I always have such a good time when I head down to Salt Lake City to see my brother Bruce and his wife Lauren, but this visit was particularly fun because there was a brand new baby! Baby Liam Tynan was the purpose of my visit and that cutie-pie stole my heart with his little stink eye’s, his LOUD farts, and how sometimes he would look like my grandpa depending on the face he made.

We crammed a lot into one visit and I like to keep my hikes/trips in separate posts so that any readers looking for details on Donut Falls don’t have to read about my road trip to Salt Lake City.


This particular trip to SLC was the best drive I’ve had yet. I decided to get off the interstate and take secondary highways with the help of a Montana map I found for free at a rest stop. I highly recommend taking secondary highways if you can, in my case it was actually faster than the interstate and I drove through adorable historic towns while blasting the Nashville soundtracks (love them).

I stayed healthy with a cooler full of water, snacks, and prepped on the go meals so I didn’t stop often and the trip down there flew by!

The way back wasn’t so great. It always seem longer on the way back because you just want to get home and in my case I missed a turn off, drove around Idaho Falls in vain looking for a grocery store and took too long shopping in Helena and didn’t make the border crossing hours at the crossing closest to my house. The way back was a little bit of a disaster.


But the purpose of this trip was all about Liam! That adorable, kissable, cuddly boy who we all fought to hold and feed. No one fought to change his diapers though. Ha ha.

We got to take him for his first outdoor adventure since leaving the hospital when we all went swimming at the pool (wait until you read about what we came home to).


Bruce and I took off for a couple hours to Cottonwood Canyon to do a short hike to Donut Falls. I’ll do a full post on this later but it’s a SUPER easy hike (there were a ton of families) that’s about 1.5 miles each way to the waterfall. the waterfall actually spills into a cave through a hole on the top hence the name Donut Falls.

We also stopped at an amazing roadside mountainside and climbed up to the top of the face and enjoyed the view and chatting.

On Sunday we headed to Antelope Island I’ll do a full post later but here’s a quick recap.

This guy was literally chilling on the side of the road and I thought it was funny that this Canadian gal had to hit the mountain desert in order to see a buffalo closer than 100 metres away.

We headed to the beach area and trekked out to go for a swim/wade in the Great Salt Lake. That’s what we planned anyway until we got to the shoreline and it was BLACK with gnats! They were everywhere!

That black sand at the shoreline is gnats!

Bruce and I decided to just wade in a little but we had to walk through the clouds of gnats so I covered my mouth and nose so they wouldn’t get in and screamed as we walked through the hoard of bugs. Ugh! The lake itself was wonderful and cool and there were a ton of people swimming. I was not feeling swimming knowing that I had to walk through a beach of bugs to get back to my shoes.

After the lake/gnat adventure, my stepdad, Mom, Bruce and I headed up to “hike” Buffalo Point. It’s not really a hike because it’s only 0.4 miles each way with no real climb but the views at the top are killer!


 Now let’s come to the very not so great part of my trip. We all spent about two hours on Saturday afternoon at the community swimming pool that Bruce & Lauren’s townhouse is in. This was the first time they both left the house and took Liam with them. We all had a good time soaking up the sun and chatting and Liam loved the blue sky and fresh air (a baby after my own heart) and we left after about an hour and a half relaxed and in good spirits.

When we came to their townhouse we wondered how the garage door opened and then noticed there was water pouring in from the ceiling. We ran into the house and in the downstairs kitchen there was water POURING from the light fixtures and from a big old hold that had come out of nowhere. There was water absolutely everywhere!

Bruce and I ran upstairs to find the source of the leak and his master bedroom carpet was soaked and we went into the flooded master bathroom to find the source. Underneath the sink the little plastic hose that connects the mainline to the sink had popped off and the water was pouring in! Bruce was able to stop the water but the lingering results were catastrophic.

Did I mention they have only been in that townhouse for three weeks? I freaked! I don’t handle stress well and I felt so bad for them and stressed out I was running around like an idiot, moving the dining room furniture, getting wet boxes out of the garage, anything I could to help. And Bruce and Lauren were strangely calm- they actually inspired me when Bruce said “what’s the point in freaking out, it won’t change anything.”

We went north to Layton to stay at Lauren’s sisters house and Bruce is dealing with insurance, plumbers, and electrician’s. What a way to end a relaxing paternity leave.

Despite the flooding we still had a good time. Like I said, Bruce and Lauren remained calm and we went to Antelope Island the next day.

But what an event to happen while they had a houseful of guests and a newborn! Yeesh!!

Overall, it was a fun trip but over way too soon! I have one week off next summer between summer sessions and I’m already trying to plan a trip for next summer because the Salt Lake City area is a mecca of outdoor activities!

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