Monday, July 9, 2012

Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, Wyoming and a Utah Wedding!

I'm back and just had to get a post out about my trip. I've missed you all and blogging. I was in pretty remote places while on my trip and had no access to the web. The same this weekend when we did a short weekend camping trip. Now I'm just in laundry hell!

View flying into Jackson Hole, Wyoming airport.

Anyway, first of all I have to say I've got a little crush on Wyoming and the Grand Tetons. Loved the whole darn area. It's amazingly beautiful. It's charming in the old west fashion. I just was blown away by the landscape. The lakes, mountains, flowers and waterfalls, and even the clouds enchanted me. Truly. I could just stare all day at the changing views. The town of Jackson is very cute with wooden walkways, flowers everywhere, and handsome cowboys scattered all about. Shopping was first rate too. Yes, I squeezed some torture in there for the men. I found a darling store, Belle Cose, that I am crazy about. They carry beautiful home decor, jewelry and kitchen wares. LOVE!

All the stores have flower pots too.

Huckleberry Soda, a Jackson Hole treat.  This at another wonderful spot in Jackson Hole- e.leaven bakery. Don't miss the wonderful breads, sandwiches and homemade chips! The chicken tarragon sandwiches on poppy bread are fantastic.

Stagecoach ride in Jackson Hole.

Our view at Jackson Lake Lodge. 

Lots to do in this area too. We stayed at Jackson Lake Lodge, which is a national park hotel. The rooms are pretty basic, but the location is unbeatable. You look directly onto the Tetons and it has a enormous lobby to relax in and play games and just hang with the view. Two restaurants are on site and a fun bar too. Speaking of the bar, huckleberry is the fruit in those parts and I had a few huckleberry mojitos while there. One night, with cocktails in hand of course, we got to experience a moose up close and personal when he came to the back of the lodge right in front of the windows to get a bite. What an amazing creature he was! Enormous too. It was one of the highlights of the trip. Some really bright people tried to get within a 2 foot radius of the 7 foot creature with their iPhones, until hotel security warned them they might be dead in a second if the moose charged their way...

The moose. The best picture I could get.  (Actually my son Jackson got it with his iPhone.) Below on the deck of the bar at the lodge.

Hiking at Jenny Lake above and below to Cascade Canyon.

So many fun things we did. We rented canoes on Jackson Lake and paddled among the little islands. Unforgettable views and wildlife. Another day we took a boat across the smaller Jenny Lake and hiked up to Cascade Canyon, between the Tetons. It was made by a glacier and is still covered in snow on top with wildflowers below. The day we left Wyoming we took a trail ride on horses through a river. My youngest son Griffin really wanted to do this and so we drove a bit to get to the ranch where they do this. I was seriously scared when I got on my horse. I hadn't been on one in about 35 years! However, I have to say, it was so fun once I relaxed. My horse Peanut Butter, was very sweet. Going through rivers was a little nerve-wracking. The cowboys who run this operation Horseback Adventures were so knowledgeable and really loved all their horses. Again girls, cowboys...Need I say more? I am directing my single girl friends to take their next vacations here!

Jackson Lake.

I almost forgot, we spent a day at Yellowstone too. It's about and hour and a half from the Tetons. We couldn't be so close and not see Old Faithful at least. We spent some time on the geyser trail and that was pretty fantastic. The sulfur pools are gorgeous. We then checked out the Old Faithful Lodge which was recently restored and resembles a huge arts and crafts style treehouse. We had lunch there and they have a general store which is decorated in gnarled wood. The store and the soda fountain are all from the 1890s and are original. Pretty neat. After seeing that whole area, we headed back and stopped at the west thumb area of Yellowstone, which has even more sulfur pools, but these are deeper and some are in Lake Yellowstone, which is huge. This area was really beautiful. Yellowstone is so big it deserves another trip and hopefully, we will also do that one day.

Yellowstone above and below.

Old Faithful.

The original soda fountain counter from 1890s and outside. Both at Yellowstone general store.

Inside the treehouse like Old Faithful Lodge.


The deeper sulfur pools at Yellowstone's west thumb.
After 5 days in Wyoming we headed to the wedding in Utah! Our friends Justin and Laurie held their wedding at Beaver Mountain. They rented an entire ski resort for a weekend! It was covered in grass and flowers now and so lovely. What a great spot for families and kids to run amok! We stayed about 15 minutes away at Bear Lake, which is a big vacation spot for Utah families. It was surrounded by restaurants and stands hawking raspberry shakes. They were everywhere and so of course we had to try one! :)  They made great onion rings too. Ahh, the fat intake on this holiday!

