Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Break In Montana

For part of Spring Break we headed to Missoula MT.  Great-Grandma and Grandpa Van Gieson live there, Great-Grandma Wheeler, and a whole bunch of aunts, uncles, and cousins on the Wheeler side.  Aaron's parents and sister Sara and her family met us there and we all stayed at the Van Giesons.  It was really good to see the great grandparents.  The kids loved the trip!  Grandma and Grandpa Van are going to be 90 this year and Grandma Wheeler is going to be 87.  They are amazing!

There is a park down the street from the Van Giesons, so we took the kids there a lot to get some energy out.







The cousins were so cute with each other.  Look at that sharing going on!

Missoula has a famous carousel (yeah, I didn't know that either).  So the kids went for a few rides on it.  It actually goes pretty fast, I got a little dizzy watching.


Since it is such a speedy ride, adults had to sit with the kids instead of just standing next to the horse.  So Aaron got to go on a few rides.  I should have gotten a picture of him when Brooke picked out a little horse to ride on.  It looked pretty funny- Aaron was much too big for it- poor pony!


We checked out the Fort Missoula Museum.  The kids thought it was pretty neat.  It was fun to have Great-Grandpa Van with us to give us his personal spin on everything.

Thank you Uncle Daniel for being the human step stool.


There was a huge old steam engine the kids thought was pretty cool.  I guess many years ago it was just going to be cut up and sold as scrap metal, but Grandpa Van helped save it and get it put at the museum.
Dallin and Kylee loved playing together.  They are so cute!


There was a bunch of old logging machinery that the kids thought was pretty neat to look at.  Grandpa Van filled us in on how all of it was used.



Aren't they funny?  The kids were so cute playing together.  They did great on the trip.  Carson loved Tanner, I think I heard him say his name at least a hundred times over the weekend.  It was really cute.



Yes, he is a boy.
Aaron even got in on the action.

This picture made me smile.  What is the deal with kids and their attraction to sticks anyways?

A trip to Montana would not be complete without a trip to the Elk Country Visitors Center.  It was actually pretty cool with lots of "stuffed" animals and a nice walking trail outside.
Can you tell they were looking into the sun?  The giant elk made Brooke a little nervous, but we managed to get a picture.



Ahh, I love my boys.  And you can guess what other boy put them up to these pictures?




On the way back from the Elk Museum we had to stop by Walmart, and what do we see there?  The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile.  Talk about luck!

It's pretty fancy in the inside of the Weinermobile.  Did you know you could drive it around for a summer internship?  Awesome!

We also spent some time at Grandma Wheelers.  She has a ton of property that is perfect for the kids to explore.  We had a potluck dinner one evening, so we were able to see some aunts, uncles, and cousins.







Grandpa Van was a B-29 pilot during WWII and has some amazing stories.  He also worked for the Forestry Service for quite a few years and has some great (and hilarious) stories from that.  The kids loved hearing about his experiences (and so did I).  He and Grandma Van have led some pretty amazing lives.
Grandpa Van is teaching the kids all about the B-29.






Besides the long drive home (the way home is always the worst- I think I was having a harder time than the kids), it was a great trip.  When I married Aaron I really lucked out in the in-law department.  My kids have some pretty wonderful great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins...  I grew up with like 5 cousins total and most of my grandparents died when I was very young, so I am excited that my kids are having a completely different experience as they grow up.