Saturday, August 31, 2013

August 8th: The last Wyoming post. Promise.

It was hard to leave this view.

Especially, when leaving said view involved an alarm set for 4:30 AM.
(But at least the sunrise over the Tetons was ah-mazing.)

Trevor and I pack light.
Banner, on the other hand, most certainly does not.
It must be one of those skills that comes with age.

I wish we got to board planes like this more often.

Last breath of cool, mountain air.

Buh-bye, Wyoming!  Buh-bye!
(The flight back to DFW was MUCH better than the flight up.)

Helllllllo, Dallas!

Traveling home from vacay isn't necessarily the best way to ring in your 33rd year,
but at least I had wine, AC and Shark Week!  Trevor even let me pick the movie!

(The last time THAT happened was Mother's Day 2012.)

And, with that, I conclude our vacation posts from 2013! 
Our regularly scheduled programming should resume shortly.

Trevor and his pint-sized shadow...

A little bit of everything else...

Can't even begin to tell you how many times
we almost lost THIS shoe...
What else did we do in Wyoming with a sick toddler (other than put his shoes back on 15 million times a day)?  Not much really.  We went into town a few times, did a little souvenir shopping/sweatshirt buying and saw some of the local sights and points of interest.
Like Albert Einstein, an eight foot tall moose and Benjamin Franklin.  Because, obviously:

There is something about toddlers and statues.  He was obsessed with them.  Every time we walked pasted this particular store just off the square, he wanted to run and climb all over the them.  I would have been more open to it if the statues weren't hanging out in a crowded parking lot just off a busy street.  

(Also, "moose" and "moo" sound very similar.  I'm pretty sure Banner lost all confidence in his understanding of the word C-O-W while in Wyoming.)

In addition, we made sure the little guy had an opportunity to ride the stagecoach since EVERY.SINGLE.TIME Banner saw it go by, he'd point and yell, "NEIGH!".  He spent the whole 15 minutes waving and saying "buh-bye" to everyone he saw along the route.  It was adorable, and I saw countless people snapping pictures of my baby waving from the stagecoach window as we clopped on by.  My only regret was that I was in the wagon WITH HIM, and was, therefore, unable to get a good picture documenting the experience. 


Still it was cute:

Other than that, though, most of our time was spent at the cabin.  Banner decided it was his job to wave "hi" and "buh bye" at each and every walker, car, dog, butterfly, bike or airplane that passed.  Bless all the locals that played along and waved back.  He ate it up.  By the end of our 10 days in Jackson, he'd run out on the deck waving if he just *thought* he heard something or someone coming or going.

Being the neighborhood greeter comes with a lot of responsibility.

He also discovered the wild, wild world of cosplay.  Well, sort of.  He basically accessorized his puppy back pack into a crime fighter's utility belt.  Because nothing says "down with the bad guys" like an iPhone and a baby monitor strapped to something soft, fuzzy and puppy-like:

But, you know, it worked for him, and that's all that mattered.  And, well, quite frankly we LOVED his outfit.  Not sure what the neighbors thought, but who cares.  My kid is awesome.

Even though this trip involved fewer no hikes than summer trips to the mountains past, it was still incredibly full of time spent with my boys.  And, yes, the ear infection sucked, but it also forced us to stop and enjoy - not what we were missing - but what was most important.
If being a mom has taught me anything, it is the need to slooooow down and take things one step at a time.  I'm still not very good at it, but Banner is one persistent teacher.
Good thing he is so stinkin' cute!

Wyoming also taught Banner something important.  Namely, how to safely get from the deck to the lawn.  I spent most of the first week worrying that he would launch himself off and hurt himself.  And, after several near misses, he finally did.  He tumbled right off before I could grab him and bumped his little tush - hard - on the corner of a cement step.  But, you know what?  It taught him to be more careful in the future.  And he never even hinted at wanting to jump off the deck again for the rest of the trip.  Trevor insists that is just how little boys learn:  through trail, error AND PAIN.  If that is true, God help me, because Banner is a daredevil who refuses to listen to reason.

Like father, like son.

Also, thank goodness it was his tush and not his head.  Because, OMG. 

August 6th: Jackson Lake...

