This post doesn't share any fabulous frugal tips for traveling, but I just wanted to share some of the highlights of our family trip to Yellowstone National Park last weekend. This was quite an event, considering the last time we took an actual family trip that required a hotel stay Child #4 was 5 months old! Most of our family fun consists of day trips, fishing, and camping (which is frugal), but Child #1 is seventeen and on the verge of being a Senior and Dear Hubby and I realized our time to spend making memories with him are dwindling. Therefore, we dipped into the slush fund, threw caution to the wind (literally), and spent some time making memories with our kids!
Here we are in the gift shop at the Bear and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Montana (forgive Child #3's taste in wardrobe; he's going through his Hill Billy phase):
We saw Buffalo about 5 miles into the park! It was amazing! They were just laying on the sides of the road. This one was so close to the Suburban that I could have reached my hand out of the car window and touched it (but I didn't).
There were also a ton of baby Buffalo, as well! Only a face a mother could love, in my opinion!
We also saw elk. Which, made Dear Hubby (a.k.a. The Great White Hunter) very, very excited!
Our next stop was Old Faithful. I wish we would have spent more time exploring here, but it was 38 degrees and over cast. Needless to say, convincing the troops to take a hike did not happen.
The troops much preferred playing Tic Tac Toe in the Snow Lodge gift shop instead!
I did convince them to go inside Old Faithful Lodge (which is the oldest log built structure in the United States) to take a look! You can see all five stories to the roof from the center of the lobby!
The troops were just appeasing me, of course. They know I have a "thing" for old architecture (here they are on the second floor balcony).
We also tried to picnic at the rest area by the Lodge, but it was so cold outside that we froze out. My fingers started turning purple and going numb while I was slapping sandwiches together, so
we finished our meal in the Suburban! After lunch, the troops decided to take a little siesta (I think they were really in a Root Beer, Oreo, M&M coma), but it was gloriously quiet (something that is rarely achieved in a car full of cold, wet children) and I wasn't about to complain (plus moods improved greatly after a little shut eye).
We couldn't resist going to see Yellowstone Lake. Can you believe there is still snow in the mountains?
In fact, there was still snow in the parking lot of the Yellowstone Lake Visitors Center! The troops wanted to have a snow ball fight, but I put my foot down on that suggestion!
On the way home we drove past the Grand Teton mountains. They were quite a sight to behold!
We also stopped in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for dinner (Bubba's BBQ here we come!!!), but we took a minute to take a picture of the antler arch at the entrance of the town square. Jackson Hole is right next to the National Elk refuge, so they have a constant supply of replacement parts!
It was definitely a fun, entertaining, fabulous (and exhausting) weekend!