Saturday, March 25, 2017

Holi (or, How I Learned What to Do and Not to Do at Color Festival)

Ever since I saw the posters at my works community board advertising Holi, I have wanted to go to it. But every year, I've let it slip my mind in requesting the right day off to go... except this year. I started planning it last year, and with the reminders in my phone, I finally was able to get the last Saturday in March off to go.

We asked my friend Jessica and her family if they wanted to watch Destiny since I knew they missed her from when they watched her while we were in Moab. They said yes.

When we left Davis and Salt Lake County, it was raining. So when we hit Utah County, it was only partly cloudy. We dropped Destiny off at Jessica's house and continued over to the Radha Krishna Temple... that's when the rain started. We found a parking spot in a field that someone owned near the temple, but luckily nothing was growing upon it. We started walking in the rain and once we arrived to the temple grounds, we got through the gates using our printed tickets, then continued up to the temple. Random people leaving asked to hug us to spread the colored powder already on their clothes, onto our clothes. We found the spot where we picked up our different color powder on the south side, and made our way back up to the live music on the north side. By this time, the rain was now coming down... but that wasn't going to stop us from having fun.

We walked around looking at the other events around the temple, hiding under cover from the rain, looked at the booths selling knickknacks, taking in the festivities, looked at the animals they keep there, then walked back to the north side to finish throwing out the powder while listening to a new band.

Before long, the rain coming down was cold, wet and miserable. So instead of spending a few hours there, we left before the first hour. We walked back to the car and tried to put on the garbage bags so we could sit in my new car since we were covered in colors... but because of the rain, it was a runny mess getting anywhere that was not covered.

We quickly stopped at Walmart in Springville and man, did we get looks. We tried to get it off the best we could in the bathrooms, but it still wasn't coming off. So we headed over to pick up Destiny, and drove home to clean up.

So maybe next year it will be sunny and we can enjoy it a little more... but we had a lot of fun.

Here are some tips for visiting Holi:
- Wear a white shirt of course. I recommend a cheap one from a thrift store or Walmart.
- Bring 2 garbage bags that are 33 gallon or larger for each person after leaving (one for top and one for makeshift pants).
- Bring a junk towel for each person, just in case it rains.
- Eat before you go.
- Since powder can get in the eyes, be sure to wear sun glasses (check out the dollar store).
- If it's not raining, wear a bandanna to prevent breathing in the powder.
- Wear clothing and shoes that you will not worry about getting ruined.
- Expect to pay to park and be walking a ways (1/4 of a mile or longer) when you find a parking spot.
- Don't wear jewelry or watches.
- If you are taking pictures, expect your photography equipment (camera or phone) to get covered in powder. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dead Horse Point & Goblin Valley - Part 4

On our last day of being in and around the Moab area, we got up, dressed and packed up all our luggage into the car. We had a couple of big stops that day to see some more beauty of nature.

First spot we hit was next to the visitors center at Dead Horse Point to see the one big cut outs of the cliff, then carried on to the end of the road to see the other area that looks down at the Green River.

After visiting and taking many pictures, we headed out to spend a few hours driving over to Goblin Valley. Amanda has always wanted to see it (it was on her bucket list), probably since it was on the movie Galaxy Quest. I had never seen it, but due to the idiots knocking over one of the large boulders a few years ago, that's how I kind of knew about it.

Once we arrived, we paid to get in, and basically went were the sign told us to go. We found a spot to park along side of the road and looked around at some of the scenery before heading to the main attraction area.

When we were done looking at the first spot, I had to walk back to the car to pick them up to drive us to the end of the road. When they were within view, I saw all three of them with the their thumbs out hitching for a ride. Oh I saw them, but being me, I pretended that I wasn't picking them up and drove past a few feet before stopping to hear them yell out, "HEY!" They hoped in the car and we drove to the main parking lot, got out, and walked down the dirt stairwell to walk around the boulders. Like I mentioned above about the incident of tipping rocks over, I had to remind the girls to look, and not touch. But some of them, you have to touch to get through them while exploring.

After taking pictures, and walking around, we knew we better go get water in our containers or we'd be experiencing heat related issues on the drive home. So we walked back to the car, and stopped at the little visitors center to fill up our bottles with pump water. That was better than no water. Continued driving back the way we drove in, then hoped on Interstate 70, then headed north on Highway 6. With one rest stop pit stop, and gas in Price, we made it Jessica's house to pick up Destiny.

The kids were outside playing with Destiny. I had to rearrange some of the luggage to be able to put the cooler in the trunk so she could sit in the back seat with the girls. They bonded right away and we headed home so we could make hamburgers.

But of course, we had no grill to cook them on or supplies, so Ady and I dropped Amanda and Chloe off at Walmart, and we went to Home Depot to get a small BBQ grill. Picked them back up and headed home to make hamburgers. Assembled the grill while the girls watched UHF with me. Made the burgers and finished watching the movie. Called it a night and went to bed because I had to be up in morning to be to work.

The next two days they went and spent the time with my parents at their place. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Arches - Part 3

On Tuesday morning, we all got ready for a day of fun adventures ahead. We had to stop at the Dollar General to purchase socks for the girls since they didn't pack any, then continued to drive over to wait in the line of cars at Arches National Park to get in. I made a bet that we'd be driving through the gate in no more than 12 minutes... We'll, I would have lost, because it took 16 minutes. Ha!

