15 June 2011

blog overload.

So, we're back from vacation!  And it was tons of fun.  I've spent the last few days looking through the over 600 (I know, amateur) pictures I took and editing some of them.  Now, I'm not entirely sure where to begin to tell you about our trip..

We (Jesse, Lily and I) drove to Pittsburgh Friday night, thus beginning our adventure.  As our flight was really early in the morning Saturday, we felt it best to stay in a hotel Friday night and head to the airport from there.  Funny story, we met up with our friend Mike for juice at the airport, who also had an early flight the same day (hi, Mike!).  We mostly got through security with no issues..I just didn't know there was a pocket knife in a carry on.  No biggie.  Lily was a champ, sleeping most of the flight or playing peek-a-boo with the folks behind us.  Dad and Uncle Mike picked us up at the Bozeman, MT airport, and so our fun began!  After a few mile hike back to an abandoned dude ranch, we all crashed for the night.
Day 1: why not jump into vacation with both feet?  My family pretty much goes full throttle on vacations, especially when we feel there is a ton to do and see.  Sunday, after we had all converged on a wonderful rental house Aunt Shasta found us (Jess, Richard and Mom had an adventure getting there, but they made it!), we went to church in Yellowstone National Park before heading out for our first bit of fun- the Hoodoos!  These are basically several acres worth of fallen apart mountain, which is super fun to climb over.  From here, we went to see some hot springs at Norris Geyser Basin.
Norris Geyser Basin

I think this is also the day we saw grizzly bears.  Is this correct, family?  Anyway, we saw a Momma bear and two baby bears.  I didn't get too many pictures because I was standing on the roof of the van (from a safe distance!) to take pictures, and ditched my 200mm zoom lens pretty quickly for my mom's 300mm lens and binoculars.
Day 2: because of the time difference and the fact that everything was new and exciting, Lily got up super early this day.  "Super early" was really just around 630 or just seemed so early because I was still adjust to being in Mountain Time.  She did pretty well overall with adjusting, but that first day was kinda tiring for me!  The whole family went to Old Faithful and wandered through the Old Faithful Inn, Lodge and visitor's center for a few hours.  We didn't spend as much time there as I think the original plan was because we hit a major roadblock on our way there.  A two our trip turned into 4 (at least) because some bison decided that they were just going to walk down the middle of the road.  And by "some bison," I mean a huge herd.  You don't rush bison, or tell them what to do.  A ranger was following them, trying to help direct traffic, but when you have 30ish large animals with pointy don't really push them.
Old Faithful
the Inn
Day 3: Tower Falls!  I love these falls.  Last time we were out in Yellowstone was over Christmas break when I was a sophomore in college and we cross-country skied up the (closed) road to see these.  Jesse and I had decided before we went out there that if we came across something that we didn't think we could do with Lily, or it got too cold/rainy/hot/whatever and just didn't want her outside, that I would stay behind with her so Jesse could see all the sights (since this was his first trip to the park and my sixth..).  This day was cold and rainy, and none of us had really anticipated the drizzly rain.  Since Jesse and I didn't want Lily out in that hiking, Dad and I stayed up at the gift shop/car area and had some coffee while the rest of the family ventured down to the bottom of the falls.  Unfortunately, half the path had been washed out (right?  Is this the right day/event?) and they couldn't go too far.  
Tower Falls
After Tower, we drove back to Mammoth Hot Springs and had lunch before exploring that set of hot springs for awhile.  Since my family has been here a few times, we have a normal lunching spot in Mammoth, and when we got there, it was taken!  So we took over what was basically a hallway for lunch.  I let Lily crawl around on the floor, and she went straight for the floor-to-ceiling windows and started making faces at the people outside.  
Our days ended back at our house making/eating dinner, hanging out, talking and playing games.  Good, relaxing evenings to busy days.  Which is good, because we had a very tired little traveler with us.

That's it for now!  More later. 

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