Friday, October 13, 2017

Yellowstone 2017

For the past three years we have gone to Yellowstone on Free National Parks day. It is something the whole family looks forward to. The first year we had fantastic weather. Last year we were so cold, we left the park early to go back home. This year it was chilly again but we were more prepared and we had a great day.
We were so excited to see snow almost the moment we entered the park. Mommy asked Daddy to stop so we could play in it. The snow was so heavy and icy that it made dangerous snow balls. We decided it would be wise to keep moving before someone got hurt.
Joey was reluctant to get back into the car. He loved making tracks in the snow.
We wanted to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, but there were some roads closed for maintenance near our favorite viewing spot. We tried stopping at the opposite side and doing a little hike down to an overlook. Joey and Tommy were grumpy about the hike the whole way down. Luckily they were troopers on the uphill hike back out.
It is amazing to stand over such a powerful waterfall.
Annie liked getting to walk under a fallen tree. She was worried it might keep falling but after seeing a few others walk under it, she was brave enough to try and thought it was super cool.
The kids were wiped out after hiking back out of the viewing area. We stopped at a different view point to see the canyon again. The kids didn't want to go out in the wind and cold so Mommy and Daddy hopped out for a quick picture.
Next stop was Yellowstone Lake and the Fishing Bridge Museum. There are preserved bird specimens, a grizzly bear and her cubs, and river otters on display in the museum. It is a really amazing little place to get close to the birds and animals of Yellowstone. The kids were shocked to see that the swans and pelicans are almost bigger than Tommy and Joey.  After walking through the museum we wandered down to the beach.
Joey kept eating the sand. When we told him to stop, he threw a little fit.
We were hoping it would be warm enough to picnic here, but the weather had other plans. Oh well. It was still fun to throw rocks and sticks and run along the beach.
The kids always love coming to Old Faithful. The mostly like playing teeter-totter on the fallen logs in the geyser viewing area - and buying hot chocolate in the gift shop.  The girls almost missed the eruption because they were having an adventure with their Barbie dolls.
The sky was white and gray so the eruption didn't photograph well. Then the rain started to fall. We took everyone inside to warm up with hot chocolate. Everyone except Tommy...he came inside but asked for applesauce instead.
Once we were all warm and rested we made out way back to the car to drive out of the park. we got lucky and spotted herds of elk and lots of bison. Mommy almost stepped in some buffalo poop. Yikes!
We promised the kids a trip to the candy store in West Yellowstone. While we were in there, the owners offered a sample of candy to the kids. The girls got sour gummy worms. Tommy asked for candy LEGO pieces. The owner gave Tommy a gummy Army man instead. Tommy was disappointed and threw the Army guy back into the candy bin and stormed out. Mommy apologized to the store owner and gave Tommy a good talking to. So embarrassing.
We had dinner at a little retro diner. The server was a little too enthusiastic and the food was not great. When we didn't give a stellar review on our comment card, which the server all but forced us to complete, we were stopped from trying to leave the restaurant and asked why they didn't score well on our comment card - AWKWARD. To be honest, your bathrooms were not clean, your food was not good, and you wouldn't leave us alone! We have not had good luck finding a nice family restaurant in West Yellowstone. Next year we will get some recommendations from friends.
It's all part of making memories. We love Yellowstone and we're so glad we can get up there at least once a year to explore.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Spartan Beast 2017 - TRIFECTA!

Jeremy did his first Spartan Sprint race in June. He loved it and wanted to do another. In August he volunteered to help for the Spartan Super in Utah. He was given free entry to the race and had Grammy, Grampy and Uncle Jared there to cheer him on. If a racer completes all three types of races in one year, they earn a Trifecta award. Daddy decided to enter the Seattle Spartan Beast in order to earn a Trifecta - and pretend that turning 40 hasn't changed him one bit.
Daddy went to Washington with our friend Chris Hickman (who convinced Daddy to give this whole Spartan thing a try in the first place). They got to stay with Puna and Papa and had a good experience. Papa did an amazing job taking lots of pictures. Now that his Trifecta is complete, Daddy is ready to scale back his Spartan participation a little bit now.