Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2014 Family Summer Vacation Part 1- West Yellowstone, Montana

I guess I am ready to talk about our vacation now that I have somewhat rested. Well, not really. More like doing a gigantic load of laundry every day, still from our two-week trip. Okay, let's get on with our vacation story. 

We weren't really planning on taking a trip somewhere this summer, except our trip back to Kansas to where our other home is. But since my husband took a 2-day workshop in Laramie, Wyoming, we figured since we are already taking a trip, we might as well make it a summer vacation. Our real vacation started the day after my husband finished his 2-day workshop and we headed to Yellowstone. My husband and I were all excited about this road trip because it has been eight years since we visited the Yellowstone National Park. And yes, it was during our honeymoon. He knew then that I would love the mountains, so that's why he took me there. And he was right. I love the mountains so much! The weather (cold and wet), the fresh air, the people you meet along the way, the wildlife, and all that stuff. 

Anyway, thinking that on that day we had a reservation for a hotel in West Yellowstone, we proceeded to our destination. And of course, in true Blankenship manner, we arrived at the hotel late, which means the place was already closed. And there we were, worried sick about what room are we supposed to be in because we didn't know! We had no idea! My husband started to panic because mind you, all the rooms in and around the Yellowstone area are fully booked. You name it, campgrounds, hotels, motels, and cabins are booked. Every room is booked! If we wanted to stay outside of West Yellowstone, it is a long drive to a next town (and not sure if we will ever get a room) and it was already getting close to midnight. 

You can just imagine the look on our faces trying to figure out where we are staying for the night. Panicked, frustrated, and overall exhausted, my husband finally got a hold of an emergency number to the Hotel that we thought we were staying. To our dismay, we found out that we actually got the dates mixed up because our rooms were booked the next night and not that night. I am telling you, the moment I heard the news, I walked out on my husband irritated and frustrated. Asking myself why in the world did he not double checked our dates before we left to make sure we got it right. Oh my goodness! You would think that for someone like us who travels a lot, that we won't make such a mistake. But oh no! We sure did make that mistake and never again! I was not happy at all with the situation. 

My poor husband was in a scramble trying to figure out a way to solve this problem. Because it was no longer a funny matter, but a serious one (and imagine two restless kids in the back of the vehicle). Finally, my husband thought of talking to an officer and ask for a help. Fortunately, we spotted one at the gasoline station while driving around town and the a kind Officer helped us find a spot to camp for the night. It was a good thing that my husband decided to take our camper gear with us even though we were not sure if we ever get to go camping on this vacation. But he loaded it up anyway, even though we didn't have a lot of room in our Jeep. 

Once we found a spot to pitch our tent (in the dark), I was still in a sour mood. Didn't talk to my husband, didn't think it was fun (but my son thought it was), but I told him, "Don't ask me, but I will help pitch the tent". Don't get me wrong. I love camping! But I guess at that time, in that situation, I was really expecting to sleep in a nice, soft, clean, and warm bed for the night and I wasn't mentally prepared to be pitching a tent in the middle of the night. And yes, I was also terrified of the grizzly bears around. 

To end the story, I woke up the next day happy and I did apologize to my husband for the way I reacted. I guess I should have kept my sense of adventure in times like that because come to think of it now, things could have gotten worse for us that night. Thank God it didn't rain and it wasn't as freezing cold as we thought it would be. We didn't get attacked by a bear and we all had a great night actually. And because of that, we now have a great story to tell our friends about our first day of our family summer vacation in West Yellowstone, Montana. And that's what I get for hitching my wagon to my husband's crazy adventures. Gotta love him! 

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The morning after the hiatus and after my birthday. 

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Good morning! We survived! We can't wait to finally have our own little camper that goes on the back of the truck, someday. Someday! 

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Traffic Jam in the Yellowstone National Park at 10 in the morning. 

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West Yellowstone Downtown

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Let's Go Shopping!

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Dining In At The Timberline. I had my own Garden Burger (made with vegetables and other grains) and fries. 

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That's it for today, folks! More photos and videos later on, on this blog. Have you ever been to West Yellowstone, before? I already miss this place and the weather. Yes, the cold, rain, busy streets and all. And one last thing. To the kind officer in West Yellowstone (I wish we asked for his name) who helped us that night, Sir, thank you so much! We had a great stay. Have a great one! 


  1. Wow, it looks like you guys had a really great time. What an adventure.

  2. If anything, it certainly sounds like you had a very memorable vacation. I love that picture with the toy cars on the grill.

  3. How fun! I really wanted to go camping this summer, but never made it. Love the pictures.

  4. That looks like so much fun - definitely a place I'd love to visit!!

  5. Looks like a fun time. I've never been to Yellowstone but would love to go some day. Those shops remind me of the shops we visited during our last vacation in Kissimmee, Florida. I discovered a little store that sold hippie chic clothing and accessories that I fell in love with.

  6. I've never taken a trip to Yellowstone before, it looks like a beautiful place!

  7. Oh my what an ordeal but glad that you guys still managed to have fun. Thanks to the officer who helped you guys out! I think, we (the wives) should double check lol. We made a mistake during our vacation in Maryland as well and that's because I let my husband did all the booking and stuff lol.

  8. I would have been in a bad mood from that situation as well. It is more the unknown than anything else. I am glad everything worked out though!

  9. Wonderful pics! That was a really tough situation! I can well understand why you were feeling so irritated. But you didn't lash out, that's very important! And you get to have fun time together after all :)

  10. I have always wanted to go to Yellow Stone! Looks like you had a fun trip!

  11. looks like yo had a great time. I would love to see pics of the adventures.

  12. I love your photos, what a beautiful family you have!

  13. I've never been there but it looks like a really nice place to visit. At least you didn't get rained out camping. I haven't done that in years either. Kids look like they were having a good time. Glad it all worked out for you all.

  14. I've never been there - but your photos sure make me wanna take my family for a trip there :D Glad to hear your family had a great time too!

  15. Looks like you all had an amazing trip. I love family vacations they are so much fun.

  16. I love reading about your adventures! I also want to know what huckleberry ice cream tastes like now.

  17. It was really nice to see your vacation via your photos. The photos showed your family having a great time at a bunch of great places. So, nice!

  18. Oh my goodness, I would have panicked a little bit too when I found out I didn't have a place to stay for the night. You all handled it beautifully though and turned lemons into lemonade! :)

  19. How is it Yellowstone, a nature reserve, has an imax and my town doesn't?

  20. You've got such great pictures here! Family vacations are the best part of summer!

  21. Vacation is one thing that my family is not acquainted to. All we do is work, work and work. I want to change this. Stress could kill us if we do not unwind.

  22. I would have been mad too but it looks like it all turned out alright., great pictures!

  23. This looks amazing! What a beautiful place.

  24. That's a great adventure! I envy you being able to experience sleeping inside a park. That must be creepy but exciting at the same time!

  25. You definitely enjoyed a dream vacation. And I can relate to the laundry and catch up mode (I usually have hundreds of e-mails waiting when I come back to reality). It is worth it!

  26. You are a saint. Sorry you had to experience that on your birthday but sure happy that you can laugh about it now. Sure looks like the family had a wonderful time in West Yellowstone.


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