Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Top Ten Things We Learned on Family Vacation

by Julie Coulter Bellon

We recently went on a family vacation with all seven of our children to such places as Arches National Park, The Canyons of the Ancients, Mesa Verde, Anasazi Historical Center, Aztec Ruins, Four Corners, Monument Valley, and Capitol Reef National Park. Here are some of the things we learned as a family.

1. According to my daughter, there are no hot men in National Parks.

2. Getting rained on in Mesa Verde is like having small balls of ice hit you in the back.

3. The Mesa Verde rangers are not kidding when they tell you that you have to climb 104 feet up the side of a cliff on rickety old ladders.

4. When they say Aztec they really mean more Ancestral Pueblos.

5. Lots of German, French, Italian, and Swedish people go to National parks and they all gushed over my baby and said she was cute.

6. Never trust your GPS because you will find yourself in a cow field with the GPS insisting that you can still turn left.

7. When the ranger told us that Ancestral Pueblos only lived to be 32 and 36 years old, our children turned to us and said, "Hey, Mom, if you and Dad were ancestral pueblos, you'd be dead already."

8. Always make sure the toilet seat is down in the outhouse.

9. Never go to Visitors Centers with soft movie seats after hiking all day.

10. When your car breaks down in Farmington, New Mexico, and it's past closing time, there are some really, really nice people at Cooper Tire and Auto who will still help you and get you on your way.


At 6/04/2009 12:32 PM, Anonymous Jordan McCollum said...

Sounds like quite the adventure! My father-in-law was a park ranger at Mesa Verde a couple summers, so that park has a special place in DH's family's hearts.

At 6/04/2009 12:41 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Hey awesome. I'm a big fan of the four corners area, and the Ancestral Puebloan culture is kind of a hobby of mine. Now you've made me all eager to go back there... Why don't you ever invite me on your family vacations? You're such a jerk, Julie "Coulter" Bellon.

At 6/04/2009 2:02 PM, Blogger Heather Justesen said...

That last one sounds like our family vacations. It seems every time my family travels further than Bear Lake we have a major vehicle repair to make. Sounded like a fun trip, anyway.

At 6/04/2009 4:15 PM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

I LOVE Mesa Verde!!! It's even an inspirational "location" in one of my books! And those ladders? Scared the crap out of me! Strange that I can love a hidden cave city when I'm terrified of heights.

I'm so glad about the nice people helping you guys out. Tell your daughter I'm sorry about the lack o' hot guys.

At 6/04/2009 6:47 PM, Anonymous Rebecca Talley said...

Oh, my, gosh. You were right in my backyard and probably drove right by my house. My husband works in Farmington and would gladly have helped you. Wish I'd known you had car problems.

We just attended an Eagle Court of Honor at Aztec Ruins and the ranger was sure to point out it wasn't from the Aztecs, it was from the Anasazi.

More Mesa Verde ruins (that aren't part of the park) run behind my house.

At 6/05/2009 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan, my sons totally want to be park rangers now. We met some really amazing people on this trip.

Rob, like the Ancestral Pueblos might have said, "no Wells, move on." Seriously, though, we saw some absolutely incredible ruins from the Lowry ruins and Mesa Verde, all the way to the Natural Bridges ruins (who have 700 year old corn cobs in their ruins and an original roof on the kiva). I was thinking about inviting you, but then I read your blog and all the bad things you did, and changed my mind. Sorry. Although with seven kids I probably wouldn't have noticed you if you'd stowed away. Maybe next time.

Heather, thankfully it was all minor repairs--a flat tire and a hole in our oil filter. I was just glad we were up and running as quickly as we were.

L.T. I am afraid of heights, too, but I loved Cliff Palace. Totally worth the fear. My youngest son lost his hat over the cliffs at Cliff Palace, though, and I'm glad we didn't lose him trying to get it back.

Rebecca I wish I'd known that! We stayed the night in Farmington! Next time I'll visit you for sure! That court of honor sounds awesome.


At 6/05/2009 1:00 AM, Blogger Future Zoo Veterinarian said...

Wow, brings back memories of times when our family got stuck on the side of the road. And other things. lol. Awesome, I will definatly take those next time I'm there.

At 6/05/2009 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the lack of hot guys - my daughter has been applying for those jobs hoping to meet some!


At 6/05/2009 2:00 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

You guys allow your teen-age daughters to lust after non-member older men while on vacation? That is very strange indeed!

Oh what a web we weave by what we allow to occur in our families.

At 6/05/2009 4:50 PM, Blogger Liana Brooks said...

I remember New Mexico... last time I drove through we hit black ice, went sideways through a barbed wire fence, and lost a fog light to the snow drifts in the field. Good times.

The old cliff dwellings are fun though. I went there when I was in my teens and I think I was more interested in the beaded dolls than the park rangers.

At 6/05/2009 9:39 PM, Blogger Sandra said...

I grew up in South West NM about 30 miles from the Gila Cliff Dwellings. We used to go there all the time. I took my kids the last time I was down there.

Glad you made it home safely.

At 6/06/2009 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, wait, wait - my daughter is 29, and is due some gentlemanly admiration (I never mentioned lust!)
...This is Utah - who says they'll be non-members?



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