Long time no see!
This summer has been crazy and brutal and wonderful all at the same time.
I started out the summer with some annoying health issues. The kind you have when your body is telling you it simply cannot maintain the kind pace you’ve been running at.
The result was a pretty miserable 6 weeks right at the beginning of summer. My doctor called it Adrenal Fatigue. For me what it boils down to is low blood pressure (hypotensive–really tired and blacking out almost every time I stand up), low iron (again, makes me really tired and my hair is falling out at an alarming rate), some digestive issues, and frequent hypoglycemia. Let me tell you, I felt pretty dumpy. I’m not really a fan of misery so I’ve been working hard to get my body back in sync. I still have the occasional bad day, but they are becoming fewer and farther between.
My exhaustion didn’t stop us from having a pretty epic summer vacation though…
Yellowstone National Park Family Reunion
Despite feeling like something the cat dragged in, our family managed to have a ton of fun this summer. We got almost all my siblings and our kids together (30 people!) at a cabin in Island Park, Idaho, just outside of Yellowstone National Park. The vacation was pretty awesome.
Mother Moose and her calf drinking at the river in Island Park, Idaho
We saw some of the beautiful sights of Yellowstone. I loved seeing all the pools and hot springs. I love the Grand Prismatic Spring. It was gorgeous! I’ve never seen anything like it before. Even the steam coming up from the springs was different colors…
Make sure you hang onto your hats though. It gets REALLY windy out there!
Here is an interesting tidbit about the hot springs at Yellowstone National Park. Do you know what makes the water orange? The orange and yellow you see in the water is actually bacteria that thrives in the hot water the hot springs produce. You can learn more about the colors of the Grand Prismatic Spring here. (It makes an excellent science lesson!) In areas where the water is low, the orange spots look like giant sponges or really thick algae.
While I loved the Midway Geyser Basin with Grand Prismatic Springs, much to my amusement, my 6 year old was most particularly impressed by Old Faithful…
But my absolute favorite outing at Yellowstone was our hike to Mystic Falls. It is a very pleasant 3 mile round trip hike. We took off from Biscuit Basin and hiked along the stream below. Once you get to the falls, you can hike around the waterfall and even navigate the shallow areas of the stream below the falls.
My husband and son are standing center with my brother and nephews.
One word of caution: there are some hot springs in the stream and that feed into the stream. Some of these hot springs blend into the stream really well. At one point I stepped into a little hot spring that was right on the edge of the stream. It looked like it was just a part of the stream. OUCH! Luckily, I realized I had stepped in the wrong spot and got my foot out before I had put any more than just my toes in.
Beaver Mountain Lodge Family Reunion
Just a couple days after we got back from Yellowstone we headed off to my brother-in-law’s “lodge” (was built as a luxury home, so it feels kind of weird calling it a lodge) with my kids and all my husband’s family–but not my husband who was working (boo!!)–for a family reunion for his side of the family. The kids had a blast swimming in the pool, playing in the game room, and sleeping in the 18 bed bunkroom. If you’re looking for a cabin for a BIG family reunion, let me tell ya, the Beaver Mountain Lodge is THE place. It has 13 bedrooms and sleeps 60 people! Wowza!
The cousins all had a blast sleeping in the triple bunks!
Beaver Mountain Lodge is seriously so amazing! One of the highlights for our littlest guy (Little Z) was the horseback ride. On the last evening all the kids got to go on a 1 mile horseback ride around the property. Little Z, 3 years old, thought it was pretty awesome!
Provo River Rafting
Back in Utah County, we also had the chance to take the kids rafting down the Provo River a couple times. We rented a couple of big rafts from High Country Adventure. The river is a nice gentle float with just a couple of very small rapids. It is a perfect summer family outing!
While this certainly doesn’t even nearly cover everything we did this summer, I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into a few of our most noteworthy adventures. We had so much fun…perhaps a little too much fun. All I wanted by the end of summer vacation was a nap. LOL!
One thing I didn’t mention was how many hours (oh, my goodness, so. so. so many hours!) I spent in the kitchen learning about canning and all the other things you can do with fruit when you have 8 different fruit trees in your back yard. This was our first season with fruit trees! I hope to update you with some recipes soon!