Sunday, July 02, 2006

You Don't Wear Make-Up to Yellowstone

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So we went on a weekend jaunt to Yellowstone. We signed the first contract on a house on Friday, and decided it was time for a break. Buying a house makes me die a little inside. I had no idea how much goes into it...But I digress. We made a last minute reservation to an over-priced lodge in Jackson, threw some stuff in the car and headed north.

We were in Yellowstone from about 11:00 AM until after 9:00 PM. We saw a total of maybe six sites. It's a really big place. It takes almost an hour to get from one place to the next because you keep stopping in between to take pictures of bison and deer that are actually too far away to even show up in a photo. But it is a lot of fun.

It smells like crap most of the time because all those geysers are spewing sulfur in the air, and maybe you go to eat lunch and miss Old Faithful erupting even though you are about 50 yards away. And since you don't want to wait another 94 minutes, you go onto the Norris geysers and realized you just wasted an hour and paid $40 to eat a sandwich. Again, a lot of fun. So you drive around taking pictures of everything and getting out and walking 2 miles to look at what may or may not be something very interesting, and if it IS interesting or beautiful you can guarantee that there is a very stereotypical group of tourists (I'm not saying who, you can draw your own conclusions) taking a pictures of everything and everyone and basically blocking the view anyway. Oh, then there is the part where you really love to hike and consider yourself in pretty good shape, but underestimate how hard it is to climb a mountain carrying 30 pounds of squirming kid on you back and you have a little asthma attack and didn't bring an inhaler and instead have to do Yoga breathing to keep your chest from exploding. And the rest of the time, you are pushing a 40 pound stroller containing 60 pounds of kids. Oh, have I mentioned I have totally ripped biceps now that I have two kids?

So, then, maybe we go to one of the more tourist-y spots and I run into the lady who owned the Day Care I managed in Shawnee and we both pretended to not know the other because, let's face it, we never got along and parted on pretty bad terms (hey, I was 37 weeks pregnant and she was trying to withhold my maternity leave)! It's a small, small world. But again, overall it's fun.

I know I am making this out to seem horrible, but we seriously had a great time. The kids just soaked it all up, and you just can't even imagine the kind of pretty that God managed to shove into such a small space. I felt renewed. Awesome. And we took a lot of pictures. And this is where the title of this post comes in. When you are going to a National Park, and you know you are going to be hiking and walking and sweating and sunscreening and insect-repelling, you DO NOT wear make-up. Unfortunately, this is also the time that your family starts taking a million pictures, and you are smiling in each one with white zinc-oxide chap stick with SPF clinging to your lips and no visible eye lashes, or eye brows for that matter, and you are splotchy and freckley and well, gross. It gives the effect of looking healthy and dead in every photo. So, all those wonderful pictures of our fam at Yellowstone will be cataloged next to "Pictures taken right after I had a Baby" and "Pictures where I have been sleeping" and other situations in which you do not want others to know what you really look like.

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