Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Enough with the great vacation already... Part 4

So the vacation was nice.  Got it.  Scenic.  Got it.  Lots of family quality time.  GOT IT.  But I feel like my life cannot move on unless I finish this one last blog post about the vacation.

Our last big stop of the vacation before returning to Olympia was Yellowstone National Park.

So here's a (sort of) funny story.  After spending the night at the RV park, we got up extra early and headed out to look for wildlife and to see more of the park.  Doug looks to his left and says, "Hey, what are those birds?"  "Pelicans", I say (not terribly excited... it IS about 6 AM).  Doug says, "Give me the camera.  We have to have a picture."  "Ok." I say (again, not so thrilled).
So the pelicans start to fly off, Doug is taking pictures, and I look over at the riverbank.  "BEAR!" I yell.  We proceed to get all excited and snap a bunch of photos of a bear running up the riverbank.  We're knuckle bumping, laughing, saying, "A Bear!  We saw a BEAR!"  We keep driving across the bridge.
Then TWO bears (somehow I only got one in a shot at a time) are booking it across the road in front of us.  Seriously speedy.  Pretty sure they were running so fast because I kept yelling, "BEAR!"  And all thanks to my husband's excitement over two pelicans.
 Ok, onward.  A thermal feature.  This one was dragon's breath cave at the Mud Volcano, I believe.
 There were bison everywhere.  We even saw some calves.
 Artist Point, I believe.

 Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces
 And, we're out.  I just spared you approximately 489 more photos.
You didn't think you'd get away without seeing one more photo of my kid, did you?  Relaxing with some ice cream in Missoula, MT.

Whew!  We made it.  Onward to the next adventure... whatever that may be.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Even more epic vacation... Part 3

Can you stand even more vacation photos?  Oh my... I took a lot of them.  681 to be exact.  Well, probably even more if I look at my phone photos.  Ok, onward to Wyoming...

 First mission in Jackson... RODEO!

The next morning, Doug found this Alpine Slide thing at the Snow King Resort.  Harper and Doug decided to give it a try.  Ok, you'll have to indulge me a bit... there are more photos of this part of the trip than really necessary, but do you see the GLEE on that girl's face?  Oh my goodness, she loved the slide.  They went way, way, way up on the hill on a ski lift and then rode (practically flew) down on a wheeled sled.
See them way up there?

 So happy. :)
THEN... just to make sure the day was memorable enough, she got to bungee trampoline too.  She loved that too.
 Pretty worn out now, and it's only just past lunch time!
There aren't any photos of the rest of that day because I was doing laundry for what seemed like hours.  I'll be honest, I didn't mind the break.  Jackson was busy!
To continue the adventures, we woke up early and hopped on a Snake River raft float ride.  Our tour guide Scott was awesome.

 See!  I really was on the vacation too.
 We saw a pair of eagles and their nest.
And there is a moose in those trees.  Right in the middle.  Ok, ok... it was hard for us to see too!
And because we hadn't done enough in Jackson (haha), we went to a covered chuckwagon dinner that evening.
 Harper made friends, of course.

That's probably enough for that post.  See, I told you Jackson was busy!  Next up... Yellowstone!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Epic Vacation... Part 2

My sleeping buddy. The RV had two beds, so Harper and I shared the larger loft bed.  I often woke up with her legs on my head or her using my leg as a pillow.
 Sometimes she wasn't happy about getting woken up early, but she managed.
 One last climb up the sand dune before we hit the road.
 Heading across southern Idaho.
Doug in front of an Idaho corn field.  I don't really remember why we stopped here... I think we heard a funny noise in the RV, so I decided to take a photo of the corn fields for a farmer (my Dad) in Kansas.
We broke up the trip to visit a national fossil monument in Hagerman, ID.  We thought we were going to see some fossils at an actual dig, but nope, just a museum.  Harper made friends pretty much everywhere we went.
Back on the road towards Wyoming.  We started seeing mountains off in the distance which fooled me into believing we were closer to Wyoming than we really were.  I kind of suck at geography and measuring distances.  Oops.
With another stop on the way at Craters of the Moon, Idaho.  You start seeing what looks like churned up dirt on the sides of the road, but it's really lava rocks.

 And back on the road to Wyoming.
Next up... Jackson, WY and the Grand Tetons.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

And We're Back... Part 1

The Plan

It was hailed as "the trip of a lifetime" (by my husband).  I would probably label it an "epic" trip instead.  Harper mapped out our trip for us. 

The Flight - Ohio to Washington

We started by flying out to Washington (here's our little safety girl with lots of questions about emergency exits, life rafts and infant vests).
Made it!  YAY!

Olympia, WA

We spent a few days catching up with friends and visiting our old stomping grounds in Olympia. Olympia is Washington's capitol and truly a scenic place with water, mountains, and lots of green everywhere you look.
Cooling off with some of our favorite people!  
Drove by our old house to show R2-D2. (There was a plan to have R2 visit all of the sites on the trip, but as it turns out, it's hard to keep track of a three inch tall toy.  He spent most of the trip hanging out in my purse.)

Portland, OR

Then we picked up a RV that we rented and started the BIG journey.  A little jaunt south towards Portland where we had lunch with the fabulous (and fabulously talented) Michelle Allen and her daughter Alexis.  Had a great time and great food, but I should have taken more photos!  Thankfully Michelle at least snapped this one of us.

Crater Lake, OR

Onward we continued to Crater Lake, Oregon.  Ummm... there are no photos of Crater Lake, Oregon.  That's because it was raining and foggy.  We bailed on the two nights planned at Crater Lake and moved on.  After a long drive across central Oregon, we made it to...

Breneau Sand Dunes State Park, Idaho

Next up was Breneau Dunes in Idaho.  Kind of amazing.  There are just all of these huge sand dunes in the middle of nowhere.  Harper and Doug loved climbing them, and I just loved the quiet.  The place was practically empty which I thought was awesome.
Harper making a phone call back home.  Cracks me up with all of her gestures. 
We were almost the only people there.  Heavenly. 
And we got a rainbow!  We could see the entire arch! 
The next day.  A very peaceful place. 
Up next... Craters of the Moon, Idaho and heading towards Wyoming!