This year we decided to go to Yellowstone for UEA. I LOVE Yellowstone but we haven't been there since Lucas was a baby. I was so excited because I knew that the boys would all LOVE it! Matt had a soccer game Wednesday night at 5 so we decided to try to be all ready to go from the game! We ran home and grabbed everyone else and headed to Oveson's to drop off Missy. That should have been an easy stop.....BUT Isaac opened the sliding door on the passenger side and it flew back and popped off. That's not supposed to happen. I wasn't happy. Mike wasn't happy. Isaac wasn't happy. Thankfully though Mike can fix just about anything. At least enough to not cancel our trip :). He got the door back on, BUT it is now stuck shut. ARGH. Not a great thing, but also not the end of the world.......so we finally took off and actually left Ogden! We had rented a little cabin in Driggs Idaho for the first night.....so we were heading to Driggs! The ride was pretty uneventful (thank heavens)....it was also kind a LONG for that time of night. We pulled into Driggs around 11 and thankfully the little cabin was cute and warm! The boys all hustled through the COLD and went right back to sleep. The bed was hard, but I was so tired that I still slept well :) Thursday morning stated early.....my kids don't like to sleep in. SO, we got up and got ready and ate and decided to head out! Driggs was beautiful! I loved it! We decided to drive through Jackson and through Teton to Yellowstone. It was BEAUTIFUL! It is always gorgeous in Jackson. The boys LOVED the Elk antler arches:)The Grand Teton's are also GORGEOUS! Every time I see them I am honestly awed.We FINALLY got to Yellowstone! HURRAY!! We hadn't been there long when we saw BUFFALO! The boys were all thrilled and Lucas couldn't wait to tell Eli all about it!Then we headed to Old Faithful. The new visitors center is gorgeous! I love it! The boys and I were running to the visitors center to check the time for the next eruption and Ty decided to smack my bottom. I turned to get him back and he turned to run and slipped and fell. Hard. Blood all over. Darn it! Mike had to scrub it out while I made lunch :(......by the time we had eaten all was well and we went to watch the geyser erupt!After Old Faithful we worked our way toward West Yellowstone. We stopped at every "pot" and geyser we saw! It was so much fun! The boys loved it! I love the way they want to know the "how's" and "why's" of everything.We got to West Yellowstone at about 6pm. Nick was SOAKED. His diaper had leaked. He was TIRED. And he was HUNGRY. He kept crying "I want PANTS and I want FOOD! Yikes. We had booked a cabin with a kitchen so we just had to get there and we'd be all good.......in theory. We found the cabins, but no one was in the office. It was dark. TOTALLY dark. Mike called and called but no answer. All of us were starting to stress. West Yellowstone was CLOSED with the exception of a few gas stations and Arby's (which Matt can't eat at). Mike went into the gas station by the cabins and asked if they knew anything about the people who ran it. They said "Hmmm, they are usually there" Great. Then we went to a hotel......they said the same thing. I mean, they would rent us 2 rooms, but they suggested we wait and try the cabin people again. We did. No answer. About this time Lucas said "um I think that we need to pray" Isaac said "I already did". So when Mike got back in the car we did. We decided to try another hotel. When Mike explained our situation the lady at the desk said "Well, we have some condo's in town that we rent out too. We have one empty tonight if you guys want it." She gave it to us for what we were going to be paying at the other place! YAY! All we knew was that there was a kitchen and a washer and dryer! Prayers answered! Now I could make dinner and wash Nick's clothes. He could get pants AND dinner! :) The condo was awesome! It was a 3 story duplex. Beds for everyone, 3 bathrooms, full kitchen.....who needs to go home? It was so nice to eat dinner, get clean and chill with my family!Friday morning brought our last day in Yellowstone. We decided to start at Mammoth Hot Springs. It was a bit of a drive but it's part of the park that I'd never seen, and Mike said it was worth it. So we packed up and headed out! It was TOTALLY worth the drive! The old fort is at Mammoth and it's like this little OLD town. I loved it. There was a big Elk herd parked right on the lawn of the museum. The boys loved that! We went to the museum, the store and hiked the hot springs. The springs were GORGEOUS! I am still in awe when I look at the pictures!
After Mammoth we decided to go to the painted mud pots and of course everything else on the way! One of the things that I love about Yellowstone is that everything is different and amazing even though it's all caused by the same things. LOVE it!We hadn't ever seen the Artist Paint Pots either so we decided to stop there. One of my favorite parts of this hike was Matt quizzing Tyler on State Capitols. hehehehehehe.Noris Geyser Basin was our last stop of the day. We had already done a loop and were halfway through another one when the weather started to turn. We thought we had enough time for the "long version" and started along that path......until it suddenly got dark and cold. We started to RUN back to the car! By the time we got there snow was flying! We had had perfect weather until we were leaving! It was perfect!It was time to head home.....sadly. I LOVE time with my little family. This type of vacation is perfect. Plenty to do without being overwhelming and exhausting. We could head home feeling ready....almost....for life. Thankfully we still have Saturday and Sunday!