Monday, August 9, 2010

Yellowstone Day 1 (July 31)

Oh my goodness. There are not enough words to explain how much I LOVE Yellowstone! We started our trip on Friday night (July 30th) after work. We drove to Idaho Falls and stayed in the same hotel room as the girls. Brooke was fine, but Tori was so over tired and would not sleep in her bed, so for the first time in her life, she slept with us. Needless to say, there was not much sleep in that bed. Luckily it was a king size bed. Tori was all over the place and is definitely a cuddler!
The next day we left for Yellowstone. We get into the park for free because Dennis and Gwen both get in free! They have a golden pass! It was marvelous. Our first stop in the park was lunch along the Madison River. We had a picnic and let the girls stretch their legs.

This is the Day 1 Tori collage! She loved Yellowstone too! She loved being an explorer and walking the trails. She was definitely fun! Here she is enjoying a chocolate chip cookie (of course)! She totally zonked by the time we got to Old Faithful. We got there just as it blew, so she had a good hour nap before it went off again.
We stayed in West Yellowstone, Montana in this marvelous rental that we got off of It had 3 rooms, a bathroom, living room and kitchen. We saved a ton on not going out for all of our meals! In the bottom right, Tori is enjoying story time with Daddy on the big over-sized leather recliner. Boy was that a nice chair!

Oh Brookie. Little Miss Sunshine loved being able to stretch her legs at our picnic. She is not a fan of being in the car for more than an hour, but she was so good anyway, because she is just a great baby. I love the big picture of her. She look like she is blowing a kiss at the camera. When we had our picnic each day we let Brooke play on one of the tablecloths while we ate. She loved playing with the grass and being out of her seat.
We forgot a hat for Brooke, so we bought this super huge hat (no baby hats to be found in the Old Faithful gift shop), so that she wouldn't get sunburned. The sunglasses are Tori's.Oh, the wildlife. Well, there was not much wildlife to be seen on our first day. At our picnic (that was right next to the river) we saw 2 cow Elk and they both had a set of twins! So amazing! We also met a cheeky squirrel along the trail of Old Faithful and some beautiful blue birds. I have no idea what the name of these birds are, but Tori loved watching them. After our picnic (and on our way to Old Faithful...I know some of these pictures are a little out of order, but give me a break...there are 300!) we went on this scenic road (Firehole River Canyon Drive) to see a beautiful waterfall, Firehole River Falls (seen in the picture below) and there was a huge hail and rain storm. If you look closely at the windshield picture you will see the huge hail that was falling from the sky. The drops of rain were also humongous! If you can't tell, those pictures are of Tori cowering from the sound of the rain and hail pelting the car! I thought that the hail was going to dent the car! The storm lasted about 5 minutes. It was incredible! By the time we got to Old Faithful, it was like it never happened!
BEAUTIFUL! Need I say more? But I will! We walked a little on the Old Faithful trail. We saw the geyser go off right as we strolled to the lodge, so we had a little time to eat a huge ice-cream cone from the Lodge, stroll around, and take some breathtaking pictures. Oh this place if magnificent! All of the beautiful geysers and pools of boiling hot water in the basin were amazing. The one in the top left corner is Old Faithful. The other geyser you see going off (and was going off for like an hour!) is Castle Geyser. We didn't go on all of the trails, because we were limited on time, but I recommend it if you have time.
As we were walking along the Old Faithful trail (15 minutes before the predicted time) Old Faithful blew! So we just happened to be in a great spot for pictures! I love this sequence...sing the geyser blow harder in each picture!
Tori was amazed! It was cute to watch her excitement and awe as the geyser blew. We were just walking along when whoa! it blew! She pointed to it (I love that picture in the lower can see her shadow pointing! So cute!) and she wanted so bad to go and explore, but she was very good and stayed on the trail! There was a lot of "Wow!"s and "Look!"s as she exclaimed her excitement. She was adorable.
On the way back to the Lodge, Tori got to swing. Boy was she excited! These pictures are cute, so blow them up and look at her face! Oh, and Tori only holds our hands if she gets to swing, Miss Independent!I love this picture of the Old Faithful Hotel and the restored Old Faithful Bus! We actually saw these buses taking people on tours and the top of the bus opens up so you can take pictures out of the bus!
Well, that was the end of Yellowstone fun in the park on Saturday. We had to get to our amazing rental and unpack everything, feed the girls and rest. Boy were we tired! I will post Day 2 tomorrow! If you thought this was a lot of pictures, just wait! :)

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