Monday, September 21, 2015

Jackson Hole 2015: Part 2

Day 3: Friday, September 4

Jeesh, I'm bound to forget everything if I don't get crackin'.  Plowing right on through... 

Since B was still feeling a little iffy and we'd scheduled family portraits for the afternoon, we decided not to push his health / our schedule with a morning of hiking. We decided on a powerwalk through some of the horse pastures {the Shootin' Iron Ranch is partially a polo facility...we were told we could actually BYOPony; sadly, we left all our fillies behind to guard our vault of solid gold bricks and mountains of rubies} up to a nearby playscape. 

I think E and I did a bit too good of a job with our Seinfeld impersonations, as L quipped "I had a long! And I loved the pony!" in a decently impressive Polish accent every time we drove past the horses after our initial encounter.

After running around a bit {and making E try all the crazy "big kid" equipment -- sit-and-spins-on-crack, walking-merry-go-round-of-pain, etc}, we strolled back to the house and packed up for lunch at Snake River Brewery.  SNB never disappoints -- everything is incredible but the fish and chips are insanity {and I, Official Kids' Meal Temperature Taste Tester, do believe they have the second best kids mac and cheese in town!}, and I love their Dim Witbier. 

Digestion / naps / telecommuting occurred in various combos for all family members. We probably went to the grocery store this day as well {always a safe bet -- I don't think there was a day we didn't pop into the Jackson Whole Grocery (ha! puns!) at least on Earth}. We woke the kids up a little early to primp for photos {which made them a touch grumpy but SORRY, MEMORIES} and were pleased as punch to work with Adam J Howard again {must remember to go back and link to him; stupid mobile posting} -- he photographed our family last year at Mormon Row, and he's super fun and talented! This year we took advantage of that million dollar view and just hung out in the back yard. Can't wait to get the frames back!

Dinner at home and yet another early bedtime {banking Zzzzs for the M Family's arrival!}. 

Day 4: Saturday, September 5

This was the only day the weather screwed with us. The forecast showed rain but only until 9 am, so we decided to chance it and head into the Park, figuring we wouldn't begin hiking until 9:30 or so anyhow. B was once again not the picture of enthusiasm in the pack, but I was running on McD's caffeine and feeling great! Also: No bear sightings signs! Yay Taggart Lake! 

Taggart Lake is maybe my favorite hike in the Park -- waterfalls, streams, a gorgeous lake, new growth forest, decent elevation changes: it has a little bit of everything {Bradley Lake starts at the same trailhead and is excellent too!}. Unfortunately, we got about 3/4 mile in and it started sprinkling...we trucked on for a bit, thinking we'd ride it out, but then it started pouring and we threw in the towel. Had it just been L with us, we might have powered through, but I felt horrible dragging B's shaky immune system through the rain. 

Of course, right as we reached the trailhead {although still a good piece away from the parking lot}, the rain stopped. The kids weren't too wet due to their pack rain covers, so we decided to let them down to play a bit.  They were having a blast jumping in puddles when the skies opened up yet again, this time with seriously blinding rain. We each grabbed a kid and booked it for the car {maybe a 1/4 mile away still}. Our heads, legs, and feet were soaked clear through by the time we jumped back in the car. 

There were a lot of angry protestations... madder than wet cats, the tiny humans were! Not even Idina randomly appearing on XM The Blend could cheer them up {out of snacks + cold + wet = no bueno}. 

We did perk up once we pulled into the grocery store parking lot {again!} for some fresh soup and a baguette. After lunch at guessed it...naps! Naps in JH are glorious! Even children who don't take naps take naps in Wyoming. I'd move here if it weren't for all that snow. 

We drove to the park at the base of Snow King snoozing. The morning rain made the afternoon super chilly --

Around 5;30, we walked over to Thai Me Up {more puns!} for shishito peppers and pad see ew and Melvin Brewing Co's beer {I like the Killer Bee Ale}. The service at this place leaves something to be desired, but the food is amazing so we keep coming back. 

Sunset over the pond as I rocked B to sleep -- total magic! After both kids were in bed, E and I watched a Dateline {and realized we were parental-controlled out of watching anything above a PG rating on the cable...not cool} {also, how is Dateline not PG13 at the very least?}. Pretty soon it was time for E to go pick up the M Family, so I tuned into a Say Yes to the Dress marathon and anxiously awaited their return. 

