Monday, July 12, 2010

Wyoming Trip 2010: Part 2

Thursday, July8th:
This was by far the fullest day we had-we headed out for Yellowstone around 10:30 AM. I had previously not been farther west than Oklahoma, and I sort of assumed that all the major landmarks to be seen out west were somewhat lumped together. (Wouldn't it just be so convenient if the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Mount Rushmore were within a a couple hours of each other?) But wow, after driving through (only PART) of Yellowstone over the course of most of a day, I realize how sadly mistaken I was. Although, part of the reason our driving was slow initially was that we would stop whenever we saw other people pulled over, because that meant an animal was nearby. Our first big animal sighting that day was actually a grizzly bear! We got to see him pretty close up...although other tourists decided that they needed to be even closer to the bear (maybe no one told them bears have killed people?) and the ranger had to keep backing them up.

We also got stuck in construction for half an hour...

And then of course there were the multiple bison that we passed walking down the road- sometimes right in the middle, causing the road to be more or less one lane. These things were huge! And frankly, the bison looked kind of like depressed Eeyors with their slouchy backs and expressionless faces.

Anyway, our first, and featured, stop was Old Faithful. Unfortunately it went off just before we got there so we had to wait another hour or so to see it. It was interesting to learn that Yellowstone has more geysers than anywhere else in the world combined- also that Old Faithful, though not the largest geyser, is one of the only geysers of it's size that erupts predictably and to such consistently great heights (perhaps the only one? I can't remember now.) It's sort of hard to distinguish the water vapor from the actual clouds in the sky...but hopefully you can make it out.

Anyway, the final destination (aside from viewing wildlife) was the upper and lower falls, which are part of a canyon in Yellowstone. Sam, Andre and Jeff's Dad walked down to the falls-I'll have to post some of her up close pictures sometime. The view was incredible!

Finally, we headed back home- saw a herd of bison on the way (and I'll throw in a couple extra picture of animals we saw earlier)...but mostly got back just in time to eat and go to sleep.

Friday, July 9th:
After so much excitement Thursday, Friday was relatively calm. Of course I got my coffee, then we spent the day in town souvenir shopping. There were some really cool was called "Made" and only sold hand crafted or re-purposed items. I loved it, but everything was much too expensive. We also ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant called "The Merry Piglets." Odd name, but the food was great! We finished up the day with our last cookout at Jackson Lake...some family pictures and more much needed rest.

Saturday, July 10th:
We didn't do much...grabbed breakfast, finished packing and headed for the airport. Parting glances at the beautiful mountains...then we flew back home. (Another 5+ hours total of flying, but again Charlotte did great!) Now we'll relax at home and with another baby coming, maybe we'll be ready for our next vacation in 3 more years??

Wyoming Trip 2010

So we just got back from a trip to Wyoming with Jeff's family...celebrating his parents' 30th anniversary! Only 6 days, but there's a lot to cover...I'll split it into 2 blogs so as not to (entirely) overwhelm.

Monday, July 5th
We headed to the airport for Charlotte's first plane ride, and my first flight using the omni-pod for my diabetes. (It's attached to my body and I was so worried that I would set off an alarm going through security.) But fortunately the airport was uneventful...except that Jeff had stowed Charlotte's full water bottle in his check on bag, which had to be investigated by security. (No problems with my pod!) Charlotte also tried her first happy meal...

and was INCREDIBLE on the plane. Slept through the first flight, and hardly fussed during the 3+ hr flight from Dallas to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. (WHAT a tiny airport...we climbed off the plane on stairs.) The only sad thing was that she made friends with a 2 year old boy, Drew, who was sitting in front of us (they were holding hands and everything) and when we got on the second plane she kept looking for him expecting him to be right in front of us still.

By the time we got to WY we had just enough time to go out to eat in Pizza Hut. (Everyone knows it's better in Wyoming.) Afterward we headed into Grand Teton National Park, which is actually where our cottage was located! Then off to bed- because with a time zone change 2 hrs earlier than ours, the clock may have said 10pm but we were exhausted like it was midnight.