On our way home from Yellowstone the week before, we passed a restaurant on the southern edge of Jackson Lake; not far from the dam.  We planned to return for a date night over the weekend.  But then...well, life happened, Banner got sick and the majority of our sightseeing came to a screeching halt.  Still, we couldn't get the place out of our head, so on our second to last (full) day in Wyoming, we headed back up there for lunch with our favorite little pint sized dude.  

The restaurant was - hands down - one of our favorite.  Lots of local, organic produce on the menu.  Everything we ordered tasted light and fresh.  And, of course, the view from the patio was amazing:


After lunch, we headed down to the water to watch the boaters and kayakers do their thing.  Unlike the northern edge of the lake, this section had a rocky shoreline.  Banner immediately got work trying to throw all of them back in the water.  Because putting all the rocks back in the lake is very important when you are 19 months.  As is waving at all the boats passing by, attacking daddy and stealing mommy's iPhone out of her purse when she isn't paying attention.  

But I digress.  Here are some of my pictures from our last day trip into the Grand Teton National Park:

Buh-bye, boat.  Buh-bye.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Concert on the Commons...

The thing about ear infections in toddlers, is that they hurt more when the little tykes lie down.  I don't pretend to understand anything vaguely medical, but I think it has something to do with the Eustachian tubes being unable to drain while the baby is horizontal.   This makes things like napping and sleeping through the night very difficult because, ouch!
In an effort to help Banner get some rest, we loaded him in the car seat on Sunday afternoon (August 4th), and decided to check out the short cut between Teton Village and the cabin.  The thought process behind the sudden need for a road trip with a sick toddler was simple:  the car seat keeps Banner quasi-vertical.  In theory, that should allow his ears to drain with less pain while - at the same time - letting him get some much needed shut eye.  Of course, all this hinges on the baby actually falling asleep (and, yes, we were getting a little desperate at this point).  But, fortunately, it worked like a charm.  Banner was out like a light in the backseat.

The short cut through the valley really didn't cut down much on the mileage (I think the easiest way to Teton Village from the airport is simply by driving through Jackson), but it was a beautiful, quiet ride all the same.

Honestly, there was nothing we planned to see or do once we arrived in Teton Village.  It was just a destination with sushi potential for an edamame and ginger-loving toddler on a pain-induced hunger strike.  So imagine our surprise when we arrived, and discovered full parking lots and large crowds.  Turns out, they offer free concerts on the lawn every Sunday evening during the summer.  People bring coolers of food and drinks, and picnic while listening to live music.  Talk about showing up in the right place at the right time!  It was fabulous!
The headliners that evening were Ben Taylor and Holy Ghost Tent Revival.  Of course, we were woefully unprepared food-wise (with a sick kiddo to boot), so we only made it about halfway through the first artist (who, turns out, is the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon) before leaving to find something to eat for Banner.  But what we did hear of the concert was awesome.  There is just something wonderful about listening to live music in the mountains. 

Banner was absolutely captivated by the entire experience.  He hardly cried once (which, considering how much he hurt, was really saying something).  He loved the music, and even danced a little.  He also NEVER missed an opportunity to clap after each song.  I have a feeling this will not be his last concert.

Unfortunately, EVERY restaurant in Teton Village closes during the Sunday night concerts; including the sushi bar we were so excited about.  So we drove back to the cabin hungry, but thrilled about stumbling on to something so fabulous purely by happenstance. 

If only we could have stayed for a second Sunday!

Just an observation...

Daddy is a fabulous playmate...
...but something tells me Banner missed hanging with people his own size:

Thursday, August 29, 2013


One of the most beautiful sunsets during our stay in Wyoming happened on Saturday, August 3rd.  Banner was sick, so we turned in early.  I took a bath while watching the sun go down behind the Tetons (that tub seriously had the best view in the entire cabin), and listening to music from the wedding reception taking place at the golf course clubhouse just down the road. 
The wedding playlist included some of my all time favorite songs.  The bride and groom even had their first dance to the same Alison Krauss cover ballad that Trevor and I did at our reception (nearly) four years ago. 
(Not that Trevor could pick the song out of a lineup if his life depended on it.  We totally should have danced to Journey.  And I use the word "dance" loosely.)
After my bath, I alternated between watching a Face Off marathon with Trevor and sipping wine on the covered part of the deck just off the master bedroom.  Despite having a very sick baby in the house, it was one of the most relaxing evenings spent at the cabin.
Well, until the little guy woke up screaming a little while later. know.  It was nice while it lasted.