The single most refreshing thing about my vacation? Being offline.
The beauty of the West lies in its wide open skies ringed by mountains. And the sheer lack of wires. After my initial shock of not having ANY service in Yellowstone, I acclimated quickly and enjoyed the peace from the lack of low-level hum of technology that rules my life otherwise.
Nic complained bitterly about it while we were there. But didn't he tell us that "This was the best vacation ever!" repeatedly on the way home? He certainly did.
And why not? He learned how to play billiards, went whitewater rafting (and even jumped in and floated alongside the raft with the other kids in our craft), and saw wildlife up close while we barbecued our last evening in the park (well before dusk, naturally).
G stayed in the raft, but he happily sat between me and dad in the front of the raft as we captained the rest of the rowers down the Yellowstone, bouncing and shouting gleefully as we bumped and splashed through the rapids.
Dad helped our guide unlodge our raft from the rocks at one point, then guiltily admitted later to steering us to them in the first place. I had seen that coming and tried to cancel him out--unsuccessfully.
One of the funniest moments came when I was greeted with polite hostility for stepping between two boys and a charging bison on the boardwalk near the mud volcano. I'm not sure what that dad was thinking, but I should have told him fine, let your kids get trampled, see if I care.
That blew me away, how some people regard these animals as domesticated. I saw a lot of that craziness in a week.
Back at home, I play catch up. MIL is hospitalized a second time since Sunday night, and I await news. There's plenty of work to be done. And the kids are good to go for the rest of the summer. I scored free tickets to the Renaissance Faire, and our calendar is filling up again--or still--with things to do and people to see.
Gee, it's good to be back home!