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We recently returned from our first ever McNamee-only family vacation.  We’ve gone on lots of trips as a family, but it is usually with extended family which is really fun!  However we decided we needed to branch out and have some experiences and memories as just our little fam.

I think we were successful.  In fact our time together was so successful that since being home Conner actually looks for ways to include and play with Logan – a little vacation miracle!  And we can now claim Eli has our best car baby.  This trip involved A LOT of time in the car.  Of course he complained a little bit, but he got over it pretty quick and even slept quite a bit.

We headed to one of our favorite spots, Island Park, ID for the 3rd time!  This was Audra and Eli’s first time, Logan’s second and I hope they remember some of it.  Last time we went Conner was 6 and he remembered some of it, but I know he’ll definitely remember this trip. He really, really had fun!  It was tricky to figure out what we could do to entertain a 10  and 6 year old while making sure the 3 year old and 1 year old got their much needed naps.  I think it worked out; Dave and the boys headed out on many adventures in the afternoon while I stayed with the nappers.
mountain collage

Seven days together allowed us lots of time to go and do . . . .

It would not be a visit to Island Park without floating the Snake River!  One of my favorite memories for sure and we even hauled the canoe so there was plenty of room for everyone.  The float may have been a little too long for the little ones who kept asking when we’d be done, but seeing moose, fisherman and lots of other floaters was almost enough distraction to keep them entertained.  Eli relished in crawling from side to side and standing up.  Thank goodness the sides are just tall enough, because all he wanted was to touch the water which would have sent him overboard for sure.

And since we were only 20 minutes away, we knew had to spend lots of time in Yellowstone!  Along with the rest of the country  …..except those from Hawaii, West Virginia, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Mississippi.  Yes, we spent almost more time scouring license plates than enjoying the beauties of Yellowstone.  We also found 6 of the 10 Canadian Provinces and 2 foreign countries (Germany & France).  WOW!
Conner vaguely remembered coming to Yellowstone at Logan’s age, but he loved, loved, loved it this time!  He really got into reading the signs and thinking through the science of what was happening.  As much as Logan complained about all the walking and seeing, Conner wanted to go and see more!  He was more than willing to have his picture taken by anything.  He was thrilled that we happened to be right by a geyser as it went off (luckily not close enough to get wet).  And I guess we’ll have to go back again when Audra and Eli will be able to remember all the sights.
yellowstone yellowstone 1

Since we didn’t see any bears in Yellowstone (just those pesky Bison and Elk), we had to head to the Grizzly Bear and Wolf Discovery Center.  So fun!  So many bears right up close.  And we were totally in the right place at the right time when the wolves decided walk right by us to find a napping spot!
bear collage IMG_1977-1

When we weren’t busy goingoingoing; we took some down time to play on the playground right outside our door, go swimming, or just enjoy all beauties Island Park has to offer.

Like playing in the river – definitely a favorite activity that we should have done more than we did.  All those kids want is to get their clothes wet while attempting to net some fish.  No fish this year, but lots of wet clothes :-)!river collage1

Family vacations are so wonderful and I truly consider this a blessing!  I’m grateful Dave has a job that allows him to take this time off; I’m grateful we have the means to go and do; I’m grateful for amazing children and for all the time I got to spend with them; and I’m grateful for such beautiful places relativity close by.

Of all the memories we made I’m sure the boys will remember getting to stay up really late watching the alligator catchers on Animal Planet and playing MadLibs.  Dave and I will remember sharing our room with 2 children which meant we hardly ever got any alone time to just talk.  And I know we’ll all remember being together, playing games, and eating lots of treats!


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