Day 9-10: Back to Teton & what we ate

day 9: we headed back to Teton after late breakfast and check out. Sofia was entertained as usual with her snacks and singing.

IMG 8739

we arrived Teton around 1pm so we found a picnic area for lunch, at jenny lake. It was a beautiful lake with many individual beaches, and people doing all kinds of water activities.

IMG 8750

we check-in at the lodge and went to the swimming pool. It was exhilarating for Sofia!!!

IMG 8755

she couldn’t stop laughing

IMG 8757

day 10: we went back to Colter Bay harbor.

IMG 8769

Sofia and my mom did a cruise tour, Tony and I did canoa

IMG 8771

really nice view and great workout

IMG 8774

after lunch we went back to the lodge, Sofia had another swimming session with Tony

then we went to the lodge bar for dinner with the sunset view

IMG 8790

What we ate during our trip.  VERY POORLY would be the best way to describe it. Within the park, there are only dinning places in the lodges. Where we stayed has a dinning room, a cafeteria and a deli. The first time we tried to get into the dinning room but after 30 min wait, we decided not worth it. Fortunately we came prepared, we’ve packed instant noodles, assorted snacks that lasted the whole trip, a rice cooker that did not work, a cooler and a water heater. So glad we did that.

For breakfast we have bread, sandwich for lunch, and dinner was oatmeal with chinese pickles for me, honey for Tony, and instant noodles.

IMG 8666

we cooked egg in the water heater! we all had two eggs per day to supplement protein. By the 10th day, I couldn’t see boiled eggs anymore, and I think I won’t have boiled eggs for a long time. The smell of it makes me want to vomit.

IMG 8667

we also had baby spinach mixed with noodles and oatmeal for a couple of days, and when I got tired of that, i simply bought a packet of frozen veggies, rinsed it and topped it with S+P and salsa (from my parents’ quesadilla)

IMG 8760

the only real meal we had in yellowstone was this rice bowl topped with veggies, shrimp and chicken with teriyaki sauce.

IMG 8726

the only sit down meal at a dinning place was as our last night at jackson lake lodge. We ordered chips to start

IMG 8782

my dad has corn chowder

IMG 8783

Tony had burger with gouda cheese

IMG 8784

my mom ordered burger with cheddar

IMG 8785

and I ordered chicken salad

IMG 8786

During the trip, Sofia didn’t eat 3 meals as usual, she’d have a light breakfast (cereal with milk), and snacked all day long. Most of the days she’d have 1/4-1/3 of my mom’s sandwich. She ate way too many chips, ice creams that I would like, but I was relaxed about it. As long as she ate and happy, it was fine with me.  I care about what I eat more than many people, but I don’t stress out about it during trips. My dad was asking where I’d eat, Tony asked too, and I told them clearly that this was not a culinary trip so we’d eat whenever whatever it was convenient. Fortunately the amazing view and experience of yellowstone made everyone happy enough to forget about food dissatisfaction. And we all lost some weight. 🙂

It was an amazing experience traveling with the whole family at such a different place than our normal environment. We were often lost our thoughts while admiring the nature. It was our first family experience with Tony and a great one. I didn’t have any doubt that we’d have great time because he’s a natural helper and carer, he made sure everyone was safe and happy by doing most of the work himself. Oh… he was the planner of the itinerary too. 2 weeks before our departure, he studied the map, the guide book and it was such a relief for me to not have to think about where and what to do everyday, and I didn’t even have to drive much!!! Love this man!!! 🙂

I don’t know when we would have another trip like this with my parents, hopefully in 4 years. Our initial plan is to go to the north of Argentina. It would be really nice to show Argentina to Sofia and Tony.


Day 6-8: Yellowstone

day 6: it was a rainy day so we decided to do a road trip toward Old Faithful. The rain was pretty heavy until we arrived Old Faithful. We found a good stop in the cafeteria and watched the eruption twice. It was quite impressive, in particular, how predictable it is, every 90 min, +/- 10 min, that is why it is old Old Faithful, the most famous gayser.
IMG 8655

we were back to Canyon area in the afternoon, the rain has stopped, so Tony and I did some hiking

IMG 8657

IMG 8660

IMG 8661

IMG 8663

a surprising arco iris

IMG 8665

day 7: toward Old Faithful and stopping at each sight points.

first: Artist painpots

IMG 8671

IMG 8668

IMG 8669

then passed by Gibbons fall

IMG 8675



then we stopped for a little water play on firehole canyon drive

IMG 8681

next was Ojo Caliente by the fountain flat drive

IMG 8685

next was the famous Grand Primastic Spring



IMG 8692

the view was not complete so Tony and I decided to explore more. We found an off-trail by Fairy Falls Trailhead that could give us a better view, so we left Sofia and my parents in the car and we went

IMG 8694

after climbing up for 20 min, we  saw this!!! Spectacular!!!