Tuesday, July 6th:
We actually woke up before 9AM! Then Jeff, Charlotte and I did a little snooping around the cottage...we were right next to the pool area, and there was a tiny playground that we took Charlotte on. Her first slide! (Lots of firsts on this trip.)

Then we met Jeff's family for a cook out style breakfast on Jackson Lake. (Go pancakes.) The mountains were absolutely really couldn't take a bad picture- although it was colder in the morning than I would have expected, getting down to around 38 degrees (F) at

After pancakes we headed back to our lodge for a nap so Charlotte and I would have energy for the kiddie pool. Charlotte loved it...although with the water being 18 in. deep, whenever she decided to try sitting down, she was in way over her head and came up coughing. Also met a family with 10 kids...8 boys, 2 girls. I swear half the people at the pool must have been from that family. While we were sunbathing, Jeff went fishing with his Dad, Sister, and her boyfriend. We all met up again for burgers and dogs at Jackson lake to end the day!

Wednesday, July 7th:
Now the fun begins! By now I had found a little coffee shop in the lodge near our cottage, and was thrilled to drink my sugar-free Hazelnut latte in the mountains. :o) (Although with a surcharge of $1.25 for cream cheese, a decent bagel was quite pricey.) Charlotte and I went back to the pool- which, by the way, has a cafe and a BBQ buffet at night for the low low price of $28/adult. YIKES.

Anyway, after a relaxing morning, we took off with Jeff's family in the afternoon into "town"...Jackson Hole (population 8647), which was a good 40 minute drive from our cottage. The town is sooooo touristy that, although set up to look like an old Western town, it comes across more like a manufactured Disney World town. (I'm sure parts were authentic.) Anyway, we did some shopping and ate at Bubba's BBQ...very good food.

And after, we went to our first ever Rodeo! I enjoyed the experience, although parts were slow. I had to laugh at the rodeo announcer, however...who was blatantly both Southern and Christian. We were barely 5 minutes into the event when he said, "Let's all now take a moment and pray, each in his own way." I thought that a nice moment of silence would ensue while everyone "prayed" or meditated as they chose. Not so much...10 seconds later he launched into his own prayer, filled with southern phrases and some comical spiritual metaphors. I will say, there was one 8 year old girl in a competition where women ride a horse around 3 barrels trying to get the best time. She was the youngest in her division- could have sworn she was going to bounce right off the horse...but she probably came close to 3rd place! Anyway, Charlotte fell asleep there, and since the rodeo ended at 10pm, we all drove back to the lodge to follow suit.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Back to Baby #1

I've been so excited about baby #2 that I haven't thought to post any updates about our 1 year old Charlotte. She recently had her 1st year check-up at the doctor...I had my fingers crossed that she'd be 20 lbs so she could start facing forward in her carseat. Turns out, since her 9 month appointment she only gained 5 0z...putting her at 17 lbs, 10 oz! I almost cried...partially because the nurse that measured and weighed her came back into the room abruptly, like she was doing a double take, and said, "I'm going to measure her again. She was 28 inches the last time she was in here." And then..., "Hm, but I guess she didn't gain much weight either. You're just growing slowly." My first thought was that I wasn't feeding her enough, or at least enough of the right things. But what can you do when baby doesn't want what you give her?

The doctor actually said that some babies who drink a lot of juice can end up leveling out weight wise, instead of growing, because the juice doesn't have any fat or protein. (Oops! Our baby loves juice.) But now she's old enough to have whole milk, so I can start weaning her a little...but enter problem #2: Charlotte refuses to drink whole milk. I actually thought she might want it warmed up, since she's used to breast milk. I tried that...she gagged. I don't blame her, but now I'm trying to figure out just how much cheese and yogurt I'll have to feed her to make up for her picky dairy diet. I also read that some babies like rice milk...but I have no idea where to even look for that.

Anyway, while she's being picky, baby #2 has decided that I can once again eat just about anything my heart desires without feeling sick. That means coffee...oh sweet coffee...I can start drinking you again, in moderation of course. The only thing I'm still on the fence about is my peanut butter and pistachios...oh well.

Hopefully we'll both eat well this week- we're taking a vacation with Jeff's family in Wyoming! I'm sure they'll be more on that later.