Saturday, July 30, 2011

Park Week- Day 5

We didn't get out as early as yesterday, but we still made it to five parks on Day 5. Here's where we went:

Scera Park (Orem).

This park wasn't officially on our list since it's one we go to every so often and we're already familiar with it, but the last time we went, Nichole didn't get to go on the playground so she really wanted to go there during Park Week. So while Daddy was cleaning the church building, the kids and I went to Scera Park to one of the two playgrounds. It's funny, you can be so used to a place and not notice certain things about it until you have a list in your hand and you start actually looking around. Man, that park is big. I knew it was big, but... it's big. Lots of shade, plenty of room to walk, and of course a nice size playground and lots of room to run around. I'd say we'd definitely be coming back to this park, but it's kind of obvious since it's already one we go to.

Northridge Park

After picking Jeremy up, we went to Northridge Park for lunch and running around. The paved path had a sign saying, "Lap .34 mile," which I thought was cool so if you're jogging or walking you know how far you've traveled going around the perimeter of the park and again and again as we saw one jogger doing while we were eating. Jr. pointed him out. "There's someone jogging behind you," and when the man came around again, "There's another person jogging behind you."

Geneva Park

We were a little confused about the playground here. It was fenced in and it was right next to a preschool, but also right next to the park, so... it took us a while but we finally realized it must be a playground for the park. The fence is just to keep the kids away from the road. It was totally fenced off on the preschool side. And the preschool had its own playground completely enclosed. It was also fun to walk to the other end of the park and see on the other side of a soccer field the hospital where both my sons were born.
Oh, and we saw a big beetle at this park.

Community Park

When we first pulled in to this park, we wondered about the two parks on either side of the road. Were they the same park? Yes, they were. Jeremy supervised the kids on the playground while Jr. Jr. and I went for a walk around the other side of the park. Again, a paved path that had signs saying one lap was .49 mile. It's funny how when you don't keep track you don't realize how much you really travel. Jr. Jr. and I walked over half a mile around the park.

Westmore Park (Orem).

One of those little hidden parks you don't see unless you know where to look. Set back from a main road, mostly enclosed from the houses around by a wall, lots of shade, a nice little walking trail. It had several pavilions but a small parking lot, so it seemed like each carload could have their own pavilion. And there was no wall or fence separating it from the elementary school next door.

Unfortunately the reason we made it to so many parks was that Jeremy wasn't feeling so well after the first couple of parks so he wasn't able to go to work, but he was able to come with us as long as he didn't have to do anything. It was great just having him there.

And guess who fell asleep on the way home again.

It was a good family day.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Park Week- Day 4

We did it! We got an earlier start on Day 4! Before I was even out of bed, Jeremy had Jr. bathroomed, dressed, and eating breakfast. My husband is amazing. Jr. Jr. and Nichole both slept in, but we made it. Here's where we went:

Heiselt's Hollow Park (Cedar Hills).
The landscaping was nice but we weren't too impressed with this one. The sign with the park rules said, "Please clean up and use trash containers." We didn't see any trash containers. They even had bag dispensers for cleaning up after your dog, but nowhere to put them after you've cleaned up after your dog.

Heritage Park
(Cedar Hills).
Jeremy and I discovered that we'd each been here on different occasions without the other. Jeremy did a show here and the kids and I went with a gal in our ward and her youngest kids. There is a beautiful stream running through the park with bridges across. The paved walking path is actually part of the Cedar Hills Parkway, a walking/cycling path that runs all over Cedar Hills. It connected Heritage Park to the next park we went to.

Sunset Park
(Cedar Hills).
Jeremy wasn't feeling so well (hunger? heat?), so he stayed in the car and watched the kids on the playground from there. Jr. Jr. and I walked around the park then down the Cedar Hills Parkway a little ways to see some ducks swimming in the stream.

Mesquite Soccer Park
(Cedar Hills).
This was the kids' favorite park. They liked the "x-ray fish." They could climb up its bones.
There wasn't much shade and it was hot.
Jeremy stayed in the car with Jr. Jr. who fell asleep on the way.

