Choosing my vacation

On the day following a five hour drive through heavy rain and gusting wind, we loaded everyone back into the car to spend five hours driving around staring out the window at scrubby brush and trying to spot wildlife. There were headaches, and squabbles, and the weather was too cold for us to go hiking. We even got to watch the rare June snow flurries before they vanished on the shoulders of the light jackets we had brought just in case. We shivered as we ran from the warm car to the warm visitor center. All of this on top of the fact few of us slept well during the first night at the hotel, and I was ambushed by work stress via email. The elements were present for misery, and yet misery itself never showed up.

Instead there was a bison who chose to cross the road in front of us when I stopped the car for him. He looked at us and started walking directly toward our van. Just before he got to us, he veered and galloped right past our car, almost near enough to touch had anyone dared to roll down a window. The visitor center had video screens in the floor so the kids could imagine themselves plunging through the tumult of spring run-off, or jumping from mountain peak to mountain peak. Once Gleek drew my attention by shouting “I’m riding a moose!” as she crouched atop the video image of one. There was a chuckwagon breakfast which captured all the adventure of food while camping, but without all the work. We did see moose and elk from afar, but the bison was our only close encounter. Then we discovered that the hotel pool is delightfully deserted in the middle of the day.

So all the elements are here for either a marvelous vacation or a miserable one. I just have to pick which pieces will define the event.