Well, we survived our trip home from Montana! We left Saturday morning at 2:00am AZ time and we finally pulled into our driveway at 8:00pm. Needless to say it was a LONG day. Props to the hubby who drove the entire way, while I stayed in the backseat trying to entertain a very restless Brynlee. I do have to say that she did much better on the way home than she did on the way there, which I am very thankful for! Some time in those 10 days she must have turned in to a traveler, but after the drive there, we were ready to buy a plane ticket home for me to take Brynlee and Landon would just drive the car home separately. Yesterday we spent recouping from the drive and tried to get enough things put away that our house is back to some order and today will be spent doing about 5 tons of laundry!
We had a blast in Montana! We went with my Aunt Gina, Uncle Mike and their kids. We had decided to leave Wednesday night and drive through the night to get there, in hopes that Brynlee would sleep most of the way. Well, apparently Brynlee did not get the memo, we left at 8:00pm and at 10:30pm Brynlee woke up and stayed up for pretty much the rest of the trip. She took two 20-30 minute naps somewhere in there, but for the most part she was wide awake. She was a trooper though!
*We finally made it!!!*
Our plan was to stay any my Uncle Mike’s Mom’s (who we all call Nana) cabin for the first night, then we had a hotel in West Yellowstone for the next 2 nights so we could all go to a wedding and then the remainder of our trip would be spent back at Nana’s cabin. However, due to some things outside of our control, shortly after we arrived at Nana’s that first night Landon, Brynlee and I had to pack up and go stay at another hotel. This turned out to be a very happy accident. The place we ended up staying was Driftwaters Resort, right down the road from Nana’s and still on the Madison River. It is such a great place, all of the rooms are cabins and very spacious. They even have a large cabin that has 3 beds, a pull out bed and 2 bathrooms if you are traveling with a group. Plus they had an amazing restaurant on site that served the best food! And everyone was so nice there! I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to visit Montana. It’s about 30 minutes or so outside of West Yellowstone.
*Brynlee meeting a new friend*
The next day we packed up and headed to West Yellowstone. I love West Yellowstone, it is such a beautiful little town and it has some really cute shops! We spent the day in town shopping, where I had to pick up some Huckleberry Jam. If you haven’t had Huckleberry Jam before, find it, buy it and eat it! It is delicious!!! Then we took Brynlee to a park that our new hotel had on the premises.
Later that afternoon we met up with the rest of our family and checked in to our new hotel, Hibernation Station. All of the rooms are cabins and it is such a cute set up. We spent two nights there and had a lot of fun! That night we went to the rehearsal dinner and the next night we went to the wedding.
*Brynlee’s first pigtails, LOVE!*
It was a beautiful wedding, Brynlee had a lot of fun dancing with her cousins.
Finally on Sunday our vacation was going to slow down, we headed back out to Nana’s and the boys immediately started fly fishing. After that it was almost impossible to get them out of the river. But they did have a lot of fun and were pretty successful at catching fish.
On Monday, Landon, Brynlee and I headed back into West Yellowstone to go to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. We had heard a lot of great things about it and really wanted to take Brynlee. Of course, as soon as we got there Brynlee fell asleep, but Landon and I had a lot of fun seeing the animals and reading all of the information on them. They had a few demonstrations and some movies that you could watch to learn more about the Yellowstone animals and Grizzly Bears, but since Brynlee was sleeping we decided to skip those and just walk through the exhibits.
After the GWDC we headed to our favorite lunch spot in West Yellowstone, Wild West Pizzeria. I’ve been told that their pizza is amazing, but when we were here two years ago I got their mac and cheese and have been dreaming about it ever since. Seriously, they just might have the world’s best mac and cheese, it is sooooooo good. I shared some of it with Brynlee, which she loved, but other than that I ate the whole thing! And if I am going to be real honest, we may have gone back later that week and I got the mac and cheese again… maybe someday I will try their pizza.
The rest of the week was full of relaxing, playing games with the family, rafting down the river and the boys fly fishing while the girls took a few day trips.
On one of them we went to Virginia City. It’s this cute little city with a population of about 120 that still has the old town vibe from a hundred years ago. Some of the shops are just store fronts that are staged to look how it was back then. They have a really informative tour that takes you around the town on an old fire engine.
We did the tour when we were there two years ago, so this time while the kids took it we all went to the old saloon and had our Moscow Mules. I had never heard of a Moscow Mule until we were here last time and I haven’t been able to find one that tastes quite as good since, so it was a lot of fun going back to get one.
Of course we had to take a trip into Yellowstone National Park. I have to admit, while we did see a few animals, I was pretty disappointed that we didn’t see more. Last time we were here we saw hundreds of Bison, quite a few deer and elk and even a wolf. This time we only saw two Bison… We still had a lot of fun and were actually able to eat lunch at the Old Faithful Inn. I would like to stay there for a couple of nights next time we go. It beautifully built and their attention to detail is amazing.
And the trip wouldn’t be complete without doing some of the old time photos! We have done this a few times and it’s always a lot of fun!
We were all sad to leave come Saturday, isn’t it amazing how fast your vacations flies by when it seems like it took forever to get here? We DID NOT pull an all-nighter like we did on the way there. That proved not to work out so well for Brynlee and it really wasn’t very fun for us either. So we woke up super early and headed out. As much fun as it was to be in Montana and escape the heat, I must say that it is good to be home!
*Some of the views from Nana’s Cabin*