Thursday, October 23, 2014

Picky Pizza Posters - SLAB

The ultimate quest for the worst pizza experience in Utah Valley

SLAB is designed for large groups of people who can’t agree on their pizza toppings. Cheese? Chicken cordon bleu? Pulled pork? At SLAB, everyone in your picky group can be appeased. Pizzas come in only one size, twenty inches. But you order your pizza by the quarter slab. Meaning an enormous pizza is created on-demand for your party, but you only get a quarter of it. Perfect for the college crowd it is catering to and located so close to BYU that you need to sign the honor code just to get in.


Large tables with seating for 8 in cheapish chairs, very convenient for large groups of college kids, which also works well for largish families. Everything designed for easy cleanup, which is also appropriate for college kids and our family. Copious amounts of napkins in dispenser, good for those with children who spill large drinks (sigh. we speak from experience). Maybe the restaurant should be renamed Slob?

This is the first place we’ve brought in a nice DSLR camera and felt like we blended in. Very “hip” here.

Large TV showing some baseball game. Boooring. But admittedly entertaining to hear Sam analyze the game, since his full understanding of baseball is founded on 2 seasons of t-ball.


Price for a large cheese

$18 (4 20” slabs equal one pizza)



Bucking the trend of unlimited refills, the fountain drink machine clearly stated only ONE refill allowed for free. We assume this is in reaction to college kids who will keep drinking any free non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverage as long as it lasts. But they have Apple Beer so who can blame them for restricting it.

Pizza Impressions

Large slab served on wax paper. No plates. Apparently we and SLAB share a "pizza on fine china" philosophy.

Mildly greasy. Crispy crust. Thin and similar to a cracker, but soft at the end. Sauce is just enough to be there but not overwhelm the cheese. Mild flavor bleed over from one pizza slab to the next, which was quite a problem for the pickiest of the crew.


5/6 Slices

Flavor bleed-over is a plus or a minus depending on your point of view. We were heartily divided as to whether the flavor mingling was a good thing.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Camping in the World's Largest Organism

It's been on my camping request list for years and this weekend we finally did it - we camped in the World's Largest Living Organism. Allow me to explain. About 3 hours south of us, near the ever-so-creatively-named Fish Lake, lives Pando. Pando, The Trembling Giant, is a 100-acre aspen forest and DNA tests have confirmed that the whole forest is a single living organism, a giant grove of aspen trees that all share a single root system.

For years I've contested that depriving our children of the chance to visit and camp within the World's Largest Living Organism showed a serious lapse in parental judgement. Steve countered with the the inarguable point that it's just a bunch of trees. And so the debate circled.

But this weekend we were looking for a new place to camp and we wanted to hit some autumn leaves so off to Pando we drove!

It was cold (we were camping at about 7,000'). It was beautiful. And, yes, it looked like a bunch of trees. But it was still pretty cool knowing that all of those trees shared the same DNA!

If you're looking for a get-away with plenty of trees and a fun fact your kids will continually mock you about but you're convinced they secretly find kinda cool ("Wow, Mom, trees! Sure glad we got to drive 3 hours to see identical trees that share a giant root system!") then we can definitely recommend Pando.

Ben says it's "Pando-monium!" But he hastened to clarify that's not because it was actually chaotic there, just because it sounds cool.

I must disagree with the child - any place with the 4 Morningstar kids is bound to contain high levels of chaos. It was definitely Pando-monium.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Meet the Xtracycle

We've now owned our Xtracycle for a month and it continues to transform the way we approach our days, from kid carrying to grocery store runs to hyper-intense bike races. For example, here's a quick runthrough of our rides last Saturday:
  1. Load the girls on the Xtracycle and head to Target looking for gold shoes and hair clips for family pictures. I could have ordered them from Gymboree when I ordered the girls' dresses but I thought they were way too expensive. Lesson learned - no gold anything at Target.
  2. Finish Frapuccinos and then load the random Halloween costume pieces and on-sale tea purchased at Target into the bags and ride to Gymboree. Find ridiculously overpriced shoes, tights, and hair accoutrements except that they didn't have WanYing's shoe size or Sasha's tight size.
  3. Add Gymboree purchases to the bike bags, load the girls on, and head back up the giant hill to the mall. Successfully purchase missing sizes. 
  4. Head home with 10 miles of fully loaded, superfun girl together time thoroughly enjoyed.
What other bike could be up for a fabulous afternoon like that?!?

Here's a tour of our new bike so you can appreciate her in all her glory:

Superbright 70 lux lamp powered by the dynamo in the front wheel
Xtracycle sells a "hooptie" and "magic carpet" (safety bar and rack pads) for maximum kid-hauling awesomeness
She came complete with fenders and itty bitty mud flaps - fabulous!
Mud flap and dynamo-powered light on the back, too
WanYing's favorite way to ride is backward for optimum car-waving opportunities. It's pretty dang cute for all involved.


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