A Travellerspoint blog

June 2011

A Day In Yellowstone

Visiting Yellowstone's Old Faithful and Mammoth Falls

We did arrive in Yellowstone but not when we wanted, it was late in the evening and the park campgrounds were full. I should have guessed that the campgrounds would be full before leaving but I had no time to think about this trip so I was just hoping that our luck would hold out.

We looked for a campground in West Yellowstone but everything was full so ended up driving back west to something a little further out where we snagged the last site. Looked like lots of people were in the same situation.

It was Christabel’s turn to make dinner and she had chosen to make French toast and crumbled sausage. We’d found some fresh gluten free bread at Whole Foods so I was able to eat with everyone.

By the time we’d parked in our site we were all a little cross; it was 10pm and we were all tired and hungry. Bel and I started getting her ingredients out when Charlotte asked if she could help. Bel said yes so I ducked out of the way. Charlotte and Bel mad wonderful French toast together, consulting each other over various steps. This is really what makes our trips so great, the time together and the bonds that form.

We knew that we wouldn’t have lots of time in Yellowstone but thought that if we could leave by 5pm we’d get into the reunion in time. NOT!!! Why didn’t I think this thru? 1st of all when we get into National Parks Christabel loves to get her Junior Ranger designation and it was no different here. Getting this badge takes time so we spent several hours doing this and Charlotte joined her.

We did see Old Faithful erupt several times and sat on the veranda at the lodge people watching and geyser watching while girls finished badge projects. When they were finished and had taken the Junior Ranger Oath we got back to the RV for a picnic lunch. We wanted to do a walk but then couldn’t find the spot called Morning glory Pool. I looked at maps and decided that Mammoth Falls would be interesting and since it is at the north exit, the exit we needed to take it seemed like a good choice.

If you have never been to Mammoth Falls in Yellowstone it is a must do. There are actual falls, not large but the colors from the water make for the most amazingly beautiful scenes ever. There was a short loop we decided to take but when on the trail found that the path had been destroyed by the springs. There are several other paths but they can take up to 2 hours to walk so we just shot our photos and left the paths for another visit.

Elias made our dinner on the road of potato soup with Rosemary, his creation. I’d never had potato soup with rosemary sprigs in it and it was surprisingly good!

Posted by Miss Chris 11:06 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes people children food road_trip tourist geysers yellowstone old_faithful family_travel grandkids yellowstone_national_park mammoth_falls Comments (0)

They're Off, On the 7th Annual Grandkids Trip

Leaving finally on our grandkids trip

2011-06-25..-21_170.jpg2011-06-25..-52_281.jpgOur plan was to leave early arriving in Yellowstone late at night, alas that was not to be. Since I was not in bed until 5 a.m. I just couldn’t wake up until 7:30a.m. Dale had put in to have off Friday night but he did not get it off so had to work until 7:30a.m. Then we still had lots of packing and readying the RV to do so we did not get off until noon. By then we were all hungry for lunch and we were not going to be in Las Vegas for that meal.

After a quick lunch we were on our way for the “7th Annual Grandkids Trip”

Las Vegas was hot; just heat hot, over 100F. We had dinner at a buffet and were on our way again. We went to a cheap buffet and decided that it wasn’t worth the money at all, so next time we will stick to the Luxor or Excalibur. They are more money especially with the grandkids but so be it.

After a night at a rest stop we have driven nearly all day today except for a stop at Whole Foods in Salt Lake City. We never got our big grocery shopping done so we did it now. We had made up a master grocery list and I divided it up between us except for Christabel. Elias asked why Bel got out of work and I asked him if he wanted her to pick out the veges to which he realized why Bel was only going to help me.

We did make several stops also for a RV vent which broke. Dale duct taped it down twice and finally, when it came loose again he figured out how to wire the whole thing down. Thank goodness he is handy and creative, much like my own dad was.

Hopefully we will be in Yellowstone before dark tonight and will spend the day there tomorrow.

Posted by Miss Chris 09:16 Archived in USA Tagged waterfalls people children road_trip travel packing family_travel grandkids Comments (0)

Last Minute Chaos

Trying to leave Chaos.

It seems like so many trips have mini disasters just as we are trying to leave: kids have emergency issues; appliances break down like the fridge and freezer last year. And so this year is no different.

I had a ton of stuff to do before we could leave; needless to say it included about 8 loads of laundry and getting our RV home.

I started a load of clothes 1st thing in the morning and then at 8 called the RV repair shop. The guy who answered the phone said he would call right back. I went to check the clothes only to find that the washer had stopped washing and was doing nothing. I started the machine but when I went back later I found that it had stopped again and clothes were soaking wet. 3 hours late I finally got the load finished and was about to tear my hair out having to run back to the machine to put the start button again.

By noon the repair shop called to say that the RV was finished.

We finally got the RV home and then got the grandkids home. It was too late to do any grocery shopping but still light enough to unload the RV of all of the stuff stored in it.

In the meantime I did more laundry but on the easy care setting which seemed to work fine. The about 7pm I put a small load of clothes in with only 2 more loads to go. Wouldn’t you know but the load wouldn’t finish washing and finally after working with it for 4 hours the load was kind of done. Washer is out of commission until we get home.

Finally at 5a.m. I finished cleaning, part of the packing in the RV and general clean up I went to bed.

Posted by Miss Chris 22:32 Archived in USA Tagged travel packing grandkids Comments (0)

The Annual Grandkids Trip

Preparing for the Annual Grandkids trip

So having been home for a few weeks it is now time to start major planning on our upcoming road trip as we leave on Sat. Talk about putting things off until the last minute.

