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Aug 9, 2009

Our last-minute vacation in Yellowstone National Park

As I unexpectedly got a week off in the middle of the summer (due to changing jobs), my husband and I decided to take a quick vacation to a place we had wanted to visit for a long time: Yellowstone National Park.

We started planning one week before our trip, in the middle of the summer vacation time, so we were concerned about the logistics. Fortunately, we were still able to find accommodation in the park itself, although this meant we had to change hotel every day. This turned out to be a good solution, as it allowed us to visit all parts of the park without having to backtrack to the same corner every night. Also, once we were there, we learned of the major roadworks between Grand Teton and Yellowstone. We were glad we didn't go with the solution of staying in Grand Teton for the whole time and "commuting" to Yellowstone, which we had considered at some point. (even without the roadworks, I wouldn't recommend)

Booking flights and rental car turned out not to be too difficult: we got the flights we needed at a decent price and didn't have issues with our rental car rservation (although they hadn't prepared the car seat for us when we arrived. We could have done without the additional frustration)

Based on our hotel reservations, our program was as follows (details can be found by clicking on the links below).
Day 1: SFO-Jackson,WY. Drive to Old Faithful via Grand Teton.
Day 2: Old Faithful-Canyon-Lake
Day 3: Lake-Tower Roosevelt-Lamar Valley-Mammoth Hot Springs
Day 4: Mammoth Hot Springs-Norris-Old Faithful.
Day 5: Old Faithful to Jackson, WY. Fly home.

Overall, we had a great time. It was very relaxing to be either outdoors hiking, driving in beautiful sceneries, or having dinner in old restaurants with nice views. And we didn't have cell phone reception for most of the time, so no risk of being bothered with email:-)

It was a good experience for Daniel too, as he learned a lot of new words (he is an expert in "steam" and "bison" now), saw big animals and played in rivers. He did well despite spending so much time in the car or in a carrying backpack. He is at an age where we can be entertained with stories or crayons (at restaurants). This made it easier than it would have been a few months ago, I think. However, he missed his friends from daycare, as he kept asking for them all the time. Good it was only a few days and he is now back into his happy routine.

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