Saturday 8th December
The breakfast at Comfort Inn was really, really good. They had waffles, “biscuits” and gravy, bagels, cereal, hot chocolate, boiled eggs, danishes and muffins.
Jeremy had some work he had to do and needed the free wifi for, so we didn’t leave Evanston until about 10:30am. We weren’t sure how the roads were going to be, but hoped for the best. It was only 3 miles to the Wyoming/Utah border, so we got to Utah pretty quick. We stopped off at a photo spot on I-80 before continuing on to Park City, as it was on the way to Salt Lake City anyway.
We stopped in to a visitor centre, where they had free hot apple cider and told us all about the ski resorts in the area, before we continued on to the Park City ski resort. Jeremy had really wanted to do some skiing while we’re here, so I wasn’t going to stop him. He wanted me to ski, too, though, which meant we had to take turns looking after Doyle. I was very, very hesitant skiing at all, and scared as anything because I’d never skied in my life.
Jeremy taught me what he knew about skiing first up, once we had our skis, and took a photo of me wearing them and Doyle. Then I put my skis aside and let Jeremy do his hour of skiing while I looked after Doyle and had my lunch. We met back up at 3pm, and Jeremy still insisted I go ahead. Well, that’s where my adventure begins I guess.
I lost count how many times I fell over in the short time I actually had the skis on. At least six – twice just heading to the ski lift. Then I used the ski lift and got off. We only used the “first time” slope, but my adventure didn’t even take me half way down it on the skis. The last time I fell, I fell forwards as my legs gave way in opposite directions. It was pretty hard getting the skis out of the snow and making sure my legs came back together so they weren’t in such an uncomfortable position. Then I cried. A lot. And swore I’d never ski again. I had no idea how I was going to get back down the rest of the slope without skiing down, so I just sat in the snow while the cold and wet soaked up through my jeans and tried to wait until I wasn’t so sore. Then another skier came and asked if I needed any help before going to get someone from the kind of rescue team they had. After she left, two employees of the resort came and stayed with me, talked to me, while I waited for my rescue. I was then put onto a toboggan, trailing a snow mobile, and wrapped up real tight in blankets, which took me back down to the bottom of the slope. The rescue team below were going to put me in a wheelchair, but I think they misheard me when I said what was sore and thought I said my back was hurting me, so they strapped me onto a board and carried me into the mini hospital place they had there, and told me I wouldn’t be allowed to leave until a doctor saw me. Meanwhile one of the employees who had waited with me went to fetch Jeremy and Doyle from the information centre. I was asked a lot of questions, but mostly I felt they were overreacting. I didn’t think any of my bones were broken, just that I was sore.
All things considered, the response was pretty good. My right hip and wrist were x-rayed, as those were the parts that hurt the most. But I was fine, and $300 odd later, they sent me on my way. Luckily travel insurance should pay us back for that.
The ski lifts closed at 4pm, but we didn’t leave until 5:20pm because of my accident. It was already getting dark by then, but we ventured on to Salt Lake City anyway. The snow and our windscreen weren’t very nice, so it took us nearly an hour to get to Salt Lake City, even though it was only 20 odd miles away. We stopped at a Taco Bell and I called Aunt Shirley (my dad’s dad’s sister, for those playing at home) to let her know we’d made it to Salt Lake, and to send someone to find us and show us to where we’d be staying. She was going to call us back with more details, but for some reason her phone wouldn’t let her call Jeremy’s phone. Luckily I tried calling her again around the same time she had arrived at Taco Bell, and she found us soon after. We then followed her to Aunt Lynn and Aunt Kaye’s duplex (Aunt Shirley’s sisters), as we were to stay with Aunt Lynn. We chatted a while before Lynn and Kaye came home, bringing us some Chinese food for dinner, which Shirley treated us.
Doyle took an age to get to sleep properly. Jeremy had to hold his hand until he was actually asleep, and that wasn’t until after 10pm. At least he managed to fall asleep in his tent.
Sunday 9th December
My stomach woke me up, bothering me around 3am. I don’t know if it was something I ate or what, but Jeremy was fine. Doyle woke up not long after, and ended up in our bed for the rest of the night because I could not be bothered making any more effort with my tummy feeling so sick. He did give us a reasonably good sleep in, though.
Aunt Lynn made us a really nice breakfast of “biscuits” and gravy, and Aunt Kaye came around to have breakfast with us too. Then I put a load of washing on, and ended up back in bed with Doyle for a nap.
Aunt Lynn’s grandson Casey and his wife came around while we were napping, but we got to say hi and chat a little before they left. Then Aunt Kaye came around to say Aunt Shirley would be around soon, which she was. Not long after she turned up, Casey’s dad (Aunt Lynn’s son) Kevin and his fiancee also came around to see us.
