This past Memorial Day weekend was great! We spent 3 days hanging out with two other couples in our ward at one of their parents' homes in LaVerkin, Utah (about 30 min from St. George). Sarah and Darin, her husband, both grew up in the area, so we had the perfect tour guides for our Southern Utah weekend. One day they gave us a little driving tour of LaVerkin, Hurricane (pronounced "hurrikin") and Toquerville. We were shocked that home prices are in the high $200s for a starter home (one day we'll live in a house, right?) And some homes go up to the $500-$600ks! But LaVerkin is only 20 min from ZION National Park, so hey....I can see why real estate is hot.
The drive there wasn't too bad, once we got out of LA. We left Lucy with Casey's parents so we really had a quiet drive. We even got to watch a movie when we found ourselves stuck in the Virgin River Gorge for an hour right outside of St. George. There was a horrible accident. So everyone came to a complete stop. We all shut off our engines and lights and just sat there. It was a strange feeling.
The first day was spent hiking in ZION, which is absolutely gorgeous. We did the "Angel's Landing" hike. It's about a 3-4 hour round-trip hike, all up-hill to the top. In fact, there's even a spot that looks like Lombard street in San Fransisco...short little switchbacks going up, up and up. The final summit point is rather steep and narrow, so there are chains bolted to the side of the rock for you to grasp and climb with. I actually found it less scary than it appeared. The only hard part was that people were trying to come down while we were trying to go up. So we would take turns letting people pass. Human traffic. Once at the top, there was a spectacular view of the park. Beautiful red rock everywhere, speckled with green trees. The perfect complimentary colors. We stayed at the top for an hour, enjoying the view (and wishing we'd brought some fruit to eat. We thought about asking the people around us if we could buy their oranges off them. But we stuck with Trail Mix instead). The hike down, of course, was easy and all down-hill. At the bottom we stuck our hands and feet in the river and really cooled off! The hike was great. I'd do it again.
When we got back to Sarah's house, her mom had a huge plate of homemade oatmeal raisin cookies waiting for us. Thanks mom! Her parents were amazing hosts the entire time. So luxurious to be so catered to! They immediately asked what we wanted from Cafe Rio for dinner. Then they called in the order, drove into town to pick up the food, and let the rest of us swim in the heated pool. Great amenities at the Beacher home.
Her mom even stopped by the movie theater, while we swam, and bought our tickets to Pirates 3 for that evening. The movie was horrible and confusing. But the company was great. And Cafe Rio is always yummy.
On Sunday, we went to church with Sarah's family. I love going to church in other cities because you really get a feel for the people that live there. It's so great! And without Lucy, we had a very quiet Sunday experience. What a treat. Casey loved the teacher in Elder's Quorum. And I was spotlighted in RS for being dressed modestly. It was fun to model off my throw-it-in-the-bag outfit. Sarah's mom made a delicious Sunday lunch/dinner. But I'm not sure what was better: the food or the conversation. We went around the table and each couple told about how the met, and funny things about each other. You think you know a person, until they ask what your spouse's favorite color is. Yikes. After lunch, Casey and I drove into St. George and took a tour of the Brigham Young House. Then we visited his grandparents. That was a real highlight for me, since I don't know them very well and they're getting quite old. Around sunset time, we drove back to ZION with the Cannons and enjoyed a short hike to another amazing look-out point above a huge natural arch. The colors were spectacular (and the hike was very pleasant). Back at home, we played games with everyone. Sarah and Darin warned that they weren't good at movie trivia. And then, wooooah....they beat us all. Tony, Shelley, Casey and I were all impressed with Darin's quick puzzle-solving skills. Someday he'll be on Wheel of Fortune and win a free car.
The last day was spent golfing (for Casey and Tony) and shopping (for the ladies). We had a yummy Memorial brisket lunch and then...we swam again! Casey took a nap, gearing up for our drive home and by 8pm we were on the road, headed home. It was an amazing drive. Not a bit of traffic and we were home in 5 1/2 hours. Woohoo!
What a great weekend getaway. It's always fun to get to know each other better (aside from church and playgroups). I really missed Lucy, so I loved picking her up at Linda's the next day. Thankfully, she remembered who I was and came running over to give me a hug. Oh, it's so cute. We'll see how loving she is when we leave her for a week with the Sumans and head off to NY. But I'll hope for the best!