My in-laws had also made the trek, leaving a few days before us and taking a slower pace getting there. They were staying in a hotel up the road a few miles, so they came over to join us. The kids were so excited to see Grandma and Grandpa in a whole new state! They could not get over the fact that we'd traveled so far and still got to spend time with family.
Luca made her own marshmallows with just a little help. Oh, and if you're a novice camper please take note of our 'chocolate warming' technique seen in this picture. You have not had s'mores until you've had them with the graham cracker slightly toasted and the chocolate melty and warm like this. In a traditional campfire, you just set them on the rocks near a flame (but not too near, unless you want chocolate syrup).
But while I may be an expert in s'mores, I am less of one in beers. We'd stopped for groceries south of Salt Lake City and I thought I was a totally awesome wife for buying a 12 pack of local brewery beers for my husband. And he was happy. He was. Except for the fact that those bottles of beer were 3.5-4% alcohol each. What can I say - - - Darrick likes a good, strong beer and Utah didn't deliver. (He did say, however, the the funny names like Polygamy Porter and the good flavor almost made up for it.)
The kids were beyond adorable in their bedtime excitement. They could not wait to put on footie jammies and climb up in the top bunk together to go to bed. Not to SLEEP, mind you, because sleep would be boring and kabin adventures are not boring. It took these two beasts over and hour to settle down and sleep, but the payoff of sitting outside in the cold night area drinking hot chocolate with Kahlua and listening to their giddy laughter was more than enough compensation for kids up hours past bedtime.
The drive into the park the next morning was breathtaking. Darrick and I were in Yellowstone 8 years ago at the end of summer, but early summer Yellowstone did not disappoint. Getting in for 5 days only cost $25 and we felt a little bit like we were ripping off Mother Nature.
We were in the Park about 5 minutes before seeing our first field full of bison. Mamas and babies and males skirting the edges of the herd, all eating grass and laying in the sun. They took your breath away.
That first day was a tour of hot pools and sulphuric smelling water and beautiful rock walls and more wild animals than you could count.
There were hikes and silly faces in pictures and this new diva girl pose Luca randomly decided to adopt for pictures:
Swear she's trying to give her dad high blood pressure already.
My favorite things the first day in Yellowstone, in no particular order:
- blue, blue pools of steaming hot water
- kids eating up their Grandparent time
- Luca's fashion sense
- cold weather
- my kids, just being best buddies and loving being outdoors
^--This is what happens when you marry a science nerd.
(to be continued...)