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Friday, December 6, 2013

We Made it to December/Pullman Sucks in Winter

I know it shows a total lack of continuity to go from a happy post about flower picking to an unhappy post about cold and snow, but hey, this is my blog and there are no rules here. 

December has arrived and I feel like we deserve pats on the back for making it through our first six months in a wildly new environment. I was just starting to feel comfortable and well-adjusted and into a swing of things when boom! Here comes winter and I feel homesick for my people. East coasters that say "soda" instead of "pop" and know the value of a good sandwich and don't say things like "12 degrees is pretty warm" and define common sense in more or less the same terms. 

So here's the thing about Pullman: everyone knows each other. Everyone loves each other. Everyone goes to church and praises Jesus and sings in the choir. So can someone please explain to me why it's okay to leave 3 inches of snow on the ground, and not plow it, and let it get compacted and icy and let everyone slide around on these roller coaster-like hills that everyone lives on? 

I guess I'd understand if it was a town where everyone hated each other, but I mean, a single mother skidded on the "highway" (they call it a highway) going towards Moscow and was killed and everyone knew her of course so they all went to the funeral today and how is no one but me really upset that they don't bother to plow the roads?!

It kind of surprises me how much this infuriates me, but this kind of thing is so unnecessary and preventable. But when I mention how this is how things should be done, I get called a wimp and a New York snob and I guess if that's what common sense makes me, then so be it.

In the meantime I'm driving as slowly and carefully as I can, which is not easy on this really steep hill we live on, and it's literally under 10 degrees every morning which does not make the icy any less slippery. I'm following some Pullmanite advice to "tap gently as though an egg is under your brakes" and trying not to make an omelette of a disaster of my life. I refuse to let this winter kill me. Refuse to! But last time I gave myself an internal pep talk I was mid death defiance and took a pretty hard tumble in the parking lot. It was a church parking lot. The whole thing was so icy it could have been a skating rink. C'mon, pastor! Or minister, or whoever. This is straight up sinful neglect. And my ankle hurts.

And again! I slid pretty hard in my car on the turn up the hill towards home yesterday. The oncoming car blared at me, and I gained control and sped out of the way just in time. I was pretty shook up and was ready to have a full-on meltdown in the carport but then I saw Christmas presents from the future in-laws on the porch and decided to put meltdown on hold and get a Christmas tree instead. Yay holidays?

Every year, me and lots of other adults have a hard time feeling "Christmassy" and getting into the spirit, but it's going to come a lot easier for me this year. I have the anticipation of going home and finally seeing my family and friends. I haven't been to Connecticut since May, and that visit doesn't even count because it was for my grandmother's funeral, and how is that even possible I haven't been home since then? I've been across America since my last hometown trip and deserve a warm reunion with family and friends and puppies and babies. And to get there on roads that are not slicked with ice from last week's snowfall.  


Sunday, September 15, 2013

My New Flower Hobby and Anti-Florist Rant

Hobbies are not my things. They never have been. I'm not crafty and I don't have a long attention span. Plus, I have this problem of doing things for the sake of themselves. 

But now things are different. I have a ton of free time on my hands and I get antsy to do something other than housework and job hunting. And I'm trying to plan a wedding on a big question mark of a budget, which lends itself to all questions of DIY.

Everyone thinks I'm nuts that I started thinking about doing my own wedding flowers. But they weren't there for the multiple cross-country florist phone calls and tears of frustration and floral quotes about three times as much as I was hoping to pay. They're flowers! They grow out of the ground! Where are you coming up with these numbers in the thousands?

So it was kind of a happy accident when I realized that I could start practicing my craft before committing to it. I spotted a small U-Pick flowers pointing off a road I'd never been down in Pullman. So after a particularly stressful day (as far as stressful days for me goes in Pullman), I followed the arrow, took a left at the second arrow, and then I was up at the top of a hill on Old Moscow Road, heading up to a private little farmhouse.

I didn't see a single person the whole time I was there. It's all entirely self serve.

You grab a little bucket, fill it up, come back with flowers, transfer them to milk jugs. They have a water spigot and free packets of flower food. It's $7 per bucketful. 

But where do you pay if you don't see the owners? Well, duh, using the pay box nailed to a tree.

These things still crack me up because I can't imagine how this would go if it were in NYC. There's a good wad of cash in there. It is not locked with some slot at the end for the money to go into. People are so trusting here... and rightfully so! It might never stop being bizarre to me. 

