Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Yellowstone Vacation 2017

In the beginning of June we decided fairly last minute to take a family trip to Yellowstone. It's been about 6 years since we've been so it was time. Highlights of the trip included: Breaking up the drive, all the wildlife and baby wildlife we saw up close, the stunning scenery surrounding us everywhere in the park, watching geysers, staying at Super 8 with a pool and breakfast included (we loved having a clean room every day, a great breakfast and the pool to play in at the end of a long day), and our stops on the way home which included Bear World, Lava Hot Springs waterpark, and Idaho Falls. What a great trip we had! 

Here's the day to day breakdown:

Thursday: we headed out around 3:15 and stayed at Super 8 in Rexburg Idaho after we stopped for dinner. When we got there we went swimming and then crashed. 

Friday: Got up at 7, had breakfast at the hotel, and headed out to Yellowstone. The West entrance was about an hour and 20 min away. We did all that there was to do along the route of West Yellowstone entrance to the North Yellowstone entrance. We did at least 3 miles of hiking plus lots of other walking (14,500 steps) to see stuff. The kids did pretty well and Parker was so kind and was giving piggy back rides to the other kids, holding their hands and doing great. We saw a ton of bison, 2 elk, a coyote, a deer, a beaver looking thing and such beautiful scenery everywhere. 

After sleeping in until 8:30 (ahhhhhhhhhh) we had breakfast at our hotel and headed out starting at the North entrance which is right by our hotel. Within the first hour we saw an elk with her baby, tons of bison and their babies, and even a grizzly bear with 2 Cubs so close! Then a little later we saw many bison up close. Way close. We also got to see THE the incredible rainbow that Parker noticed! It was just a blur of rainbow in the middle of the sky and just above it was a full circle rainbow around the sun! It wasn't even raining. Just stunning! And on the way back to the hotel, we saw ANOTHER momma bear with two Cubs, then a make grizzly later, and then about 50 deer including a few years along the way!! We got in 17,000 steps today and I'm utterly exhausted and sore. The kids did pretty well but were in the stroller most of the time pushed most of the time by superdad!) We saw lots of cool stuff including old faithful and Grand prismatic sitting was breathtaking! The scenery here is just astounding. Even when we're in the car for long periods of time I just don't get bored. It's just amazing everywhere you look!

SUNDAY: had breakfast and headed to church which was only 2 minutes away. When we got there they were bbqing something outside the tiny church building and the was only about 7 people there. We went in the building to find 4 tiny rows of chairs in the chapel and they told us after church there would be a party (hence the BBQ) for a girl in the branch who just graduated high school. It was a really nice sacrament meeting though and became quite full making it maybe 50 people or so. Then we came back to the hotel to change and headed out. We didn't see nearly as much wildlife today besides many bison and elk. We got to see the Grand canyon of Yellowstone which was absolutely amazing! And a couple Asian ladies wanted to take pictures of the boys and be in pictures with them randomly 😊. We saw many mud pots and a cool dragons cauldron. After we got back to the hotel around 8pm, we decided to go swimming and of course Darrin and I played skipbo just like we've been doing every night for at least a week now 😊. 

We all slept in until 9, hurried and packed up, ate breakfast, checked out of our hotel and headed out for the day. First thing we saw was 2 pronghorn deer up really close which had really neat horns and were pretty colors. Then we stopped in Mammoth and saw some really gorgeous white, orange and pink mountains and also saw 2 large snakes mating right by the path. Then we were stuck in construction for 45 minutes. We then went to bear world! It was great! It's a drive through zoo with elk, moose, bison, deer and LOTS bears that just come right up to your car or you watch them sleep and play. After the drive through part they had a great petting zoo complete with fur of of different animals to feel and the animals were really fun to pet. It was very cool. They also had 5 rides that the kids could go on as many times as they wanted which they loved. Then we went back through the drive through zoo. We drove to Idaho falls after bear world. The falls and the temple were beautiful. We went to McDonald's for dinner and then headed to Pocatello Idaho to our next super 8 hotel. We watched a movie and headed to bed. Poor Spencer had a terrible headache and even threw up 😥. 

Woke up, had breakfast, and headed to lava hot springs to their water park/pool. Their website says they open at 11 so we got there early and it turns out they don't open until noon. So we played at a nearby playground until noon. We swam, dove and slid for 4 and a half hours and had a blast! Then we headed home.