Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Yellowstone/ Jackson/ Albuquerque

We just returned from an awesome trip with Seth's parents and his sister's family. Between myself, my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law there were over 1,500 pictures. (if you know this family, you can easily guess who took the bulk of the pictures). This will probably be my longest post ever, so bear with me! :) 

It started off by spending a few hours in Jackson, WY. As we were entering the city, we saw FOUR MOOSE! Crazy!

Sign on the square

Boy Scouts collect these antlers. On each corner of the square, there is an arch like this one. 

The four crazy cousins
After eating dinner at a delicious steak house, we drove to Yellowstone, where we spent 3 nights at the Old Faithful Inn. We stayed in the "newer" part of the hotel (built in the 1920s vs. 1903). We ate breakfast and dinner at the Inn and lunch was PBJs on the road. Days were spent exploring all the beauty this Park has to offer. If you haven't been here, YOU MUST! I have never seen sights like these! 
Adelyn is searching for wildlife

Hello, Old Faithful! There's a clock in the Inn that predicts (within ten minutes) what time it will erupt. It was pretty accurate!
West Thumb Area (Black Pool)

Bluebell Pool

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Buffalo were a dime a dozen. They roamed the streets and the fields

Geysers and buffaloes

Mammoth Hot Springs area of the park...Elk were the game here. Imagine if this were your front door (and notice all the droppings on the sidewalk)? 

James hiking with Daddy and Grandpa to see petrified wood

Mammoth Hot Springs

I think this is the best family picture we got- ha,ha! I don't know why I even try- James is so wiggly and Adelyn is in the "I don't smile or do what you want when there's a camera" phase.

Me with my little buddy. Unfortunately, James was pretty sick in Yellowstone. He had a fever and was super congested. This began the day before we left. He was so stopped up that he slept terribly at night and was pretty fussy during the days. Luck was somewhat on our side because 1. Adelyn got to sleep with Grandma and Grandpa, so her sleep wasn't messed up 2. I threw in some leftover sample anti-biotic given to me at a recent doctor appointment, so that helped him get cleared up faster and 3. Each day was majority spent in the car to see the sights, so he got his (car seat) naps and was out of the elements

Adelyn with her sweet Grandma

Paint Pots (it looks like milk!)

Old Faithful Inn- Adelyn called it a castle the entire time

Adelyn and I walking around the boardwalk at Old Faithful

Waiting to watch Daisy Geyser erupt

Melissa printed off the workbooks so that the kids could become Junior Park Rangers (which Adelyn and Emily renamed Junior Park Ranger FAIRIES). It was fun to complete the activities (we all learned something!). This nice Park Ranger had them "sworn in", complete with an official handshake and badge.
We spent one night and a half day in Jackson, WY, which consisted of eating dinner at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar (where I got an insanely large bison/elk/beef burger), breakfast at The Bunnery, a brief tour of the Tetons, and lunch at The Shade.
On our way out of town, we drove through Grand Teton National Park. This is the breathtaking Lake Jenny.

Next, we flew to Albuquerque, NM. At first Adelyn called it AppleTurkey. Last year, we attended the Balloon Festival and several events were cancelled due to bad weather. They issued rain checks, so we used them to come again this year. We stayed at a great hotel (i.e. rooms were separate from a little living area- perfect when traveling with kids) for our last 2 nights. ONCE AGAIN, the Friday morning event was cancelled. Agh! We all got up early to be there by 6 a.m., only to encounter rain and wind. We spent a chill day in the hotel, which was really nice, given all that we'd done.  
Thomas and Adelyn
Seth left Friday evening to coach at Laguna Seca (Monterey, CA). Saturday morning, we tried again. We got up earrrrrrrrrly to be there around 6 a.m. and it was gorgeous! Yay! It was a little chilly (and I was a bad mom, leaving hats and gloves in the car thinking it'd warm up faster than it did) but almost all balloons launched!

I just can't describe what it's like to watch these balloons blow up on the ground and launch one by one with hundreds of viewers

One example of the Special Shapes 

Darth Vader! This is one of the few that didn't launch.

Of course, they had to have matching balloon tees! (thanks  http://www.facebook.com/EisforEmbroidery!). Don'tcha love Adelyn's skirt AND jeans? This girl does not like to wear pants and by the end of the trip she was sick of wearing pants, so I let her wear this concoction. Whatever. 

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