E {oh dear, we have two Es now... let's go back to Evs to avoid confusion} is one of my closest friends, and her O is only 3 weeks older than L. We were in the same pledge class at Wake but really didn't become friends until our senior year, and man, I'm so thankful we both chose to live on the Chi O halls {I didn't really want to} so that we were given the opportunity to really connect. She is one of my favorite people in the universe, and I was ecstatic when she and J decided to join us in JH this year. It's hard enough finding another couple you enjoy vacationing with for a full week...add in 4 meatloaves under 4 and disaster is entirely possible. I was actually pretty positive we'd all have a blast, though, but this grouping exceeded my most optimistic expectations! 

The Ms arrived much like we did -- totally weary from traveling so long/late with 2 children {+ their time difference from ATL was 2 hours to our 1} but totally jazzed to check out the house; E and I also whisper-screamed and hugged and performed a whole other host of other reunited-girlfriends behavior. We did chat a bit after their kids were asleep, but decided to save the rest for coffee the next morning...and the next seven days! 

Day 5: Sunday, September 6

What fun to wake up and have your buddies here! O and L hadn't seen each other in person in 2 years but pretty much took right to each other's company. L was so excited this was the day she was going to wake up and see O; it was like Santa-level excitement.  I'd packed a decent amount of preschooler time-sucks (various art materials, Play-Doh, DVDs for if we got truly desperate), but they never touched any of that once they were together. They played a ton of Captain Hook / pirates and were constantly hiding under the covers and in closets together. It was such a blast to as see them bond! 

Since the Ms had just endured a heinous travel day, we had another lowkey horses / playground morning. 

Can't recall if we went to the grocery store or not this day. If we didn't, it was a small miracle. 

After naps, we explored a little deeper into our "backyard" {there was fence-hopping, hence the quotation marks} and checked out Flat Creek. 

We all loaded up for SRB {again!} for supper. 8 people in a Suburban is even more cozy when four of those people are in car seats. We were generally happy sardines, though. 

Home again for kidlet bedtime, then the menfolk built a massive fire. So many beverages and laughs. 

Labor Day: Monday, September 7

On our second full day as a Party of 8, we were determined to head back into the Park.  After a few pit-stops {the grocery store - obvs, and a gear rental establishment to procure a pack for the Ms}, we were on our way.  Taggart Lake, Redux it was -- storm-free this time! 

We switched B out of the pack we borrowed from friends {thanks, P family!} in favor of our pack since we were never able to adjust the shoulder straps to a comfortable setting for him.  Since L is older and can {kinda, sorta} be trusted to sit somewhat straight {thus negating the need for the shoulder straps}, she hitched a ride with me.  B was much happier with this scenario and ceased the whining -- huzzah!  In turn, I got to hear Strega Nona's magic pasta pot rhyme about 392 times on our 5 mile jaunt.  So relaxing. 

Taggart Lake!  You are as lovely as ever! 

We stopped halfway for snacks by the lake and then continued along the Valley Trail back towards the trail head.  I think 3 of 4 kiddos snoozed a bit {the fourth being L} in the packs, but everyone was ready for naps upon return to the house.  Evs worked a little while E, J, and I lounged about on the back deck.  I believe we actually had to wake a few small fries up in time to pack it back into the Suburb for the Town Square Shootout.  

Every evening {save for Sundays} in the summer, there is a reenactment of a famous pistol duel in the town square -- complete with old Western costumes, etc.  Pretty cheesy but solid {and free!} family fun.  All the information we were able to find claimed Labor Day was the last day, so the kids were all jazzed up attend.  We got ourselves some ice cream and settled in with the gathering crowd to wait... and wait... and wait...

... for the shoot out that wasn't to be. No clue what happened but the actors never showed and the crowd slowly dissipated.  Kind of a bummer, but we were able to snap this stellar photo encapsulating our brood's complete and utter enthusiasm for vacationing.  O and L played a rousing game of Hide & Seek while we brainstormed a replacement activities.  We decided the patio at Genevieve's would be just the ticket and strolled on over.  B was in quite a mood, so me and my pinot noir shadowed him in the yard of a neighboring coffee house {Persephone's -- also recommend!} until his mac {that would be my pick for the #1 kid's mac in JH} arrived.  We supped quickly and headed back home for tiny people bedtime and more wine {and beer} {and fire building} for the adultfolk {A LOT more wine and beer, if I'm remembering the evenings correctly}. 

3rd {and maybe final?} installment coming soon! 

1 comment:

  1. My in-laws just did 10 days covering that part of the country - Denver, Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore - it is all just so beautiful!


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