For the next half or or so it was just me in the flower fields, finding what I liked, picking the ones with the fewest amount of bees on them, filling up the bucket. I felt like a happy, unsupervised child in a meadow. 

 Here's what I came home with on this first attempt at floral design. Keep in mind that mayyybe I didn't see the shears until it was too late and I had just snapped these poor flowers off with my hands. I told you I wasn't crafty.

The first step is fun because it's so calming. It's kind of like when adults give children coloring books. It keeps them occupied. Do kids still color? Or do they only play with iPads now? Kids these days.

Oh right, but the first step: cleaning of all the little leaves and dead parts, tidying them up before they go into the treated water. I learned that you can't put flowers with leaves into the water because those leaves are what dies and makes the water all mucky and maybe that's why my flowers get so gross so fast all the time.

So turn up the music, breathe easy and get to work. It feels meditative and you'll be done before you know it. Then, get down to the arranging. Start with two main "anchor" flowers, wrap them together with floral tape. Add another flower, rewrap. They don't tell you that its not easy working with floral tape because its sticky on both sides, but almost not sticky enough to stay where you want it to. I've found that it helps to use one continuous piece of tape, although I've read you should do the opposite. But this way, at least, there aren't all those odds and ends sticking out that you have to deal with.

As you're arranging, make sure to get in enough greenery and "filler". That's something that isn't second nature to me yet, but I'm working on it. And play by the rules of three: there should always be an odd number of each type of flower. Makes it more appealing, I guess, when it isn't all Noah's Arc-ish.

When you're done adding flowers, its time to wrap, starting at the top and working your way down and then up again. I got some tulle as a tester. I like it when it's tightly wrapped like a mummy, not all tulle-d out and puffy. Secure with a pin on the back, and you're done!

I'm still trying to work out how to get the right texture, too. It's more challenging than I expected. Ignore that little texture abomination on the side of this one. But how cute is that billyball!

Then I played around making boutineers. These are just rosemary springs that act as a backdrop to a small billyball or small purple flowers, or both. Obviously like the twine wrapping best here. Here, you strip everything off at the halfway point, wrap it with floral wire this time, and then cover the wire with ribbon, tulle, twine, whatever.

 My second attempt was a little more successful. I think it was heartening to see that I'd improved. First, i made sure I picked a better selection of flowers to work with. And I cut each one further down so there was more flexibility when arranging. You want them all to be the same length so when you stick them in water, they all get nourished. Plus, it just looks better that way.

I ran out of floral tape (see, I guess I am using too much) so I only had enough flowers for one small bouquet. As for the rest, I practiced making arrangements. 

See? Who needs to waste upwards of $300 per bouquet with a florist? As long as Blooms in a Box delivers to its standards, I think this will be totally doable. 

And the final product will be special because so many of us came together to do it.

Right? Guys? Bridesmaids? Friends?

... Please?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Drink the Kool-Aid & Vote for Me!

So I just entered a picture of the animal I like to call Coyote Pretty in this Share the Experience photo contest -- take a look and vote for me! After all we've been through on this road trip, doesn't the Subaru deserve a little maintenance cash? I took her to the dealership four times this week. C'mon. Do it for the vehicular children.

Coyote Pretty

As for the Kool-Aid thing, ok, it's not really Kool-Aid, but it's much better! Today I made an orange-lime-cucumber-lemon infused water because I read it flushes fat and with a full pork shoulder in the crock this weekend lord knows I could use it. But after a sip or two I thought, you know what would make this a million times better? Soda-ifying it. Or, as a Washington resident now, should I be saying pop-ify? So I revved up the Sodastream, topped off the fruit water and boom, now it's like a cross between lemon water and orange soda. I'm pretty pleased with myself.

For a quick recap of other kitchen creations, because I'm sure you're dying to know...

We got some beets at the farmers market. I cooked them for almost an hour, sauteed the greens separately with a chopped onion, tossed it altogether with a little balsamic and a little goat cheese. It was very minimally dressed and the flavors were amazing. I'd never had beet greens before, but now I'll never throw them out again.

As for that aforementioned pork, ugh, I hate how disgustingly good it came out. A full 10 hours in the crock pot with a little garlic, onion and chicken broth and out comes tender, juicy perfeection. Luckily Rob froze the remainder before we went too bananas with it. But not before soft tacos with mango-avocado-black bean salsa and a sandwich with cheddar-jack and avocado on fresh Pugliese.  

