August 10, 2015

AGG 2015

All Girls Getaway  

My daughters gave it the title.  It is the highlight of each year.

Although I knew it would be hard to top last year, our mother and daughter getaway this year is a memory that none of us will ever forget.  We made our road trip across country, dropped off Lance at his week long scout camp high in the Uintah Mountains and kept driving north.

For 2015 our AGG took us to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 

I {heart} Jackson Hole!

After crashing in cramped nightly quarters on the interstate across the country, the Wyoming Inn felt absolutely luxurious.  My girls love hotels, as do I.  We checked into our hotel and immediately went up the road to hit our first adventure -- white water rafting on the Snake River.

The girls suited up and off we went to face the chilly rapids.

The minimum age was 6.  After experiencing the rapids on that stretch of river we paddled, my generous opinion was that the minimum age should be 8.  Eliza held on for dear life and looked like the token figurehead mounted at the front of a ship, taking every wave face on.  You can hardly see her here because she is slightly ducking and bracing herself for what she sees is coming. . .

which is this. . .

That rapid ate her for lunch.

This one swallowed her up whole and spit her back out. . .

Clinging for life with every muscle of her little fingers. . .

Resembling 3 drowned rats, my crew of little girls bravely made it through.  I couldn't stop laughing watching them, all the while keeping my protective arm outstretched to make sure that I did indeed make it back with 3 girls. . .

We snuggled into our jammies that night ready for our early alarm that would sound at 5:00am to take us on the next adventure of our AGG - a sunrise wildlife tour through Grand Teton National Park.

Oh, how envious Alan was that his wife and daughters hopped aboard an open air jeep to go search out the amazing wildlife deep in the park.  The tour company follows the herds throughout Yellowstone and Grand Teton and so as you board the jeep they give you some cozy blankets to snuggle in and simply say, "What would you like to see?"

We watched an elk herd for a bit and scouted out some amazing birds nesting high in the pines.

Buffalo was number one on my girls' list and so after traversing some unknown back dirt roads in the park, we came across a buffalo herd with lots of babies -- which, no matter how mangy and matted an animal is, is still adorable.

After our tour we headed to Jackson Village and took the gondola up to the top of the mountain and hiked around as much as our sea-level lungs would allow.  We sat on a rock and enjoyed conversations with no time limit and no distractions.  Those mother and daughter conversations are more memorable than any other experiences on our retreats together.

While at elevation 9000+, we decided to further enjoy the view over some Nutella waffles and hot chocolate from the snack shack before we descended back down.  After the gondola we rode the ski lift and settled back into our hotel for a breather.

I decided we needed one more adventure in Jackson that evening before we called it a day, so I scheduled a last minute horseback ride.  It was only supposed to be an hour. . . but a few minutes into it when Eliza's horse was headed up the mountain, Sadie's horse was facing the wrong direction on the narrow trail and Eva's horse was protesting the misalignment of Sadie's horse by bucking back at me -- I knew it was going to be a long hour.  It was hilarious to watch them from the rear, trying to manage their horses who knew that their riders had no control.  After the horse ride we picked up a birthday cake from the local bakery and celebrated a very special 6th birthday that day for Eliza.

It was a completely memorable time -- but the fun wasn't over.  On our way back down to Utah to pick up Lance from his Boy Scout camp, we decided to take a slight detour to Bear Lake and end our AGG in a unique way.  We found a glamping {glamorous + camping} resort and our final night was spent embracing the authentic Western lifestyle. . .

Our home for the night.

So. Very. Cool.  Plush top mattresses, triple sheeted beds, electricity and a firepit that someone else comes and lights up for me.  My kind of covered wagon experience!  The spa-like bathhouse, game tent and open air dining tent completed the experience.  After playing a gazillion rounds of Uno we snuggled in for the night and slept like babies with the fresh air blowing through our canvas window.

The next day we raised our glasses (cups, rather, filled with famous Bear Lake thick shakes) to toast a successful AGG!

I am so grateful for these special relationships I have with my daughters and they with each other. Our annual getaway is truly a celebration of that relationship.  The four of us are already counting down to AGG 2016! Oh, the adventures that await!