Day 2…in the books!

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Well, not a lot of pictures today…we drove for 9 hours.  And, I have to say…it was a very pretty drive.  We hit Missouri, Iowa, and South Dakota…I think we weaved into Nebraska for a millisecond!  And, we spent last night in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Give me 2 seconds to be introspective, please.  I think every American should drive through the midwest.  For several reasons…one, its beautiful!  And, it is humbling to see the all the farm fields.  These people provide us with amazing food!  We were lucky to be driving through on a work day and saw several tractors, combines, etc. working away!  I think we all sometimes get so caught so up in our busy city lives..take the grocery for store for granted and actually get ANGRY when food isn’t available.  Yet, these farmers depend on the weather.  If there is a drought, less food to sell, if there is a flood, less food to sell…and we get so pissy and don’t even think that that farmer is loosing his livelihood!    Ok..I’m off the soap box!

According to my Allison, South Dakota isn’t a real state…(yes, I am working on her snobbishness)…and, yet…it is beautiful!  Plush green, rolling hills…I was very pleasantly surprised…even as I was trying to outrun a nasty thunderstorm with quarter size hail…I am proud to say, I won!  When the speed limit is 80 (legally, mind you), you can beat a storm moving 20mph!!!  wooohoooooo!!!

So, these first two days were all driving…not a lot of time to stop….which was a bit disappointing, because there were some super cool Lewis and Clark things to stop and see.  Don’t you worry!!   I kept notes!

Also, we are coming into the point of our trip where we start looking for interesting bumper stickers, billboards, etc.  We try to remember and write them down…I saw my first billboard yesterday that I actually swerved!  “Eat steak, wear fur, keep your guns…it’s the American way”…but, still, my favorite was from last year….”beat the meth problem, shoot em all”…hopefully there will be some good ones!

I am so excited about today!  We are traveling I-90….and hitting Mount Rushmore and so much more!  I so can’t wait…so I guess I should get the girls up…huh???

Happy Trails!  Til next time…more pics in the next post…promise!

On the Road Again!!

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WYOMING BOUND!!! WOOHOOOOO!!!!!   Clearly Maggie is ready to hit the road.  It took us a bit longer to get ready…definitely different this year.  The rain was NO FUN trying to pack…then add taking our bikes this year.  Just different!

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What a difference a year makes…Allison is officially taller than me..Alexia is about an inch away from being my height.  Maggie is still awesome.

So, our sign photo ops were way down due to the rain…so, we will resume tomorrow!  And, this year we are doing a different route and I am so excited.   The girls are trying to be excited..however…I know, deep down, they are!  (right???). Tomorrow will be another long drive day…and then we will hit Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands.  I am so excited!!  So, probably won’t update until Wednesday…I KNOW you are just sitting on the edge of your seats!!  So…Stay tuned!!

 

 

And, I totally missed the Kentucky sign…it was POURING!  But, we are trucking!

Gypsy Soul….

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Well, it’s November 3rd.  NOVEMBER…and guess what?  The freaking temperature is in the mid to upper 70’s…WTF???  So, my gypsy soul is Jackson Hole Dreaming…every. single. day.  (See above…) Cold weather, snow, outdoor fun.  But, NO…it’s shorts and t-shirt weather in Atlanta.  Yuck!  See, I’m the weird southerner who ADORES the snow.  And, I CRAVE the cold.  So, how does one deal with heat?  If you know, please tell me!  Because I just keep checking flights to Wyoming….or Colorado, or Montana, Wait, where and when does the first ski resort open??  I should check there!  Oh, but, wait…REALITY CHECK…I have kids in school….guess I can’t just up and haul ass west.  Damn….

So, instead, I comb through the Jackson Hole Instagram account for all pictures of snow.  I research snow predictions.  I look and sign up for flight deals.  I search for ski gear deals…because, frankly, my kids keep growing!  What the hell??  :-).

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I send my husband picture after picture of The Grand Tetons, the Sleeping Indian, (above) the Tram, the Snake River.  I beg to move.  But, then reality once again bitch slaps me.  DAMMIT REALITY–I’m a dreamer!  But, I am also lucky enough to have married my soul mate who nourishes and encourages my gypsy soul!  yet, keeps life real for me too!  My favorite quote I gave him is this:  “You keep me safe, I’ll keep you wild”…that is us in a nutshell!  And he is my someone!

