Before our long weekend, there were some fun things that happened along the way…
Monday my mom, aunt, cousin, and my mom’s friend Lori went out for dinner to celebrate Lori’s 50th birthday! We went to Iggy’s – which really proves how much I love Lori…because my nickname for that joint is “Icky’s”. We had such a good time, regardless.
Wednesday my friends and I all met in Salt Lake for dinner. We made an excuse to all get together before Whitney has her second baby in a few weeks. The five of us dined at Frida Bistro [my first time]. It has been on my list of restaurants to try for a while – Kristina and I ordered something with cactus in it, it’s contemporary Mexican food, and the dish was surprisingly good! We stayed over an hour past closing time. I often go weeks, sometimes even months, without seeing my oldest friends and we always pick up right where we left off. I adore all of them.
Thursday was a unique work day. My boss sent me to Santa Monica for a meeting with Westfield Corporate. I must say – traveling with my boss is a “first class” experience. He is preferred in just about everything. Upgraded rental car: check. Sky Priority through security: check. Priority boarding: check. I flew out separately earlier in the morning and as soon as Brandon arrived we drove out to their headquarters.
It was a 40+ story building with crazy security. We had to get visitor security passes and all that jazz. Our meeting didn’t even last an hour, and we briefly toured their facilities [which were incredible – I want a full kitchen and lounge in our office building, ok??]. They even had fancy pod bathrooms so you didn’t have to use the restroom with someone in the next stall. And then we were off…
I decided I wanted to spend my last four hours at Santa Monica Pier. The smell of the ocean, the sand in my toes, and some fresh seafood before heading back to LAX.
Side Note: I am a freak when it comes to the airport. Zach and I have a system. Call it what you will, but we have a system. We show up at the airport with a certain amount of time, especially if we have to return a rental car. My boss? We dropped off our rental car 50 minutes before the flight was to take off. If you’ve ever been to LAX you know that this is pretty much the most ludicrous thing you could possibly do. Luckily, once again, that sly dog gets priority everything and we made it through security in 12 minutes. 12 freaking minutes. I haven’t been through LAX security in under 1 hour…ever. The real question is: how do I get priority everything now? Traveling with him was a dream. As we were boarding [he flew first class, obviously] I noticed the guy in line next to us looked familiar. Sure enough, it was Danny Masterson [he played Hyde on That 70’s Show] and he sat a row behind the boss man. Apparently he owns a club in Park City and being the celebrity trollop that I am I informed my boss all about it. It was a short trip – about 11 hours – but so nice to be out of the office for a change. I don’t mind traveling for work one bit.
Also at work: we hired another designer at E2. Her name is Darrah and it was her birthday on Friday, so naturally we treated her to lunch. We ordered two of the best desserts that the Dodo has to offer. Please order their blueberry cream cheese pie…
Friday after work we left for Jackson, Wyoming to celebrate our holiday weekend. We made the drive up through Idaho and then finally made our way into Wyoming. We decided not to stay in the actual town of Jackson, but just outside of it in Teton Village. We kicked off our summer t0-do list with some 4-wheeling.
The next morning we woke up and drove into town to get a bite to eat at a local sub shop.
After lunch we drove outside of town so we could go horseback riding. We went on a guided ride at Horse Creek Ranch – one of my favorite activities of the whole weekend. Zach picked Hawk to ride, and I got Levi and we were lead by our trusty guide, John.
We rode on a trail with a gorgeous view of the Tetons in the distance and gave Levi and Hawk a chance to snack. We saw a little bit of wildlife – including a bald eagle’s nest. It’s a good thing we didn’t go on a half-day ride, because my horse had a seriously tiny bladder.
After our ride we made our way back to Jackson for our dinner reservation at the Snake River Grill.
After dinner I made Zach stop and get some ice cream before we made our way over to the Teton County Fairgrounds.
We had a date with the Jackson Rodeo. I had been to several rodeos in the past, but none were quite like this one. But first, Zach had to get his liquid cheese fix. Zach’s family did concessions at the Ogden rodeo for years, and he loves to critique concession technique. You will be pleased to know that the Jackson Rodeo had “excellent nachos”.
Our favorite events were the bull riding, bareback riding, and of course…the rodeo royalty. Not an event. Just incredible.
The next morning we had breakfast at the amazing Pearl Street Bagels. Not only did we get warm bagels, but we made a new friend: the sweetest sheep dog there ever was curled right up next to us in front of the restaurant.
We spent the rest of our morning shopping around down town Jackson. Cowboy hats, fringe ensembles, and lots of fur.
Afterwards we made our way back over to the Teton County Fairgrounds for the Jackson fair activities. There was knife and tomahawk throwing…
and great company. Meet Jedediah.
After we had tried our hand at all the activities, and Zach had tried on every type of animal skin possible, we picked up some sandwiches to go from Backcountry Outfitters and drove back to Teton Village. We decided to take the tram up to the top at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
It was a twelve minute ride to the top. We walked up to the very peak and then made our way down the backside of the mountain – where we found an abandoned pallet. So we had our picnic on that pallet.
We walked around for a while, got some dirty looks for ducking under the restrictive orange ropes, and then made our way back down the mountain.
We quickly changed and then drove just outside of Teton Village to our dinner reservation at Calico.
That’s where I decided that my 26 days without Diet Coke deserved one small break. I only had one, too. It tasted pretty amazing.
The restaurant was great: delicious pizza and pasta while we watched the families play on the lawn beyond the patio. We also enjoyed a giant piece of chocolate cake.
We spent the rest of our evening at the hotel’s hot tub and fire pit.
Our last morning in Jackson Zach had big plans. He has been asking me to go fishing since the weather started warming up. So before we left on Friday Zach geared up. He got all of our supplies, including fishing poles, at Wal-Mart. Friday morning we checked out of our hotel and drove north to Grand Teton National Park.
I’ve been wanting to see Jenny Lake for some time and we thought we could possibly find a good fishing spot up that way. We stopped at a little area called Moose to grab something to eat and then continued on. When we arrived at Jenny Lake we walked around for a while and then hiked down to the water.
We found a large rock and sat and watched the water for a while.
We determined it was not great fishing conditions at Jenny Lake, so we drove a little farther north to Jackson Lake. Jackson Lake is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The water is so clear and the Tetons in the background really are incredible. A local fishing guide told us to fish just below the dam, where the fish would be battling getting back into Jackson Lake. Apparently we weren’t the only ones with the same plan. We got our gear and hunkered down on the gravel shore.
We fished for a while with absolutely no luck. I had a couple of nibbles, but nothing actually stuck. The gentlemen next to us, however, was getting really lucky. I literally saw him catch five fish. I attributed it to our lack of professional gear…not to our lack of skill. Or patience. We were very patient. It was late afternoon and we decided to pack up our stuff and drive home. So we didn’t catch a big one…but we got a good laugh about it. It was the perfect way to end our trip.
While driving home we decided we are definitely going back to Jackson. As a youngster my family made a lot of trips to Yellowstone and we only passed through Jackson, we never actually stayed there. We even went on a river rafting trip down the Snake and went boating on Jackson Lake, but never stayed in the town of Jackson. I am sad it took us this long. Next time, those fish won’t be so lucky…