I’m mother to teenagers…

Tonight, I am being the mother to a couple teenage girls. Jen (the Nanny) and her friend from Boise, Krystal. They left right after lunch to play in Lava Hot Springs for the afternoon. The plan was to come home for dinner. I held up dinner until 7, giving them time to get home. No show. At 8, I get a text, “On our way home!” So, obviously, the lecture about letting me know when I am not going to be having them for dinner ensued.

After all that, we get to the heart of things. They haven’t eaten dinner. They are starving. And, they are goofy, silly teenage girls that are hungry. They will eat anything. “Ok, I can handle this!”

I give them some Madeline’s I made earlier today and make them German Pancakes. Quick, easy, not unhealthy and, because they are quick and easy, I can get them fed rather fast. I pop them into the oven at 1035.

While waiting for the German Pancakes, I light a fire and toss on a couple packets I found at a gas station while we were traveling the last 2 days. It’s supposed to make the fire glow and shine in pretty colors. We all sit in the dark and watch. After a few minutes, it starts…

They are all watching (in the dark, I used a flash) and waiting for the pretty colors…

The picture doesn’t do it justice. The colors were beautiful and great fun to watch. And, after a little bit, the girls were fed (and my boys, who were still up because mommy let them sleep all afternoon).

Why did I let them sleep all afternoon? Well, the last two days were pretty hectic. We turned in the Rendy for service (again!) on Wednesday morning. This time, the mechanic is going to see what he can do about the constant overheating. According to them, it is not a cracked block – so we’re a little leery about what it might be.

I was sad over that so decided we were going to pack the Toyota and hit the road. We left and headed back towards Yellowstone. Yes, Yellowstone. Again. We have a lot of fun camping and we love to see what animals we can run into. We have done the West Entrance (closest to our house), we have done the South Entrance. It was time to see the East Entrance. It is a veritable gold mine of animals. We had a great time and it took hours to go through, even though it is only about an hour and a half, two hour drive. If you’re from out of town and want to see Yellowstone, make sure you head towards the East Entrance. It is well worth the trip. Obviously, the road from West to South is nice because it has Old Faithful and the Fountain Paint Pots. Remember earlier, when I said the Paint Pots were better than Old Faithful? Keep that in mind.

In our hallway, we now have a map of Yellowstone hanging, showing where we’ve been and what we’ve got left to see:

The dark black line is where we’ve been.

And now, for the new animals we saw, this time…

Black bear.

The boys watching the bear from the safety of the Toyota.

Um. Not sure. Cute little guy.

The boys watching the little guy we found.

Thousands of bison. It was fun watching the cop move them off the road. He didn’t bump them with his car, he got close to them and, by the sound, he was clicking his mic on and and off. This noise or the lights flashing, hurried the bison off the road. It was great fun watching the bison move across the open plains. I have quite a few pictures of these, but I won’t bore you with them.

Chipmunk?

The racks on these babies belong on a wall, in proud honor. They were so close and so trusting – would have been so easy to get them.

So, we went through the East Entrance and straight to a KOA. We couldn’t camp in any of the campgrounds because tents are not allowed. Too many bears. I am terribly disappointed in this new modern KOA. Even this one was crap as well. We slept and got up and left. They offer a “free” pancake breakfast but all toppings cost. Like, syrup for your pancake is a dollar! We didn’t eat, we didn’t cook, nothing. It was disappointing.

Off to the Cody Museum. Outside the entrance was a real-life backwoods cook. His entire job in life is to go out with hunters, hikers and the like and cook for them. He was giving a demonstration in front of the Wild Bill Cody Museum in Cody, Wyoming.

It was actually pretty neat to see.

And we go into the museum. It was a lot of cool stuff mixed with a lot of lectures about, “No touching!” We at lunch there, looked around a bit and then left. We were there about 3 hours and didn’t get to see everything.

This is the guy that convinced us, as we were leaving, that we needed to take the horse ride. Part of my Veteran’s disability is my back from my very first (and very last) horseback ride. At first, I was like, “Um. No.” I got talked into it. While Jen and I were doing that, the boys learned how to rope and got to ride a pony.

I took a class at ISU in horseback riding. I was getting “ok” with horses and climbed on one. The teacher said it would be ok. I got on and was walking my horse and she smacked it’s butt to make it go faster. I hopped off and dropped the class. So, this was a huge step for me. I love horses, always have. When they are the reason your back is messed up for the rest of your life (I’ve been told I’ll be in a wheelchair by 55), it’s hard to find a reason to get on one. I stay away from them!

I got on the horse. I took an hours’ ride with it. I did good. He galloped a time or two while going up a hill and I didn’t panic. It was good. I may go again. I’m researching the idea. I do so love horses. And, the boys seem to like them as well. I’ll need to get good enough to take them out when we can.

Caiden didn’t get to ride this one, only sit on him. Remember his stuffed horse Douglas? This horse was the spitting image of it. They call it “Sherpa,” though. He was in heaven when they let him sit on it long enough for a picture. What he actually rode is the one I have a picture of Brendan sitting on.

They had a blast. Brendan almost seemed a natural at the roping. I got to see him do a little bit of it and he was awesome.

So, we left Cody and took off back through the East Entrance. Our goal? Get to the West Entrance and camp out Thursday night before coming home this morning. Unfortunately, we got to our favorite campground (Baker’s Hole) and it was full. I was so very sad. We got home about midnight and the boys were up at 8, this morning. That’s why they were tired and I let them sleep very late today.

It was a great time but we spent way too much money. When I can camp, we save a lot and can bring home trinkets from our travels. This time, we could only buy food to eat and that’s about all we could afford. I am disappointed. I’m thinking of driving up to Baker’s Hole tomorrow and reserving a spot for Tuesday night through Friday morning so we can meet ex #1 (daddy) on his way home from work and check out the North Entrance of Yellowstone. That way, we have a place to land and eat!

This afternoon, for lunch, I had a friend over. Elaine has been a friend for nearly 3 years and a great supporter of me. I appreciate her very much and it’s great when she comes to visit. I love when she wears the white pants. It’s impressive that she can stay so white all day! We had a great talk and I’m feeling good about the future. She brought me some beautiful flowers, as well. The ones I got before finally died off, so it’s great to have fresh ones on my table.

I’ve got to get the giggly girls off to bed so they’ll get some sleep. Not going to happen, but I can try. Not to mention, I’m tired as well.

Thank you for listening,

Naia.

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Categories: Family, Lunch, Socializing, Trips | Leave a comment

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