Sunday, September 19, 2010

Summer is over :(

It's still warm, but I think summer is officially over. School is in full swing, vacations are over, and I'm already planning for Christmas (church choir that is).
Melissa said we didn't do anything fun this summer, which made me look back and see why she said that. I had to admit that she didn't get to do as much fun summer vacationey stuff as she is used to (is that a word?).

We did go camping with her Dad's side of the family as usual this year.

It was hot as usual.  We stayed at a different camp site for the first time since we got married.

This year Anthony went up with the kids for one night without me (he usually doesn't make it due to work or looking for work or now because of shows).  Then I came up and he went home to do some shows, and I stayed one night.

Melissa loves playing in the the water, Jeremy loves playing in the fire, Anthony loved having his fan, and I love going home!  (I just don't love camping.)
Usually during the summer, the kids get to spend a few Friday nights at their Grandma's who has a big above ground pool in her back yard, and they spend Friday and Saturday swimming and playing with cousins.  If they don't spend the night, we usually go every Saturday anyway.

But this year there were too many people living at Grandma's, and she was not in the best of health, so it was inconvenient to have the grandkids there very much.  In fact, I think we only went a couple of Saturdays the whole summer.  They didn't even get to visit when their cousin from New Mexico came to stay for a couple of weeks.  They did spend a couple of nights when we went on our cruise, though.
We did go to a movie one night, but that's about it!  So when I realized that she was right and she didn't really have much fun during her summer vacation, I decided that we ought to do something about it.

So at the last minute, we decided to take a short family vacation over the Labor Day weekend.  I thought it would be fun to drive up to Yellowstone and show the kids that fascinating place and make a few more fun memories this year.  But we quickly found that all the motels in and around Yellowstone were booked (duh, the last holiday of summer - what was I thinking?) - and I was absolutely NOT going to camp.  We just about gave up on the whole idea, when Friday afternoon Anthony called one more place and found that they had had a bus load of people who had booked the weekend cancel at the last minute.  They gave us a deal on the room so that we would come, and even upgraded us once we got there.  Turns out it was a really nice motel right in West Yellowstone, close to the park entrance.

We drove all afternoon/evening and got there about 10:00 p.m.  The next morning we went into the park.  It was a perfect day, about 75 degrees, sunny and very few clouds in the sky.  Our first animal sighting was a whole herd of elk crossing the river.  We went to see Old Faithful and walked the looooooong boardwalk to the Morning Glory Pool.  We saw lots of pools, steamers, bubblers, splooshers, and a few erupting geisers along the way.  I was so happy to see that Morning Glory Pool was looking much more colorful than it did 20 years ago when I was there last.  It was a long walk, but we had fun and took lots of pictures.
The next morning we drove by Yellowstone Lake and up to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the falls.  Along the way we saw lots of bison, some even crossed the road in front of us!  When we got to the falls we walked down to the trail edge to look down at the falls and the canyon.  It was very windy that day (the weatherman predicted snow by evening).  The wind made me too nervous to get very close to the edge to look down at the river, but I did get a few pictures and it was still as stunning as ever!
We decided to drive home through the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole.  We stopped in Jackson Hole for dinner, but didn't stay very long.  It was a long drive home, but we stayed awake by watching for jack rabbits on the side of the road (we saw at least four of them).

It was a fun, albeit short, vacation.  I would have liked to stay one more day, but Anthony had shows on Monday.  Maybe we'll go back again some day and see the rest of the park.  In the meantime, here are some of our memories:

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