We had a great time visiting Yellowstone with my family last weekend! We went to Kaysville on Thursday and stayed overnight, so we could get up early and leave. We woke up bright and early and said peace out to Utah! We drove with my sister Bethany in our car to Idaho Falls, where my aunt lives. I really love driving through Idaho, it has so many memories and awesome things, and beautiful nature. We got to IF and went to Smitty’s, one of our very very favorite places to eat. We all had pancakes and breakfast food and laughed and chatted. Randy and I left our car at my aunt’s house, and we were off to Yellowstone!
We jammed to music and laughed and slept in the car, until we reached West Yellowstone. It was POURING rain and we rushed our things inside, grabbed rain jackets, and went to the park! We drove through and saw the beautiful forests and meadows, but we hadn’t seen any animals yet! We were starting to get worried! We got to Old Faithful and got onto the boardwalk just as it went off, which was lucky. We wandered around and had fun, then back on the road. We started seeing tons of animals, elk and deer and buffalo, as we drove to the Lake Hotel. This hotel is seriously one of my favorite places in the WORLD. It’s right on the edge of the Yellowstone Lake, surrounded by pine trees. When you walk in it’s like you’ve been transported back to the 1920’s. There was a string quartert playing and everyone is down in the front rooms playing games and listening to the music. One of my favorite movies is called “Somewhere in Time” and the Lake Hotel looks EXACTLY like the hotel that’s the main location during that movie. It just sings to my soul.
We saw a lot of animals all up close and personal, had a bite to eat, saw a ton more animals since the rain had stopped. Then we saw the most amazing thing. Up on a ridge there was a mama bear and two cubs, in the middle of the valley were elk, and near the river were four WOLVES. We haven’t ever seen wolves at Yellowstone because they haven’t been there for years, and it was SO cool to see them!
We drove through the twilight and saw a ton more animals, then back to the hotel where we all crashed HARD.
Side note – I had jammed my finger on my parents’ piano that morning and my nail and finger were (and still are as I’m typing) black and swollen. I was dumb and put my wedding ring back on. Long story short, we spent part of the evening running my fingers under cold water and slathering conditioner on it to get my ring off. It was successful and my finger is healing, but a rough part of the trip for me.
The next day we woke up EARLY and got right in the car to get to the park. We saw SO MANY ANIMALS this day! We had baby buffalo and big buffalo right next to our car, mooing at us (do buffalo moo?) We saw baby elk running around with their moms, we went and saw Tower Falls and drove through a valley where we saw the CUTEST baby black bear cub right next to our car, and a bunch of mountain goats or sheep. This was HUGE for my family because we’ve been going to Yellowstone and have NEVER seen them. My grandpa saw them a long time ago, but not once have I ever seen them. I was beginning to think they were fake! But we saw a bunch right next to the car, and it was amazing.
We ate lunch in Mammoth and saw the hot pots there, saw the cute little town, and more.
We kept driving through, having the BEST time with the family, getting out at different spots like the Lower Falls, Artists Point, and the Grand Canyon. We got to our hotel in Grant Village and had some dinner (some of our food was amazing, others not so much). We went for a walk and saw the sunset before we hit the hay.
Our last day at Yellowstone we drove to the Lake Hotel for breakfast (delicious and again, my favorite place!) We then went to Fishing Bridge and the water was insanely high and cold, which was crazy! We drove around and saw a few animals and stopped at a few geysers before heading back to Idaho Falls. We celebrated Father’s Day with some Papa Murphy’s Pizza my cute aunt had purchased the day before, and then we were back to reality.
We had such a good time with my family, and can’t wait to get back to Yellowstone! It was so awesome to be in nature and to just have some time to breathe and relax. We needed it!