Now that Rob's in school about 32 hours a day I have to come up with cheap ways to feed and entertain myself. So as a two-fer I thought it'd be a good idea to make ravioli, PORK ravioli, and went through the whole egg-flour dough process before I realized I have no idea where the ravoili press is or if it's even been unpacked or what. So I made orichette with my massive thumbprints and they obviously came out way too doughy; I tried to make pesto but ran short on homegrown basil and substituted mostly with store bought mint and did I just make boiled flour balls with chimichurri? I guess they can't all be winners. And I should probably cool it with the overzealous kitchen whims.

But this salad-y apple of my eye was first rate, for sure. I felt inspired to go completely off recipe with my idea to house-toast walnuts and concoct a vinaigrette of honey mustard, horse radish, lime juice and olive oil. My first taste was pretty terrible but I managed to salvage it with agave and salt. The sweetness went well with the farmers market strawberries and contrasted nicely with the herbed goat cheese. Avocado, well, that just goes in everything these days. Hasn't made anything worse so far. 

Anyway, go vote for Coyote Pretty! :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Daikon-Ponzu Duck Breast Recipe

Adjustment is a funny thing. One day you wake up, feel at home, go about your business, do some work, busy yourself and fall asleep feeling routine-ified. Then other days you want to throw a tantrum because where's the sushi and how come no one knows how to walk in public and why do they pre-slice deli meat in Boise and why is it not even Boar's Head. And by "you" I guess I mean me. 

Today I saw a tow zone sign that said "Don't park your car improperly or without authorization because a reluctant little tow truck will remove it!" And there was an image of a crying tow truck. Well I can relate to your feelings, cartoon Tow Truck, because back in NYC they'll drag your car away and they won't be sorry! 

Sometimes I'm confused by the things I am nostalgic for.

Well, anyway, like I've said in basically every post I've written so far, we have to make our own fun, build our own comfort. And while cooking with whatever is different and fresh over here is fun, we wanted a hearty staple that reminded us of dinner parties in Brooklyn and Sunday night meals we'd make when we were feeling fancy.

Enter the daikon-ponzu duck dish we've been making for at least six years now. The original recipe is from En Japanese Brasserie, a spot in the West Village that makes awesome homemade tofu and terrific garlic-shiso fried rice. And of course this amazing fusion dish, which is really easy to make at home.

Sauteed Duck Breast with Daikon and Ponzu 

2 boneless duck breasts
1 daikon radish, shredded
4 tsp. ponzu sauce
1 scallion 

Preheat an oven-proof skillet over a high flame, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Score crosswise hash marks in the skin side of the duck breasts. Salt and pepper both sides. When the skillet is very hot, lightly rub the breasts skin side down on the surface to release some duck fat. Sautee skin side down until browned and the hash marks pop out. Flip and sauté the meat side until it browns. Flip back onto the side side and stick it in the over for 7 minutes. Flip and bake for 7 more minutes. 

Remove the meat and let it rest on a cutting board. Keep the fat in the skillet and place over high heat. Add the daikon and sautee with the ponzu. Slice the duck and top with daikon. Then slice the scallions lengthwise and arrange artfully on top. 

Even when you're in the boonies, you deserve a little flair with dinner, right? A nice plating? And by you I mean me again.

The dish goes really well with a nice bottle of merlot from the aforementioned Camas Prarie Winery. Maybe cab would be even better next time. I'll let you know.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The National Lentil Festival

Well, it's not the Gay Pride Parade, but the Lentil Fest of Pullman generates a good deal of buzz. And by buzz I mean there are signs up all over the place weeks, maybe months, in advance.

So of course we went to check it out on Friday. I was most excited to see the world's biggest bowl of lentil chili. That guy has to climb up a ladder just to stir it around! It would look a whole lot more quaint if they scooped the chili from the top instead of using a messy spout at the bottom, but the good news is I saw the chili tap AFTER I grabbed a free sample, so there's that.

Next we hit the food stand. It wasn't Smorgasburg and could have used a leeetle bit of creativity (A Coke truck??) but we had a nice pork sandwich from Spokane's Smokin' Romes BBQ. We sat and ate under a tent while we watched a little band play in the gazebo. Then when I saw a lady use the dirty picnic table as a changing table I decided it was on to our next stop: the 21+ beer tent.

