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Yellowstone, Tetons, Fun, Rain, and a Snowstorm!

The afternoon viewing of Old Faithful was not crowded at all

Happy Labor Day to all my US readers and happy Monday to everyone else. We are making our way home from Yellowstone today, and my, has it been a trip to remember! Day1-Old Faithful We arrived at the west entrance to Yellowstone on Friday afternoon after a long day of driving. The weather was beautiful so we hightailed it down to Old Faithful. It was around 4:30 PM when we got to the Old Faithful parking area. The timing was perfect. It was about 30 minutes until the next eruption. Because it was later in the day, there wasn’t a huge crowd. It’s hard to describe, but awesome and amazing come to mind. After that, we had dinner and then hiked around the geyser basin. We stumbled upon an Old Faithful overlook trail that was about a half mile of climbing, and we were rewarded with an amazing view of the geyser going off again. It was even better because it was us and one other couple, so it was almost like a private show. We stayed in the area and looked around all the other geysers and geothermal wonders until it got dark. Day 2- Mount Washburn I really ...

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Frugal Trip To Yellowstone National Park

Image: Wikipedia Commons

I’m really sad to see summer come to an end. In Colorado, we are already having cooler temperatures, and I can’t help but notice that the sun is sleeping in and going to bed later than just a few weeks ago.  We decided to go on one more blow out road trip before summer is gone, and I’m VERY excited that we chose a national park. It will be a whirlwind, but here’s how we’re planning our frugal trip to Yellowstone! Why Yellowstone? Well, because it’s maybe the most famous national park, and it’s a goal of mine to see them all before I kick the bucket. Yellowstone is a 10 hour drive from us, so not close, but it’s a no brainer to road trip it. I have always wanted to visit Yellowstone since I was a kid. I’m not even sure how I knew about it. They don’t talk much about destinations west of the Mississippi in rural Kentucky, but geysers have always fascinated me. I’m not sure why we’ve never been now that we live closer, probably because it’s still a haul. A long weekend is probably not the best way to see the park, but sometimes ...

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Pros and Cons About Booking a Vacation With Points

Beaches in South Kauai

I’m sure you are all sick of hearing about my Hawaii vacation by now, but it really was the highlight of the year for us so far. It also took more than a year of planning to book most of the trip with points and miles for our family of three. We’ve booked smaller, closer trips with points before, but this was the first time we’ve really used our credit card rewards for high end resort stays and expensive flights. Let me say that this is in no way a negative post. Taking a two week vacation is something I used to only dream about, but now that I know the ropes, I think we can do even longer periods of travel in the future. However, there really is no such thing as a free lunch, so here are the pros and CONS of booking a vacation with points. Cons of Traveling With Points Again, I am not being negative. Maybe these should be called reminders instead of cons? Award Rooms Are Small When you book a standard award with points, it usually isn’t for the nicest room in the place. If you’re like me, you probably don’t have hotel ...

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Is a Kauai Luau Worth $200?

The price of a Kauai luau is $200 for a family

You won’t be hearing much from me for the next couple of weeks. Our trip to Hawaii is almost here! Our main costs for this trip were just over $500 because we used rewards from our Hawaiian Airlines Visa, Chase Ink cards, and Barclay Arrival cards. That includes 3 round trip flights, 7 nights in Kauai, and a rental car for the week. There will be other expenses, and I’m reaching out to my readers to decide how much we should spend and on what. The main thing we are trying to decide is whether or not to spend almost $200 for a Kauai luau plus a few other things we’d like to do. I’d love to hear some opinions. Oh Yeah, We’re Also Going to Vegas Did I mention that Hawaiian airlines only flies out of a few mainland cities, mostly in the Western US? The closest to us was Phoenix, but it was 15,000 points less to go out of Las Vegas, which is only an hour longer in driving distance. We are going to spend two nights in Vegas before our flight and one night there on the way back. The last time Jim and I went ...

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Culture Clash: Towaoc to Aspen

private planes in Aspen

I went into a bit of culture shock last week. I spend Thursday on the reservation town of Towaoc doing vision screenings for 22 three year olds who will be going into head start this fall. On Friday, I was having lunch at the Red Onion in Aspen. I honestly can’t believe these two places are in the same country, let alone the same state. It made me wonder if success is truly based on life circumstances. Maybe where you’re born does dictate your fate in life or is that just an excuse? Reality on the Reservation Last week was week two of the school screenings. The first week, I had the four year olds who were finishing up a year of head start. Out of 17 kids, I had one who knew letters. She lives off the reservation and only attends head start there because her mother works for the tribe. Two of the 39 kids were living at the youth shelter because their parents were in jail or somewhere unknown. More than half had a speech delay. About half were obese. Several had anemia from nutrient deficient diets. About a fourth had been removed from parental care at ...

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