Wednesday, September 26, 2012


+ So I've reached my Picasa Web Album limit. I'm at 99.9% capacity. This means I have to start paying for photo storage in order to continue posting photos on this blog. For those of you who haven't hit this limit, here's the quick rundown. Everything you upload through Blogger is stored in your Picasa Web Album (because Google owns you). Even if you don't use the photo or replace your header or anything - it's stored. You can delete unused photos (and I have), but the interface is clunky and hard to use and makes me want to kick something. To access your Picasa Web Albums, go here and scroll to the bottom (you will be asked to log in if you aren't already). In itty bitty print you will see how much space you have left.
I tried migrating my two Daily blogs (of the girls) to a different email address, but thus far, it isn't working. I'm really REALLY annoyed. It's only $2.50 a month. But $2.50 a month for the rest of all time is A LOT OF $2.50.
This is why I haven't posted more Yellowstone. I CAN'T. Lame.
Give me a few days. I'll figure something out. It might involved an elaborate plot wherein I decode Google's ownership of my soul.
+ I'm wearing sweat pants right now. This announcement is interesting not only because it proves that I'm lazy and don't like to wear pants, but also because they're sweat pants. It's cold enough outside for sweat pants! PRAISE THE HEAVENS! Fall, you are welcome here any time! I made pumpkin bread last night (a gluten free attempt that worked fairly well), and the smell was heavenly. Jess came home and said, "It smells like Christmas!" Yes, yes it does.
+ I've been gluten free for about three months now. It's kind of obnoxious and sometimes I feel like it's not worth it - say when a cupcake presents itself - but for my auto immune disease, it's the recommended diet. Truthfully, I feel much better. Like the glue(ten) has literally been removed from my system. I'm not so sluggish and stuckish. I've found some great recipes (in fact, it's not that hard to cook or bake gluten free). And my mom invented a banana oatmeal muffin recipe that is. to. die. for. You're welcome for that link. (By the way, if you blend your own almonds, it will be a nuttier muffin as the almond skin makes the texture more coarse. If you use (and buy) blanched almond flour, it's a smoother, more sweet and almondy muffin.)
+ The girls and I have a cold. It's loads of fun. LOADS. It's the kind that takes your throat and turns it to shreds. It feels super awesome.
+ My downstairs neighbor has music on so loud right now that my butt is currently vibrating in my chair. This might have something to do with the vibratability of my flabby toosh. But still.
If you want some perfectly lovely music (unlikely to vibrate bums) try this. My sister-in-law and I can't stop listening to it.
+ I'm knee deep in two super time consuming, very exciting, and totally brain frying surprises right now. One rhymes with "mouse." And starts with an H. But I feel like I'll totally jinx it if I talk about it. And so until I have the thing that rhymes with "me" and starts with a K in my hand. I ain't tellin'. The other one is not a new baby, although my uterus has informed me it would be fine being occupied any time now. Thus far, I've successfully ignored my chatty uterus. Good thing I have a Lala baby. She's still a baby, right? Right.

Monday, September 17, 2012

yellowstone, day two

So when we go on vacation - almost no matter where it is - Jess drags his hiney out of bed at ridiculous hours to catch the sun rise. It's always worth it. He always comes back with the most beautiful photos.

And we have a system - while he's out communing with nature, I sleep for as long as the girls will allow me. This often means all three of us end up in one bed, and I have to admit, it makes for some pretty cute mornings. There is nothing - hands down - in this world as awesome as waking up to Belle's bed head. Or Lou's buck tooth grin.
Gah! I die. So anyhow, I get the girls up and ready, feed them some breakfast (I usually have homemade banana muffins and a small tub of Nutella, in other words ALL YOU NEED), and then Jess usually gets home right about then. This trip, Jess came home the first morning and said, "Okay. Put on your running shoes. You're out of here." And he packed up the girls and took them to some (dry) hot pots in Mammoth (they were bubbling two years ago, it all depends on the movement of the earth, apparently. I had a blissful morning run. Running in random places is maybe one of the most awesome things ever. You see such amazing things by the power of your own two feet.

The pictures here are from day two (above are the dry hot pots Jess took the girls to). From Mammoth, we drove to Lamar Valley to find some animals. We started providing voice over for the animals about this time. 

Like the bison, "Harold. Stop. We can't leave Lamar Valley." Because seriously, you enter Lamar Valley, and BOOM! ANIMALS! How do they know that they're supposed to be there? Or while we searched the tops of trees for bald eagles, only to find mostly crows, which were obviously saying, "Frank! Stick your chest out! Look regal! They're looking!" Um, yeah. Many hours in the car afford some serious imagination. We also saw some pronghorn deer:

And at one point, there were a few cars pulled over, so NATURALLY, we pulled over too to see what all the fuss was about. We saw something moving about in the bushes, so we pulled out our monocular (our longest lens), and had a look:

A coyote. While I tracked him with the lens, I noticed he was tracking something of his own. I couldn't see what he was trying to catch. But I did catch him pouncing:

We got pretty ridiculous with the animal spotting. At one point, I was all, "Hand me the camera! What's out there?!"