We had a few brews from a handful of different breweries. We met a bunch of local people. One gave me a temporary lentil tattoo -- that is, a round lentil woman dressed in high heels and a bow. Someone else gave me a bag of dried lentils. I guess we missed the freebie tents, but new friends made up for it.

We skipped the parade the next day -- something new to look forward to next year, perhaps.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Food Depression and Food Redemption

"I'm trying to figure out what stage of grief you're at right now," he says to me.

We're at our first attempt at Saturday brunch: the Old European restaurant in Pullman, Washington, which is just as kitchy and carpet-y as it sounds. There are signs about Jesus on the walls. In front of us are wobbly eggs that still have the shape of the bowl it was cracked in when they placed it in the microwave. We'd ordered them poached. His breakfast sausage was cold, and came back two minutes later, plate hot from another go in the microwave, bite mark still intact. The syrup is watery and I'm juggling the pourer around, trying to figure out how something that's supposed to be thick and heavy is sloshing around like dish water.

What stage of grief am I in? Well, it's certainly not acceptance.

Back in Brooklyn, we went to brunch every Saturday we could. Usually Brooklyn Label or Egg or somewhere hipstery where we'd wait forever on the hot sidewalks and groan about hunger. But then we'd sit and get our food and coffee and the mood for the weekend would be set. We'd have huevos rancheros and eggs benedict or sausage gravy and challah french toast. Then we'd set off for a day of museums or parks or art openings or whatever our friends were up to that day. We did this for eight years straight, and we loved it. And now here we are in a college town where slobby people rave about a place that doesn't seem to have a stovetop.

Again, it set the tone for the day. But this time, it was a mopey tone. 

Luckily, we're learning the ways of finding our own cheer. And we're learning our best bet for joy is seven miles away in Moscow, Idaho.

First, some coffee by the pound at the Moscow Food Co-Op. It reminds me of the Garden that was at the end of our street in Brooklyn, the only place for organic food and acceptable coffee.

Then a stop at the Camas Prairie Winery, where we picked up a bottle of red, a bottle of white and a bottle of beer. A consolation prize for when dinner fails. Or, a celebration.

But these were old tricks. Now onto our first dinner spot in Moscow: Maialina.

I had hopes for this place the first time I heard about it. It reminded me of Maialino, one of my favorite spots for Italian food in the city. Now of course I wasn't expecting fresh suckling pig over handmade pasta here. I'm not gonna read THAT much into the name. I just wanted affirmation that I could find artisanal pizza that reminds me of home. Just pizza. That's it.

I'm so glad it delivered and exceeded expectations. I wasn't ready to down all three bottles in sorrow tonight.

We started with some perfectly cooked mussels with white wine, garlic and guanciale. Guanciale! Rejoice.

And the pizza was fantastic, too. Puffed up at the crust, with a thin interior topped with mozz, fennel sausage and chili oil. It was supposed to come with rapini, which is supposed to be broccoli raab, but got kale. Rob asked the waiter, "Is this kale?" Waiter says, "Yes, good taste!" Ok, well, we can't all be perfect. 

I'm feeling huge relief knowing that pizza as good as Fornino and maybe even as good as Robertas is only a short drive over the state line. As good as Motorino? I'm not that far into the denial stage yet. And hey, instead of waiting for the bus or subway to come and take us home, we get pretty views of the Palouse as we breeze on by in our car. We have wine tonight and fresh coffee for tomorrow. We're good to go.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Farmers Markets & Huckleberry Cobbler

It's funny when you move across country from a big city to a rural college town. You think every aspect of your life will be completely different. And it is. But life stays the same, too. The same values -- music, love, food -- follow you. Instead of wild concerts, its the familiar albums you play in the new car. We still have each other, but now there's a spastic hound dog to love, too. And instead of five courses at four-star restaurants, we're cooking. Pretty much every meal. 

In a way, this kind of rural accessibility is like living the Brooklyn dream. I don't need to plant gardens on my roof -- I have a garden in the yard! We have enough space in the kitchen to try pickling experiments on the weekends. And the farmer's market in Moscow Idaho brings us the best organic deals in town every Saturday.

Yeah okay, so I know in NYC we had the Union Square farmer's market and the food share at McCarrren Park. But it's a whole other plantation on this side of the country. It's impossible to find fresh fish, but you can buy some nice plants and flowers here. And you know what else they have out west? Huckleberries! That's right, it's not just a character in a classic novel anymore, kids.

