Hey, folks! So, being that I am all about the Young Living Essential Oils (and related products) these days, I was super gung-ho about traveling to Mona, Utah, for the second time in as many seasons in order to attend their Fall Festival. A quick conversation or three with Rob about it, and reservations and plans were made and set in place for us to head down to Nephi, Utah, to spend the night on September 30th and then go to the festival on October 1st.
This was in or near Nephi, and let me tell you, they nailed it. Middle of nowhere, indeed! Our accommodations there were inexpensive, and it was definitely a case of "you get what you pay for."
But moving on to Sunday's visit to the Young Living Lavender Farm in Mona.
We arrived around 10 AM, right when it opened for the day, and then proceeded to wait inside Phoenix (our Dodge Journey) for a bit while the rain was working up the urge to drop. Having decided to hold off for a (very) short while, we braved the chill and headed out. A kind driver of a large golf cart picked us up and delivered us to the Visitor's Center.
Last time I was there, with Shana in June (as written in this post), we skipped the long lines of the Visitor's Center entirely.
With Team Odette alongside me, however, I was encouraged to head in. And look! All the pretty oils! (I mean, what else would you expect from a working Young Living farm?) Between this house and our Miami household goods' pack-out - which, no, we have not yet received - I have a good many of them, but I'd love to have them alllllll...!
I wasn't there just for myself, however, so we didn't stick around long. The kids picked out some vanilla-cinnamon ice cream (which, it turned out, not one of us liked) and then started scurrying in 75 different directions at once around the farm. By and by, Jack noticed the existence of the paddleboats and came running to ask if he and Sophia could use them. The cost was included in our entry fee, so sure! Why not? He floated in his life vest, so I kept a close eye on them, but they had a blast!
The pony rides were also included in admission price, so the kids took their turn at that, too. Sophia, cantering-sometimes-galloping, showjumping Sophia, on an itty-bitty pony was quite amusing to all five of us!
After pony rides, while we were trying to decide what next to do, we were joined by a percheron draft team. The girls rushed over for the first of many photo ops. Beautiful horses; I think I'm a fan of the draft horses the most. Particularly the Clydesdales, maybe in part due to my many years of Anheuser-Busch-sponsored Oktoberfests in Baldwinsville, New York...
Beautiful, majestic creatures, they were.
This is Bandido, the Friesian owned by D. Gary Young, co-founder of Young Living. He shared a moment with Sophia, a moment so touching and emotional to her that she quickly turned to me and ran, having a good sob in my arms. It reminded her of so many such memories with Buddy, the horse she leased at Miami International Riding Club, back when we lived there. I whispered what I hoped were comforting words to her, and the tears subsided, allowing us to continue our visit with the beautiful Friesians - Sophie's favorite breed.
More Friesians getting groomed for the upcoming draft horse show
While visiting the Friesian barn was maybe the highlight of the trip for Sophia, Jack and Chloë were perhaps not quite as enthralled.
Okay, perhaps we looked at the Friesians a bit longer than we normally might've, to escape the bone-chilling rain... ;)
One more pose, and then out we went...!
One is hard-pressed to deny the beauty of the lavender farm with the mountains as a backdrop.
I'm not sure if they were Nez-Perce or another tribe, because we couldn't hear the announcements, but American Indians were performing on the property that day as well. Hopi? I honestly wasn't sure and didn't get the chance to find out.
A perfect photo opportunity, in which Jack refused to participate - shocker! He always refuses. ;)
Shana and I took many photos in the Olde Town section of the farm during this past visit, and the kids weren't terribly interested in it, so we largely skipped that area this go-'round.
Hello, random camel. At least you led us to a discussion over whether you were a dromedary or a bactrian! (Former, if you're wondering, based on the one hump...)
Oh, check it out: Jack's not so afraid of having his photo taken, after all! Heh heh heh.
The girls decided, next, to attempt the bull-riding thingamajobbers. Unfortunately, they rode simultaneously, so I was back and forth with photos, videos going on the camera and ended up missing the moment of truth for both girls. Dammit! But they had a blast, and that is what mattered. (Yeah, right. It's the pictures. Ha!)
I see you seein' me, Sophia!
Rob found an old, empty wasps' nest and threw it at Sophie. This was not well-received. Haha!
Hey, Ma! Just hanging around...
Jack and I abstained from the Rock Wall climbing which engaged everyone else. Chloë got a little bit off the ground; Sophia achieved much higher heights, and then the girls challenged Rob. His derring-do of younger years paid off, but not quite enough, as the wall became slippery when wet, and down he came.
Monkey girl didn't even stop to hand off Tapioca's leash before climbing in a nearby tree!
The girls having some bounce-house fun ... The young man-child was in there somewhere, too!
Poor Paco was shivering his guts off all through this often-rainy day, which had all the warmth of Cinderella's stepmother on ball night, and we forgot all his sweaters! Tapioca fared a little better. A little.
At that point, it started raining again, and we were all losing our motivation to stick around for the main event: the Draft Horse show. I was more than a little disappointed, but no one was comfortable, myself included. The kids half-heartedly played this ring-around-the-bottle game for a minute, and then we decided to call it a trip. Bummer!
So that was Utah, October 2017-style. Hopefully there will be better trips ahead!