Not quite the blogging momentum I had in March....I'll try to catch up.
Way back at the start of spring break, my friend Emily and I were sitting in church and when the meeting was over we started chatting about what our plans were for the week. We realized that neither of us had much going on and were lamenting the fact that many people we knew were heading out on grand excursions. We thought, hey, why don't we just be crazy and go somewhere ourselves? We'll be super exotic and spontaneous! And that, my friends, is how we ended up on a whirlwind trip to Vernal, Utah.
It was actually super fun. Em went home that afternoon and searched for hotel rooms in the bustling metropolis that is Vernal. I looked up a map to the local dinosaur attractions, where I remembered going as a little kid. We left Tuesday morning, drove east for three hours until we arrived in the wee town. We pretty much went straight to the local dinosaur museum. We made one stop along the way - a place I thought was the dino museum because I saw giant statues of dinosaurs outside. I almost came to a screeching halt when I saw them because they are the exact statues of which I have pictures with me and my dad. I figured we had hit the right spot. We hadn't. It was just a city park outside the library and another tiny little museum of the local heritage. I felt super guilty going inside and asking for directions to the big dinosaur museum because it was completely empty in there and the girls at the desk desperately wanted us to stay. But our time was limited so we slunk away and headed for the museum.
We spent a lovely couple of hours at a very neat dinosaur museum, letting the kids run through the displays and outdoor patio. We let the kids browse the gift shop and I chatted with the people at the desk. We found out we were only about 20 minutes away from the actual dinosaur digging site and that it closed in 40 minutes. Em and I realized that we probably wouldn't have a chance to visit there in the morning (when I said whirlwind, I really meant whirlwind) so we hopped into the cars and sped out there as fast as our little Sienna minivans could take us. Legally, that is.
I was afraid that we would have no time to see anything fun, but as it turned out, 15 minutes was exactly how long we needed to see a great site at Dinosaur National Monument and be completely satisfied with our journey. There's an ancient river bed there that trapped a lot of dinosaurs once upon a time. A bazillion years later the riverbed was lifted up as a mountain was formed so the side of this mountain is absolutely covered in dinosaur bones. The paleontologists decided it would be just as easy to just erect a building around the bones as it would be to excavate them, and so there is this cool place to go see the site. And 15 minutes is plenty of time to enjoy what is there.
After we left the monument, we headed to our hotel. It was perfect. Very comfortable, and everything about it, including the pool, was kind of tiny. I think it was even called a "Microtel" because it was just small. But since there seemed to be very few visitors, we had the pool to ourselves. The kids had great fun creating some type of sporting event in the pool while Emily and I soaked our bones in the hot tub. What more could we want?
We had to head home pretty much first thing in the morning, after we took advantage of the hotel breakfast. Those boys can put some serious food away. I was impressed.
Even though it was just one night away and we didn't exactly go on a grand tour, we had a great time. Any time I get with Emily makes my life better. She has these four wonderful boys who give my boy (and his sister too) a whole flock of brothers. I can't imagine life without them. And I can heartily recommend Vernal as a vacation destination. It is quiet, clean, and really really not crowded, and we had fun!