Vacation day 8

Part of me can’t believe it’s only been 8 days with what we’ve seen and done. Part of me knows it’s flying by. Part of me what’s to shout, Get Up Get Up! To my friend and conquer the world. Part of me wishes my internal clock didn’t wake up so early!

I know I’ve done a poor job at keeping up to date with my travels but I’ve got a good excuse. I had no internet or reception throughout South Dakota. As in the entire state. Yellowstone only had reception on top of one Mountain. The past 3 nights we’ve been in hotels but I’ve been exhausted. So here I am. Finally getting a moment. 

I don’t know what I’ve said before so let me try to piece it together. 

We started 1/2 day late. Saturday we made it to the Field of Dreams movie site, then a random campsite in Minnesota. Tuesday we made it to the Badlands and got a campsite at an ok place just outside the park. Wednesday we camped directly below Devils Tower at a KOA. Talk about pricey and posh camping. Thursday we took a detour North to get to the Paradise Valley area. John Mayer lives near here and his snapchats were crazy beautiful of the area around his house. We found a random wildlife/fishing rustic campsite. It was so remote and amazing. All the other campsites were full and we were considering a cabin for nearly $80 at KOA until we found this gem. See featured photo for our scenery. This site was only $18. Nice. 

We drove an hour south into the North gate of Yellowstone. We drove 35 miles to the West Gate, which is midway down the park, in hopes of finding a campsite. By a miracle someone in the back said, we just got one site for 1 small tent, as we pleaded for anything in the park that might be open. We never actually expected to be able to camp in Yellowstone but we weren’t sure where to go if we didn’t. The site was small but perfect. We spent 1/2 day driving around the north loop and taking quick .25 – 1.5 mile paths to see the sites. Desert atmosphere with boiling water and mud pots to Mt. Washburn where we grabbed some snow! We saw wild Buffalo, Elk, Deer, and the top of one Black Bear. We didn’t get mauled by bears in our sleep as I feared and it was wonderful. The park is truly beautiful and a wonder. Thursday morning we headed to Old Faithful and arrived perfectly on time to see it shoot off! Ridiculously lucky, it only goes off every 2 hours! We saw a few more sites but needed to head south to the Grand Tetons. 

Now I thought Yellowstone was beautiful, the Grand Tetons were the most beautiful. I feel like the park is left in Yellowstones shadow but the views are awe inspiring. I must return and camp in this park. There is a section with swimming and the mountains are right there. We stuck our warm swollen bug bitten feet in the cold water and suddenly all was right with the world. If we hadn’t needed to get closer to Denver, if the time crunch wasn’t so big, we would have stayed and swam and slept and experienced more of the Grand Tetons. 

Jackson Hole Wy is a cute touristy BUSY town. A little too much for tired campers to deal with. The rest of Wy was natural gas fields. Uh what? I still haven’t researched it. I’ve been meaning to. The section was boring. Night fell, it was dark and we thought it would be best to drive further and get a motel if need be just to be closer to Denver. The motel was fine, we had BK for breakfast and hit the road by 7 am. We drove straight to our hotel in Denver. Checked in, got our concert tickets and VIP passes, then chilled in the hotel room until we boarded a shuttle to Red Rocks! Part of the VIP trip packaged included a pre-party dinner, first night taco bar, second night Pulled pork and BBQ beef sandwich bar, and I’m excited to see what’s in store this afternoon. 

The food is delish, the venue is incredible and I really enjoy the Avett Brothers, they are a really good band! And yea, if you hadn’t been following along… I didn’t know their music. My friend bought these tickets ages ago and I wanted to go on a vacation. So I said I’d go with IF we took a road trip to Yellowstone, and the rest happened. 

Now, today is the last night in Denver. We meant to explore more but the shuttle leaves at 4 pm and gets back at midnight. A long day at a concert and it makes a late morning. 

We still haven’t planned what to do after we leave the hotel tomorrow, or for the rest of the week for that matter. It’s like the trip is over but we could still do so much. 

I promise to update with some photos but the shower and breakfast are calling my name. 

Week in review 

Featured photo: my cat sitting on my lap last night

Jesus it’s Friday! This week has been super busy and super exhausting. Or I’ve just been exhausted or sick. Whatever it sucked. 

Last week Tuesday I drove 230 miles for a work meeting and after that another 100 something to see John Mayer in concert in Chicago. Wednesday I sat at a friends house all day with nothing but pop and greasy take out. That night we drove another 100 something miles back so I could have a meeting on Thursday. Insert greasy road food and back 100+ miles to a concert – Me First and the Gimmie Gimmes. From there back to the burbs. 

Friday we headed back into the city (60+ miles) to a friends house and a concert. See last post about my night in hell. 

Thankfully that night my friends didn’t die and I crashed in town with them. Wake up 5 hours later, Cubs game at Wrigley, lots of Chicago food staples (Italian beef and deep dish pizza) then downtown for one of my favorite local bands, Lucky Boys Confusion. 

The concert was exhausting waiting for them to headline. By 10 pm that night my feet were killing me and I had over 10,000 steps in; my normal day is 3,000-4,000. But the band came on and jumping was the only way to enjoy it! They were awesome and I was wide awake again!

Back 60+ miles to the burbs, we got home at 1:30 am and I woke at 7 to shower and get to my uncles house whom I rarely see. 4 hours of visiting later and nearly 400 miles I arrived home just before 10 pm on Sunday. 

Since then work work work. Meeting folks at 8 -am Monday was hard.  Walking the city with contractors and taking naps whenever possible. Finally and scarily it’s already Friday with a ton left to do before travel starts on Monday again. I’ve been ordering takeout for every meal this week. Too sleepy to bother shopping or eating healthy. I’ve gained 2 lbs since my last check in and I realize I’m out of breathe far too easily still.  

Today though I’m energetic. Maybe I finally caught up on sleep or maybe that bubble bath put me in my happy place last night. But hopefully I can be a weekend warrior. Get back in the game, go to the gym, eat better, save money and lose some weight. Wish me luck!