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Well…for now, I will continue to JHDREAM….and live my blessed life here.  Until next time…..

Our time in Jackson, WY has come to a close….

IMG_0845Well, I have actually delayed writing this post.  I was beyond sad to be leaving Jackson.  It’s very bittersweet. I am excited to head home and be with Chris everyday…see my awesome friends and hang out by the pool.  However, there is something about the Grand Tetons and Jackson that just speak to my soul.  I can’t express the gratitude I feel for this amazing experience!!  And to share it with our girls.  It’s seriously priceless (however…the Amex says otherwise!!!) look closely at the pic…alexia is on the other side…behind the closed window.  😦

The last couple of days were fun!  As usual!! And…I swear the mountains were mad at me for getting ready to leave!  (Or…most would say they were sick of me and kicking me out!!).   Anyhoo!!  So…I took Chris to the airport…went for a run…girls were still sleeping, so I took a bike ride…it was gorgeous!  I went down to an area called The Aspens…I tooled around and went to the market.  Came out..and the dark clouds had rolled in…so I hopped on my bike…I had 4 miles.  I thought “sure!  I can totally ride 4 miles and beat the rain!”… umm…once again, I underestimated mountain storms!  The rain came down in buckets…and it was COLD!!  It was a full on storm. Thunder, lightening…and HAIL!  Freaking hail!!  And I’m riding as fast as I can!!  The hail HURT!!  But I’m just laughing… I mean…that’s all you can do…right?!?  The rain finally stopped…but the wind whipped up hard!  I felt like I was biking through cold molasses!!!  Geez!!   I finally get back and the girls just look at me…shake their heads…and go back to their books!!  I mean…seriously?!?

These are some pics from my last walk!!

The next day started out awesome!! I hiked up Wildflower and saw a sweet momma Moose…check out my video!!  Made it to the top..and it was beautiful!  Started heading back down…and BAM…another storm rolls in. Once again…hail.  Seriously.  Hail. Again.  It hit me so hard…it hurt my ears!  Mainly it was blowing sideways!  No lightening…so I took cover under a tree!  Waited out the hail…did some downhill trail running..by the time I made it to the bottom…nothing but blue skies!!  Gotta love mountain weather!

We headed out to Park City, Utah on Friday the 30th.  It was so sad saying goodbye to some super awesome people and dogs.  I do hope and pray we can see them all next summer! I even told Chris I would work in Jackson Hole!! Well…the resort!!  🤣

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We are now in Utah…it is a lot more crowded than Jackson.  And A LOT warmer!  But, Chris is back so it’s all good!!

Until next time!  Happy Trails!!

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#familyunitbacktogether-warning! Long post!

 

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Ahhhhh!!!   Chris FINALLY arrived!!  We missed him sooo much!!  He was here for a week…that went by way too fast!  BUT…we had an absolute blast while he was here!! And…we were blessed with beautiful weather!

The first thing we did was kayak String Lake and Leigh Lake!  We got very smart this year and rented a trailer for the kayaks!!  See…last year trying to load 2 tandem kayaks on top of our rental SUV almost landed us in couples therapy!!  🤣  Just kidding!!!  (Sort of)….we had the most glorious day!!  It was beautiful!!  The girls had their kayak…Chris and I had ours…we raced, chilled, raced some more…goofed off…laughed!!  And then….as we know about the mountains…weather changes quick. The sun was still shining…not a cloud in the sky…but within 5 minutes…the winds whipped up to about 15 mph!!  Our serene Lake turned quickly into waves and white caps!!  We went over to an inlet and switched up the kayaks…me and Allison in one…alexia and Chris in the other.  There was no way the girls were going to get past the wind on their own!  So after about a good 15 min of paddling…we made it past the wind tunnel!!  All in all…I found it fun…the girls…..not so much!!  😳

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The next day was just a chill day!!  Which was awesome!!  Just hanging out as the family unit!!  (Yes…Maggie got the photo op!!)

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Day 3 took us to Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton National Park!!  Let me just say….STUNNING!!  The beginning was a hard hike and the girls were not too happy with us…but the payoff was AMAZING!!  The Hidden Falls, the views, the rushing river, the rocks to climb!!  And…we saw the cutest Marmot just hanging out…and….a Momma Moose and her calf!  That was stunning!!  The momma was HUGE!!  I hope the pictures tell a little of how beautiful this country is!!  Unfortunately…no great pics of the moose!

