Wednesday, April 30, 2014


We had so much fun at Columbia State Park when Kent's parents took us there back in November
we knew we wanted to take our friends there on our Spring Break trip.

It was a beautiful day. (What day wasn't that week??)  Mid 70's, sunny, perfect.
The drive from the cabin to Columbia is beautiful,
but quite a twisting, curving drive.

Our kids did okay, but our friends' kids weren't so lucky. Their younger girl started feeling sick,
but we were almost there, like just around the corner from the parking lot-could see the sign and everything, 
so they didn't pull over.
And she threw up, in the car, right as we pulled into the parking lot.

None of the souvenir shops that were open sold girl's clothes,
So she got to walk around sans pants for the first bit.
Luckily her tunic/shirt could almost pass off as a dress.

These kiddos got along incredibly well, considering we spent four whole days together, living in the same cozy cabin.  It was so cute to see them playing outside--it was usually some combination of ninjas and "house."

Ellie is a go-er. She was always at the head of the pack, plowing on, moving forward, ready to get to the next activity.
She gets this from my dad.  And Kent's dad, come to think of it.

The day we went happened to be field-trip day for several schools in the area, so there were hoards of elementary kids there, but we managed to time our activities just right to avoid them most of the time.

Nicholas and I just hanging out in the saloon while Daddy took Ellie to the car for a diaper change, waiting for our sandwiches, nachos without cheese (yep, just kids are not even slightly adventurous eaters....), and sarsaparilla. 
The saloon was deserted while we ate, and then right as we finished, all the school kids came.  We picked up and headed out to where they'd been just before:

Panning for gold.
The highlight of our trip was definitely the gold panning.  Or "golding" as Nicholas called it.
Nicholas listened so intently, responding so politely--the instructor guessed he was at least six years old. 
Nope, he's just an incredibly verbal four-year-old.

Ellie spent her time scooping up mud and dumping it all out again.  At one point I actually had found a few gems for her and put them in her little vial...
and she picked up the vial and "dumped it down" into the water.

Found some gold!

We could have continued "golding" all day, but they actually had a sign up about a 2-hour limit, 
so we eventually made our way to the rest of the town.

(her pants, rinsed thoroughly in the bathroom sink, had dried by this point)

This man was so sweet, and so talented, and none of the elementary kids were paying him any attention (or any tips).  
I sent the kids over with a dollar each to put in his tin, and he stopped his song to take a picture with them--he continued to talk to us as we sat on the bench eating our swedish fish from the candy shop.  He did admit to being confused about who's children were who's.  

We got a lot of that on this trip--being outside of Utah with a total of 5 kids (between two sets of parents!) got us a lot of attention.  Lots of "wow, what a crew!" kind of comments.
We laughed, because here where we live it's quite the opposite.  Most people readily assume we're "just getting started."

We took a minute to practice some yoga on the pavilion before we headed home.

The kids are watching me post this, and Ellie says, "Us go there again Mommy, please?!" while Nicholas adds "I'll even bring my own money for ice cream this time!"

Yep, it was an awesome day.


Teresa said...

so glad you had a nice time there...panning for gold is great fun

Chandler Family said...

Looks like a dream! Lucky you! Your kids are so darling and I love the curls on that little girl! Rach is that way too but her hair is twice as long. Should I cut it? Glad you are well!

heidi said...

looks like it was an awesome trip, bummer on the throw up part but awesome with everything else.
I get the comment, "you have your hands full" almost every time I got out with all 4 kids by myself. i'm so over that comment I really have to keep it together not to say something rude back