Last year on our way home from Alaska a wheel bearing burned up and Dale patched it enough to make it home. We took the RV into the shop finally and found that all 4 wheels needed repairs, the fridge vent cover was falling apart and needed to be replaced and that a board was out on the water heater. Dale wanted to do the repairs but the shop came down in price so that it was easier to let them do the work. Now the RV is still in the shop so I’m now wondering how I will clean and pack, plus purchase food before leaving on Sat. a.m. It will get done as I’m determined that we will leave as soon as Dale gets off of work.

Every two years Dale’s siblings get together, rotating reunion sites between each. This year belongs to the youngest brother in Minnesota and will be held north of Duluth. We have cabins reserved for 3 nights on Lake Superior.

This trip we will make into our annual grandkids trip but Sunny doesn’t want to come along so it will just be Elias, Christabel and Charlotte, our exchange daughter. This is the first year without our Sunny since she was 5 years old when we went up 395 to Mammoth. We will be missing her!

I sat down with each of the kids and they decided what they wanted to cook for their day so at this point I’ve got the route planned, kids meals planned and expenses projected. I really now must get my meals planned so that I can make a complete shopping list for tomorrow.

Posted by Miss Chris 12:01 Archived in USA Tagged people children road_trip travel rv family_travel grandkids Comments (0)

Hotel Adventures

Hotels we stayed in

IMG_4861.jpgAs I promised some time ago, I wanted to write about the hotels in Europe, at least the ones we stayed at. I have referred to each of the hotels in various blogs but will write some additional details now

When we first planned this trip I wanted to stay in hotels within walking distance to the middle of the towns. I didn’t want to take trolleys or buses every time we wanted to go to the squares and we didn’t want to spend much over $100/night.

I picked up a travel book with hotel recommendations and a good map with the recommendations located on the map. Then I got on hotels.com and trip advisor, reviewing the ratings for each hotel along with the location.

Our 1st hotel was in Munich which I booked at the last minute and got the last room available. This hotel, “Kings First Class” appeared to be within walking distance to the square but on the map looked a little distance away. As it turned out, the hotel is about 2 blocks away from the train station and maybe a 10 minute walk from the old city square. The hotel is in an area filled with adult shops but is very safe, we never felt threatened at all. Beware that there is no breakfast included when you book on Hotels.com but a Coffee Fellows is just 2 blocks away and they have all sorts of food items plus great coffee drinks and internet.

Next we were in Salzburg where we had quite the experience at the Amadeus Hotel. This hotel is in the new city, just a few minutes’ walk to Mozart’s residence, the Mirabell Gardens and the foot bridge to the old city. The front of the hotel faces a pedestrian only street and the rear faces the cemetery with the grave of Constance Mozart and Leopold Mozart immediately in view from the rear facing rooms. There are 2 balconies in the rear with chairs and tables.

If you stay at the Amadeus Hotel beware that there is no one at the desk after 6pm. This is normally not a problem but if you check in after 6 they leave the key card in an envelope on a little table in a small lobby between the entrance door and a sliding door which needs a key card to open after hours.

Our key card was apparently lost or taken before we arrived; our arrival was late due to train problems. We arrived at 11pm and when we found no one there and the main lobby doors locked. We were able to slip into the main lobby when another guest opened the door to enter.

In the entry we called on the call box and reached a male who said that he would be right over. After waiting for about 45 minutes I called again and he said he was on his way. After another 30 minutes Dale called and the male said it would be a few minutes so Dale asked what a few minutes meant to which he replied that he would be at the hotel in 5 minutes. In the meantime I’d called Hotels.com but after 10 minutes on the phone got disconnected. We were about to start screaming!

Finally a security guard came to help us and after numerous phone calls found our room number and got us settled in. It was 1a.m. Needless to say the front desk heard about our ordeal in the morning and they gave us two dinners at their sister restaurant in the old city. My advice is to check in before 6pm just to make sure you get your room key.

The Amadeus is a small hotel but there is an excellent buffet breakfast included in the price and an afternoon coffee if you are around. Great little pubs with outdoor seating are all around and the street is vibrant both day and night. We will definitely stay there again but just arrive earlier in the day.

In Vienna we stayed at the Hotel zur Wiener Staatsoper. This hotel is a little larger than the Amadeus, also very old and located very centrally, only ½ blocks from the main street. Restaurants with outdoor seating are next door. We walked to the St. Charles Church, the Concert Hall, St. Stephens and the tube is only a couple of blocks away.

The room keys are very large so they encourage you to leave it with the desk when you are out which means that you must leave the keys off then pick them up on your return. The door is locked at night but there is a bell and the night watchman will let you in. The staff will encourage you to take various tours but will also be helpful if you want to travel on your own. Breakfast is also excellent and included with the room.

Our last hotel was in Prague, in the Stare Masto, the old town square, the Hotel U Tri Bubnu. This hotel is a little difficult to find as it is tucked into buildings just on the other side of the square. The hotel has 2 areas, one above the check-in counter and the other around the corner separated by a restaurant. Our section of the hotel appears to have a room per floor but we were not sure. Our room was quite large with old fashion double windows on 2 sides. The building is hundreds of years old and the story is that an executioner lived in the building frequenting the tavern located there. You enter this hotel thru an old wood arched door then walk up a narrow spiral staircase to the rooms.

If you are arriving by train it is an easy walk from the station but when you arrive in the square it will be on the street ahead and to a slight left. You will take the pedestrian street that goes by the St. Nicholas Church to the Kafky Square. The hotel will be to your left just past the ticket agent shop.

We will stay at all of these hotels again if we are in the areas and highly recommend them.

Posted by Miss Chris 07:33 Archived in Austria Tagged prague salzburg vienna hotel austria germany europe munich old_town_square Comments (0)

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