Monday, August 1, 2011

to remember.

I’ve been putting this off, for a few reasons.  Frankly, I enjoyed my time away, away from my real life and away from this little blogosphere.  It was kind of like I was hiding from everything and I loved it.  I apologize if I ignored your phone calls and emails, but I was “out.” 

But, alas, I am back and trying to embrace it.  So, here is by far the longest post I’ve ever created…recap of the road trip that was… many, many miles covered and more importantly, many great memories made.

Like this one.  We spent our first night in Kanab before trekking to southeastern Utah the next day for the Banks reunion.  We stopped at Moqui Cave.  Not worth your time, in case you’re wondering, but we were on a road trip!  Me and three little people, so we stopped for things like caves and milk shakes.  The kids thought it was awesome until they actually had to go in the dark cavern.  They didn’t want to, but I paid for it, gosh darn it, we were going in!


We drove through gorgeous country, from red rock canyons into white moonstone-like valleys, up into desert country covered with sage and finally into thick pines and forest.  I was impressed all over again with the geography Utah has to offer.  We camped somewhere over there for a few days with the Banks clan, who, luckily I happen to enjoy.


Grandma and Grandpa Banks.   lawn golf.   Katelyn and Bode


Coop perfecting his lawn golf.   Grace, Lindsay, Tess and Anne.  Senny and Mary


the crew making boats.  the final products.

kids boats

all ready to sail their boats down the stream.


cousins.   sisters.   more cousins.  


My great-aunt Marge turned 90 this year and you don’t have a birthday in Peaks Circle without a big sha-bang!  Here is Marge with my family and with her brothers, Joe and Ben (grandpa).  I love Marge to pieces.  She’s always had a thing for my husband… who can blame her, really.

ben homeben home2

Ben returned home from his mission to a houseful of family who couldn’t wait to see him. 


It took Boogs all of 2.7 hours to shed his suit and find his real skin again.  His sisters were the fortunate beneficiaries of his first outing.  Unfortunately Wilhelmina (the jeep) had a little trouble.  She was rebuilt while Ben was away and needed a few kinks worked out.  We were really good at looking at the engine and absolutely useless in figuring out the problem.  We still had a great time and decided none of us could remember  the last time when just the four of us were together, without any husbands, children or parents. 


I am climbing a big mountain in a couple of weeks and my dad made sure I did as much hiking as possible while we were in Utah to get ready.  Between dinners, hikes and jeep excursions, I was up one canyon or another every day that week.  I decided that I most definitely did not appreciate the wonder or proximity of the cottonwood canyons when I lived in Utah.  Nanette and Jeff are climbing the Grand with us and were regular hiking partners.

While I spent a few fancy-free days in SLC, my children enjoyed some solid time with their Grandma and Grandpa Robinson and Uncle Drew.  There was bowling, movies, swimming, endless games of Uno and Sorry and trips to the museum.  I think it’s safe to say they didn’t miss me any more than I missed them!

Once Dent had joined us in Utah, we packed up and headed to McCall.


Uncle Boogs is good for so many things…


as is Bode.  things like squishing and kissing and talking in ridiculous voices.  the hunts on the lake.


Bex and Grandpa doing watermelon rolls off the dock.


first water-ski experience… it was a total hit.  Beckham would have ridden around the whole lake every time if there weren’t two little girls in the boat waiting patiently for their turn. 


exploring old miner’s houses on a jeep trip with Ben. 



many hours were spent just like this.  my body is just down the dock, splayed out on a towel with my face in a book.


singing while skiing was Seneca’s M.O. and both girlies decided skiing in skirts is the only way to go.


and napping in the boat became regular activity.


heaven bless Gram (maybe?) for indulging and feeding the “princess” in these girls.  I’m pretty sure they were never in the cabin long without donning some sort of princess attire.  Gram made them new skirts and then presented them with these ridiculous sparkly shoes.  Another word about Senny and Tess.  They were a pair this trip.  They had their hair done the same way.  They traded and wore each other’s jammies.  They both exhibited over-the-top exuberance for everything… the drama was impressive.  It was imperative that they sit by each other for each and every meal.  The cousin love was abundant.


wandering down the trail at Brundage.


Dad and I at the bottom, then top of Brundage.  Normal people that hike up to the top of the resort most likely take a trail.  If you have ever hiked with my dad, you’ll know that bush-whacking is a part of the experience.  We got out of site of the rangers at the bottom and then headed straight up.  Well, there was weaving, but there was no trail.  We navigated streams, fallen trees and thick foliage in our attempt to reach the top of the chair lift.  While these excursions can be mildly grueling, he’s good at distracting me with pretty good conversation.  I love those times with my dad.


and just in case you thought maybe the water was warm this year… seems there’s a rumor that the reason the Banks girls swear is because they learned to ski in McCall.


this is Andrew.  he came with Lindsay.  we all love him.

there is photographic proof that all of the other skiers in this family continue to improve, but you know by now that there are about 500 ski pictures and I just can’t do it right now.


Shore Lodge for lunch.  mmmmm.  fish tacos.


all the crazies I love the most… except for the guy working on the self-timer.


Annika said...

Love the crazy [picture! It is priceless!!!

Tutz said...

GREAT POST!!! What fabulous pictures and memories. I love that Bex was skiing like Mr. Cool, with sunglasses on. You've got great pictures. AH, summer vacation. Nothing like it. What a crazy, wonderful family!

kimmalee said...

That looks just wonderful. You guys have so much fun together. What a fun bunch of crazies. I'm glad BJ is home! YEA! So fun that you all got to vacation together now that he's back. I love those cute little girls on the tube in their skirts. I love Beckham's beautiful chocolate eyes in that picture with you. And all the boat napping looks splendid. Looks like an amazing trip!

The Hansen's said...

That does look just like heaven!That McCall is a beautiful place. To spend your days lying in the sun, listening to laughter (big and little) and just enjoying the good times with family. It was so much fun to see you, even for just a brief moment. Your little family is so darling. What wonderful memories!!

Steph said...

Awesome!!! Family and vacations are the best!!!

Debi said...

I'm so happy you all got to spend time together in McCall. I have such wonderful growing up memories there. I would love to have been a fly on the wall for the fun conversations. You have a great family!!

Nancy said...

Great pictures! I happened to print out the last family picture so I can frame it -- Banks family at their best!! Looks like the trip was tons of fun!

Emily said...

Glad I took a break from the packing madness I am currently invovled in to look at this. It reminded me that the chaos that is this day will be well worth it! Glad ya had so much fun!

Grace Amis said...

soooo cute!

Amy said...

I am so glad you had so much fun this summer! Next year we should caravan on the Utah least you'd have some buddies for lunch at the stop in kanab! haha.

tenacious d said...

Thanks for posting this and letting us in on your little slice of heaven. It's obvious why you wanted to keep out of the mundane for awhile.

Could it really be two years since your brother left on his mission?

Amber said...

Love all the pictures, but love, love, love the last one ha, ha. Too cute!

Emily Malinka said...

I wouldn't want to come back to reality either... it looks like you all had WAY too much fun!