After visiting the parks, Nichole and Jr. went to a friend's house. We didn't have time to go to any more parks after they came home before Jeremy had a show, but thanks to Jeremy getting us an earlier start, we were able to visit those four parks.

It was a good family day.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Park Week- Day 3

Another late start on Day 3. I take so long trying to figure out routes to the different parks with the kids running around and the baby needing me. And getting sunblock on 4 or 5 people takes some time. This time Jeremy wasn't able to come because he needed to get some work done at home. So the kids and I hit two parks before I needed to go home and eat something. We didn't take picnic stuff with us. Jeremy was able to come with us to one more park after eating. He said he was hurrying to get things done so he could come with us. "I miss Park Week," he told me. I wonder if we'll every figure out how to get an early enough start so we can fit more parks in. Oh, well. That's just us. Here's where we went:

Creekside Park (Lindon).

We got rained out before getting to play here yesterday so the kids were anxious to go to the "rainbow park" today. They spent maybe two minutes on the rainbow colored playground before discovering the rocking toys on the other side of the park where they spent the majority of their time. They also enjoyed posing on the little bridges over the creek that runs through the park.

Bonneville Park

The playground was big. There were quite a few kids there (someone may have been having a family gathering), but plenty of room for the kids to run around.

Timpanogos Cove Park (Cedar Hills).

My opinion of the playground? "Whoa."

And what a view.

This park was really up in the hills with a gorgeous view and enjoyable landscaping. There were several pavilions at different levels and each pavilion had a great view of the lake and the valley below. Actually everywhere in the park had a great view of the lake and the valley below. We could also see the Mount Timpanogos Temple which just added to the view. Pretty.

We thought of trying to visit another park before Jeremy had to head to work, but we were all enjoying this park too much. Nichole was happy that here she could reach the talking pipes without jumping.

While the older kids were playing, I took Jr. Jr. for a ride in the stroller along the nicely paved walking path. There were grasshoppers hopping all over the path in one section and the next section had the beautiful sound of honey bees flying around the plants at the side of the path. And of course the view. The view.
We will definitely visit this park again.

It was a good family day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Park Week- Day 2

On Day 2 of Park Week, we were able to hit two parks before lunch. Lunch at home because we had some appointments, then off to the parks again. Here's where we went:

Hollow Park (Lindon).

We didn't get rained out this time. The kids got plenty of time on the playground and I was able to take Jr. Jr. on a nice walk in the stroller on the paved trail around the park. I even got picture of Jeremy and the kids at the playground with a house (?) in the background.

Seriously, that thing is huge. It's cool but... who lives in something that size? The photo only shows part of it. On Google Maps, the satellite image shows it shaped like a "W," so there's more to it on the other side. *Gasp.*

Pioneer Park (Lindon).

Playground, walking path that goes around the park, big open area, and a little pioneer house with a plaque telling about the history of the city's name.

Pheasant Brook Park (Lindon).

This playground had something different. Spinning chairs. Much excitement for the kids. The park also had a little stream with a bridge over it and a lot of open space for running around.

It was raining a bit when we left that park, so the next park we just looked at and planned for later. We wanted to take a look at one of the Provo parks and as we were headed that way realized we were close by one of the other parks on the list. It just so happened it was not raining when we got there so we were able to get out and run around.

Springwater Park (Orem).

Another huge area for running around and kite flying, the paved path was divided into lanes for cycling, and overall the park looked very well maintained.

It was sprinkling as we left and by the time we got down to the other park we were going to look at, it was pouring. We'll have to try again when it's dry. We went home by way of several other parks, driving by but not getting out. Either it was pouring down rain or we knew the playground equipment was soaked, but it was nice to find where some of them were located so we can add them to our "for sure we're going to visit" list.
Once again, it's nice to be flexible. We still didn't get to visit every park on our list from yesterday, but we got to play at one we weren't expecting today and we did get to scout out a few more even in the rain.

