Monday, April 18, 2011

Chico hot springs weekend

The Christensen's flew into Billings and we picked them up at the airport (with cold drinks, of course!). With plans to spend the weekend at the hot springs, we stopped off at the grocery store to stock up on breakfast items, lunch stuff and mixers for the "gallons" of alcohol that Luke and I had packed for the weekend. Sarah started off her vacation with a bit of a cold but was such a trooper. We twisted her arm into a tall cold beer at Old C's for lunch. She and I got to catch up and Ryan and Luke got a round of golden tee in before we hit the road. (We attempted to get a photo of the four of us at each location we visited) Our first photo of the trip was at lunch and I set the timer and got back to the table. As we waited for the blinking light to stop, Luke proceeds to spill a beer across the table and hence the fabulous first picture of the trip. Ryan and I are smiling like nothing happened, but Sarah and Luke are a mess! Off to a great start since our sober driver has beer spilled all over his pants.

Sarah, Ryan and I had a cocktail for the road which was fun until we realized we were going to be stopping every half hour to pee. Ryan took the easy way out and stopped on an offramp to lighten his load. He ran towards a tree for some privacy and an enormous Snowshoe hare jumped out and nearly scared the piss right out of him.

A few miles later, Sarah and I have to follow suit but need a suitable restroom for elimination. Needless to say, it took forever to get to Chico. We finally arrived and got checked in-straight to the pools! We filled our water bottles and off we went. Chico has a very nice restaurant that I has made reservations for dinner that evening. Showers, more cocktails, and two bottles of wine and we are sitting down to dinner. Ryan and I split some Oysters Rockefeller(?), I ordered the halibut special, Sarah had some amazing squash dish and the boys ordered steaks. We wound up back in the room for pj's and drinks while Sarah and I punished the guys in Battle of the Sexes. The next morning, we loaded up the car and headed down to the North gate of Yellowstone to sit in the Boiling River. It is where the Gardner River and a hot springs flow into each other and form hot/cold pools that you can hike/walk to. While the boys fully participated, Sarah, who lost her voice sue to being sick/laughing/drinking in large amounts, and I only waded in to our upper thighs. It was cold and windy and it didn't seem like a good idea to be really cold and wet for the 1/2 mile hike back to the car. Plus the buffalo started to make their way towards the path and it started to freak Sarah and I out. We got out of there, hiked back to the car and turned out the seat heaters!(We had swapped out cars with mom so she could have the car seats!) In the photos, you can spot Ryan's bright orange stocking hat! It was a great experience and can't wait to go back maybe in the fall, when it's not quite so chilly.

To make a day out of our road trip we stopped in Gardner, Montana at Red's Blue Goose Saloon for a beer and for Luke and Ryan to play Deer Hunter a few times. We had our fun, took a picture, and went about our day.

There were tons of buffalo on the side of the road, as well as elk. Ryan wanted to film some of the buffalo crossing the road for their girls. It turned out to be the funniest part of the trip.

One last stop at a local joint in the town of Emmigrant at the Old Saloon. I had been looking forward to some cheesesticks-probably due to being hungover and walked in and asked the lady behind the bar if they had any. She stated the did not but boy they sure are good. And then went on to comment of my "cute, little profile! When was I due?" REALLY?! For one, I had also just ordered a Bud Light. Two, I was so proud of myself for getting down to my (first of many) goal weight for the hot springs trip. and Three- she was probably 280 lbs herself and had no room to be pointing out my bloated belly! I thought Ryan was going to spew beer when he heard the ladies comment. By this time, Sarah is writing on napkins cause of her missing voice(see picture!). Ryan of course had made friends with Bert on the front porch of the restaurant by the time we left and Bert had decided to come and visit Luke and I in Cody some time....I won't hold my breath. I don't think Bert goes far these days.

We got back and jumped in the pools at the hot springs. It wound up being a bit much for Sarah and I so we headed back to the room for a quick siesta. Luke and Ryan said as to not wake up us girls, they went to the saloon til about dinner time. Hours later, Sarah and I are ready for dinner and wondering where the boys are. More than a few sheets to the wind, they were in the bar, very unaware of the time. We walked over for dinner at the small restaurant next to the pool for pizza and such. While the boys were up to no good, we ladies should not be left to our own devices! We decided there was no harm in seeing if there were any last minute appointments at the day spa at the top of the hill. As a matter of fact there were two spots open at 8am for the Chico Massage-citrus foot scrub and a hot rock massage for a little over an hour! Yippee! One last jump in the pool and we headed back to Billings for a fun lunch at the Montana Brewing Company and off to the airport. It was a fun filled weekend and can't wait to see them again in a few months.