Tuesday, November 20, 2012

First Vacation in 6.5 years - Wyoming

It's true. The last "real" vacation - i.e. longer than a long weekend and without the kids - was March of 2006 when I went to Amsterdam for the first time to see Andy and Fred. I've been on short trips within Texas or work trips in different states, band trips and stuff like that, but nothing like I had the pleasure of doing last month.

Back in July, my birthday weekend to be exact, I was with Allan at his house. We had been dating a month. I was still in the very insecure phase of myself, already loving this man more than I thought possible ever, being all emotional with him and he said, "Remember a couple of weeks ago when I asked you what your vacation was like at work?" to which I replied, "Yes??" That was when he told me he wanted me to go with him on his Elk hunting trip in October. My mind was reeling. Now, we've known each other since we were in 7th grade but we didn't really KNOW each other. But he knew almost immediately, it seems, that he wanted me to go with him on this trip. He had talked about it in the many conversations we would have since that's most of what we have right now - communication in between times together. I was just shocked that he saw us together in October (I know, I am not an optimist when it comes to my relationship record) and that he actually thought we could spend ten days together and survive. Oh, and there was the fact that he was going with his Uncle Richard and Richard's nephew (who ended up not going). So it was basically a guy trip. Plus I knew I would be the only girl that the hunting lodge, which I was fine with but would the other hunters? Would Uncle Richard?

The next three months would prove to be trying for me. He is always as cool as a cucumber but me, I'm the insecure one that let's it all hang out. I could not WAIT for October 25th to get here. We have made a point to see each other every week to ten days, but October was going to be tough because he needed to work a lot to meet his quotas and I had Family Weekend at U of H with Ben. So, we went almost a whole month without seeing each other. This may have made the next ten days better, but I believe it would have been just as wonderful because we just get along so well.

October 25 - Allan gets to my house about 7:30. We have an early bedtime because we need to be at Uncle Richard's by 2:00 - a.m.. Yep, want to be on the road by 3:00 a.m. This man I love has a schedule and we need to stick to it.

October 26 - We get to Uncle Richard's, get all our things situated in the back of Allan's truck - cooler, riffles, duffel bags, suitcase. Once we are ready to go, we are early! 2:45 a.m. and we are heading down the highway towards Casper, Wyoming - the stop for the first night. It was a long, long day. After about six hours in the truck, I realized that we were heading AWAY from the sun. I kept thinking we would see the sun coming up any time, until I saw it behind us. At one point, I did realize it was just getting darker the longer we were driving. But I was with Allan and we were on vacation - I was on vacation. I wasn't going to find anything to complain about. I was going to enjoy every single aspect of this trip. When the sun finally made it's way up into the sky, the beauty around us was mesmerizing. We were going through four states in one day and what lies beyond the Texas boarder is pure beauty. New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming - it just keeps getting more and more beautiful. Our first snow sighting was in Colorado (I believe) when we stopped for lunch at McDonald's. It had been there a few days but it was still snow! Then we got to Wyoming. A new state for me (cross that off the list of visiting all 50 states before I die) and out we went for a picture by the state sign.

It was about 7:30 before we made it to our hotel in Casper, WY. The boys wanted to go out to dinner. I hadn't had a shower since the night before. I just asked for 20 minutes to take a shower and get ready 'cause this girl in the picture there was NOT going into any restaurant looking like she'd been in the car for 16 hours. Plus, this was a good time to prove that I wasn't going to be the one to hold anyone back just because I was a girl. Oh and there was some "bet" going on during the day...the last person to spot a live animal - deer, antelope, buffalo type animal - had to pay for the first round of drinks. I went ahead and gave in right away because I don't spot things like that. Dinner at Red Lobster isn't as cheap as you might think.

October 27 - Up and eat breakfast early so we can get on the road and get to Jackson Hole by the end of the day. We wanted to stop in Cody to visit the Buffalo Bill Museum so on the road we went. There were a few stops for pictures since we drove through an Indian Reservation and again, it was just beautiful everywhere we went. After the museum, we went through Yellowstone National Park. The only problem here was that the roads got to be a bit tricky. It had snowed a couple of days before and the road we needed to take through the park to get to Jackson Hole was mostly covered in packed snow. Luckily, Allan has 4-wheel drive so he said let's go. While he said he would never do that again because it was just too nerve wracking, it was gorgeous AND we saw a Buffalo just walking down the road.

The Hampton Inn in Jackson Hole was amazing and we were all happy that we would get to stay two nights since we were going to have a relaxing day around town the next day and a special dinner for Allan and I that night. It's a sweet little town surrounded by beautiful mountains. I would highly recommend a vacation there if you're looking for a nice place to visit.

October 28 - Sleeping in does a body good. We had a quick breakfast and headed out to see the town. It was Sunday so not everything was open but there was certainly enough open that we were able to do some fun shopping and great picture taking.

My only request for this trip was that Allan and I have dinner alone on Sunday night. He went ahead and found a nice restaurant there in Jackson Hole, planned the whole thing. I love that! He was very excited which made me just as excited. We had dinner at the Snake River Grill in the square there in Jackson Hole. It was beautiful and the food was delicious!

The next day was going to be the biggest part of the vacation. New day. New state. That requires a whole new blog, too.
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