Thursday, February 21, 2008 ;
4:30 AM
Feb 15

I was still awake from Thursday. Tired, but no choice. Packing for the trip. And then clearing laundry for the last time is what I like to do before a trip. Because when we are back, there'll be tons of dirty laundry, so we need to make sure the current load is washed.

Murphy's Law?
What happened was: when I washed that last extra full load, as the spinning cycle occurred when all the water from the washing machine is draining, water started emerging from the bathtub drainage and toilet bowl!

I can spare you the details, but needless to say, lots of other solid matter from the sewage came up together with water, flooding my toilet. In the haste to get it soaked, I had to grab the oldest bedsheet I have (queen sized) to mop up the rising level of water that threatened to stain the carpet right at the toilet door. A mop simply could not do the job quick enough.

At that time, only I was awake. So I just did the best I could. Of course, I rushed to stop the washing machine too. Anyway the clothes were clean, just soaking wet. Later on, I just put them into the dryer.

I slept for awhile after that and when dh woke at 6am, I told him about the incident and said, I am very tired, let's leave later. Slept till 7.30am, then woke up and Dh had tried to clean the bathtub already. Decided to leave the repairs for when we get back, since it is quite late already. Shot off a quick email to the church Elder about the plumbing problem first though.

Heated up the fried rice I cooked last night, filled several plastic bottles with filtered water (so we don't have to buy any water), loaded the car, got breakfast for kids ready and then carried the sleeping kids into the car.

Was on the road only at 9.30am. Planned to leave at 6am actually. Sigh.

Made a lunch stop south of Provo, can't remember what city. That Mac's is super large. The suburbs tend to have very big Mac's complete with indoor AND outdoor playgrounds. Besides a huge complicated tunnel playland with slides and climbing gyms, this also had a basketball area with hoop and several basketballs.

Both ds managed to run around, stretch their limbs very well and played for about 30min while Dh and I ate. The kids later ate their fried rice in the car. We ordered just one meal because we had a lot of fried rice.

Reached Bryce Canyon National Park at around 4.30pm. Below shows Red Rock Canyon, just outside Bryce. Towards the NP, the route was already very scenic. This area is canyonland, that's why.

Below left: an arch through which our car passed through. In the NP already.
Below right: The Bryce amphitheatre, they call it, full of hoodoos. Sooo beautiful. It is so easy to fall in love with this place.
[from Wiki: Hoodoos are tall thin spires of rock protruding from the bottom of arid basins.]

Above right: Weathering also caused the formation of grottos (little windows or caves) into the rocks.

Above left: ds1 always has some fighting stance pose when we take pics of him

Above right: the kids playing with snow at the Rim Trail near Bryce Point.

Above left: Dh holding ds2, ds1 examining the rock plateau, all of us gazing down below at the vast landscape. We were right at the edge. No barriers here. Wonderful feeling.

Hard to describe: I feel very small, because the hoodoos stretch forever and the natural beauty is immense. But then I feel great, like I am at the top of the world. And we give thanks in our heart for such amazing creations to enjoy and appreciate.

Somehow, sitting here and just taking in the natural beauty seems to release lots of endorphins, haha. Cos all of us are in high spirits, and have a general sense of wellbeing and euphoria after that. The kids were singing in the car and everyone felt great.

We reminded ourselves to continue going on such National Parks trips when we get home, because Indonesia, Malaysia and our surrounding regions (including Australia) have so much diversity to offer as well, and we haven't fully explored them yet.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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