IMG 8711

IMG 8719

we also stopped by Biscuit basin and black sand basin before arriving at Old Faithful, almost 6pm. We witnessed again the eruption, had dinner and called it a productive day

IMG 8725

day 8: it was our 6th day in the park, we’ve seen and done almost everything, so we looked at the map and circled those sights that we missed and there we went.
IMG 8729

we did 2 hrs hiking to see Lone Star geyser.

IMG 8731

it also has a predictable eruption time, every 3 hours. We didn’t plan for that but it started to erupt few minutes after we arrived. So lucky!

IMG 8736

on our way back to the lodge, we stopped by lake hotel general store for its ice cream again. soooo delicious!!!

IMG 8746

Day 3-5: yellowstone

Day 3: We check out early and departed toward South entrance of Yellowstone. First stop was West Thumb Geyser Basin

IMG 8525

the first of many hot springs we’d see during the trip

IMG 8526

the bluer and deeper the color, the hotter is the water

IMG 8528

IMG 8530

As we drove toward Canyon area… we passed by many valleys.

IMG 8532

suddenly the cars stopped moving. And for two hours we barely moved. Nobody knew what was going on, we had no choice but wait.


and you know what happened? They were bisons, a lot of them, on the road!! So either cars had to stop to let them walk around, or people stopped to take pics of them.


he was walking just in front of our car 😯


After we check-in at our lodge (Canyon lodge), we went to Canyon South Rim Dr

IMG 8538

we did Uncle Tom’s trail to see the lower fall. It was over 300 steps… a great workout for a great view.

IMG 8549

Sofia hiked most of the time, and took breaks while Tony carried her.

IMG 8554

I’m so proud of my parents to have done it with us.

IMG 8557

and the most helpful man for the family 🙂

IMG 8559

as we went back to the park lot, it was invaded by bisons. 😯 Sofia was amused seeing them altogether eating and shaking against the trees.


day 4: Mammoth

IMG 8562

another beautiful day to be on the road

IMG 8563

Mammoth Hot Spring was located at the north of the park, fairly close to Canyon.


we walked through Lower and Upper Terraces. They are the product of dissolved subterranean limestone which is continuously deposited as the spring waters cool on contact with air. Quite a phenomena nature beauty.





IMG 8572

IMG 8574

Sofia saw my mind tying scarf on the waist and she insisted  she’s big enough to do the same 🙂

IMG 8585




after 2 hours of walking, we went back to the parking lot, deers were taking a nap

IMG 8596

then we went to the park’s worst kept secret place: boiling river. It is a place where an underground hot spring surfaces from below a limestone overhang.


Tony took Sofia to the water and she really liked it.


then we drove all the way to the north entrance of the park.

Back to Canyon area, we went to Brink of the Lower Falls for a close-up views of the falls.


day 3: Tower Roosevelt

IMG 8601

first stop: a nice small trail to a river





and a fall at the end of the trail back up


Sofia was waiting for us with her snack and water


next stop: petrified tree

IMG 8602

then Undine Falls

IMG 8620

IMG 8606

then we drove a blacktail plateau. It was unpaved… really rough and lots of turns. Just when I was cursing why we took this route, we saw a black bear mama with two small bears. What an adorable scene!!!

IMG 8622

in the afternoon we drove all the way to the north-east entrance and saw many animals on the way

IMG 8624

IMG 8625

IMG 8632

as we went out all day long, Sofia took her naps in the car, usually 1-2 hrs. It made the trip so much easier this way!!!

IMG 8633

we stopped by the lake side hotel on our way back to the lodge and had local ice cream.

IMG 8641

it was really really good! we all loved it!!! And the view was spectacular too.

IMG 8646

IMG 8653

Sofia was super happy because I rarely give her ice cream. 🙂

Family vacation 2015: the journey begins. Gran Teton day 1 & 2

The most expected trip finally happened!!! Since Yellowstone is a popular destination, I booked everything in March this year so the expectation has been building up since then.

We had a long trip to get there but we were all very excited. Packed everything for 5 people in 2 large suitcases and 2 carry-ons. Most of the space was occupied by the Pack n’ Play, the cooler, rice cooker (that didn’t work) and water heater. WE were so glad we packed all these for this trip!!!

