In hindsight, we should have planned a night at Jackson Hole, but instead we drove down for the day from Yellow Stone...which meant we also had to drive back to Yellow Stone...but, we were actually around civilization and SHOPPING for the first time in days, so I didn't mind the extra time in the van...as much. The drive was absolutely gorgeous. Having the Grand Tetons in constant view was breathtaking...and hilarious, because honestly, who can actually talk about a mountain range called the Tetons and not get a little giggle out of the name? After Googling where the name originated, we laughed some more, because it was and is exactly what we were thinking with just a little French twist. We spent a few hours exploring the town, and it was just the cutest place. We shopped for gifts, ate lunch and found ice cream....win, win, win for me!
Day 8: Travel to Park City
Day 8 was such a long day in the car, but thanks to Grant, my super helpful Matilda Jane assistant, I was able to work on my sample sale for like 5 hours and make some sales! We rolled into Salt Lake City in the middle of the afternoon and were STARVING!!! We found a Cafe Rio, suggested by a friend of mine from the gym, and it was amazing. Everyone loved it! And it was perfectly located across the street from a Swig, which was suggested to Chesley by some of her workout friends. OMG...SWIG cookies...I could literally go on and on for days about those things. They were so delicious that my stomach is growling and my mouth is watering just thinking about them now. My favorite was the chocolate sugar cookie called the Dirt Ball. I think I need to plan a quick trip to Utah just to get some more.
Our hotel was in Park City, so we got there just in time to get ready for a mountain view photo shoot with Chesley. The location couldn't have been more beautiful, and it was so nice to be in clothes other than sweats for at least a meal.
Day 9: Olympic Park, Smashburger, Swig (again) and another super long car ride across Utah!
Olympic Park was so much fun, filled with an alpine slide, extreme tubing, ropes course, a playground, zip lines, a huge free fall drop...AND A SNAKE! Charley and I were coming back down the mountain after finding out she wasn't old enough to ride the ski slope tube and literally almost stepped on a snake slithering across our path. We screamed and starting running down the rest of the trail! After several hours at the park, we couldn't get to Smashburger fast enough. You would think by the ninth day we would be used to eating like over the road truck drivers, but the heat and exertion at Olympic Park made skipping lunch a bad idea. I didn't start to feel better until after a little cat nap in the van and another stop by Swig for cookies.
Day 10: Zion, Utah
We finally arrived in Zion well after midnight. We were exhausted and just couldn't get moving for the last full day of our trip. Who knew Zion was the Disney World of National Parks, because we had to take a shuttle to the park, enter the park, wait in a super long line once inside and ride another shuttle to one of the seven stops throughout the canyon. That whole process took forever, so we did one stop...The Narrows. There was a one mile, paved trail to the entrance of the Narrows. The kids were obsessed with the tame squirrels along the trail. I wore Carter...she was less than thrilled. We didn't actually plan to hike the narrow, but if we had wanted to, we were significantly less than prepared. I somehow missed the memo that I needed waterproof shoes, a walking stick and super unattractive hiking pants from REI to fit in with the crowd. So we did the next best thing and briefly waded inside the entrance, splashed in the freezing water, and took some pictures like the best amateur hikers ever...better known as tourists!
Day 11: Scottsdale, Arizona to Nashville
For the last day, Father's Day, we planned for sleeping, eating and swimming at the hotel. We should have planned for more of that, because it was just so nice!!! Carter threw a large fit when we had to get ready for the airport. It wasn't exactly smooth sailing for our trip home. We boarded our first plane, only to sit on it for an hour, then we had to get off for maintenance. The new plane didn't have as many seats, so it took a while to decide who was going and who was staying. We have small children...we were going! All of this covered dinner time, which meant no dinner. Chesley had a panic attack on the flight home, because turbulence was pretty terrible. But we finally made it back to Nashville, and thankfully Billy and Marilyn were waiting on us even though it was after midnight.
Carter refused to go to bed and ran around the house until almost 2 a.m. I think I even started one of fifteen loads of laundry just to pass the time.
Despite having laundry for days and battling Carter at bedtime for weeks, our trip out west was absolutely incredible! Hands down one of my favorite vacations that I have ever taken, and I can't wait to take another trip across God's beautiful country with my little family....adventure awaits!