But I drove through the park as all three of them looked out at nature's beauty formed in rocks. We made it to the parking lot of Delicate Arch and had to wait in yet another line to use the restroom before the hike, so we lathered up in sun block while waiting. After going, we let the girls check out Wolfe Ranch cabin really quick, then continued on the trail.

The last time I hiked it, there was overcast and so it made it pleasant to hike it. Today, with the sun out, we should have brought and packed more water than the one bottle each we carried. By the time we made it up to the arch, we caught our breath while eating the sandwiches Amanda made, took pictures and then headed back down the trail to be able to drive to the visitors center to get water because we were getting dehydrated. Because of our thirst, all three girls didn't get to see the Windows arches I wanted to show them.

When we arrived at the center, we filled up with water, then went inside to look in the gift shop until we were able to go inside a mini theater to watch a short nature film. After the movie, we looked around at the exhibits about the park. Noticing the time, plus with us getting hungry, we headed out of the park to go get some lunch on our way over to Hole N the Rock.

We made it to Hole N the Rock one hour before they closed up. Walked in the gift shop just in time to pay to take the tour. Found out later that Amanda took pictures, even though they ask you not to. Oops! But after the tour, we went outside to look at the different and crazy items they have on the property, then walked into the two shops they have to cool down and to browse. With it getting closer to closing time, I said we better go so they can close up. Me personally, I dislike it when people are still in my work store after the set hours of when we close when I want to close up and go home.

After leaving, we drove back to the room to cool down, relax, and for me to try to get rid of the headache I had from the heat (even though I had been drinking enough water and finished my lunch). Set the alarm on my phone, and when I woke up, we put our shoes on to walk over to a little mom and pop diner in town, not to far from the hotel we were staying at. If you are wondering, "why not drive?", I didn't want to lose the parking spot I was able to grab after getting back earlier, before all the Jeepers returned and made it so that if I did find another spot, it wasn't at the other end of the building like when we arrived the night before.

We walked as a family over to the little restaurant. I chose this place because I thought it would be cheaper in prices compared to the other places when we were looking online, it ended up costing about the same as if we were to go somewhere even closer. Also, when we arrived, we waited in a short line, gave them our order... and we waited. And when I say we waited, I don't mean we stood around for just a couple of minutes like you would at fast food, no. I started to time it on my phone when I noticed 10 minutes had gone by and still no food. We sat around waiting, talking and playing "I Spy" in the sunset light until it was officially dark, to finally receive our food 50 minutes later. By that time, they were closing up and I knew we had to be up early in the morning to head out of town to check out two other locations. So as we walked to the hotel, we all carried our food and ate it as we walked in the dark streets. So next time, if I want to wait around that long, we will go to a restaurant in town.

When we arrived back to the room, we threw away any garbage, and got ready for bed. The girls showered, and shortly after everyone was asleep, I was not feeling so well. I don't know if it was my lunch or this dinner, but let's save the gross parts and just say I couldn't get to bed for another 2-3 hours after everyone else...

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bryce Canyon - Part 2

After waking up on Monday, we all got ready for the day and met Heidi and Brian at McDonald's for breakfast (the dogs stayed in the room). The girls ate, then went and played while we finished up. We then told the girls it was time to go, because we had a lot of driving to do. If you remember about our California trip, think of the day when we drove from Vegas to Ventura... we'll, this was going to be much longer. 7+ hours of driving compared to 5+ hours... not to mention stops along the way.

We drove from Mesquite to Cedar City to fill up with gas, made a quick stop inside of Lin's, then took the back road to Bryce Canyon.

(Photo by Amanda)

Amanda wasn't feeling well and since we were high in the mountains, there was still snow up there. Finally found a spot to pull over so she could go in nature (roughing it near that truck picture), and then continued on the road. Because I was driving and there was not that great of reception for Maps, I was unable to see that a mile down? the road, was Duck Creek. Oh, I laughed.

When we finally arrived at Bryce Canyon, we spent awhile looking inside the visitor center at the gift shop and exhibits, then drove over to Sunset Point in the park. Sadly, because we had many miles to drive to make it to Moab, we didn't get to check out any other parts of the park... We will have to take a trip one of these times and check out just the whole park itself.

We all used the restroom, then headed out of the park to get back on the road. Next time Google Maps tells me to take a main road to get somewhere, remind and tell me to listen. I instead took the roads less traveled to save time. Well, we traveled through to Osiris, Koosharem, Loa, onto eastbound I-70, over into Green River, where my car said I would have ran out of gas in 20 miles because not one town had a gas station (or diner/restaurant to eat). While driving through these little towns, it reminded me of line in the Willie Nelson song On the Road Again, "Goin' places that I've never been / Seein' things that I may never see again...", because I doubt I'll ever drive or see these places in my lifetime again, even though I live in Utah.

Like I said, we made it into Green River 3 hours after leaving the park, filled up with gas, then drove across the street so we could all eat dinner at Arby's. Made it into Moab around 10, checked in, found a spot to park my car (because a big group of Jeepers were taking up most of the spots), unpacked and went to bed.