It has been over a year since Sofia’s last trip and she was super excited to go to the airport and see the planes closely.

IMG 8423

we arrived 1.5 hrs and recorded this moment. Our first family trip!

IMG 8425

I remember last time traveling with Sofia to China, it was exhausting!!! But this time it was much easier. She was easily entertained by snacks and some simple toys that I brought (play dough, stickers, a pad and color pens). We had two 3 hours flight and 2 hrs of layover. She behaved really well.

IMG 8427

we landed around 6:30pm local time. Got our car (KIA Santa Fe), paid the entrance fee to both national parks ($50) and drove to our first lodge (Jackson Lake Lodge) which was 45 min away from the airport.

IMG 8429

as we began our journey, I could feel my mind started to relax, immerse to the nature and just enjoy this special moment.

IMG 8431

Sofia didn’t nap during the flight so she passed out

IMG 8437

once in the hotel, we quickly set up her bed and called it a night.

IMG 8441

Day 2 (Gran Teton). We started early (as suggested by every guide book/blog). It was partially cloudy, quite cold and very peaceful.

IMG 8443

Our first stop was the general grocery store at colter Bay to get lunch items. Then we took a tour at the camp site. Tony kept telling me that next time we should do camping with the kids. And I said: “mmm…. I’d better leave you some bounding time with the kids alone. I can sleep in a hotel and provide you hot shower!”

IMG 8445

Entering more the colter bay area, we encounter this beautiful beach, facing the main mountains of Teton (Moran,

IMG 8449

Sofia was SUPER EXCITED to find her new activity: throw rocks to the water! 😯

IMG 8453


then we went to the Colter Bay Marina. There are people doing kayaking and canoe, Sofia immediately demanded to get to the “boat” too. We hesitated for few minutes and decided to try too. We all got the swim suit and we went out. It was a perfect day for going on a boat.

IMG 8473

I was holding Sofia most of the time. She kept telling me: ” todo el dia!”, meaning she wants to do boat all day long. 🙂


Tony was in charge to get us sailing. He did a really good job!

IMG 8471

We enjoyed it so much that we had to do it again in our last day, and agreed to do more once we get home.

By the time we finished it was lunch time. Picnic by the lake. This is the first of many sandwiches we had over the last 10 days. WW bread with cheese and turkey.

IMG 8482

more rock throwing for Sofia

IMG 8486

while we relaxed on the beach

IMG 8489

love love seeing her happy and amazed!

IMG 8497

next stop was the jackson lake Dam. It is quite impressive.


On our back we found a off-road to the summit. 30 min later we were on the top


IMG 8509

it offered a great view to the valley

IMG 8513

Sofia taking pics looks so funny!!!

IMG 8517

back to the lodge. We had a quick dinner (cobb salad for me, chicken wrap for Tony, and chicken quesadilla for my parents)

IMG 8522

we were quite tired by the end of the day plus the 2 hrs difference with DC, we went all in bed by 9:30pm.


Preparing for our trip

We just came back from 11 days-trip in Yellowstone-Gran Teton. It was a fabulous family trip!!! But before we get into details of the trip, let’s recap what happened before the trip.

We went to try a carrier for Sofia because we wanted to do some hiking. At first Sofia hated it and refused to get in. But after “forgetting” about it for few minutes walking around REI, she accepted to try again and she was hooked! Look how comfy she was. 🙂

IMG 8369

IMG 8377

but we decided not to get one because although it was comfortable for her, it’s way too heavy for the carrier for longer than 1-hour hike.

That weekend we went to a outdoor movie, first time ever for all of us. It was fun but it was more an excuse to get outdoor picnic with friends than the movie itself.

IMG 8393

a funny episode happened. Sofia tried to put sunscreen herself

IMG 8395

and she looked like just came back from a birthday party

IMG 8396

we got her a new toy… well… actually it happened to be a new toy for Tony

IMG 8399

IMG 8405


we got cod in Costco for the first time and I prepared it the simplest way. marinate in salt and pepper and cooking wine for 30 min, cook it in a bit of oil both sides until done (10-12). It was incredible tasty for just a simple preparation. Will definitely make more.

IMG 8418

I’ve been baking loaves of bread.

this one with brown rice
IMG 8366

this one with the master starter (similar to sour dough starter) … tastes just like pumpernikel bread!

IMG 8381

since I had a batch of master starter, I made three kinds more.

IMG 8390

and made pumpkin bread

IMG 8379

I love baking breads and eating them… and love that Tony shares the interest with me. 🙂 Now I have “excuse” to bake more breads!