A rare fly fisherman?

We stopped at several of the standard hot spot and waterfall walk-abouts as well, which is why I think a Yellowstone trip works with kids - plenty of chances for breaks and walks. And when they fall asleep, you just enjoy the sights from the car.

Speaking of enjoying sights from the car:

It's my favorite when a bison just lumbers along and holds up traffic. They're so slow and lurpy. I'm seriously such a fan of bison - funniest big headed beasts evah.

So a word or two about the following photos. Yeah. We're those people. Who put their kid on a leash. But she's that kid. Let's be honest. It was either put her on a leash or let her jump in a thermal geyser. Don't you worry, Asian tourists also took photos of her. Look at her face in these, by the way. She got a hoot out of it!

Oh wait? Need another dose of cuteness? No problem:

Belle was not as fond of the weeds. "They're pokey!"

But she found plenty of other opportunities to pose. She's also obsessed with climbing things - this fence, random piles of rocks. The fence next to a billion foot tall waterfall. Good times.

We ended the day in Canyon (Night Three on map below). We ate at the diner on site, which I found incredibly charming (although the food is the same as it is at every other park restaurant in Yellowstone), and called it a night.

Which turned out to be a comedy because our room was tiny, old, fairly disgusting, freezing, etc. Luckily, I plan for things like this: notebooks, crayons, snacks, and a movie (on the mini DVD player, as park accomodations don't have TVs).

The night was miserable for me - the old radiator heater scorched my skin and I may or may not have laid on the filthy floor so the cold air from outside would freeze my on-fire skin - and when Jess arrived home the next morning, I was like, "Get me out of this hole." And so we left in a hurry. On to Old Faithful (our favorite!) we went.

To my FOUR loyal readers, stay tuned!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

yellowstone, day one

Okay. So back to Yellowstone. Jess - the man without a plan (and I am completely the opposite) - spent hours organizing our trip to Yellowstone. This is partly because lodging was limited and partly because he knows I go a little bonkers without a schedule. Bless him. Last time we went to Yellowstone (Annabelle was just one), we stayed in Mammoth (see Night One on the map below) the whole time, which meant that at the end of every day, we had to drive all the way back there, no matter what. This time, and this might sound crazy, we stayed in four different hotels - a different place each night. Here's a handy dandy map to help you visualize the madness:
For anyone who's thinking of tackling Yellowstone with kids, I recommend this method. Staying inside the park has huge convenience benefits, and it's simply beautiful. Our accomodations weren't fancy by any means, but we spent very little time there (just sleeping really), so it worked out perfectly. I seriously  have a jillion photos of this trip, and I thought I'd try tackling it by day. I'll include fun photos, pretty photos, and accomodations photos. A trip to Yellowstone with little kids isn't by any stretch of the imagination a "break," but it was seriously perfect for us and just the break we needed. It was entirely refreshing. And so without further ado, let the vacation log begin. First a few car pics. Just because.

In Idaho Falls, we stopped at some random park to let the kids stretch their legs and have a bite to eat (we had a loaded cooler in the back of the car). I said these words exactly, "stretch our legs," and when Belle got out, that's precisely what she did.

We died. So hilarious.

And then onward we went. Shortly after we entered the park (through West Yellowstone), the adventure began. As tourists are wont to do, the cars were parked and lined up down the street for quite a while. Being dorky tourists ourselves, we pulled over. For this beautiful fellow.
Quite majestic isn't he? There were some female elk over in some tall grass near him, but they were staying safely hidden.

From there, we made our way to Mammoth, stopping for a few hot pots here and there and Gibbons Falls.

We arrived in Mammoth late and grabbed some expensive national park food (the chili was actually really really good), but here's a photo of our hotel during the day.
Quite lovely right? Those yellow buses are actually in use - they're tour buses - although it does look rather picturesque sitting there. The kids' favorite part of the hotel was, naturally, the "cool bathtub." They were both obsessed.

The next day we made our way to Canyon, via Lamar Valley, the "hot spot" for animals and wildlife. There are tons more "pretty photos" in the next days so get ready. Jess was a busy man. Here's a tiny preview, from the next morning.
I know, right? So give me a few days (or weeks?), and I'll get the next day up. I'm working on a behind the scenes project (no, it does not involve growing a child in my uterus), so this blog may continue to suffer for a while. But I promise I haven't forgotten! So all three of you loyal readers, never fear! I shall return. :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails