Let’s go Yellowstone! Now we enter into part two of #3PsandAnn travel the west. A part that is a bit longer than Glacier, also, thanks to lots of walkways over ground that would crumble and drop you into a geyser, I managed not to injure myself here. Success.
As we drove from the north entrance in Gardener, MT to the south entrance into the Grand Tetons, every two seconds there was a shout to an animal sighting. It got to the point where the tallying began for every elk, bison, and eagle we saw…and all the bears we didn’t see…and then ended because we lost count after about 50+ bison. Also, Ericka was playing fast and loose with the animal math, ex. “I see an elk, and another! Let’s say there were four there.”
So many geysers. Like, no joke.
I had but one goal of Yellowstone and that was to see bison swarm around our rental car. Since that was my goal, I probably should have paid for the extra rental car insurance (which I didn’t do). It was hilarious to watch tourist reactions, and our own, to driving up on a herd of bison. Cars swerved into the shoulder to park, tourists with camera were so focused on their photos that they missed the bison walking up 10 ft behind them, and Josh videoed the moment when the bison walked in front of our rental car and I freaked out.
Oh, and then we found the snow…and the continental divide.
Next…we found the Grand Tetons, Idaho, and Utah in the same day…
Over Memorial Day weekend a good friend got married in beautiful Bozeman, Montana. I couldn’t quite imagine what a trip to Montana would be like, but let me just be the first to say it is hella beautiful. Every corner we turned and never-ending highway we drove down (read: 900 miles of them), it was one scenic postcard after another.
And when I announced I was going to MT, I got travel buddies in Ericka, Ann, and Josh…
We landed in Missoula on Friday afternoon and drove an easy one-hour drive to Polson, MT (it may have been a bit longer cause the city-folks were in awe of the scenery and kept stopping). Based on a few reviews, we started the next morning at Betty’s Diner (yes gluten-free huckleberry pancakes!). As we would discover on our drive into Glacier, huckleberries are a REALLY BIG DEAL. That and pictures of bears and moose.
We loved staying at the Inn at Apgar Village, it was a legitimate 1950’s motor lodge with the most incredible view where I may have referenced Planes: Fire and Rescue multiple times (it wouldn’t be the only time).
Because of the rains/avalanches, our drive up the Going-To-The-Sun-Road ended at the trailhead to Avalanche Lake (where some of us may have injured ourselves on a trail that children and pregnant women were doing — some of us, obviously, is just me).
…next up, Yellowstone National Park!
That time I went to NYC with #Club203 to see the ballet and a show and ended up having a lot of moments that involved the phrase “TURN, TURN, LOOK, LOOK, it’s [fill-in-the-blank].”
That time I almost physically collided with Megan Hilty in the ladies bathroom line.
otherwise know as, when I had to take a step back because I almost physically collided with her and looked up and am pretty sure everything on my face was like “OMG!!” as I let out a whispered/whimpered hi
Lady #1 (Directly in front of me)
Lady #2 (Directly in front of Lady #1)
Lady #1 (Looks at me a little shocked after I almost collided with Megan Hilty)
Me: “I KNOW!!”
Lady #1: What? You know what? Is she someone?
Lady #2: That was Megan Hilty!!
Lady #1: I’m I supposed to know who she is
Lady #2: SHE. IS. EVERYTHING. She is Broadway royalty. I mean…she…she…
(The “she is everything line” came out with the hilarious tone of awe and disgust as she publicly shamed a random stranger)
Lady #1: Should I know what she was in?
Me: Umm…Wicked, or the sadly short-lived NBC show Smash.
Lady #2 (whips around and looks at me): DID YOU LOVE IT TOO??
As I come out of the bathroom Erin, Ericka and Ann are just standing in the lobby (we were seeing The Robber Bridegroom — apparently so was Megan Hilty) with these looks on their faces and just repeated “DID YOU SEE??!! DID YOU SEE??!!” Clearly I have now told this story no less than 5-10 times, and the best response came from friend-Casey: “gahhhhhhh you have Broadway on you now…never shower again. I can’t believe this happened to you…and at the same time I can.”