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Saturday was Allison’s 14th birthday…ummm…how did THAT happen??? I’m clearly not getting older…right??  😳😳. Please don’t answer that!!   Allison chose to spend the day riding the Cowboy Coaster at Snow King Mountain!  It was so fun!!  Then a little shopping..lunch…and back to the Village for some Huckleberry soda and fun!  Our sweet girl just wanted us all to be together.  She is a very special young lady.  I am so honored to be her mother!! Ok…enough sap!!

We wore the girls out so the next morning Chris and I got up early and hike up rendezvous mountain!!  It was cool being just the 2 of us!! And it was HARD.. I loved every minute!!  Once we made it to the gondola…we rode down and had lunch with the girls then played all afternoon!!  Games, soccer with Maggie, frisbee…whatever!! It was sooo relaxing and fun!!

So… we asked the girls if they wanted to hike again.. we received a very adamant NO!! So…Chris and I got up really early and headed to Death Canyon….just WOW!!  This was just breath taking.  (Dude!  I’m running out of adjectives!!)  I’ll try and attach some video and pictures.  The best from that hike is this…we were almost to the Alaska Basin…where we would turn around. On the trail was a butt load of snow…which is usually manageable…however, there was a huge snow slope…that if you slipped and went down…you would slide all the way into this crazy raging river…to your certain death!  So…after some deliberation…Chris and I decided that we REALLY REALLY like living!!  It’s one of our most favorite things to do!!  So…we turned back there !!  Which was just fine!! We did see 2 Moose, 2 elk–one turned the corner about 10 feet in front of me…that was pretty awesome…2 pica and several Marmots! I love those little things!!

 

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After all that…we headed back to the village and met the girls for lunch!!  And once again embarked on our afternoon of fun!!!

Chris left this morning…made us all sad and a bit grumpy.  But…he will meet us Saturday in Utah!!

Our time in the Wild West is coming to a close. I am so incredibly grateful for this experience. Chris and I are already looking into next summer!!  Sooo…we’ll see!!!  😉.

Until next time!!  Happy Trails!!

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Good Times!!

IMG_0449Its has been another fun filled week!!  Tracy and her 2 girls came out for 5 days!  We had so much fun!!  I felt bad because the weather wasn’t so great, but we made it work anyway!!

So the very first thing the girls wanted to introduce Tracy’s’ girls to was Huckleberry soda…OF COURSE!!  Ella loved it…Mallory?  Not so much!

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Their first full day here was nasty…so we hit the shops!!  That was fun…but the true party began when we got back to the condo!!  Let the games begin!!  We first started with uno…which is classic, of course… but the claws came out when we played spoons!!!  At one point Tracy was halfway across the table trying to grab a spoon!!  It was hysterical!!  There were a few “spoon injuries”…cut finger…slammed hand…but it was all good.  It’s just not as much fun playing without them…☹️

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Second day was hiking fun!!  We took the girls up for waffles on the top of the mountain first.. after all, ya gotta fuel up!  It had snowed the night before and covered the stairs that you can take to the summit. It was soooo windy!  I was worried Mallory would fly off the mountain! Check out the pics to get a feel!! (No pun intended!)

Then the rodeo!!  Ella and I were the only brave ones to do the mechanical bull!!  I thoroughly embarrassed my kids…and Ella looked like she belongs in the west!!  And the BEST…Ella WON the kids calf scramble  (which is really sheep with bandanas tied around their necks)!  Ella was so fast she pulled both bandanas!!  So she gave one to another girl!!  She won 4 tram passes…which she very kindly gifted to Chris!!  Wyoming was stunned by this wicked fast soccer player!!

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On Thursday we did a boat ride around Jenny Lake…that was a cool different way to see the lake!  (Pic above)  And…gave the girls a break since I almost killed them the day before..😳  And we did a chuck wagon dinner that night!!  That was super cool!!  BarJ ranch hosts chuckwagon dinners from May-September   It’s a true western meal with full western entertainment!!!   It was so fun and different!  The guys that sang were stunning with their harmonizing!!  As they said…”true WESTERN… not country”!

