Early departure to Salt Lake City, alarm went off at 5:15 AM. Pleasant to be awoken to Seanna singing a Pat McGee song ‘It’s 5:15’. Showered, dressed and out of the house at 5:40AM. Pilot late for our flight, no excuse for that being it was the first flight out. Took off an hour late, only arrived 15 minutes late – not too bad.
Arrived at the hotel at 1:30, checked in did a quick change and jumped on the bus. Side note here Park City bus transportation is fantastic and free. Takes you everywhere you would need or want to go.
We headed right to Deer Valley and took the chairlift to the top of the mountain.
Jewel was giving an outdoor concert in the evening and we got to hear her sound check as we rode the chairlift. The views were beautiful at the top as you can see by the pictures. Weather was perfect fall like temperatures. Took the chairlift down and stopped halfway down and had a drink at the Stein Erikson lodge, wonderful building. Important to know that depending what type of liquor license the establishment has you
may need to order food to have a drink. We took the bus back and relaxed in the room watching some college football
Walked to dinner at ‘Grub’ good food and had live music. Perfect
for what we needed after a long day of travel
Pictures below – Chairlift to top of Deer Valley, View from top of Deer Valley
September 4, 2016
As expected we woke up very early due to the time change. Made coffee in the room and headed out for a ride and find some breakfast. Found a nice bagel place ‘Wasatch Bagels’ definitely recommend for a relaxing breakfast. After breakfast we went to 9:30 mass at St. Mary of the assumption, a traditional catholic service with nice music. Upon leaving mass we went Olympic Park, a must see. We were lucky to see aerial skiers practicing coming down ramps and landing in the pool. You can also visit and if you so wish take a ride on 2002 Olympic bobsled track. Was nice to see the second (Munich in March of 2016) Olympic venue we have visited being used so much.
After changing we headed to ‘silly Sunday’ hosted on Main Street in park city. It is a street festival with local artists, food and live music. Was a nice day spent shopping, eating and drinking.
Dinner was at Sammy’s bistro, I would highly recommend this venue. The atmosphere was fun and the staff was some of the best I have ever been around. We had Nachos and a burger, both fantastic. Finished it off with homemade carrot cake (a must)
Pictures below – 2002 Olympic Park and Park city Silly Sunday Festival
September 5, 2016
Leaving Park City today, first though had to fuel up with some breakfast. We went back to Wasatch bagels and had the buttermilk pancakes and sausage – fantastic. The ride to Jackson is hard to describe. The scenery looks fake, however you know it is real. We found our condo with no issues. Had a quick bite to eat a caldera pizza (very good), headed to the supermarket and then unpacked.
Since it was early we decided to go to the top of Snow King Mountain. Great views of Jackson and the Grand Tetons.
Dinner was at the Gun Barrel. Very good and reasonable steak house. After dinner we went for a walk around downtown Jackson, quite a bit of activity from shops to restaurants/bars – some with live music.
Unfortunately we were both exhausted from the travel that we turned in at 10PM
Pictures below – View from top of Snow King Mountain, Grand Tetons in background as well.
September 6, 2016
Started the day off with a great home cooked breakfast with delicious Maxwell House coffee. Today was our first trek into Teton National Park. Began our Journey at 8:30AM with the first stop being the visitor center. Highly recommend stopping at a visitor center before beginning your venture, they are incredibly helpful. We were fortunate that ours was only 5 miles from our rented condo.
Here it is a nutshell, I am not going to spend a lot of time typing about the parks (Teton and Yellowstone). I know it is cliché but words do not describe the beauty. Pictures also do not show the massiveness and stunning scenery, I have included photos to give some type of description.
Looking at these pictures though really does an injustice to the beauty.
My words to anyone who reads this is, get out there, go see these beautiful places in the U.S. What a sense of pride of being American you come away with when you walk through these beautiful places.
You may not know me when you read this but I am a city boy through in through. I would never want to live in any of the places we went to on this trip. With that being said I would visit again, perhaps try them in different seasons.
We packed our lunch for a journey, once again highly recommended as there are so many beautiful spots to sit and eat.
Our first day we drove 230 miles and were on the road for a little over 9 hours. Much of it is driving from scenic point to scenic point. We covered Teton National Park and even made a small trip into Yellowstone.
Arrived home and relaxed before going to a wonderful and reasonable Mexican dinner at El Abuelito, walkable from downtown Jackson. After dinner we went to the Wort hotel and watched some true country line dancing with a nice bluegrass band.
After getting our full of the dancing we headed over to Hatch restaurant to listen to a band playing outside. Just as we sat down the band announced (to us, we were the only two outside) they would need to give our tip back since that was there last song.
After telling them to keep it and some banter back and forth don’t you know that the three of them were originally from Massachusetts. Lead singer the Cape, guitarist from Lockport and the banjo player was from Watertown, he proved it by telling us he was Armenian. Talk about a small world. They played one more (15 minute) song and then joined us at our table for a cocktail, they missed the accent I provided.
It had been a long day and we came home and crashed. Tomorrow we head out again to explore Yellowstone.