This is as small as these shakes come!

A covered bridge in Idaho on the way to Utah from Wyoming.

A derelict church in Idaho.

The closest I'm getting to Paris this summer- Paris, Idaho. A very quaint little town we passed through.

I digress, back to the wedding! It was an unforgettable day. Justin and Laurie really made this all about their guests and did so much to make it fun. The ceremony was sweet. Justin, whose Kiwi mom is of Scottish descent, wore the full kilt and all. He looked like he just stepped out of Braveheart. So dashing! Laurie, whose mother is Japanese, also chose to honor her heritage by wearing a red kimono and traditional geisha hair. Together it was darling and they just were so cute. After the informal ceremony, Justin handed all the children a scavenger guide for the hunt he set up on the mountain. Each child also was given a compass to keep. When they finished, they got a pocketknife! The kids loved it of course.

Love this! Now they are off to Iceland for a honeymoon. So them!

Justin and Laurie with friend Gabe, who officiated.

Boys admiring their pocketknives! Our pals Trevor and MJ with my Jackson.

Griffin and pal Trevor having a blast on the ski hill.

 We had a huge feast served in the lodge and cooked by aunts of the bride and pals of the groom. Later, stargazing with guidebooks and green laser pointers provided for the kids again. The night finished with a bonfire complete with s'mores and loads of glow sticks, wands and necklaces. What a night and day my kids will never forget. We loved catching up with old friends, some we hadn't seen in 17 years or more, in this relaxed and fun atmosphere. Unbelievably, the next day breakfast was provided for those who slept in the lodge or could come back. There were heaping platters of fresh eggs, hash browns, fruit,  juices and bloody marys along with gourmet coffee from our friend Greg's Squid Ink Coffee (the best!) and local bacon...Favors were gourmet salted caramels from Montana! Did I mention my fat intake last week? 

Greg and his to die for coffee!
Erin my friend snapping pics and others enjoying the wedding ceremony.

Our friend Erin took our picture. I ended up wearing a maxi dress with my  flip-flops. The boys did shorts and nice shirts.

Griffin with his glow sticks and Jack below roasting huge marshmallows.

Thanks to Justin and Laurie for the wonderful and memorable day and I hope it inspires another person to think out of the box with weddings. The thing is, I think my boys want wedding like this now! My oldest's words were, "Justin's wedding was all pros mom, plus lasers!"

I guess that says it all! 




  1. Welcome back Kim! Wow, your vacation was fun and adventurous! Wyoming, The Tetons and Yellowstone National Park are just so majestic and grand. I'm glad that everybody enjoyed these places with lots of happy memories especially for your kids.

  2. Fabulous! My nephew was in Wyoming recently on business and the pictures he showed me made me feel it was almost another planet. So different from these parts. And yes, some cowboys were in some of nephew's pictures and you aren't exaggerating about them at all! Congratulations on your friends marriage and their memorable wedding. It sounds/looks like you all had a wonderful time. What an adventure!

  3. Kim - You and Griffin on the store's porch... I have those pants you're wearing. Pointy back pockets right?

    Your photos are beautiful. The wedding couple are too precious for words - such wonderful hosts!

    Thanks so much for your comments on my posts tonight. You're catching up fast. :-)


  4. Love the derelict church in Idaho! I can only imagine what stories it could tell. Looks like a wonderful trip. Thank J for the postcard to DJ!

  5. Love the derelict church in Idaho! I can only imagine what stories it could tell. Looks like a wonderful trip. Thank J for the postcard to DJ!

  6. Thanks everyone. It was fun to share. :)

  7. What a memorable trip! Your photos are fantastic - I'm sure the kids had a blast! Such beautiful country - the canoeing on the lake sounded SO nice! :) I went to Jackson Hole in high school and fell in love. Such a wonderful place.


    PS: Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog - I can't wait to read more of yours!! :)

  8. This looks like so much fun! I looove your blue bauble necklace, and your kids are adorable.


  9. What a fantastic trip, I'd love to see Yellowstone one day. My brother and his family went last summer and loved it.

    Great photos! Your kids will never forget that vacation!