John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Monday, June 27, 2011

Utah Trip 2011

Lots of excitement early on as we traveled the entire country to our final destination...UTAH! Imagine a family of 7 boarding a plane in B'ham, AL that was delayed 40 min. to then arrive in Houston, TX and run like mad to catch our connecting flight to Salt Lake City, UT...(visualize 5 kids, two suitcases, three carry on bags and two parents hauling butt through the airport), to only then miss it by 1 min. and have our seats sold out from under us (b/c we didn't arrive 10 min. prior to take-off, even though a "code red" was called in to hold our seats) then be told our only option was to wait three hours, catch a flight to SAN FRANSISCO, layover for three more hours, United computer system crashed so the blind was leading the blind for sure at that point, but then to finally arrive in UT at midnight, find our luggage, drive 2 hours to Price and pull into my dad's driveway at 2am.....yep, that would be what our crazy family of 7 endured last Friday as we ventured off to the beautiful city of Price, UT! I think United Airlines owes me something for mental anguish...I can laugh about it now, but in that moment....not so much! I'm sure youtube has great footage of me during my complete meltdown (along with my five kids) in the center of terminal B (gate 77 B) in the Houston airport when that wretched old hag refused to let us on that plane!

I was DONE with airports, layovers, delayed flights (which caused us to arrive at our connecting flight 45 min. late), arrogant people, rude people, public restrooms, over-priced crappy food, United Airlines with NO ANSWERS, and an extra 12 hours of travel time... Mamma Bear was DONE!

But it was all well worth it when we finally arrived....

And these smiles were worth every minute of 18 hours of travel misery through three different airports...

Price, Utah....a small town with a BIG, special, Lebanese family called "The Howas"... I always looked forward to traveling to Utah when I was a child for several reasons. I loved the weather, the smell (I know it is weird but there is a certain smell out there) of course the four-wheelers, sand piles, rock piles, Lebanese food, riding in the big trucks, the twizzlers and 'soda pop' that are on every corner, the long days of summer play with all my cousins, and best of all was the huge family of love that was shared by all. Now I am all grown up and taking my kids out to the same little small town with the really big HOWA family to enjoy all the same pleasures. They love it and I totally understand is just different out there, it is a special place with legacy and love are passed down in a unique family called, "The Howas"....

I took 478 pictures and hours worth of video. The memories our family made together in Utah will last forever.

Girls with Granny Rosie...not sure who loves who more...these girls are crazy about their Granny Rosie, and I think the feeling is mutual!

The boy is not even fully awake yet, but he is already climbing on the his underwear...haha!

Dad works so hard to keep this gorgeous peonia patch thriving...and from the picture you can see how beautiful it is.

Girls playing in the RV camper...they loved playing 'house'.

Uncle Paul took the boys for a ride on the 'cactor' (aka tractor)...

These girls never grew weary of riding those four-wheelers!

Nun-Nuns...I think they wore Becky out...on a daily basis...hah..Lol!

Playing on Uncle Paul's huge 10ft slide...a little wax paper goes a long way..

Happy Father's Day....Girls gave Daddy flavored water, granola, wintergreen mints and protein bars...:-)

Happy Grandfather's Day....what a special day this was! Girls gave Becky dark chocolate candy bar, Pistachio nuts, work socks, and chewing tabacco...:-)

Jenna eating infamous Twizzlers with Uncle Ryan.

Me and Claire chillin on the rock pile.

I am pretty sure what he is saying here is, "I RIDE, I RIDE, I RIDE"...Lol!

Rolling grape leaves...a delicious Lebanese meal that Rob and I would consider flying all the way back to Utah just to eat!

James was jamin with Uncle Ryan.

Camper...listening to "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" before tucking in for bed.

Hanging out around the campsite.

Jenna's hair looks like a rat's nest...goodness the girl fits the picture of a 'camp girl'

Daddy gave the boys a super big powedered sugar sucker..yes, they were wired!

Ellie and Claire and Uncle Ryan chopping wood...

Rosie always asks Ellie to find her a special rock when we visit. Ellie found a beautiful rock and I'm sure Rosie will have a perfect spot for it.

Taking a break from chopping wood.

Yep, they pretty much stayed on the four-wheelers....

Camping at Old Folks Flat...absolutely gorgeous campsite. We had the most amazing time. Camping in the mountains of Utah makes the mole hills of Alabama look pitiful!



Uncle Ryan and Daddy made a fort out of a pine tree...the kids loved it!

Please look at how filthy John David is...he is in the back of the picture....he is covered in black dirt.

Playing in the sand pile...a really BIG sand pile!

Becky and John David with Uncle Ryan peeking in the background.

Playing in the yard at like 8pm and look how bright it doesn't get dark unitl 9:30!

Uncle Paul has an amzaing garden and the girls are helping him pick the peas. So fun and so delicious. One night for dinner, Rob and I walked out to the garden and cut the most beautiful lettuce...made an awesome salad!

Uncle Rex being silly with the kids.

Hanging out around the kitchen table with family. Uncle Eddie and Aunt Wilma.

Claire took Rosie for a ride, she missed a turn and ended up in a pile of MUD...(on purpose I think:-))))

Vroooom...Uncle Rex always brings his motorcycle!

Me and my sweet Claire Bear!

"Becky" and Jenna!

Ellie riding the same little four-wheeler I rode when I was her age.

Jenna and cousin Hayden pretending to ride the four-wheelers...although Jenna did end up riding this little one before the week was over!

Driving the BIG TRUCK....

My dad and Uncle Dew with the boys on the BIG TRUCK!

RIDING!...NUNUN...(the boys call any type of heavy machinary a 'nun nun'..)

WHOOO HOOO....riding those nun-nunS!

Making Lebanese Bread....SOOOOO Yummy. And my precious dad even created a new recipe with a lower fat and sodium for Rob and I....

James Daniel LOVED his Lebanese bread...he ate half a loaf.

I love 'showing muscles' just makes a cute picture!

Aunt Jeannie and Uncle Kay invited us over for a wonderful cook out. They have a beautiful yard....

Loaders are just cool...especially to crawl in the bucket and take a picture with your family:0)

Leaving is NO FUN...we are smiling here, but seconds later, we were all crying:-(

So we are full of memories to last us a while, pictures and video that we will cherish. Our hearts ache to be with them all again. We long to hug them and love them. But we know how blessed we are to have them, and so we look forward to our next visit with Becky and Rosie and Uncle Ryan!