I missed my bed but that was about it! I already miss all the adventures and traveling, the full service hotels, seeing so many of my friends and family, reuniting with amazing people I love and hadn't seen in years, being blessed constantly on the road and in crazy Vegas traffic, laughing with my family while hours of highway stretched out before us. I loved not thinking about work or having much responsibility at all. I loved all the Temples along the way, the hilarious things our daughter came up with, the hospitality of so many great people, the valet parking and getting phenomenal mileage/900+ miles to the tank! The visits and sights, Temple Square, the Christus, scripture displays, tabranacle, the vastness of the conference center, the intricate beauty of the Joseph Smith Bldg and the Salt Lake Temple, lunch at the Lion House, all the visitors center displays, kind people, familiar missionaries and meeting a new neighbor we didn't know we had back home, it was the spirit on Temple Square and the power of the Gospel in action there. It was driving south the next day seeing cities turn to fields and then in to desserts and palm trees, joshua trees and cactus, the heat and the swimming, the complimentary tickets & fourth row from the front Cirque d'Soliel show we got to see, seeing Mont next to me during the show with the spotlight on him while masking tape was wrapped around his head and he was made to look like the Statue of Liberty with a goofy hat and holding up a candle for the entire audience to watch on (hilarious), the Billagio Fountains doing their thing to music, talking about & comparing the feelings Kinlee had on the strip vs. those on Temple Square. Meeting a family from Monty's mission, taking pix at the Las Vegas Temple and St. George as a whole! Visiting over breakfast with Uncle Leland and Aunt Gwen and getting a tour of his impressive woodwork shop, being given a large and beautiful frame he made with his own two hands. Seeing our nephew get baptized and having most of my immediate family together for the first time in a long time (missed you CB), making memories at Hoover Dam with an old college friend, combining meals with reunions though the reunions were much too short lived, late night talks just like old times with roommates talking about life and finding the positive in the tough things that have happened since we last saw each other. Eating lots of yummy burritos (the first four days that's all we either bought or were served) and all sorts of ice cream, gelato, frozen custard, fro yo's along the way (probably gained 10 lbs). Playing slip n slide kick ball with the fam in ID, doing a little shopping but not nearly enough, watching the kids at Lesa's neighborhood party while they played in the bouncy house watersides, rode in a bike parade, ate constant snocones and mini ice cream cones, played water balloon toss and just enjoyed the night and each other until the sun went down. We had late nights and never ending fun filled days, watched Monsters University at the hotel movie theater, enjoyed the palm tree surrounded pool at our hotel several times and a fun spray park in Provo while Mont got to sleep in in the comfort of my cousins beautiful home. We laughed and played the wii after the kids finally fell asleep and ordered pizza delivery at midnight with Paul&Lesa. We talked about teeth and laughed about everything, shared Canadian chocolate and chips and loved every last thing from the M&M and Coke Stores on the strip to the 40 degree temps at 2:00 in the morning, we almost died in St George when we walked out in to the oven of mid day to see the temple...it was worth it but we were more than happy to get back down in the A/C of our car and get out on to the open highway again. Seeing my mission president and his fun and feisty wife was a huge highlight for all us from the gated community to the mansion they live in to the visit around the table and plans for having them visit in Canada to Kinlee exploring their beautiful grounds/yard and getting covered in cat fur to her need to be near Sister Clifford at lunch the next day and seeing the two of them chatting over one Wisconsin dairy frozen custard sundae with two spoons. I couldn't stop smiling getting to introduce my family now to my family then in the mission, it was amazing! Where I live now has not been the highlight of my life for sure so being surrounded by the people who really know me and who love me and where the feelings are reciprocated was amazing --- can't describe it I just wish so much I could choose my perfect town and include all these friends as my own personal neighborhood! I got to see so many people who I love so much and who I know love me & my family without reservation or competition but genuine doesn't matter what you look like, wear or how much you make --- someday my heaven will include Gen, Alli, Katrina, Sharon and Douglas, Lesa and Paul, Elizabeth, Jody, Erin, Sammi, Tawnie, Emily, Kacey, Emma and Rick, Amy, Allison, Genny, Holli, Livi and a few of the choice others who live so far from me now but in my perfect world will be my next door neighbors! And that was what I realized on this trip was how many wonderful friends and family I have, yet just so far away and spread out all over the states. I felt so happy seeing them all again, being near such wholesome and loving kind old friends and family who were once people who lived with me in one way or another some never leaving my side 24/7 for months. What a fabulous much needed family vacation this was! I loved every second with my little family and we had a perfect balance of time spent with old friends and new friends extended family and then just us, which we loved more than we can say!!! Now it's on to work and summer fun until the next family camp trip or getaway, but man this was good! Better than good it was amazing in so many ways and levels! It was so great to see Mont relax like he did (except when he thought he lost the keys at Hoover Dam or the moments, sometimes long moments, spent in brutal traffic trying to get the car valet parked on the strip in time to pick up our complimentary tix to get us in to the show or the 4th of July traffic & turning in to one way taxi traffic at the MGM Grand---yikes!). Overall it was cherished memories made all over the place, it was new relationships and old ones rekindled, it was absolutely pure fun and few worries thought about. It was a family vacation none of us will forget!
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President Howard C. Sharp
1 week ago