Monday, June 23, 2014

Jackson Hole 2014 {Days 1-4}

If we're friends on IG, you may have noticed we arrived in Wyoming on Friday {and immediately began obnoxiously photographing our adventures}. Jackson Hole is definitely one of our happiest places, and we are thrilled to be back for another summer of hiking, park-ing, farmers marketing, food trucking, and generally not dying of heat stroke! 

Last year, I meant to write a big ol' series of posts documenting our JH escapades with helpful linkage and all that good stuff, but I got lazy, and then I got pregnant, and then I got lazy and nauseous and pregnant, and it just never happened. To avoid a repeat performance {of the laziness} {also: the pregnancy} {that's how birth control works, right?}, I'm hopefully going to pop in here every few days and do some mobile photo-dump-style posts.* They will likely be chock-full of boring, declarative sentences and be interesting to no one but us. 

So since I know we're all looking forward to that... No time like the present! 

*I will come back through with links when we get home in case anyone happens to be planning a trip to the area!

Day 1

Our first time flying with two kiddos went infinitely better than expected.  I was admittedly a stressball about the logistics of packing and hauling the incredible amount of shit required to keep two teacup-humans alive and happy... And even after paring things down to the bare minimum {just ask E how many times I nagged DO YOU REALLY NEED THAT MANY OF THOSE? as if one extra pair of socks would tip the scales of the universe toward complete apocalyptic meltdown}, we ended up with NINE pieces of luggage {2 big rollies, 2 car seats, double stroller, RNP, hiking pack, large carryon, toddler monkey backpack-leash combo} {NO SHAME on that leash situation}.  

All I can say is thank the good Lord for curbside check-in and kindly AA employees who look the other way while you weigh your check baggage.

L has flown nearly a dozen times, but this was the first flight she'll remember {for a while, at least}, and she was an adorable blank slate of airport / airplane excitement. A little Auntie Annie's and some airplane scopeage and she was set on pre-boarding entertainment.  Once we were in the air, unfettered access to the iPad practically blew her little mind... E mentioned to her a while back she could watch Finding Nemo on the plane, and that's all she talked about for weeks leading up to the trip. Well, she really hasn't seen her ol' pal Nemo since last summer, and I guess her little two year old mind is much more emotionally developed, because she was SO DISTRAUGHT when Nemo was taken by that scuba diver.  It was both heartbreaking and hysterical to witness. Also, the sharks are now TERRIFYING. So, basically, DTN on the PBSKids app with a little Frozen thrown in for good measure FTW. 

B alternated nursing, snoozing, and being generally unimpressed throughout the three hour air time. CHILD CHAMPION! 

After some rental car dramz, we drove into Jackson and attempted to toss the toddler immediately into bed {it being two hours past her bedtime and all}. HA HA HA HA HA NO. It took her another 2 hours to really get to sleep, and then she woke up twice more in the middle of the night and needed me to lay down with her to settle her back down. She woke up for good around 5:30 am thanks to the very early sunrise here {and the fact that our condo is severely lacking in window coverings...don't worry; we've remedied that with improvised tin foil shades -- not W.T. at all}. And then she sliced her cheek open on the medieval torture chamber looking coffee table. 

Rough start. But! Fleeces! And snow caps!  We didn't complain too loudly, 'lest the glorious Tetons hear us. 

Day 2

We took it easy our first full day. We did a big grocery store run, and then walked over to the town square to show L the antler arches and the little colony of ground-chipmunk-squirrelly vermin that play peekaboo under the benches. We grabbed some paininis and tea at Cowboy Coffee {highly recommend for a quick breakfast or lunch bite} before high-tailing it back for naps. 

After some decent snoozing, we took the stroller down to the base of Snow King to the playground. L became reacquainted with her favorite sliding spot, and B enjoyed some breezy kicking time. After an hour or so, we strolled on back into town to have an early supper at Genevieve's. We did breakfast here last summer {delicious}, as well as enjoyed their food truck at a Jackson Hole Live concert, but we were new to their happy hour and dinner menu. We reserved a table on the patio and thoroughly enjoyed our discounted drinks {Pimm's Cup for me; Snake River's Pakko's IPA for E}, pig candy, and entrees {spinach pesto for him; pork belly ramen bowl for me...L mooched from both}. 

We love Genivieve's! Another highly recommended spot for any meal of the day! 

After supper, we rolled ourselves home for "early" bedtimes {it still took poor LBug quite some time to get to sleep, but she did better Night 2}. 

Day 3

Our first hiking day! 

Grand Teton National Park really just can't be beat -- it's simply breathtaking. I've never seen anything like its lakes before. We couldn't wait to traverse some if our favorite trails again! 

We are hiking with the kids in the Deuter Kid Confort II and the Beco Gemini. We've been quite comfortable hauling their booties around in both, although I wish B were old enough for a back-carry; hiking without view of your feet is cumbersome! We have nothing but greatthings  to say about the Deuter -- it travels great, has tons of storage, and, most importantly, is comfy for both dad and toddler. We bought ours with an REI Friends & Family coupon, and I've also seen them on Craigslist for good prices. 