Aunt Shirley then took us to downtown Salt Lake City to see temple square and the Capitol building. We went inside the LDS Visitor Centre to see the Bible exhibits and find out a little about Joseph Smith. Then Aunt Shirley took us to Denny’s and treated us again. She got us two hot chocolates each, plus a plate of nachos for Jeremy and I to share, and mashed potatoes and gravy for Doyle, as we hadn’t had lunch. Even though we were meant to be having dinner with Aunt Kaye and Aunt Lynn barely an hour later. Jeremy hadn’t realised this until we got back, and wondered how we would be able to eat dinner at 4:30pm, after we’d just had nachos! We managed, though it was still a little odd to have dinner that early. I sent Doyle to bed next door, letting him cry himself to sleep because I could tell how tired he was, before heading back to Aunt Kaye’s for more chit-chat, and then Jeremy and I did the dishes. When Jeremy checked in on Doyle, he had again fallen asleep after he’d crawled halfway out his tent.
After dinner, I brought our washing in from the dryer in the garage, then we all watched Hairspray on DVD. It was pretty good, and Doyle was fairly well behaved throughout. He liked bobbing along to some of the songs – those were the parts that kept his interest the most. He also stood on his own for a few seconds before falling on his bum.
Doyle still seemed very awake, but we managed to get him to sleep before 10pm tonight at least.
Oh, and Doyle turned 11 months old today. I can’t believe how fast this year has gone, and that he’ll be a year old in just one month. We are also now down to the last two weeks of our trip, and only 15 days away from Christmas. It’s going to go so quickly, judging by the rest of the holiday, and the rest of the year.
Monday 10th December
Doyle did much better in bed last night. He only woke up to be fed once before waking up at 6am, and I brought him into our bed so we could have a little more of a sleep in. Breakfast involved leftover Chinese food.
We stuck around Aunt Lynn’s place for the morning, and Doyle had a nice, long mid-morning nap. So long, in fact, that I asked him if he was pretending to be asleep when it was time for us to head out.
Aunt Lynn drove us to Aunt Shirley’s daughter Denise’s house to meet Denise and Aunt Shirley’s other daughter Cathy, Denise’s daughter Jesse, Cathy’s twin sons, and whoever else was there, We had pizza for lunch there.
When we left, one of the twins, Kelly, took us and Aunt Shirley on a drive to see the Great Salt Lake and take some photos. Then we went back to Aunt Lynn’s. Last night we had decided on pizza for dinner, but we had to change our minds after having it for lunch. So Jeremy and I decided we’d cook some traditional Australian dishes for dinner for Aunt Kaye and Aunt Lynn, without any recipes. We went to the store and bought our ingredients, then came back and I made shepherd’s pie, whilst Jeremy made pavlova for dessert. Kaye and Lynn loved it, and said they’d never had anyone cook for them, so it was an extra special treat.
Doyle fell asleep while we were eating dinner, though woke up not long after we finished. Despite this, he still slept pretty well during the night. He only woke up just before midnight for a snack and then slept through.
Tuesday 11th December
Despite the fact we were leaving Salt Lake City today, there wasn’t much of a mad dash to the door. Aunt Lynn bought us donuts for breakfast, and we also polished off the last of our Chinese food at the same time.
We stuck around until Uncle Bill (the remaining brother of Aunts Lynn, Kaye, Shirley and my dad’s dad) came around to visit us. Then we said our goodbyes to him, Kaye and Lynn, and headed off around 10:30am or so. Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to see my cousin Kim while we were in town.
We took I-15 South until US 6 East. Along this highway, we saw some beautiful mountains – it’s kind of strange seeing orange, desert coloured mountains covered in snow, though. We also saw some roadkill being eaten by a vulture and crowded around by crows. I never expected to see a vulture on this trip! Then we stopped in Price, Utah at a combined KFC/A&M All American restaurant for lunch. We spent all but the last $2.21 we had in cash (Jeremy had to change his meal originally because we were 5 cents short).
We then continued on to I-70, and only stopped for fuel and to feed Doyle, before reaching the Colorado border and exiting in Fruita to visit some Colorado Canyon areas. It wasn’t particularly spectacular, and I didn’t even leave the car because Doyle was sleeping. Our next stop was Grand Junction, where Jeremy withdrew some more cash – hopefully for the last time in the States – and we stopped at the Super 8 for the night.
Continuing with the theme of good motel wifi service, this place came with free wifi too. So I finally got around to booking our accommodation in Vancouver, Canada, only 3 days before we’re due to arrive. I got a pretty good deal at a Days Inn in the metro area for about AU$75 per night, including a microwave, mini fridge, free wifi, and breakfast vouchers for McDonald’s. So it’s nice to know we’ll still have Internet when we get there.
Dinner involved the spare shepherd’s pie I made last night (I’d made two), as Jeremy had packed it up in the car to bring with us. Hopefully the cold weather and the microwave reheating means we won’t get sick from not refrigerating it all day.
Doyle had a hard time getting to sleep. I tried to get into his bed with him after he woke up the first time, and he kept giving me cute hugs from behind, and making funny noises, making me want to laugh. Unfortunately it didn’t really help him get to sleep, but he did doze off eventually.