 

Friday was EPIC!!  Tracy found this cool tour that took us up through Yellowstone and Grand Teton.  I would have never thought about it…so Tracy is a rockstar…as usual!!!  Not to mention I was excited to have someone else drive so I didn’t drive everyone off a cliff!!  We stopped at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, several waterfalls and Old Faithful!  The weather wasn’t the best. And it was raining pretty hard at old faithful… Tracy was getting soaked..until our guide said “oh yeah, I have an umbrella in the truck”… that at least helped Tracy not get drenched…just a bit soaked.  So it worked out!!  And look close at the picture…she really is smiling!  🤣

 

We saw elk, deer, bison, birds, ducks, geese…even a pelican…but the absolute best was the grizzly momma and her 2 cubs!!  Our guide was fantastic!  And there were 3 rangers there–so pretty safe…I think!!   These bears are celebrities out here!  They are not afraid of humans at all…walked right by..didn’t even look twice. I guess when you can eat a human…you’re not very intimidated!! Sorry the pictures are blurry…she is beautiful! And her 2 cubs were just playing and playing!!  It was definitely the best thing I’ve seen so far out here!!  The only thing that would top it is a wolf—I’m still holding out hope!!

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If you are ever out here in Jackson Hole, WY…definitely do Eco Tour Adventures. The full day through Yellowstone.  Ask for Shaun.  He was great!  Interacted well with the kids…and was very very knowledgeable—and so funny!!

Well….the girls and I were in a bit of a funk after the “Tracy’s” left.  But now, Chris comes tomorrow and we can’t wait!!!

Heres to great friends, millions of good times and a lifetime of memories!!

It even rains in PARADISE…but it’s over quick!!!

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And this is what it looks like after the rain!

Well, it’s been a little bit so I thought I’d update you…and annoy you with pictures and a video!!  I’m sure you are all just DYING to see what we’ve been up to….well…there’s been a lot of this…

 

 

And frankly…Chris said it perfectly….this is not a “vacation”…I basically moved our lives across the country for the month.. I still cook, clean…and then there’s LAUNDRY….how in the hell do 3 people wear so many different things!!   We didn’t pack that much!!  It never ceases to baffle me!!  But…it is truly amazing. I have never been to Europe *gasp*…  BUT…the beautiful, majestic things that America has to offer are so underrated.  The beauty of our own mountain landscapes, from the Appalachian, to the Rockies, to the Grand Tetons…not to mention the Pacific Northwest and the northeastern mountains!  It’s just stunning!!

So…now I’m off my soapbox!  We have been hiking, playing epic games of Uno (with Scribner rules!!) and playing like crazy with Maggie..

 

and…I FINALLY SAW A BEAR!!!  He was sooo cute!!  I know some of you are all “that’s crazy!!  Run!!”  But…if you’re quiet and leave them alone they’ll leave you alone!!!

Our next round of guests arrive tonight!!!  We are sooooo excited!!  The Jones’ girls…or as we now call them…the Tracy’s!!  We have a fun filled week…if the weather cooperates!  They are calling for snow down here in the village tonight.  But the exciting part is they are calling for 8-12 inches at the top of the mountain!  The backcountry skiers are all in a tizzy!!  I’m sure it will be awesome for them!!  I wish I was that good!!  🤣

So for now…I bid you farewell!  Happy Swinging!!

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Just another WEEK in PARADISE!

IMG_0229Hello!  I cannot believe we have been here for an entire week.  Literally.  A. Week. I want to pinch myself daily because I truly feel like I’m in heaven.  I wake up every morning and have my coffee looking at snow capped mountains.  And then, on my walk (because the thin air just isnt working with my runs…YET!) I get to stare at the Grand Tetons in awe!

It was very sad today when Heather and Kate had to leave!  We had such a great time with them!  We biked, hiked, rode horses and rodeoed!!  It was such an amazing time.

And Maggie…my dear, sweet Maggie. Let’s all be real…y’all don’t give 2 craps about us humans…maggie is the real star.  She is still smitten with Dewie( yes, I’ve been spelling his name wrong… I apologized) and I can’t take her out without someone taking a picture with her!! Most of the time she’s not interested..she’s such a diva!!  I’m pretty sure our 20something neighbors downstairs hate me…5 boys in one condo…with Dewie the bulldog…and every time they are out…so are we.  I SWEAR we are not stalking…and yet Maggie…just seems to sniff Dewie out!!