It was a good family day.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Park Week- Day 1

It all started when Nichole was still in school, and the boys and I would take time while she was there to go to different parks to let Jr. play on the playgrounds. I thought, wouldn't it be fun to spend a week during the Summer going to a different park each day to let the kids run around? I even went so far as to think maybe we could even go to two parks each day. We knew of enough parks in nearby cities. As the Summer progressed and we had opportunities to go driving around as a family, we realized that just in Pleasant Grove there are quite a few parks.
I finally researched enough using local city websites to realize there are so many parks nearby. So much for the idea of going to one or two parks a day. We decided it would be more fun to visit as many parks as we could each day during Park Week. Spend so much time at one park before moving on to another park then another then another, playing on playgrounds, eating lunch, running around.
It's nice to get familiar with more parks so we have some variety and aren't going to the "kite flying park" every time we go out. I made a list of things to find out about each park while we're there, such as if it has restrooms, a paved walking path to push Jr. Jr. around in the stroller, a playground for the older kids, and of course enough open space to run around and fly kites. There are a lot more things on the list, but you don't need to know about all of them, unless you want to. :)

With the busy season happening for Balloon Guy Entertainment, we don't have time to devote whole days to getting to know as many parks as we want in a week, so we'll probably expand Park Week to two weeks, fitting it in our schedules and taking off Sunday to rest.

Anyway, now that I've given that long introduction, let me tell you about Park Week- Day 1.
We kind of got a late start. Since we were combining it with Family Home Midday, Nichole decided that she wanted our FHM activity to be Jr.'s special parade. I promised her back in June that we would do a parade for Jr. since he missed being in the Strawberry Days Children's Parade when he fell asleep before it started.

So, we got a late start. I'll be honest. We often get a late start. It seems that the kids take longer to get ready on days when we're going to do something they want. This time, they were busy picking out costumes to wear in Jr.'s parade.

So we finally got going. I had figured out a route that would get us to a few parks in Pleasant Grove and all the Lindon parks, but we only got to five of the nine parks planned for Day 1 before getting rained out. We sure had fun, though. Here's where we went:

Veteran's Memorial Park (Pleasant Grove).

Playground, pavilion, lots of trees to provide shade, but no restrooms. It's right next to the public pool, so there are probably restrooms in there (and it's a short drive to our home, so for us it's no big deal). And the playground did have one of those pipe things where you can talk to each other across the playground. Nichole and Jr. weren't quite tall enough to reach the speaking part, so they would climb up to talk into it. I took my cues from them and Nichole also tried jumping up to the pipe to say very short phrases.

(click on the pictures to see them larger)

Battle Creek Park (Pleasant Grove).

Playground, pavilion, and restrooms. The walking path around the park was old and not so smooth.

Anderson Park Wilderness Area (Pleasant Grove).

This one didn't have a playground but it had a lot of other things. We saw several kinds of birds, fruit trees, a sand pit to play in, lots of shade, but also an open field. Jeremy said this must be the park for Eagle projects as we saw a few signs of them. One was a flag pole, another was a paved path leading to an ampitheater. There were several other things that we guessed could be Eagle projects. There were bridges across the irrigation canal/stream running through the park as well as benches throughout.

We had our Family Home Midday lesson and treat (picnic lunch) there before moving on. Jr. Jr. had been asleep until halfway through this park, so we let him join us for lunch. He did really well when we just handed him a cracker. Ate most of it.

Hill Park (Pleasant Grove).

Jr.'s Parade.

Hill Park was very open with a great walking path for our parade and a beautiful view of the lake. The playground was nice except one of the slides must have been broken as it was boarded up at the top and bottom with signs saying Keep Off. Daddy helped Jr. Jr. join in the fun at the playground, though.

We could see the storm across Utah Lake and watched as it gradually got cloudier and cloudier in our area.

It was starting to rain a little as we got to the car, but had let up when we reached the next park.

Hollow Park (Lindon).

We didn't explore this one nearly enough since the rain started really coming down a few minutes after we got there. It was an enclosed area, set far enough back from the street, between quite a few homes of people who had farm animals, so we were surrounded by horses, geese, sheep, and who knows what else. The playground was nice, the pavilions were nice, it had a beautiful paved walking path that ran around the edge of the whole park.
We will definitely be heading back there to explore more when it's not raining.
With the weather as it was, we couldn't go to any more parks, so we headed to the Orem Library instead. That was a good indoor activity picking out books and things before heading home and once again, Jr. was asleep before we got home.

It was a good family day.