Yellowstone and the Tetons

Family Vacation | Yellowstone | Jackson Hole | Wyoming | Montana 

I met my friend Beth when we were 8 years old. We were inseparable…until we left our small, little elementary school and went to high school. We still kept in touch, but Beth moved her senior year of high school all the way to Florida (like southern Tampa area!). Even though she lived far away, we were still there for each other. She married Bryan and Bob and I had the pleasure of capturing her wedding on a cruise ship to the Bahamas. When my dad passed away last year, she and her dad got on a plane right away. I didn’t have to ask…they just knew. Since then, we have gotten even closer.

 She is a math teacher and has the summer off, so she decided she was going to do a road trip with her kiddos around the United States (with Bryan joining in for a few weeks. He is a firefighter so it’s harder for him to have the whole summer off, lol!) the idea popped in my mind right away! We were going to meet them in or near Jackson Hole, Wy and spend the week exploring Teton National Park and Yellowstone. Bob knows the area so well, he was like our personal guide, lol! Since Bob is the planner and so is Beth, they worked out the details. She picked up Bryan from an airport on the way we were at the first log cabin in Driggs, Idaho within an hour of each other! (We would have been there at the same time, but our plane was slightly delayed). Driggs sits right outside of the Teton Pass to Jackson Hole (my favorite place on Earth!).  Beth has a boy and girl as well (Macy and Brody) so it worked out great! 

I surprised Beth with a Nikon D5600 DSLR camera with 3 lenses and her husband and dad surprised her with a beautiful teal strap! She has done so much for me and she has a passion for photography as well so we ensured she had the tools she needed to document an amazingly unforgettable trip and I showed her how to shoot it in manual mode (big leagues lol!) We spent the first 2 days checking out Jackson and we planned a family photo session for both families since we knew the scenery would be AMAZING! We were lucky that we did this early (like the second day we were there) because it was colder and snowed several of the days during our trip!  During this time in Jackson we also road the tram to the top and got to see the sights from 10K+ feet up! It’s breathtaking. And since we were there, we ate waffles at the waffle house at the top 😉 

On Monday morning, Beth and I decided to go with Bob to see the sunrise at Schwabacher Landing. Bob and Bryan got up super early the day before and captured amazing pics, so we decided to get our butts up early and go see the sights. While out, I dropped my Nikon D850 and it shattered. My heart literally shattered with it. There was a big gasp, a hope that I only broke the filter on the lens, but I quickly realized it was so much more than that. So Bob and I searched for a legit camera store anywhere near there. The camera store in town doesn’t carry Nikon (how is this even possible???) So I found a camera store in Idaho Falls, Idaho (Perfect Light Camera Store). It looked like from their pictures that they carried Nikon, so Bob and I left immediately and drove an hour to get to their store when they opened. I had prepared myself for the fact that they likely wouldn’t have my camera on the shelf (it was on backorder for months and it sells out so quickly still!).  I had plan B, C, D in case. When we walked in 5 minutes after they opened, there it was on the shelf! A new in the box Nikon D850! I couldn’t believe it! My lens was also stuck on the camera so I purchased a new/used 50mm 1.4 Nikkor lens (thinking I can easily sell it when they get my lens off my camera at Nikon).  So we shipped the broken camera back to Nikon in NYC. Still waiting for the results of the damage assessment. Anyway…… 

We spent Tuesday through Friday in Yellowstone.  I learned a lot about Bryan during this adventure. I didn’t know he had really never seen snow! It seems so crazy to me but he has been a Florida guy his whole life! He is a hunter, so we hunted all week…with our cameras (which is how I hunt lol!).  We saw so many different animals: bears, bald eagles, bison, elk, chipmunk, tourists (okay this one isn’t really a different animal perse but they did do some strange things that were not so safe while we were exploring!).  I will say that we spent a lot of time jumping out of the 15 passenger van that Bob rented when we would see an animal to grab a picture. Don’t worry, we did it at a safe distance and used long lenses.  

We had a lot of laughs, some deep conversation and really enjoyed every minute we spent with the Ricks’ family. We decided to try and make this a “thing” every year. We think next year we are going to meet near the Outer Banks in the Carolina’s. 

Macy and Maddie “Mermaid to be Friends”!

The look on their faces after they do the trampoline jump! So fun!

IN 2016, when I visited for the first time, I completely fell in love and became obsessed. 

Moulton Barn- the most photographed barn in the Country!

Twins and Best Friends!

Ever since I saw a bear in the wild while hiking in Glacier National Park, I have become pretty obsessed. 

Given my job, I am always drawn to “Fire Hole Falls”

Did I mention that Bryan is from Florida and snow isn’t really something he gets to see??

“For the benefit and enjoyment of the people”

Checking the focus on my new camera

My whole world in my arms. I am a better person because of them. 

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