I bought a pint and had no idea what to do with them. I did a reduction sauce on some pork chops and they were okay. But I wanted to bake something sweet. I wanted a cobbler. I've never made a cobbler before so I did what any 30 year old woman would do.

I texted my mom.

She came to the rescue with an old cobbler recipe that she said must have been printed before the second World War it was in such bad shape. It was in rumpled shape when Grandma followed the recipe even then.

Lucky for me, the Internet's a big place. I found it online. One problem though -- the cobbler was apple.

So I took out the apples and cinnamon, added some other berries to tone down the huckle, tossed in a bit of personal knowledge about maceration and ta-da! Huckleberry cobbler.

Huckleberry Cobbler


1/2 pint of fresh huckleberries
1 pint of fresh blueberries
1 pint of fresh strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
dash of salt
juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbs. butter
1 cup flour
1 Tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. shortening
1/2 cup milk

  • Instructions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and chop strawberries and huckleberries to match the size of the blueberries. Add lemon juice, 3/4 cup sugar and a dash of salt and let sit until softened and juicy. Pour into a baking dish, dot with butter. Cover with foil; bake 15 min. Meanwhile, sift flour, 1 tsp. sugar, baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cut in shortening, then stir in milk. Drop by spoonfuls on hot berries. Bake uncovered 25-35 min. Serve hot, with plain vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Brews Across America

What's that you say? You enjoy beer? And you like to travel?? Well, friends, I have a nice list for you of all the great breweries we love from Brooklyn to Pullman (ahh! The title! She said it!). Here's my list, from east to west:

Brooklyn, NY - Six Point Brewery
Cleveland, OH - Great Lakes Brewing Company
Chicago, IL - Goose Island
Madison, WI - Ale Asylum
New Glarus, WI - New Glarus Brewing
Sioux Falls, SD - Monks House of Ale Repute (not a brewery, but they have a good selection, including this beer Ghostface Killah from Twisted Pine Brewing in Boulder CO that you should totally not drink ever unless you enjoy spicy painful heartburn, but otherwise they have good beers at Monks)
Jackson, WY - Snake River Brewery
Red Lodge, MT - Red Lodge Ales Brewing Company
Missoula, MT - Big Sky Brewery
Pullman, WA - Paradise Creek Brewery 

We realized that favorite brews happen to be a pretty local thing. Our Brooklyn friends are sad for us that there's no Six Point here. Our Pullman friends have no idea what Six Point even is. Maybe this post will widen the perspective of IPA and stout lovers across America. Maybe. Probably.

Forest Fires, Coeur d'Alene, and a New Home

Re-packing up the car became a familiar ritual after every stop. A ritual that I typically left to Rob. It was usually in a dirty parking garage or an ugly Motel 6 parking lot, but packing up after our stay at Buck's T-4 never looked so peaceful.

We took a nice countryside drive back to I-90. We hadn't been on the main drag since South Dakota!

But as soon as we got back onto it, we saw smoke in the distance. As we got closer we saw it was a pretty big forest fire. 

I guess forest fires in Montana aren't uncommon, but it was a pretty crazy sight to us. 

Anyway, they seemed like they had it under control, so onto Idaho!

Where ironically, we immediately saw this sign.

We spent the night camping at Coeur d'Alene, a mile or so away from this gorgeous lake. I can't wait to go back here for a legit day trip with beach time and swimming. John K, get ready! :)

The camp site was one of the weirder ones we've stopped at, and the personnel was a new level of slow. Let's just say I got some free firewood out of the deal and called it a win.

The next morning we were only an hour and a half away from home!

"Home" wasn't totally what we were expecting. With the hour-long landlady conference calls about maintenance and cleanliness and rules of the like we've never head of in Brooklyn, I guess we were expecting a little more.

But, we're making the most of it. 

We've grown a garden in that grassy area on the left. We made friends with the downstairs neighbors -- they're awesome. There's a brewery a half mile down the street. Every night or so we walk to a nice park up the hill and visit the llamas and sheep. And there's a big schoolyard next door where Caly loves to run around. She pumps with her head instead of her arms.

The transition has been a little rough at times, but I'd say overall, we're doing ok.

We also have a washer/dryer, so I have enough clean clothes that match now. Don't worry about me.

