Saturday, March 29, 2014

Adventure Days 2014: #1

When our oldest children were little, we started a tradition we call Adventure Day.  In those days, an Adventure Day was when Kent and I would make plans to take up an entire Saturday in exploring our great state, and then surprise the kids on Saturday morning by whisking them away from the usual routine of cold cereal and DVDs.

With #1's impending flight from the nest (in 2 1/2 years--too soon!), we are getting pretty serious about squeezing in lots of family time.  We've decided to make Adventure Days a monthly activity, schedule them on the calendar, and knock off some of the items on our family's bucket list.

Today's gorgeous weather coincided with our plans to hike to the hot pots in Diamond Fork Canyon.  When we arrived at the trail head, we realized we were not the only ones chomping at the bit to enjoy the lovely spring warmth and get into "the nature".  For possibly the first time ever, our family left home within three minutes of our planned departure time this morning, and three dozen other vehicles still beat us there.  We, including our friends, the Higas (whom we failed to get a picture with because we're lame) were not thwarted, however, and we quickly passed up the scout group that tried to get a leg up on us.

Poor #4 had really sore leg muscles from participating in her school's walk-a-thon yesterday.  We took that as an opportunity to give Mark and Bri's dogs an extra workout by pulling #4 up the trail.  After about 75 minutes of hiking, we reached the hot pools and were happy to discover that the groups of people at the lower falls didn't know about the upper hot pots.  We soaked in the sulfur water for a good hour.  Kent led the younger and more impressionable (read: gullible) of our children in dipping into the cold river water for three seconds before jumping back into the natural hot tub.  They tried to peer pressure me into it, arguing that it's invigorating and jump starts the immune system.  I withstood their claims and enjoyed the warm soak.

#4 enjoyed taking pictures on the trail back to the car.  I've included some of them here for your viewing pleasure.  Just kidding.  I can't figure out how to get them off the camera phone that she used.  Maybe I'll add them later.

The second part of our Adventure Day was to take the whole family out to eat.  Considering that the cost of one restaurant meal for the seven of us is almost as much as our weekly grocery bill, this is a rare activity indeed.  We had hoped to be out of the canyon in time to catch some food and chalk at the Festival of Colors in Spanish Fork; but alas, we were too hungry to figure out parking and tickets and the rest of the logistics to getting there.  Maybe next year.  (Doesn't this look fun?!)

After a good amount of bickering and listening to the opinions of children who didn't want to try new food, Kent and I decided to expose the children to Mongolian BBQ at HuHot Mongolian Grill.  This restaurant does Mongolian BBQ right with their all-you-can-eat grill line and entertaining grill chefs.  Everyone had fun choosing their own recipes and trying 25% of their 100+ drink options.  It was nice to finish a perfect afternoon of hiking with full bellies and healthy, mineral-soaked skin.

Mary and #3 attended the LDS General Women's meeting at our Stake Center for an uplifting and spiritual end to the day.  We're all looking forward to our next Adventure Day!  Maybe we'll bike the Provo River Trail, ride the Heber Creeper, or hunt for geodes.  Any suggestions?


VickieG said...

What a great day. Hiking and eating good food. Glad you are taking the time now; they are growing up so fast. Bless little #5---what a good sport he is.

mindy said...

I love the idea of Adventure Days! We may have to start our own. :o)