Monday, July 3, 2017

Yellowstone Part 1

I could tell you we had an awesome time on our Yellowstone trip, but that would be an understatement!  It was a fantastic vacation!!  I can't say enough good things about it.  But let's start a little before:

On Monday, June 12, I took Nathaniel and Emily to the Mesa Gateway Airport for their trip to Provo for Especially for Youth (EFY).  It's a week-long youth conference where they can meet new people, go to dances, take classes to learn about how to apply the Gospel to their lives, and just have fun!  I was pretty nervous about them flying alone, but I knew they would be together and it worked out just fine and they got where they needed to go. 

On the plane

They even had lunch with Alex Gillie (a friend from Montgomery, Alabama). 
I spent a lot of time Monday-Thursday getting ready for our Yellowstone trip.  There was so much to do!  I finally got it all done, though.  I’m always trying to find ways to make packing easier in the future, but it is still a lot of work.

Yellowstone Trip
We left on Friday, June 16 at 6:15am.  We stopped at McDonald’s in Flagstaff to eat.  We stopped to eat again at Trail’s End Restaurant in Kanab at 3pm our time. 

We arrived at the Super 8 in Provo at 8pm and checked in.  Dad arrived by 9pm and we all went to dinner at Golden Corral. 

It was interesting to see how much Provo had changed, even since the last time we were there.  Jonathan stayed with me and Michael and Andrew and Daniel stayed in Dad’s room.  Funny quote of the day, on our drive: Jonathan: “Mom, my headphones don’t work!”  Andrew fixed them and said, “Jonny, you have to turn them on!”  Jonathan: “Andrew, you’re so smart!”  It was so cute the way he said it and he wasn’t being sarcastic at all—it was more like he was in awe of Andrew’s intelligence.

On Saturday, we got up and got ready so we could pick up the kids by 7:30am.  Dad and the boys went to the breakfast at the hotel and made waffles for everyone.  It took us a little while to find Nathaniel and Emily, but we did and they said they had a great time.  They were sad to say goodbye to the friends they had made.  Nathaniel had a cold, poor kid, and he was pretty miserable.  We stopped in Pocotello, Idaho for lunch at the Sizzler, and we made it to West Yellowstone by about 3:30pm.  I didn’t realize at first that West Yellowstone wasn’t referring to the entrance, but rather an actual town.  We stopped at the Conoco to gas up and use the bathroom.  We made it to the West entrance around 3:50pm.  Daniel got his Every Kid in a Park Pass because he is a fourth grader, and Dad bought a pass for Yellowstone and Grand Teton.  We found our later that he should have got a senior lifetime pass that gets him into any National park for only $10!  More on that later. 

We thought we would stop at Old Faithful and see if we could catch it erupting.  We make it there by about 4:50pm and we just missed it but we could see it from the parking lot.  We kept on driving and finally got to the cabin in Cody around 8pm. 
We saw this bison and the bighorn sheep on the way from Old Faithful to the east entrance.  They were all right next to the road!

Our cabin in Cody, nicknamed "Scouts Rest," which is the name of a ranch in North Platte, Nebraska that belonged to Buffalo Bill Cody

The cabin was just as advertised, and the bedrooms were perfect for us.  We did a little unpacking and went to dinner at China Town Buffet.  There wasn’t a very big selection like we’re used to, but the food tasted good and they put us in a banquet room by ourselves.  We went back to the cabin and then Dad and I went to Walmart for groceries and some supplies. 

Sunday (Father's Day!), we planned a day to relax in Cody.  Everyone was up by about 8am, though.  Dad went to the bakery and bought cinnamon rolls.  Nathaniel and I went back to bed.  Michael had to wake me up because Daniel had locked himself in the downstairs bathroom.  Everyone was looking for a key, but I realized the problem was the slider lock and once I fully engaged the door he was able to unlock it.  We told everyone not to lock the door but to knock before they went in.  Dad took Emily, Andrew, and Daniel on a drive and later Michael went for a walk.  Dad wanted to go to the Pow Wow so he and Andrew went while the rest of us finished getting ready.  Nathaniel stayed at the cabin to rest.  We got to the Pow Wow at about 1:30pm and watched some of the competition.  Michael and I walked around the Pow Wow while Dad took the kids to the museum, and then we joined them.  We got a treat and went to the gun exhibit and listed to the lesson about the bald eagle.  Afterwards they said we could ask questions, and we got a kick out of Daniel’s questions:  1. Can the eagle get out? (no!) and 2. Where is all the poop? (they clean it often).  We stopped back at the Pow Wow for a picture and then went back to the cabin. 

Watching the Pow Wow

I loved the colorful costumes, especially this one

Learning about raptors at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West

A gun shop display in the museum

Lucky me--I got to spend Father's Day with my wonderful dad and my sweetheart :-)

Learning about the bald eagle.  Jonathan actually wanted his picture taken, so that's how I got such a good smile out of him. :-)

Happy Father's Day, Dad!!

This little girl had performed in the Pow Wow competition, and she was nice enough to let me take her picture with the kids. 

Nathaniel was feeling better and watching Lion King when we got back.  We went out to dinner at Bubba’s BBQ.  After dinner, we came back to the cabin for baths and to finish Lion King.

Waiting for our table


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