Summer Highlights

It occurred to me, after I posted my last blog about Vaxholm and a friend of mine emailed (rather than posting her comments, afraid to offend any Swedes), that I might have stepped on sacred territory with regards to this iconic island. For the record, Vaxholm, if you’re looking for a day trip, is indeed a quaint place to visit. I can imagine if you went off-season, without kids, you could sit quietly on the ferry deck, drinking tea and enjoying the view. But in my experience, it just didn’t live up to our $160 dollar fare.

Having said that, I could have written nearly an identical account of our trip to Disneyland (The Happiest Place on Earth). When we lived in Irvine, I took my kids on a random Tuesday, during the school year, off-season, hoping, just hoping, that no one else would show up. Right. You’d have thought they were giving away the tickets for free, the place was so packed.

All totaled, I paid hundreds of dollars to stand in lines, only to have Maggie burst into tears the second we got on the rides. (I can get tortured at home for free. I don’t need to pay for it.) I’m talking about the boat ride where you go through the mouth of the Whale, the one everybody likes? She was terrified. And the Snow White ride…where the witch pops out? I’m still haunted by those screams. Between the tears and the overpriced ice-cream I was ready to rename the place a few other things (besides the Happiest Place on Earth). We never did see Mickey Mouse, but we did run into my son’s history teacher.

The truth is, sometimes when we aim for amazing family moments, they never quite meet expectations. It’s usually when we’re not trying so hard that we stumble upon a park or a beach or a museum (see my post on the Technical Museum), and it’s amazing, almost effortless. Of course I love those moments when it all works out, but I laugh harder (later) when it doesn’t. So I’ll keep trying. Either way, the memories are priceless.

Here’s a few priceless memories we made this summer…

Going to Grandma and Grandpa Wimmer's house for their 60th wedding anniversary party

Going to Grandma and Grandpa Wimmer’s house for their 60th wedding anniversary party

Swimming at Lake Powell

Swimming at Lake Powell

More fun at the lake.

My parents flew out from Pennsylvania.

Simple things like Grandpa taking time to brush Maggie's hair.

Simple things like Grandpa taking time to brush Maggie’s hair.
Watching the boys shovel manure.

Watching the boys shovel manure.

Grandpa supervising the manure clean-up morning.

Grandpa supervising the manure clean-up morning.

Roasting S'mores.

Roasting S’mores.

Time with cousins.

Time with cousins.

Watching sunsets in the western sky.

Watching sunsets in the western sky.

I love the bone tree.

I love the bone tree.

Fairy magic.

Fairy magic.

A visit to Temple Square in Salt Lake City. (Replica of Resurrected Jesus by Bertel Thorvalsen.)

A visit to Temple Square in Salt Lake City. (Replica of Resurrected Jesus by Bertel Thorvalsen.)

It’s not everyday we get time with family while living in Sweden. It makes going home all the sweeter. But as much as we loved being in America, we were excited to get back to our home here too. We’re going on our second year now, and for anyone that has moved overseas, you know it gets better. School started today and I have a feeling some more adventures are about to start too (without me even trying.)

5 Comments on “Summer Highlights

  1. The picture of Grandpa brushing Maggie’s hair brought tears to my eyes. Simply perfect. Simply gorgeous. Simply beautiful.

    • Thanks Kate. I don’t even think Grandpa knew I was taking that picture but it’s one of my favorites too. I treasure those simple moments and try not to take them for granted when they happen. It’s really what life is made of.

  2. Love all the pics of family in Southern Utah!!! And you’re right for sure…the best gifts come unbidden! xo!

  3. I LOVED reading this entry & could completely relate! The picture of Maggie’s grandfather brushing her hair is absolutely beautiful and the one of your little fairy couldn’t be any more magical. I’m so glad that you were able to see your parents this summer
    and I loved seeing pictures of them too!

    • Thanks Rebecca. I know you can relate. I always appreciated your perspective on life, even in high school you “got it.”

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