The Getaway that Started All Wrong

I haven’t left Idaho since August. My husband hasn’t left since June. We have become a reclusive version of ourselves since our baby was born almost a year ago. Spring fever grabbed hold of me last weekend and I had to get out of town for at least a day. I went online, booked a hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and then planned out this fantastic getaway in my mind. It was going to be all warm weather and chirping birds. My children would sit quietly in the back seat while my husband chatted with me on the drive over. We’d get there just in time to go swimming in the hotel pool for a while then get a nice dinner, making it back to the hotel for the kids bedtime. They’d peacefully fall asleep while my husband and I watched a show together on the ipad. The next morning they’d sleep in and we’d casually make our way down to the continental breakfast. The rest of the day would be spent in splendor.

Unfortunately that is not how it turned out.

This is how it played out. My husband was able to get off work a little early and we started out. So far so good. My hopes were still high.

It rained most of the way which didn’t really concern me. What’s a little rain. Now you have to understand there are two ways to get to Jackson Hole from our house. One is through the mountain pass which is shorter but you wind around the mountain and it’s steep. The other goes around the mountains and is longer and isn’t as pretty but you don’t have the pass to contend with. Normally we go over the pass. We came to Swan Valley where you have to decide which path to take. I, being the brilliant wife and mother decided to take the mountain pass. I should mention here that my husband questioned my logic. It’s raining here in the valley shouldn’t it be snowing on the pass? No, we’ll be fine. Unfortunately he listened to me.

The further we went the more snow we encountered. Still really not concerning.

The roads were not that bad. Clear and not icy.

It wasn’t until we came about half way up the pass that I was super concerned. I should have mentioned earlier that I chose to take our car. A small hatch back that sits low to the ground. In this picture we were scrapping the snow. The road became icy and at an incline we were not going to make it. My husband gave it a good try by swerving the car from side to side to gain some traction but it was useless. We had to turn around. We were probably 20 minutes from Jackson at that point. Now we had to back track and go around the mountain.

It was pretty going around the mountain. It follows Palisades reservoir which still had ice on it. The whole time since we turned around my oldest daughter was complaining that she wanted to go swimming tonight.  We couldn’t get her to understand that we still were going to go swimming it was just going to take an extra two hours to get to the hotel. The baby was still crying in the back seat. My dreams for a wonderful weekend were starting to fall.

My middle daughter than started to complain about her stomach hurting. We asked repeatedly if she was going to throw up and being only three she couldn’t really say yes or no. I got a bag ready and pointed the air at her. I have motion sickness so I was afraid it was starting to manifest itself in her. It’s the one thing I pray I don’t pass down to any of my children. Then, after drinking a lot of chocolate milk, she couldn’t hold it back any longer. I won’t go into details, lets just say it reminded me of a horror movie gone wrong.

We had to pull over and deal with that mess. I was feeling a little motion sickness too so I had to pass the cleaning onto my husband. Bless him. Really, bless him! I know I wouldn’t have been able to hold it back. As it was I was trying to make myself go to a happy place. I’m laying on the beach with the ocean lapping across my toes. That’s not the smell of throw up but the smell of the ocean brine. Oh happy place, sometimes it’s the only way I make it through raising children. Just think of a happy place.

When we were all back in the car and ready to go we looked up to see moving snow. Oh wait, it’s not moving snow but mountain goats on the side of a very steep hill. The one good thing about stopping. My oldest clapped her hands and squealed with glee to see them.

Hours later we found ourselves 10 miles away from Jackson! Oh happy day! The baby was crying, the older girls were really ready to be out of the car. I was ready to be out of the car because every once in a while a puff of puke smell would hit me. You never knew when it was going to strike. It was like a stealthy ninja ready to take your nose hostage and turn your stomach. It was the longest 10 miles of my life.

Finally we made it, a few hours later than we wanted. Checked into the hotel and finally made our way down to the pool. Where I jumped in happy to wash the stench out of my nostrils. My daughters however were reluctant to get in. I had to grab the middle one and pull her in with me where she clung to me like a monkey. At this point I was thinking who decided that this would be a good idea? Then I remembered it was me. I had only myself to blame.

While we were swimming my husband went out and brought back Wendy’s. Did I mention I love that guy?

We ate dinner at 9:30 at night watching some ridiculously cheesy Disney show. The girls thought it was a lot of fun eating on beds while watching TV. By the time we got the girls to sleep they were three hours past their bed time. I was hoping they’d sleep in the next morning. As soon as they went to sleep I was right there with them.

The next morning they were up at the late hour of 7. Really?! You couldn’t sleep in? We got up bright and early went down to breakfast and then another dip in the pool. Where we all had a fun time. Here’s where we started to dig our vacation out of the ashes it had fallen into.

We grabbed some lunch at a really friendly dinner called the Virginian. Then we went to the square where the girls loved the elk horns.

It wasn’t exactly warm outside so we were happy, ok I was happy, to go inside the local shops. My oldest started whining about wanting to go home. Homesick already? Sigh. I need to get this kids out more often.

We stopped by the visitor center to see the elk preserve. There was hundreds of them that day! The girls thought that was great fun.

The visitor center really is neat. Video’s to watch, binoculars to see the elk. Some great exhibits for the kids to touch, feel, and listen to. Afterwards it was early afternoon, the kids were exhausted. We decided to call it a weekend and go home. After we stopped by the gas station and picked up an air freshener of course.

We decided not to take the pass home. Why tempt fate twice. The girls zonked out in the back seat on the ride home. We turned off the vegitales CD we listened to at least fifty times on the drive and put on some of our music. Rocked out and chatted. It may not have went the marvelous way I imagined it would have gone but it ended up being a nice getaway. I enjoyed spending quality time with my little family. I love introducing them to parts of the world I grew up enjoying.

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