I've lost all track of days and time. They say a vacation can do that to you. That and a pretty little face wound. Guess I should back up and explain. This may end up being a long story. I usually prefer photos over text, but there's not much in the photo department for this story. Grab some coffee.
When I last updated, we were leaving Utah and headed to Yellowstone in the Montana/Wyoming area. It's a bit of a drive so we figured it'd be best to find a half way point to stop for a day or two. We found a cute little town in Idaho called Lava Hot Springs. It's a town of only 500ish locals, but on the weekends, apparently it is *the* place to be! We almost didn't get a campsite. Lava Hot Springs has some fabulous natural springs. Those feed into a river that everyone tubes down. And also a huge pool complex complete with crazy crazy water slides and diving platforms. All of which are super warm because they're feed from the hot springs. Even the river is warm. Sort of a strange thing for this florida gal who is used to our natural springs which are freeeezzing! The town was small, we could walk everywhere, and the pool was super exciting for the girls. Great, let's stay two nights! We spent the next two days mostly at the pool. Ansley did every jumbo free falling slide there. She even dove off a platform or two. I mostly huddled down in the warm water with my little tadpole Adaline who was upset that she wasn't quite tall enough to do all the fun things her sister got to. But still, they were in heaven. I was too as long as I stayed in the water. The air in Idaho is still a bit chilly! The only photos I snapped were a few on my iphone. Which of course now I can't find the usb for to download and share. But trust me, it was a pretty cool place. Our second and last day there was Father's Day. And just as Alan and I had decided it was time to wrap up and head back to the rv....slam. Something hit me and hit me hard. Some kids had been playing nearby with a water frisbee/ufo type of thing. It was huge and while unassuming looking, when wet and flying thru the air, that thing hurt. Especially in the face. I couldn't see and couldn't figure out if I was really hurt or just being a big wuss. We found our way out of the water amidst a sea of people and made our way to the first aid center. The fifteen year old lifeguard took a look at my wounds while another young lifeguard made faces in the corner. I had a feeling that wasn't a good sign. "Yep, I think you need stitches" he said. "The clinic is closed on the weekends though. If you want a decent sized ER there's one about an hour away. Or there's a smaller ER a few towns over". Great. He does a quick patch job on my face, we gather up our stuff, trek back to the rv, unhook everything and set off to find this er. When we pulled up to it, I didn't quite know what to think. Possibly the smallest er I've ever seen. My kids' doctor's office is bigger! The girls had fallen asleep during the drive so I told Alan to stay with them. I walked into the er and found myself in a very small hallway. Nothing around except a red phone on the wall that said 'pick up to speak to the nurse'. THE nurse. Not A nurse. A sweet lady answers, I tell her I need stitches, she comes and gets me. She takes me into the next room which consists of two beds and her desk. After a quick look, she says, "let me call the dr." What? There's not even a dr. here?! Good thing it's a small town because it took the dr. less than 10 minutes to get there. She was only a little disgruntled to be coming in on a Sunday. I apologized for interrupting her Sunday, she mentioned something about just trying to warm up her dinner and it'll have to wait. She opted for glue instead of stitches and within a few minutes, I was done. Possibly the fastest er visit I've ever had in my life! So the next few days were a bit uneventful in the photo department as I was a little lightheaded with a shiner and my gash. I would post photos of the aftermath but its not pretty. Instead I sent those to my mom and sisters to freak them out a bit, ha ha! Love you guys ;)
From there we made our way to Yellowstone. Everyone in Idaho told us we should stop at this place called Bear World. It's an easy way to visit the bears of Yellowstone while avoiding the whole, 'bear in the wild claw your eyes out' type of thing. Anything involving animals is great fun for the girls so they loved it. Cheesy tourist attraction and all.
I can't tell if he was waving goodbye or trying to avoid the camera.
And finally we arrived at Yellowstone, the last major stop of our journey. It's an amazing place that I wish we'd had more time to explore. Between the animals, the waterfalls, the geyser basins and all the volcanic activity, it really is a site to see. It's remarkable that they had the foresight in 1872 to protect this land and make it the first national park. I hope to go back someday.
Of course there was ice cream involved.
one of the last sights we saw as we headed out of the park... just beautiful.
We're headed home now, work calls for both of us. I'm sad. Everything went much too quickly. I wasn't sure if I could live out of an rv, if the girls would drive each other crazy, if I would go crazy, if Alan would want to drop us all off somewhere and drive away because we were all driving him crazy. But nope, none of that. Sure the girls had their moments. I may have had a few moments as well. But overall, it all went so much better than I expected. And it was so so worth it. I think the girls became closer, finding new ways to be sisters. When being forced to be together 24-7 for nearly three weeks, it must naturally happen. I discovered that Ansley is so much older than I thought. Smarter, sweeter, kinder and all around an awesome kid. I mean I knew that before, but I really got to see it daily. Adaline, my sweet little one, has gone and turned into a little kid on me. No longer my baby but instead wants to run after her sister and do all the big kid stuff. She still fits perfectly in my lap and wants me to hold her often. And I always will. No matter what I'm doing I will stop and hold her. And my dear sweet husband, well, he has the patience of a saint. Dealing with three females isn't easy. But he waits for us, patiently. Stops when we ask him to, and drives for hours on end without even slightly being bothered. He carries a thirty something pound 3 year old on his shoulders for miles and goes down death defying slides with the 6 year old. He's an amazing dad. My girls are lucky.
And while I tried to photograph so much of our journey, documenting all the seconds that I could in an effort to stop time and put the world in a picture frame, I also had to remind myself to put the camera down. Sometimes I think back and wish I'd gotten my camera for this moment or that, but I have to remember that me being there in that moment is probably more important than the camera. We played, we swam, we hiked, we found wild animals, we petted them too. We chased fireflies, had campfires, counted stars, saw some of the most beautiful parts of america...and we had ice cream. I hope this is the first of many such trips.