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Ok.  So. In this first week, here are my discoveries…my kids are freakingk amazing…I’ve drug them across the country…they have done a 20 mile bike ride, 15 mile bike ride, have laughed until we have cried and of course, been on each other’s nerves…and yet….they ask everyday what the new adventure is…without looking at an electronic.  They ask to play games, play frisbee and bike ride.  And I thank god every single day that he gave me these amazing little people!!

My other “thing”.. I miss my Chris TERRIBLY.  ( I already knew that would happen). Our 16th anniversary is tomorrow. And I thank god for him everyday. I want him here…maybe not driving with us…but here!!  (LOVE YOU BABE!!). This would never happen if not for him…and his ability to love me so much that he knows and recognizes my need for adventure and travel lust. But the travel is where it stops.  He is the absolute love of my life. ABSOLUTE. Our poor girls are so screwed!  I tell them all the time that they won’t ever find. Man as good as their daddy!!

ok. Enough sap!!  To all my friends who read this…like..for real…you rock!  But I may never come home…just sayin!!

I’m BAAAAACCCCKKK

 

Hello again!!  I am sorry for the delay.  I’m sure you are all just dying to know what has been happening, right??  Well…first, we made it!!  Yay!  It was an interesting drive.  All 2 lane roads… and went through one town with a population of 2…no, really, 2.

Our condo is wonderful!!  And Maggie has settled right in.  She has found a boyfriend already!  She’s quite the cougar!!  Dewey is a 9month old bulldog that lives downstairs.  He is precious and is making Maggie behave like a little schoolgirl!! I love it!!  She is playing and running around.  Sweet girl gets sore, but I have meds for that and she is so happy!

The girls are in heaven!  As am I!! It is so beautiful here.  It is really hard to explain or describe the general vibe!!  But it is soul cleansing!!  And you all know how much I love to be active!!  So being outside is the clean air, beautiful clear landscapes is my form of heaven!!  Oh!  And did I mention Huckleberry soda??  It’s amazing… and the girls’ drink of choice!!

We went to the top of Rendevous mountain.. it was COLD!!  And still so much snow!!  We have seen back country skiers…in June!!!  I must admit I am quite jealous!!  To me, the Tetons are majestic!!  Absolutely stunning!!  As you can see in some of our pictures!!

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We have some friends in now!!  Heather and Kate Scribner!!  It has been so fun!  18 mile bike rides, seeing a herd of moose, hiking, horseback riding tomorrow….and, can’t forget, the epic uno games!!!

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Well, enough talk…I know you guys really don’t want to read my babble…so, enjoy some pictures!!!!

Happy Trails!!

Longest drive yet–and we made it!!

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Hello!!  Well, today was the longest drive by far!!  But still so fun!!   We get up and the girls are slow moving…more like moving at a pace slower than turtles stuck in peanut butter!!!  Could be because we were up a little late playing scattergories and laughing like demented people!!  (Frankly, I’m so surprised we didn’t get a noise complaint!!). Moving on!   After filling up the car, getting Dunkin’ Donuts AND loading up on Starbucks coffee…we are off!!

We hit the Wyoming state line and the girls are so excited I didn’t pass the sign!!  Well…as you can see in the picture, it’s hard to miss!!  By far the best state sign yet!!!  Wyoming is so beautiful to me.  Since we are cruising down I-80 in the southern part of Wyoming, the terrain is different from Jackson Hole.  But, so stunning!!  We stopped at a couple pretty unknown stops…see pictures!!  The Lincoln highway memorial was cool to see…but really creepy up close!  🤣😳.

One thing that I find so cool are the wind turbines!!  I so want to know where they are sending their energy!!  Another interesting fact?  Wyoming is the least populated of all the United States.  Pretty cool, eh??  Well, it just got 3 more for June!!

Another  beautiful advantage of being in a very unpopulated state??  An 80mph speed limit!!!  YES!!  Momma got her drive on today!!

So, I know this post is super boring.  I have to admit that this is the first time I have truly felt tired at the end of our driving day.  But,  tomorrow is only 3 hours!  That will pass in a blink!

Thank you all for following our shenanigans!  It’s only about to get better as we live like locals in Teton Village!!

I will leave you with some interesting things we saw today either on trucks or T-shirts!!

“Gun control–use two hands”

“my guns=idiot control”

“Smith and Wesson are my family”

Happy Days to you all!!