travel // Yellowstone National Park – West

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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.”

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So many geysers. Like, no joke.

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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.

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Oh, and then we found the snow…and the continental divide.

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Next…we found the Grand Tetons, Idaho, and Utah in the same day…

travel // Glacier National Park

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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…

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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.

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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).

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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).

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…next up, Yellowstone National Park!

links // arts, andrews, and adventures

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This weekend I’m going to be getting my culture on with the ballet tonight at the Kennedy Center, an 8-year-olds ballet recital tomorrow, and then a musical in the ‘burbs tomorrow night. I’ve been thinking about the fun artsy world as of late; it’s one I’ve been doing a lot of viewing of but not a lot of participating. So now I’m thinking through what projects to focus on, a creative outlet shall we say. Thoughts, I can go back to my pointe class before my 11-year-old cousin gets her first pair of pointe shoes (we can bound over the pain). Photo essays of people doing everyday, normal, amazing things. Dancing around the kitchen, living room, backyard, etc. Maybe I should just start making pretty watercolor paintings, or maybe I should stick with what I’m marginally good at. Pretty much, if you don’t how much I love me the arts, now you know. *micdrop*

All Things Hamilton (or all of Broadway).

The Hamilton ensemble is all sorts of hotness and amazingness. That’s all. Also, the whole cast (in addition to the bowling team) plays softball. Because, that happens. And on things that happened, a #tbt to that time Lin-Manual rapped about Helen Mirren (Oh, and also Kelli O’Hara singing, just because). In case you missed it, Hamilton is a big deal and now it’s on cover of Rolling Stone and now even NBCSports is posting articles about the show.

links // cartoons, classical ballet, classic literature

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I am one of those weird people who both needs to be the planner and organizer of trips, but also has severe anxiety about doing things, like booking hotels. So what happens is I have whole itineraries of places to go, things to see, all the foods we must eat, and no hotel. Mind you, I have a list of the top 10 hotels in a variety of price-ranges, but I can’t commit to one. This becomes obvious when, say next week, we are going to NYC for the weekend and we have theater tickets, I’ve mentally worked up a eating & drinking walking tour of Brooklyn, and I just booked my bus ticket yesterday. I hope to have our hotel picked before the bus pulls into the city. Or it could be apparent in my Memorial Day trip to Montana/Wyoming/Utah (though this one I’m super on top of the game). I mean, we have a rental car and 3 out of 4 hotels booked…we just might have to camp in Glacier National Park (which saw 10 inches of snow last week). But don’t worry, I know where you can get a GF breakfast in Polson, fill a growler with craft beer in Missoula, buy boozy cider in Bozeman, and stop for scenic photos in Paradise Valley. Just can’t decide between a cabin or an inn in West Glacier (I think we’re going Inn — no chance of getting stuck by the dumpster).

  • Mother’s Day may have passed, but sweet advertisements about adoptive moms live on.
  • Illustrated Women in History. (I’m only disappointed that I didn’t come up with this idea. It could be because drawing isn’t really my forte).
  • 10 surefire ways to be a Christian a-hole. (Step #1, take offense at the title someone else wrote — that I love).
  • Being super impressed and inspired by photographer Kate Parker’s “Strong is the New Pretty” photo series. If we had more of that and less of the photoshop, maybe we’d have less anxiety and eating disorders in the world.
  • Decided that despite this man’s opinion, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings didn’t lead me down a path to brain damage and the devil. I cannot not however say that for The Mill on the Floss or Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
  • Wondering why my sibling doesn’t love me enough to set me up with Prince Harry. Step it up, Josh, there are options.
  • Loving the custom cases of the ladies of the NYCB, and prepping to see them next weekend!
  • Getting prematurely excited for Finding Dory (work did not pay me to say that) and it’s hilarious tagline: “The unforgettable journey she probably won’t remember.”

All Things Hamilton (or all of Broadway).

Hair twin was on Charlie Rose and Jimmy Fallon — cause those are pretty much the same things. Leslie Odom, Jr. (or as I refer to him, The Man Who Stared Deeply Into my Eyes for 30 Seconds While He Sang) has a whole piece dedicated to his awesomeness in the New York Times. Lin and Chance the Rapper — too cool for me. #EduHam was on GMA. Arts and Kids…my heart melts.

travel // new york state of mind

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!

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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.

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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!

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