorite!
They started the fireworks promptly at 9 o'clock and ended right at 9:30. We were so impressed!! And then we just hopped right back on the bus afterward (there were like 7 buses which was nice) and made it back to the car and didn't hit any traffic on the way back! It was amazing! We are officially convinced that if we'll be in AZ for the 4th, and want to get out of the valley (let's be honest, I always will), Payson is the way to go! It's an easy hour and a half drive and now we know how it's done!
Tuesday we packed up and made our way home! It was so hard to leave the cooler weather behind :/ (Oh, we stopped to eat breakfast on the way out at the Pinon Cafe in Payson. Unfortunately we were pretty disappointed - we probably waited close to an hour before we got our food :/ Bummer!)
Huge thank you to Tanis and Kent for such a wonderful trip! We loved every minute!