Our trip to Yellowstone was AMAZING! I never thought I would have such a great time freezing my butt off each night sleeping in a tent, getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, and having to pack all our food in and out after each meal because of bears. Seriously though, our 6 days we spent at Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park were some of the most fun we've had as a family.
Maybe it is because we had tons of time as a family to just be. To relax, to unwind, to unplug, to explore, to adventure. There is no cell service or no internet service so you have to unplug. Some of our most favorite memories of the trip are spontaneous things we just happened upon, like walking down to lake Yellowstone and letting the kids run and play on the beach while Nate and I relaxed or our day trip to Bozeman, Montana to explore because none of us had ever been to Montana and Nate and I had heard Bozeman was a neat town to explore.
Another favorite part of this trip was the cost. Our week long vacation ended up costing us under $600 for a family of five which is amazing. Just for comparison, I think our week long vacation to Disneyland cost $3000. If we didn't eat at restaurants the three times we splurged the cost would've been closer to $400 (eating out with 5 people is expensive). I think we'll be taking more vacations where we can drive to the location and camp.
There was so much to see and I took so many pictures, but here are my favorites. Remember, I don't have a fancy camera, just a cheap $100 point and shoot and I do minimal editing with Picasa. Yellowstone has such amazing scenery you don't need anything fancy.
My first time using a pay phone in about 12 years, how retro!
More mud pots
The lower falls of the grand canyon of Yellowstone
Another view of the grand canyon of Yellowstone
Beautiful wildflowers on the northern part of the park
That's a baby black bear halfway up the tree in the middle. We were so lucky to see a mama black bear and two cubs from a relatively close distance.
Mammoth hot springs. Looks like the surface of another planet.
Elk just hanging out in the developed part of Mammoth hot springs
During our side trip to Bozeman we had to get a shot of the welcome sign
The famous Roosevelt arch that marks the north entrance to the park and reads, "For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People".
The park is huge so there is lots of driving between spots but there is always amazing scenery to look at.
The kids and I at the famous Old Faithful Geyser.
Grand Prismatic Springs
Another view of Grand Prismatic Springs
The kids at the springs
After our last day exploring the park we stop at a road side parking lot for a quick walk and amazing view of these waterfalls.
Yellowstone was an amazing trip and something I recommend everyone visit at least once in their lifetime, we'll definitely be back. The pictures on my camera from Yellowstone lake were amazing. If you can spend an hour there just sitting on the beach, soaking in your surroundings I highly recommend it. Also the pictures of the pictures of Old Faithful Inn did not do it justice. It is an amazing historic hotel, built of all logs with a grand lobby that it worth some time to explore even if you are not staying there. We also got yummy coffee from the coffee bar and sat on the covered 2nd story deck for a 2nd viewing of Old Faithful. Man, I love family vacations!