Since we’ve moved west, family vacations seem like extra Good News to share with you all. We were so lucky to get to see some family for a few days in the state we now live in, especially since we won’t make it home to Iowa until Christmas, (T-minus 80 days, but who’s counting?). First of all, let’s take a moment to applaud this group of people for achieving the enormous feat of finding one long weekend this year that we all had free. This is no simple task, especially when none of us live in the same city. Drew and I drove the seven hours in from Cheyenne (side note – this state is LARGE), then the rest of the crew flew in from the Quad Cities, Chicago, Minneapolis and Ames. That’s impressive, if I do say so myself! So, without further adieu, our family vacation to Jackson, Wyoming!
The first wave of our group arrived late Thursday night, so our first stop was dinner and drinks at The Mangy Moose in Teton Village, where our home for the weekend was located. As it would turn out, Moose would be a theme throughout the weekend, starting with the Mangy Moose.
Friday morning, we all slept in, got in the hot tub and caught up on each other’s lives. It. Was. Awesome. As we’re sitting there, a terrifying sweet Moose family showed up to join us for mimosas, which we quickly dubbed Mi-moose-as. I had never seen a moose before, let alone three this close! In Iowa the wildlife we see in the backyard includes cows and deer. Also, seriously, how beautiful is Jackson in the Fall?
After the moose encounter, we hopped into our rented 15 passenger van and headed out to see the Moulton Barn. Drew and I sort of have a thing for barns, after getting married in one earlier this year. This particular barn is the most photographed barn in America, so we couldn’t leave Jackson without getting our own photo evidence.
As we’re taking photos of this iconic barn, we had our second encounter with wildlife for the trip. A herd of buffalo headed our way and I was fairly sure it was going to turn out like that State Farm commercial. Luckily I know the jingle. 😉
Next, we drove into Grand Teton National Park and took a hike around Jenny Lake. It was beautiful!
That night, we headed to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. The live band was fun and the bar stools were actually saddles. Doesn’t get more country than that! At this point we finally had the entire group together, so we celebrated accordingly.
We spent Saturday morning in Downtown Jackson having some old time photos taken. This was quite the process, but the end result was so worth it! Extra points to anyone who can spot the fuzzy chaps.
Next up: Yellowstone National Park to see Old Faithful. Drew and I would love to see every National Park, so we were excited to knock two out in one trip. Our timing this trip was incredible, so we got out of the car and Old Faithful erupted about two minutes later. Such a cool thing to see!
After an ice cream treat, we took a short hike to see Old Faithful from the lookout point. Would you even be surprised at this point if I told you we saw more buffalo on this hike? They’re everywhere! We closed out Saturday by cooking dinner at our house, toasting to a great trip so far and dreaming about next year’s vacation destination.
For our last excursion as a full group, we went horseback riding at Spring Creek Ranch. We did pretty well for a group with minimal horseback riding experience! We even survived seeing five more moose while on the trail. I wasn’t too concerned until the guide told us she would have rather seen a grizzly bear than that moose family. These Wyoming moose are no joke!
Half the group headed home that afternoon, exhausted but with happy hearts. For living in a world that’s constantly connected in one form or another, nothing beats face to face time with the people you love.