Sunday, August 14, 2011

Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam. . . .

Give us a small window of opportunity and we will head to Yellowstone. Well, technically, we headed to St. Anthony Sand Dunes and Yellowstone and all with some of our "Besties" as Anna would say. This herd of buffalo was hundreds thick. I mean hundreds! Smart animals planted themselves along the northeast exit of the park closest to Cooke City and furthest from the invasion of summer tourists. I like a smart animal. Few people take that route and the fields are wild with lush grass, water, and most importantly space. They are just amazing animals and it thrills me that my children think they are common to see all the time. It has been their 9th or 10th time through the park in less than a year. Seasoned Yellowstone Pro's!!!
Some of the stunning rock that the park is named for. What you can't see is the trails from animals on this steep canyon wall. It's hard to believe they can traverse such a hillside. Amazing!

The Big Falls. I have no idea how many times I had seen this as a child. Tons. The appreciation was never there like it is when you are an adult. Seeing this amazing fall is just more affirmation to me that our children need to learn about this wonderful country we live in. The USA is home to so many miraculous places and they are all within our reach. That is a blessing!

Anna was so funny on this trip. She kept saying "Take a picture of me here!" and we would gladly run over and oblige her. Goofy grins and all!

Old Faithful . Impressive for sure. Not 100% sure the kid's cared at all since it was 20 minutes late going off but they will remember us dragging them there regardless. It really was a wonder.

Waiting. Waiting. . . .. The nice thing about Yellowstone is that no matter how long you wait for something, there is breathtaking scenery to keep you busy. The children had their buddies with them so they didn't even notice the time.

When we pulled up, I saw the lodge. For some reason, and I have no exact reason or memory to tell you why, this building was so familiar and comforting. It was like a picture from my childhood. Back when my parent's were married, we were all young and careless, and summer always meant a vacation to the parks. It was a great moment in space for me. I love when memores aren't tainted in any way by the reality that people divorce, brother's and sister's grow up, and family vacations are a lot more work when you are the parent now.

The paint pots in Yellowstone. Amazingly beautiful. Brayton really loved them which was an odd surprise to me. With his recent fiesty personality, I would have pegged him for a kid ready to get out of there but not at all. He was fascinated by each and every color and all that steam! He is my mystery, challenge, and my biggest lover!

Brayton looking on. If you could see that boy. . .WOW! Dimples to die for and a temper like a volcano! Needless to say, I am actually working on new dicsipline techniques for him since his new thing is screaming like a crazy man when he doesn't get what he wants. Look under the dictionary for "terrible two's" and you will see that little face! Thank goodness he is such a cuddler and so sweet most of the time or I would have thrown in the towel!

Group children photo! A pic with the "Besties" is always a must!

We also went to "Bear World". Ok.......we saw a small mob of bears. Big ones, black ones, brown ones, grizzlies, and cubs. They were adorable and amazing. So was the price of admission. Needles to say, we will have to recall it in our memories for quite some time because we can't ever afford to go back. On a lighter, more positive note, they children loved it and they got to see lot's of animals and ride a ton of rides all with their very best friends. Ok, we might go back.

Meet Andy. Yes, this dear little fawn has a name. Andy. Oddly enough, we had our own little version of Andy at our house the day we returned. Right here in Wilton under our pine tree bawling for his mommy. I could eat these sweet things up all day long. I love a baby anything and a fawn is way up there on my list of favorite baby animals!!!

Here we are on the bear twirling ride. We were braver than you think since all the Ames' girls' suffer from motion sickness. Every one of them including our dear, sweet Tiffany. No puker's though so I was thrilled!

Hogs. . . .Yep, that's all. Hogs.

At St. Anthony Sand Dunes, Brayton loved curling up with Annie under the trailer. It was hilarious and I am not certain who was dirtier. Boy LOVES that dog!!!At the falls in Idaho Falls. Beautiful!!!

We were so blessed that our friends could join us on this adventure. It was like vacationing with a little slice of home with you. The Ames family has been one of our treasures and we love any chance we get to see them. Their children are polite, fun, creative, and so pleasant to be around that it makes me wish we were closer again. Knowing that won't happen all too soon, we will just cherish our time together and enjoy all our mini family vacations. I always feel so grateful to spend this quality time with my family. The man of my dreams and three amazing children.

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