Pictures below – Grand Teton National Park
September 7, 2016
Day 2 of touring the National parks. This day was 310 miles and a little over 11 hours on the road. We were slightly disappointed in Yellowstone the brief tour we took the day before. We decided to tackle the upper loop knowing it was going to be an all-day event. It was worth it, as you will see from photos below many interesting views as well as wildlife close enough to touch. It is hard to remember that we are the visitors in the animal’s home, it is not a zoo it is true wildlife.
Once again Lunch was packed and dinner that evening was at The Virginian, good pub food, burger, wings, and hotdog. Would recommend if you are looking for a low key relaxing meal after a long day on the road.
September 8, 2016
No driving today – Yee Haa….Spent the day checking out the town of Jackson. Lots of shops and souvenir places. We had a nice lunch at Tavern on the Square, views were nice and the Nachos were very tasty. Later that afternoon we hopped on the bus to go to Teton Village. We were working off a tip from the aforementioned band that told us after 4PM the gondola to the top of the mountain is free (usually $40/PP). It is free since there is a restaurant/lounge that opens and they want clients to go up. We went up for a drink and sat outside admiring the view.
We got to talking to another couple there and lo and behold the women’s mother graduated from Bloomfield HS in NJ – small world. After enjoying the view we had dinner at the Mangy Moose while listening to the band we met earlier in the week. A must at the Mangy Moose is the sweet potato fries with cinnamon and vanilla ice cream drizzled with caramel. This is an appetizer not desert. Took the 9:15PM bus home and back at the condo at 10:00PM.
September 9, 2016
Travel day – Moving from Jackson Wyoming to Salt Lake City Utah.
A very scenic ride through some very small towns, Population 120 for example.
We would drive for 40 miles and not see a supermarket, gas station, etc. This was while travelling through small towns. Where do these people shop, get gas, etc? We arrived in Salt Lake around 1PM. Unpacked and then went for a walk to Temple Sq. A very pretty place with much Mormon history. We then when on a hunt to get some food to bring back to the hotel room. Took us sometime and we finally found some high end Chinese around 7PM. Went back to the room ate and watched college football. Our hotel was home for the BYU cougars (playing University of Utah on Saturday).
At one point we ended up on the elevator with 6 linemen, I never felt so small – I am talking big boys. In bed early I think all the driving, 1200 miles, is starting to get to me.
September 10, 2016
After a great night sleep I went to the gym in the morning while Seanna slept in. We are staying at the city center Marriott in Salt Lake City, highly recommend for location as well amenities. We decided to have a late breakfast, we found a delicious Greek restaurant, fantastic Greek omelet. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the place. It was located on Broadway heading towards the University of Utah (Utes).
After Breakfast we walked, straight up hill to visit the state capital. The weather was getting warmer and Seanna wanted to take of her leggings.
We came across what we thought was a park with some benches. As Seanna disrobed I strolled around the park and found out we were actually in a cemetery. It was very small, however it was the grave site for Brigham Young, His wife and his parents. It also contained the remains of John Smiths wife (at least one of them anyway).
We continued on and visited a spectacular state capital. Marble everywhere. After a quick self-tour we headed down to the Tabernacle in temple square, at noon on Saturdays they have a half hour organ demonstration. What pretty sounds the organist was able to play.
We headed back to the room for a quick change as the weather was becoming warmer. We headed out on a 4 mile journey to witness the tailgate prior to the Utes and BYU. The people really do it up big, smokers, trailers converted in bars, campers, all in Utes red and white. After completing our walk around we asked a scalper were we could watch the game, he directed us to Big Ed’s.
Big Ed’s was just what we needed having walked approximately 8 miles so far this morning. They offered ice cold 24 ounce caned beer and cheeseburger special that really hit the spot. We watch the first half there and began our 4 mile journey back to the hotel. Right before getting back we saw an interesting place called “beer bar”, we stopped in and had one beer while watching the end of the 3rd quarter. This was a really lively place built to simulate a German beer hall. Beer, pretzels and sausage only – I recommend a stop in.
Back to the room for packing and relaxing. A long trip coming to end as we fly home tomorrow.
Here are my general tips for the trip:
- Be prepared for a lot of driving, very pretty landscapes, just a lot of driving.
- It is important to visit both the upper and lower loop in Yellowstone if you want to see all the good sites. Adds many miles, however most likely you will only do it once so you might as well cover all the area.
- Staying around for old Faithful is really nothing exciting.
- Pack lunches and stop in as many visitor centers as you can. They seem to have the best locations in both parks.
- If it is just two of you going, don’t book rooms ahead of time. There were plenty of options in Jackson, many of which looked like fun old style motels.
- This is the most important tip of all, get a rental car that has satellite radio. We made our trips listening to an entire Bruce concert (Seattle 2016) a days’ worth of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Then of course one of our long legs entertainment was provided by the big 80’s.
We did no real hiking, all of our ventures were done to the tourist spots. This is the reason I have named this blog the Sport Jacket Tour, as everything we did could have been done wearing a sport jacket and dress shoes – No roughing it for the Parshley’s