In addition to the Megan Hilty moment, there were star sighting of dancers in the wild (aka New York City Ballet principals just strolling down the street), actually attending the NYCB, Erin inspired by the NYCB to working on her jumping, me coveting gold ceilings, swooning over Steven Pasquale in The Robber Bridegroom, crazy subway rides, doughnuts from DOUGH, brunch at Empellon, midnight Prosecco runs, so much walking (Penn Station to Times Square to Bryant Park — Penn to Greenwich to Meatpacking to Chelsea to Union Square), and a stroll through Central Park.
Despite being so close to NYC, my frolicking doesn’t take me there as much as my dancing/eating/Broadway loving heart would love. But, when I made it to “the City,” being able to run around (and walk over so many bridges) with Madeline was clearly my favorite past-time. So when she and her roommate both decided it was time to move on to smaller, better and more Southern places, it was time for one last hurrah. And hurrah we all did. Involving tacos, bridges, ice cream, Brooklyn, subways, fancy cocktails, skylines, and so many flights of stairs (the curse of the walk-up apartment). Here’s to the lovely ladies no longer of NYC!
Looking for great views of the Manhattan skyline, hit up The Ides at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It isn’t a new, hip place. It’s actually a pretty established hip place. You might have to wait in line to get to the elevator, but once you make it to the bar you are met with great drinks and even more amazing views. And, when you’re hanging out with Madeline, you guaranteed that you can shove your way through the happy hour crowd to take a selfie or two with the sunset on our backs.
After walking 13,000 steps from 3:00PM – 12:00AM, clearly the only thing to do the next day is to get up and walk some more. So many avenues. And they are so long. But back to the real point of this…breakfast at Buvette in the West Village. I ate all of the gluten, within reason, and it was so goooood. I had almost forgotten how amazing homemade bread is, but consider me reminded and jealous of all the gluten-grazers in the world. An after breakfast stroll, walking the many avenues, stopping to photograph the Hamilton marquee, a subway ride, and a stroll around the East Village searching for Dark & Stormy slushies later…it was time to think about dinner. Going away dinner at Empellon Taqueria and my margarita was served with a giant wedge of pineapple and a hint of spice and it was wonderful. A scoop of ice cream from Van Leeuwen, more walking, and so many avenues later, I felt confident we had made the most of our 17,000 steps for the day and our going-away 48 hours. Next time in New Orleans!
“So would it make you all uncomfortable if I read Fifty Shades of Grey out loud on this plane? Would you need to talk about your feelings.”
This is how Ann and I began our trip from Istanbul to Izmir, with the most hilarious group of male seatmates from CA ever. They would come back again before the day was done. Off the plane we went onto a bus to Selcuk (and our hotel) and then a shuttle with Lily the rug dealer. All to get to the best place ever.
Repeated comments of “is this for real?” came from my mouth. Ann managed a quick search to find non-obvious Biblical references to Ephesus and read aloud time began. There was an angry group of silversmiths that felt like their business of making silver idols was being threatened. So they caused a riot.
There is something amazing when you’re strolling down a stone street that was built who knows when and you enter the public market space that was constructed in 300BC. I mean, it was a city with a thriving population of 250,000 people … 2,000 years ago. INSANE, I tell you!
Now, it is just a place for tourists to be in awe. It is also a place that explains the general thought process of Turkish preservation and this was something I thought a lot about…as I climbed all over 2,000 year old artifacts. We took pictures on top of columns, climbed through the arena and theaters, and then made one of our favorite discoveries…apparently sometimes they just let the archaeology students construct structures from pieces of columns and marble that mean absolutely nothing. But it also is a place that employees 10 turkish men to reconstruct a mosaic floor and the marble walls of the old homes.
Oh, and my favorite trip outtake…someone finally used her self timer. Someone also got a few laughs when she was found leaping in a column graveyard (my description, not the guidebook) in an attempt to get a great self-timed photo.
Only one more Turkey post to go. Then I guess it’s time to plan the next vacay.