Missing Utah

July 28th, 2008 . by Melissa

In mid July we left our new home in Indiana for a Utah vacation. Jason’s family has a tradition of going to Lake Powell (on the border of Arizona and Utah) each summer in July. It’s always a great time of games and relaxation. We flew into Utah on the morning of Friday, July 11. Total travelling time was about 5 hours. Once we arrived and had our embraces we got to work loading Jason’s family’s boat with all the supplies needed for the 6 day Lake Powell trip. And after a slight detour to Café Rio we were on the road…for another 7 hours. By the time we reached the lake and made the traditional stop at Safe Way, Jase and I were completely and utterly exhausted. We had added a total of 3 hours on to our already long day by crossing three time zones, it was time for much needed sleep. We slept on the roof of the houseboat, under the stars. The next morning we set sail, or afloat…

The water was ridiculously high at the lake, it rose 20 feet since we had last been there. The landscape looked very different than I had remembered from the year before, only the floating toilet out in the middle of the lake served as a point of reference for me. We learned that the houseboat’s air conditioning was only half working. That is, 3 of the 6 rooms were as hot as Hades. We attempted to find shade by a cliff to cool the hotpot. It was great spending time with the Newman’s. We went wakeboarding, which Jase loved considering he wasn’t able to go boating at all before the trip. And we went tubing…the tubing has an unfortunate accompanying story. Manti, Jen’s significant other, loves the tube. And Jason the loving older brother of Jen loves to pull Manti on the tube and give him a bit of a shake. Well, Jen and I thought we would try out the tube because Manti, flailing for survival, was such an advocate of it. We hopped on and Jason began to take us over the waves and in circles, he was as considerate as a brother and husband should be. We went flying in the air. It felt like we were lifting 5 feet off the ground. We couldn’t understand why we were getting so much higher than Manti, possibly our weight distribution? After this first day of successful tubing, we thought we would go again the next day. We looped our arms over one another’s and grabbed the reins for dear life. We were doing great…meaning we were flying in the air and laughing at our fear, Jen even braved a few poses mid-ride. And then, we hit a HUGE wave and flew a good 6.5 feet up. We landed…back on the tube, just barely, with a thud and then a pop. And my elbow was all the sudden throbbing. I couldn’t figure out what I hit it on, until I looked over at Jen who resembled a ghost. Already forming on her lower chin was a bluish goose-egg. We stopped the boat and Manti jumped out to rescue her. Then we took her back to the houseboat for some ice and TLC. For the next few days, although it didn’t seem possible, her bruise worsened. It turned from blue to purple to black to green to yellow. I felt awful. Needless to say we didn’t tube much after that and I kept my Condor elbows down for the rest of the trip.

Another Lake Powell tradition, is the game Mafia. We all go into the front room of the houseboat (there were 15 of us total), dim the lights, and the narrator begins a story of how someone in the middle of the night was murdered! I love sleuthing so this game is particularly fun for me.
After a few rounds of the game we’d break up for the evening and everyone would talk about the whodunit and how tricky so and so was by leading us to believe they were the sheriff when really they were mafia.
At one point, no one could be trusted at their word and so my mother-in-law started guaranteeing her claims of innocence by promising to sleep outside with the bats (yes, there were bats) if she was found dishonest. Everyone was then pressured to support their word with a vow to join the bats. When we got to Chantelle and asked her straight forward if she was Mafia, she hesitated and then exclaimed, “I don’t want to sleep with the bats!!!!”

On Thursday, we drove back to Salt Lake. Jason was very excited to see his friends. We visited Ben and Leslie first at the downtown condo. Ben treated us to some lovely Café Rio dessert and told us the history of our favorite restaurant in Utah, he is currently interning with them. Much to our disappointment, they will not be expanding eastward within the next 5 years.

On Friday, we were able to see most of Jason’s friends from high school. The Smith’s came over, as well as the Evans, Dan stopped by too. We were even able to see Clint earlier in the day. It was good to catch up with everyone.

Mary Lane also took me shopping at all of my favorite Utah specific stores; Downeast, Tai Pan, Roberts, it was lovely. I bought way too much!

We went shopping again on Friday, this time Jason and Kim came with us. After, we visited Jason’s grandparents and stole raspberries out of his grandfather’s garden. Jason’s mom then threw a barbeque at their house with all of her side of the family. We were able to see how all of the little ones had grown and got caught up on the happenings in everyone’s lives. We ended the evening by seeing Dark Knight…which was okay…and very scary.

Sunday, was our last day in Utah. We spent the day playing games and packing. Right before we left we had a last supper. And Jen, Kim, and I worked on some vinyl lettering for our new house. It was a fantastic trip, and it felt like we had never left Utah at all. We definitely miss having so much family and friends close by. And I definitely miss the shopping. When we don’t stop to think about it, Indiana feels like home, but there really is no competition with the majesty of the mountains.

2 Responses to “Missing Utah”

  1. comment number 1 by: Ben Evans

    It was great to have you two back, if only for a moment

  2. comment number 2 by: Andrea Smith

    I am quite offended that you didn’t mention my famous cookies I made for you!!! I slaved all day making sure you had fresh baked cookies.