More on what we're doing, drinking and baking to come! And maybe even a new Martha Stewart style recipe or another crafty idea or two. Forced ruralism will do that do a Brooklyn gal. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Log Cabin Lodging & Dining in Montana

Montana was actually one of my favorite spots on the trip. I know! Who would have thought that. But I liked the mountains, the road that followed alongside a river. It had a nice peaceful feeling to it. Not lonely and creepy like parts of Minnesota or South Dakota or Wyoming. I'm hoping we can do a long weekend here again. 

Our stop at Big Sky was kind of like the luxury portion of our trip. We stayed at a lodge called Buck's T4, which, after 2 weeks of Motel 6 and camping, seemed like the most luxurious place in the world. We took Caly for a nice hike at Porcupine Creek down the street, and since it was empty, we let her off leash. She had so much fun chasing little animals around, but we had more fun watching her. She'd run into the deep brush, emerge in the air front paws first, like a dolphin, and disappear back legs last. 

Then we came back to the lodge, dropped the pup in the room, and went to the outdoor hot tub. Oh man! We turned on those jetsprays and felt like brand new people. It was as though tiny dirty particles from camping back in Pennsylvania were finally coming loose. Back to the room to dry off, get dressed and go to dinner! Like people do.

The on-site restaurant was supposed to be pretty good, and while it was on the pricey side -- for anywhere, not just Montana -- I'd say it was pretty worth it. We started at the bar with some local beers. No Big Sky Brewing Co beers, which we see all the time over here in Washington. Just small local breweries. I had the Bent Nail IPA from Red Lodge. (Yeah, I'm linking to Beer Advocate, I'm turning into that person, I'm sorry).

Then Dinner! OMG dinner. Take a look at this portion of the menu and tell me you aren't drooling.

We started with this sampler of house cured duck bacon, cherry chutney, Wagyu pastrami, huckleberry grain mustard and a trout cheesecake that was surprisingly delicious. We used up all the sourdough piling this stuff up. 

Rob got the duck 3 ways, where the duck bacon made another appearance, along with duck breast and confit. These "gingered baby carrots" were the most memorable for me. I don't know what they did to them to make them so carrot-y. and also, aren't they huge for baby carrots?

This red deer with truffled risotto was one of the best things I've eaten all year. And that's saying a lot! I asked for the deer cooked however the chef recommended, and it was so rare on the inside it was like really good sashimi. I haven't had meat that rare in a long time, and when its safe, its my favorite. It was so super tender and flavorful I feel like I can't even talk about it anymore because the craving will be too much.

Dessert was locally made mint fudge ice cream.  

The meal was so heavy that when we got back to the room, I turned around to say something to Rob and he was already passed out.

Buck's T-4, easily the best lodging of our trip!

A Drive Through Yellowstone

Man, we thought we'd seen some good wildlife on the trip thus far between deer and coyote, but in Yellowstone we got to see some real wild animals. Like bison and elk. Lots of 'em!

After we left Jackson we had to pay admission both to Teton and to Yellowstone. It wasn't much -- maybe $10 at each? -- but it gets you a week at both places. I guess we should have planned it out better, but when we checked from Jackson the night before, all the campgrounds were full. So we just made it a leisurely drive up through Wyoming and into Montana, where we spent the night. 

There were lots of spots to stop along the way. Most were just roadside pullovers where you could step off the beaten path a few steps to get a nice view of land or water.

It's funny, I dontt think we would have made this stop at Old Faithful, but we hurried on our way over there because Rob had to go to the bathroom. And we just barely made it on time! For the geyser, that is.

It seems like its always smoking, and then once every hour and a half or something, the mist gets higher, a trickle of water comes, and then its a full explosion into the air.

The pictures always make it seem like you're the only one there, but believe me, you're not.

Caly barked at the kids here, so we waited for the crowd to file away to take this picture with her. Note that the geyser always has a little somethin' smoky goin' on.


Anyway, our first animal stop was for this buffalo. I think he was getting tired of the people getting out of their cars to look at him because he started rocking back and forth to get up. It took a good five minutes for this poor heavy guy!

Obviously, we had to stop to have a pic-a-nic at Jellystone park. The dog tried to hunt a crow the entire time. 

Each picnic table has this warning hammered into it. Imagine getting a bear citation for leaving out a bucket.

Anyway, I felt like we had to get a few pics with the animals so it doesn't look like we're just snapping buffalo pics in a zoo.

What a glorious place.