We loved Utah so much that we decided to make a family vacation out of it – and this time let’s do some work and merge it with fun. After a quick MGM stay in Las Vegas to recover from the late arrival – and our even stronger determination that the Vegas mania is just not for us (think crowds, lines to check in/to elevators/check out), too hot for walking around, smoking everywhere) – we got out. On the way out we did manage to do the CSI experience where you get ipads and scan various 3D evidence to solve a crime. Kids loved it, practiced there CSI Miami skills and their fabulous electronics skills.

We opted for Airbnb townhouse in Kanab for 4 nights as our first base. Every morning, we got out at 730 am for our 8 am shift at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary where we worked until noon. The kids were warned that this is real work and it was – but the caretakers did great job balancing it out with some animal socialization. We cleaned cages, walked dogs, made food for rabbits and pigs, showered parrots, washed dishes, strolled around with cats, etc…. learned about the awesome work Best Friends does as well as the horrible behavior our fellow humans exhibit with animals that end up here.

Some of my favorite new bits that I learned:

  • Parrots live 70-100 years! People have no idea so they end with 4-5 owners as generations inherit them and don’t want them. They are also incredibly smart and can open cages with their beaks. Macaws particularly are so loud, seriously – if you had an apartment and got a macaw, you are evicted by midnight. Don’t get one.
  • Max is allergic to hay, noone is allergic to work, thank Godness
  • Pitbulls are not all evil, in fact, they are super sweet – its the owners that can make them evil
  • Bunnies are huge! Cute but not super practical pets.
  • Pigs are sweet (I am told by Brian and Lucas who worked with them) and clever – and cuddlers that love almonds!
  • Vegan food is creative and tasty. It takes 2 hours to convince the rest of my family that it is edible and not grass. There is an onsite cafe for $5/person buffet that was awesome – with unbeatable view.

So we survived the work element of vacation and enjoyed it quite a bit. We have a new allergy (first one ever), one story about fainting in the 100F heat and no hydration, common understanding that we are not much of Vegas people (1 night stop) and brand new appreciation for 5 of us driving in one car without electronics for 5 hours straight (phew, where is the wine when you need it).

On to the next part of the vacation – Lake Powell!