Saturday, August 6, 2011

Family Vacation

The summer is coming to an end WAY to quickly, and every day seems jam packed for the rest of it.  That's why it's taken me so long to post about our trip.  So in between batches of beans I'm canning right now, I thought I'd share about our little family vacation.

A few weeks ago, in July, we packed up and headed up to Montana for a little getaway.  We went to Crystal Park on the first day and had a lot of fun searching in the dirt for little crystals.  Bill would dig and fill the shaker box, then Cheyenne, Natalie, and I would shake out all the sandy dirt. Then Billy, Jon, Chloe, and Maddie would join us and we'd sift and sort through what was left and hopefully find some crystals. It was quite a lot of work, but we had a great time.  The little kids would also wander around looking for crystals just on the ground.  Every shiny rock they saw they'd pick up and come ask us, "Is this a crystal?"  After a few hours of that and hiking around this mountain side, they were all pretty tired and started asking when we were going to the hotel. We ended up with quite a few little crystals and a couple pretty good sized ones.

The view from the mountain side.  Not a very good picture, but Cheyenne is holding some of the bigger crystals (we found a couple bigger ones) and you can see more in her bucket.

 So we headed into Butte to our hotel with a pool.  The little kids were beyond excited about this - a pool!! That's were we spent the next couple hours and I think that was the highlight of the trip for the little 4.  Although getting to watch TV while they were in bed was pretty exciting for them, too.  The next morning we headed to Lewis and Clark Caverns and took the tour there.  I'd forgotten what a hike it is up to the opening to the caves.  On the way up as we were really getting our workout in, Bill and Natalie were questioning whether I'd signed us up for a "Fat Camp" vacation, especially after the hiking the day before, and all the walking we were going to do the next day, too.  I think it's the first vacation that I didn't gain a pound. :)  Anyway, the caverns were really fun and the kids all enjoyed seeing all the formations and stuff way down underground.  After that we had a picnic lunch and then drove to Virgina City.  Virgina City is an old mining ghost town.  They have the old stores and buildings set up and displayed just like during the mining boom times.  The kids thought that was pretty cool.  We had some good homemade ice cream there, too, and of course the kids thought that was the best.
Fun in the car!
That night we stayed in a little town called Sheridan and the girls and I had some fun walking around taking pictures of some cool churches around the block.  The next day we headed to Yellowstone Park.  Lucky for us, we had perfect weather for all our walking and hiking around.  It barely got up to 80 degrees one day and was never too hot or miserable (although the kids thought so at times.)  As we were driving into the park, I asked Bill if he wanted to hit all the spots on the way to Old Faithful or go straight to Old Faithful and then hit all the stops on the way back.  He decided we needed to go to Old Faithful first since we didn't know when it was going to go off.  So we get into the parking lot and start walking to the site.  We sit there for a few minutes and finally hear someone say it wasn't supposed to go off for another 45 min. to an hour.  Bill decided we weren't going to sit there that long and that we should go get lunch.  We quickly went to eat some lunch, rushing the kids the whole time, and then hurried back out to the site.  Just as we're almost there, we see bunches of people heading back our way.  Yup, we had just missed it!  Well, needless to say, Bill was not happy and wasn't going to wait around for another 90 min.or so.  So we left and stopped at all the other sites on the lower loop.  We'll have to try Old Faithful again next year. We were planning on heading up to the waterfall and some of the other sites up that way, but then the kids all started asking if we could go home.  We were all pretty hot and tired by then, so Bill and I weren't going to object if they wanted to be done.  We stopped in West Yellowstone and did a little shopping mostly for polished rocks (or poshed rocks as my little sister used to call them) and drove home.
   It was a quick 3 days, but we really had a fun time together.  Best of all we have some great memories we can talk about for a long time to come.


Unknown said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time! I think it's awesome that you have 6 kids! I come from a family of 10 kids and I love it!

Leslie said...

Sounds like such a fun trip. I haven't been to that area in a very long time. I can't wait to see what you do with the crystals you brought home... and yea for poshed rocks!

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