We decided to make Jenny Lake our virgin voyage of 2014 since we got a late start and knew we could squeeze in a couple of miles there before it got too late for naptime.  

We took the boat from the South Jenny Lake Ranger Station and hiked up past Cascade Falls to Inspiration Point. Round trip is just a little over 2 miles of moderate hiking {pretty easy in lots of places but it does get steep as you make your way up to Inspiration Point}. This is a super popular hike so arriving earlier is helpful if you'd like to beat the crowds and not have to wait for a boat. 

Hiking back around the lake instead of taking the boat back will tack on another 2+ miles. We've done this before and it's a lovely additon if you're looking for more mileage. We were pushing it already in regards to naptime with the drive back and lunch to consider, so we skipped the hike back. L was psyched she got to ride the boat again, and we were even more pleased with our decision when it started raining right as our boat docked! Good timing. 

We enjoyed brats on the grill, local beer, naps, and a little World Cup Action {complete with patriotic swimwear} back at the condo, before we trekked back down to Snow King for Jackson Hole Live -- a free concert event on summer Sundays. 

We stayed for the first band {from about 5:30-7:15} -- a rock group that played mostly original songs. They were pretty good - loud, but good! Admission to JHL is always free, and there's activities for the kiddies {huge bubble wands, sidewalk chalk, big foam blocks, etc}, as well as food and booze trucks. We rolled with chicken curry, steamed curried dumplings, and fresh naan made by a very sweet Nepalese family. L geeked out over the mounted police who kindly let her pet their horses, and she charmed our neighbors with her "curry dance" {suck sticky rice from spoon...get up...shake your booty...repeat}.  B loved people watching although he was pretty bummed he'd gone for the Nautical Preppy Look at what was clearly a Raging Granola Hipster Event. 

Day 4 

We made the most of an early wake-up call and hoofed it to the Taggart Lake trailhead, arriving around 8. We did this hike twice last summer {once with my parents and once with some additional mileage -- I think the add-on is called something like Beaver Trail} and were excited to see the stunner of a lake again. 

There were a bunch of youth volunteers working on irrigation at the beginning of the trail, and they were potentially the nicest group of high schoolers ever to wield shovels. Every single one of them said hello and wished us a good hike. I wanted to pinch all of their cheeks. Because I am officially old and now marvel at things like polite teenagers. 

Taggart Lake is about 2 miles in, and you've never seen a smoother body of water. It is a perfect mirror. 

The complete loop {sans add-on} is four miles on the dot; it's a relatively easy hike -- L probably did nearly a mile of it on foot {not all at one time} so it's a great one for kids. Lots of different landscapes and flora to see. 

B got pretty fussy the last mile or so and needed a snack and diaper change. I shall now add "national forest" to the list of odd places I've nursed. 

Brats on the grill for lunch, then naps. Strolled into the square for some Hagen Daas and souvenir browsing, then to the play ground right near our condo to burn off evening energy. Improvised pasta primavera for supper and a viewing of The Way Way Back after L hit the hay. 

Until next time...


  1. I have loved seeing all of your instagram pics of your big summer trip! Keep 'em coming!

  2. Can smell the mountain air from here. What a perfect little family vacation.

  3. I am so impressed with your outdoorsy-ness, with two kids in tow no less! I love Wyoming, my grandparents retired there (about 1.5 hrs from Jackson Hole). It's so beautiful up in the mountains and the weather cannot be beat in the summer. I have to say, of all the pictures you posted I am most jealous of the mason jar of bacon. :)

  4. I'm so jealous of the jackets and pants in June! I'm melting down here in Houston.
    How did you travel with the rock-n-play? Can you check one like a car seat or does it need to be inside a suitcase? We're flying to Florida with toddler + twins in two weeks and can't figure out how I'm going to get the RnP (x2) there.

    1. A bunch of folks said they disassembled theirs and packed it in a bag to check. We didn't have a bag big enough so I just said a Hail Mary and checked it folded up. It arrived in mint condition!

  5. Love this trip! My parents were BIG fans of the National Park road trip when I was a kid (and still are now, as a matter of fact) so while I have never been to Disney, I HAVE been to Grand Teton, Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Yosemite and probably more that I'm forgetting. Lovely memories! You are more ambitious than I, but we did have a great time on our family trip to Breckenridge last fall - there was so much fun kid stuff to do there! Enjoy the rest of your time there!

  6. We're headed there in a few weeks! I will be stalking all of your future posts for details!

  7. these pictures are beautiful and you look seriously amazing! being a mama of two suits you well. :)

  8. Catching up on your JH posts and I'm basically super jealous of this awesome vacation/getaway in the mountains. J has been to JH when his brother lived there a few years ago, but I'd LOVE to go! So fun and pretty!


happy little comments!