We always arrive in Utah with a mental list of places we want to go and people we want to see.
After getting Alyssa checked in at camp on Monday, we made our first of many trips to the BYU bookstore. We bought t-shirts, hoodies and chocolate covered cinnamon bears--because it would simply be a crime to miss out on that deliciousness. I dug into them as soon as I was finished with my Chick-Fil-A lunch from the Cougareat.
That evening, we made our way to Mapleton to visit our dear friends, the Evans, who moved from Auburn a little less than a year ago. They served us a nice meal in their beautiful new home and we had such a great time visiting the night away. Before we left, we made plans to meet at Y mountain the very next morning.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love BYU? I mean, I really love it. And my son loves it even more. When your affections are as strong as ours, hiking Y mountain is clearly a must--and it's good exercise, too. (Caleb and I would each hike it twice during our time in Utah.)
The hike is so much harder than it looks. It's not long, but it's 10 steep switchbacks to the top. The embarrassing sweat on my shirt is proof of the exertion expended in the climb, but the view is fabulous and worth the effort. That's the Provo Temple to the right of my shoulder and LaVell Edwards Stadium to the left of Stephanie's shoulder:
Caleb and his two lifelong best buds, Mason and Landon:
Nat and Lydia sitting on the Y:
We cleaned up and met at Brick Oven for lunch, Caleb's all time fav. It wouldn't be a trip to Provo without Brick Oven pizza and red cream soda.
Then we walked across campus to do some BYU bowling--also on Caleb's list of must-do.
The boys finished their final frame just about the time Alyssa was finishing up camp for the day. We picked her up and returned to my aunt's house for dinner. But because we still had a few hours left in the day, we had time to squeeze in more fun. So we met the Evans at the Provo Beach Resort for a go at the ropes course.
Jacob, Lydia and Natalie did a little bit of karaoke and then we ended the night with a treat at Rita's.
Wednesday was spent at Seven Peaks water park with the Evans family. I failed to take pictures to document the fun but if our sunburns were any indication, then the enjoyment was extreme. Alyssa's gym camp spent the evening at the park, too. The seven continuous hours baking under the hot Utah sun later led to a hideous peeling of an entire layer of skin from my face. I even used sunscreen--just not enough, evidently.
Seven Peaks water park as viewed from Y mountain
We had dinner at another Provo favorite, Los Hermanos. (Jon and I frequented this restaurant nearly weekly in the early days of our marriage.) Then we took Caleb and Natalie to the Evans' for a very rare treat--a sleepover!
Thursday was all about seeing old friends. I failed to take pictures the entire day which is probably my biggest regret of the trip.
I started with lunch with one of my bestest friends from college, Sara. We cheered together at Ricks and BYU, had the same major, which meant we had several classes together and our bond was strengthened by cinnamon bears and frozen yogurt. We've remained close over the years and she's just one of those friends that when we get together, there's simply never enough time.
In lieu of a current photo, here's a throwback to our college days:
While I was passing the hours visiting with Sara, Natalie was busy making money. She and Lydia set up a lemonade and cookie stand. In no time at all they had earned $16.25!
I picked Nat and Caleb up from the Evans and raced to BYU to get Alyssa and Jon--Jon worked most mornings at his sister Sarah's office in Orem. She dropped him off at BYU and we met him there. Alyssa had just a few minutes to shower and change before we left for a dinner date with some other dear friends. (Again no pictures--BOO!)
Alison is my oldest friend. We met when we were six, our families were always close and her little sister was like a little sister to me, too. We were roommates all four years in college and because she dated her now-husband, Brian, on and off for such a ridiculous amount of time--seven years!--I've known him for what seems like forever as well. Brian and Alison invited us to come to their house in Daybreak for dinner. Alison's parents and her little sister, Hillary, and her family were also included. It was a really wonderful evening of catching up and Brian smoked a delicious pork roast. Alyssa, who had been putting in long hours at gym camp and lots of play time for several evenings on end, was ready to collapse with exhaustion, but I had the hardest time pulling myself away from Alison's house that night.
All of these friends will always hold a piece of my heart and I fell into bed Thursday night basking in the fondness of their friendships.
What a great week so far! Next up...Independence Day.