Our Three Day Utah Trip for a Wedding (And the Aquarium as a Bonus!)

It feels like we were gone a full week and over a weekend too, but we weren't!  We were gone for two nights in the middle of the week and somehow it turned into a mini family vacation: hotel stay, parties, exploration, and all.  It was a little winter getaway that won't soon be forgotten by any of us.   

Last Wednesday afternoon I packed up the boys and we headed south towards Salt Lake City, Utah.  Bron was already there for a work trip.  I called him when we were just a few miles from our freeway exit and he suggested we meet him at the giant outdoor store, Scheels.

The little boys were excited to finally be out of the car!  (They're exceptional little travelers.  Four hours without any stops or fits is pretty impressive.)  Inside of Scheels, they were mesmerized by the giant fish tank and the snuba diver.  But then, Bron told them we could ride the ferris wheel!  Jed and Levi were eager to climb aboard.  Up, up, up, we went.  And then we stopped at the top.  The operator was unloading and loading some other riders at the bottom.  I only mention this because Jed claims he is afraid of heights.  He looked around from our high perch and started to freak out: screaming and tears!  Poor kid.  I gently reassured him and hugged him tight.  Somehow, Jed miraculously calmed himself down.  It was really unlike him.  Jed soon realized that nothing bad was happening and we happily went around several times.  It was the best feeling.  Bron and I were both so proud of Jed for conquering his fear, the very definition of brave.         

After our adventure at Scheels, we grabbed some dinner (gourmet pizza) and then dessert (frozen custard, yummm).  Finally, we checked in to our hotel.  Jed and Levi were elated.  To them, there are few things more exciting than sleeping at the Comfort Inn.  Levi even talked my aunt's ear off about it the next day.  He rambled on about the elevator with the buttons, the pool, the microwave and refrigerator in our room, and how he had not one but TWO breakfasts that morning and he ate sausage.  Lucky kid, huh?  Anyway, even though it was past their bedtime the night we arrived, there was no way we were going to get the kids to go to sleep without a dip in the hotel pool.  So down to the pool we went.

It was one of those nights I felt grateful just to be alive.  Looking around at my little family, I felt overwhelming love for the man who loves me back unconditionally and the two precious little boys I get to call mine.  We were happy, just enjoying each other in the moment.  Life doesn't get any better than that! 

Thursday was Kaleb and Chantee's wedding day!  But first, we hit up the climbing gym.  Yes, we totally did.  It's such an addicting sport.  After all, we weren't the ones that needed to look picture perfect, right?  Right.  We got in a good sweat, showered, and hurried to the Oquirrh Mountain LDS temple in just enough time to hug a few family members before the ceremony began.  

I love sitting in on sealings.  It is so fun to watch the happy couple, giddy and sweetly head-over-heels for one another, at the precipice of their life's greatest adventure.  But better yet, I like sitting next to my husband during those ceremonies and squeezing his hand.  The spirit there brings such a sweet reminder to me of all the reasons I love my man, the special intimate relationship we're fortunate to share, and the potential we have together.  I am grateful for the comforting knowledge that we belong to each other forever and that those family members in that room I adore so much will be gathered together over and over again in this life and in the next.  There is so much beauty that comes from the temple!             

^^Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce the newest Mr. and Mrs Nelson!!!  Aren't they an amazing fit for one another?!  I was able to sneak a couple of photos over the photographer's shoulder after the ceremony.  (And some pictures here on the blog look more sharp than others because I saved them for the web through different programs.)^^
^^Our Aunt Heidi made this stunning wedding cake!  Isn't she talented?^^
^^Cousins chowing down on their candy-loaded cheesecakes.  Yummm!^^

After the temple ceremony, we all gathered together at a pizza place that had been rented out just especially for the couples' luncheon.  Then it was on to the reception where there were giant cheesecake slices to load with candy and berries and chocolate, a photo booth where we took silly pictures, and loud dancing.  Jed and Levi even got out in the middle of the dancing circle!  Levi's break dancing moves (aka, rolling on the floor in a circle) and Jed flipping his tie into the air brought on cheers.  They loved the attention.  My favorite part of the night was catching up with family.  We don't see everyone enough; I'm glad weddings are a must-show-up excuse to get together.   

Finally, since we weren't in a hurry to return home on Friday, we explored the Living Planet Aquarium.  What a treat it was!  It was like we entered into another magical world; I completely forgot there was six inches of white cold snow on the ground outside.  Jed and Levi were just the right ages for exploring the aquarium, excitedly running from exhibit to exhibit.  I think their favorite parts might have been the penguins, the otter, the 4D movies, and the frogs from South America.  Okay, they enjoyed it all!  The aquarium did not disappoint.  We spent three hours there oohing and aahing over the animals.  I'd love to repeat it all over again.       

^^Looking for hidden frogs.^^
^^Penguins!  Those things were like little water missiles!  So cool to watch play and swim.^^
^^Jed followed this otter back and forth, giggling.^^
^^4D movie experience fun!  We got sprayed and blown with air and our seats rumbled beneath us.^^
^^Turtles are so cute!  I wish we could have one as a pet.  Maybe someday.^^
^^Jed was brave and felt some sea creatures!^^

Quick funny story:

As we were packing up Friday morning, I heard the hotel room microwave ding. "What's in the microwave?" I asked confused. Jed opened the microwave door and held a pair of boots to his chest. "Aahhh. They're warm!" he exclaimed. Nutcase. Good thinking on a snowy morning. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

Thanks for the good times, Utah.  And a whopping big fat congratulations to Kaleb and Chantee!  We are so happy we got to celebrate your special day with you.  


  1. It looks like you guys had a blast! It's fun reading about your adventures when they are at places in my neck of the woods!

  2. Hello beautiful couple! Looks like a fun getaway! Little family vacations are the best!

  3. What a wonderful little mid-week retreat! Weddings are always so much fun, but how great to be able to turn it into a mini-family vacation too! I just love your enthusiasm for life, and your family's enthusiasm too. So contagious!


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