On our way down to Vegas we stopped at Cove Fort, a historic pioneer fort about half-way between Fillmore and Beaver (for parents, it's located somewhere between "SHE'S TOUCHING ME MAKE HER STOP" and "MOM - HE'S MAKING THAT NOISE WITH HIS NOSE AGAIN"). We've probably driven past the fort hundreds of times, but we never stopped, partly because from the highway that particular spot looks pretty desolate. You can't actually see the fort itself until you take the exit.
We kept telling Josh that we were going to Grandma and Grandpa's house, but he didn't really understand, and when we got out at Cove Fort he assumed WELL HEY THIS MUST BE GRANDMA'S HOUSE. (It's been a while since we visited, obviously.)
Cove Fort is staffed by older couples serving LDS missions, and when we parked he saw an older woman approaching the car.
He said, "Dat gwamma?"
I told him, "No, it's just a nice lady."
I guess he was thinking that maybe he had ANOTHER grandma, one named "nice lady", because as soon as he got out of the car he raced over to her, shouted "Hi WADY!", wrapped his arms around her legs, and gave her a huge hug.
You should've seen the look on that missionary's face. She was just tickled. In a cracking voice she kept telling us how nice it was and how much she missed her own grandchildren. I think he made her month.
She took us on a leisurely tour of the fort, telling the kids about the family who lived there, showing them how they did laundry and cooking, showing them the buffalo hides, the mattresses filled with straw, and the wooden bed with a detachable roller (so you could flatten your own mattress when the straw clumped up). They investigated the garden and the gun portholes, and went up to the top of the fort to check out the view.
At the end of the tour she gave them an old fashioned pioneer toy to keep (after explaining how it represented that families are forever) (I would share that story with you except that I can't remember it), and then we headed back down the freeway.
It was a fun, free stop. You can find out more about Cove Fort here.
(Practically speaking, they have a nice grassy area with picnic tables, large trees, a drinking fountain and nice restrooms, so if you need a clean, shady place to stop along the way to or from SLC, I'd definitely recommend it. It's a great way to stretch your legs for a bit.)