Road Tripping: Ft. Collins CO to Jackson WY

We’ve been trying to be semi healthy on the trip and packed a cooler as well as a couple of bags of food so we wouldn’t be eating junk or eating out constantly.  On the way to Jackson, we stopped at a roadside picnic area for a little lunch and I had to tell all my Texas friends that I put on a sweater! Arrived at my brother Joe and sister in law Denise’s place in Jackson around 5 PM, then went out with them for a great dinner at their restaurant Noodle Kitchen. My niece Brooke and her boyfriend Nate joined us, and my niece from NJ, Abby, who is working in Jackson this summer.  So much fun to catch up with everyone!  My niece Nicole and her baby Reagan were not able to make it but Nicole’s husband Tyler stopped by to say hi.  We always have a good time hearing Joe’s stories and finding out the latest from everyone.  Tyler is accomplished at Brazilian Jui-Jitsu and Joe recently started learning at age 61. Despite a brace on his knee, Joe was about to go to Vegas with Tyler to compete in his first tournament. There were no guys in his age bracket so he was competing against 40-somethings. We were all holding our collective breath that he didn’t kill himself.  haha  (PS a week later: he took bronze in his category and is still standing).

The next day we went to lunch with Abby at Merry Piglets, the first of Joe and Denise’s restaurants.  I can still remember them talking about getting up in the middle of the night starting the beans for the day. They have come a long way since then, with lots of hard work.

We were planning to go on to Butte MT on our way to Couer d’ Alene ID but Joe convinced us we should sidetrack to Bozeman MT instead. It’s not too far out of the way and his middle daughter Ellie and her husband Blane are there, with three restaurants of their own. Plus Joe and Denise have a condo there that we could use for the night. It didn’t take much to convince us so we rearranged our plans to include a night in Bozeman.

Last Day in Jackson

We decided to get up and go to a late breakfast at Dornan’s but we were slowpokes and by the time we got there, they were closing up.  Sarah & Elle and Bonnie, Dave &  kids wanted to go on another hike so they grabbed some deli food while we took Aidan and Ally and went back into town, ate some lunch and wandered around for awhile.  Got the kids each a T-shirt and came back to the house.  The others were gone most of the day but Mom, Kathi, Ryan and Abby came out to visit, joined by my cousin Mary and her husband John.  The  kids love Abby, who’s 20 and gives them lots of attention.  She played Mexican  Train with them and kept them entertained all afternoon.  Mom and Ryan left to attend a bbq at Denise’s cousin’s, then we all met back up later for dinner at Q Roadhouse, which has a huge field outside where the kids could run and play to their hearts’ content.  It was a fun night and we enjoyed visiting with everyone while sitting on the deck.

Afterwards, everyone went back to the house while Rich and I ran to the store to pick up some ice cream and brownies.  I am lucky to be married to a chef and also lucky that my cousin Mary is a pastry chef in Chicago!  She made some delicious caramel sauce and chocolate sauce for our desserts.  Yum.


Soon it was time to say our goodbyes, pack up and get ready to leave in the morning. Bonnie and David planned to leave at 4 AM, Sarah and Elle had to get to the airport around 5:30 AM, so they were all up and gone by the time the rest of us rolled out of bed.  Goodbye, Jackson!  It was a great trip!

Ellie and Blane’s Wedding

The main reason for coming to Jackson was for my niece Ellie’s wedding.  Ally, Elle and Emery were thrilled to be asked to be flower girls.  They are so funny and thought that they would get to be on stage, singing songs to Ellie and Blane.  This is the same idea they had at my niece Nicole’s wedding two years ago so they certainly didn’t let it go when it never happened the first time.

David and Bonnie took a bunch of beautiful wedding photos which I don’t have access to yet, but I will post some when I get them.  For now, these snapshots will have to do!

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It was a beautiful wedding and lots of fun for all. Glad we got to be a part of this special day!

Fun at the house

We had a great house about 15 minutes from town.  The kids had a bunk room where four of them slept and they all played.  They also loved the hot tub and playing some big games of Mexican Train.  Aidan is the best big cousin and all of the little kids adore him.  He was so cute with the youngest ones, holding Ada and letting Luke fall asleep on his lap. What a great kid.  The three bigger girls are mostly the best of friends and play very well together, until they don’t.  We had a few squabbles but nothing big.  🙂  I think it’s hard with three–someone ends up being the odd person out periodically. But all in all they have lots of fun together and are always so happy to see each other.

I took a little walk around our neighborhood and these Wyoming lupines certainly made me think of Alaska!

We arrive in Jackson Hole

My niece Ellie was getting married on June 25; our granddaughters Ally, Elle and Emery were set to be flower girls (and oh, so excited about it) and we would reunite with several family members while there.  My daughter Bonnie, her husband David, and their three kids were road tripping from Amarillo; David is a high school teacher but also a very talented photographer and he and Bonnie were going to be taking Ellie and Blane’s wedding photos.  My daughter Sarah and her daughter Elle were flying in the same day we would arrive by car.  My mom and my niece Abby were coming in from NJ, my sister and one of my nephews from San Antonio, my aunt from NJ and my cousin from MD, my cousin from Chicago, and my sister in law’s family as well as family friends we’d met over the years.

We were arriving on Thursday and thought the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner were on Friday but we soon realized both were happening Thursday night. Luckily we made it to town before 3 PM and checked into the house we were sharing with Sarah, Bonnie and Dave and all the kids.  We had to rush to get ready and headed over to my brother Joe and sister in law Denise’s  house for the rehearsal, then to one of their restaurants for dinner with all of the wedding party, family and friends.  It was great to see everyone and to catch up on all of the happenings.

Rehearsal dinner clockwise from top L: Mom, my brother Joe, Aunt Mary; my sister Kathi and cousin Robert;  Aidan and my niece Abby;  Bonnie and me; Sarah and Bonnie; flower girls Elle, Emery and Ally; grandkids Ada and Luke.

Since we had the rehearsal dinner on Thursday, Friday was a free day.  Sarah, Bonnie and David took some of the kids on a hike in the morning and then the rest of us met up with them for lunch at one of my brother and sister in law’s restaurants, Liberty Burger. The kids had fun sitting on the deck overlooking the street.

Ada                                                             Elle, Emery, Ally, Luke, Sarah, Bonnie

We then took the kids to the alpine slide and new “cowboy coaster.”  Everything was pricy so we told them they could take one ride on the coaster (cheap grandparents!)  They loved it and probably would have gone again and again.

The younger kids had to have a driver. Aidan was the only one who could go by himself.  🙂

To placate them for not letting them ride the rides all day, we went down the hill and ran around the playground for a little longer.

Then we met up with family for dinner.  We tried two places that were both closed for private parties, then drove to Teton Village where another one was closed, and finally found a place where we could eat.  It was a little chilly sitting outside, though!