Here are a couple pictures of the drive over the mountain to Loma. It's hard to get decent pictures out a car window, so just bear with me. None of these pictures really do justice to the beauty that we saw! Hopefully you'll get the idea, though.
We hit a little bit of snow on the way over, but overall it was a good, uneventful drive.
After our stay in Loma we hit the road on our two-day trip up to Billings, MT. We had reservations at a hotel in Jackson, WY, and had originally intended to drive through Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks on our way to Billings. Unfortunately, due to the federal government shut-down, the parks were closed and we had to take an alternate route. The fun side of that was that we drove through bits of Utah and Idaho, meaning that our trip extended over 5 states: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana! Kind of fun.
Overall the girls did really well on the trip. Thank goodness for our DVD player!
|Junie still doesn't do so well with the headphones,|
which means sometimes Mom and Dad have to listen
to the movie, too.
|We stopped for a potty break in Dinosaur, CO.|
Ava made a friend!
On our way to Jackson we drove through some beautiful country that I had never seen before, including Flaming Gorge, which is partly in Utah and partly in Wyoming. We stopped for lunch at a small quiet cafe near the Gorge in Utah.
|Coming up on the dam.|
|Looking back at the Flaming Gorge dam. |
It was such a beautiful day!
|Junie taking a snooze after lunch.|
It was a long day of driving, but we made it to Jackson in time for dinner. Our hotel was very nice. We had the upper room of a little cabin. The whole resort was nestled up under the mountains and the trees were beautiful.
|June lounging in a chair on our deck at the hotel.|
She was not too happy when we made her
We had a yummy dinner at a Mexican restaurant in the downtown area of Jackson. After dinner we walked around the shops a little bit and picked up some souvenirs. It was chilly and dark but very fun. We wished we could have spent a little more time in Jackson; maybe we'll go back some day.
|Little cuties in Jackson, WY.|
|Out front at the Rustic Inn Resort.|
Ava didn't want her picture taken and ran away screaming.
Our hotel had a great continental breakfast, so we got our day started out with full tummies and then hit the road again! This part of the trek required going through some pretty remote areas of Idaho and lots of tiny little farm towns. It was kind of fun. This was Tim's first experience with Idaho.
It was another pretty long day of driving. We stopped for lunch in West Yellowstone, MT, and then drove through Bozeman on our way to Billings. The girls (and maybe me, too) were starting to get a little cranky. We were all ready to be out of the car by the time we made it to Nana and Papa's!
We got to spend about 5 days in Billings, which was very nice. Lots of time to relax and just be together. My sister and her family arrived late the next night after we got there. Ava and June always have lot of fun with their crazy boy cousins. ;)
The original reason for the visit to Montana was a big party that Nana and Papa threw at their house. The reason for the party was double-fold: we celebrated my Grandma's 80th birthday, which will be in December, and we celebrated my Aunt and Uncle's 40th wedding anniversary, which was in October. My Grandma lives in Billings, but my Aunt and Uncle live in Arizona, so it is always nice to see them. I didn't get any pictures from the party (apparently when I get into party mode I forget all about photography), but it was a big hit!
|Look at that giant pumpkin Junie was carrying around!|
She's so strong (just kidding, it's decorative and very
light)! She loved it for some reason.
|Refried bean coma.|
|The cousins watching cartoons in their jammies!|
|Who knew a bag full of plastic plates and|
sippy cups could be so fun?!
|Manicures at Nana's house! Ava got a manicure|
and a pedicure. Lucky girl.
|Junie with Aunt Jess and Uncle Brandon.|
"Aunt Jess lets me play with her iPad!!"
|Twins!!! Now you know where June gets her looks!|
|Bedtime story with Nana.|
The other big event of the week was Cameron and Everett's baptisms. They were baptized at St. Bernard's, the church that my dad attended for years and years. Jess and I pretty much grew up in that church. It was home to my dad and so it meant a lot for the boys to be baptized there.
|All pewed up for Mass!|
|Pictures with our Godsons!|
|With Father David.|
|Such a good-looking family!|
It was a great trip. It is always fun to spend time with family. It is nice to see the girls becoming more and more comfortable with family and in the homes of our family. It was easy to see that Ava remembered Grandpa Harper's house (and all the fun she had there) and she definitely knows and remembers Nana and Papa's house now.
I will leave you with a picture of:
She wore those necklaces ALL THE TIME
while we were there. Sadly only two made it home
undamaged and only one remains today.