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-   -   Quest for the West Aug 2 - 8 with PICS *Complete Trip Report* (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2255280)

tksbaskets 08-11-2009 09:39 PM

Quest for the West Aug 2 - 8 with PICS *Complete Trip Report*
 
Greetings. We have returned from our QFTW and I have uploaded 800+ pics from my camera....no don't click away - I won't be posting them ALL :goodvibes I did promise a trip report so here we go!

****SPOILER ALERT****
If you are an adventurer who wants to be surprised by what occurs on this adventure this is NOT the trip report for you!

****END OF ALERT****

Our adventurers: DH, me, DS1, DS2 who are both 18 1/2. This was their high school graduation trip. You can guess DH and my ages (but don't tell me in case I look much older than I am!)

Our Disney/travel background: DVC members, many trips to WDW (we are still in the teens for trips there but we are trying to do better!), one trip to DL, 4 Disney cruises (4-day, 10-day, 2-7 day cruises). Been to Europe twice on our own as DH's family is from southern Germany. My only experience with an 'organized' tour was with DS1 and his HS orchestra on a 9-day delightful tour of England in 2006.

Why did we decide to try ABD? We had done all the DCL itineraries that were offered this summer. There is so much of the United States we haven't seen and Wyoming appealed to all of us. A DCL cruise for our family was about the same as the ABD trip. I am always the trip planner in our family. My guys are GREAT about my arrangements but I was looking forward to NOT being responsible for the entire trip. (You other planners know what I mean :thumbsup2)

Our arrangements: Two rooms for the ABD adventure. One extra pre-day at the Wort hotel in Jackson Hole. For $350+ per night we were fine staying in one room that night! ;)

Saturday August 1 - Day Zero
Woke up at 0400 Michigan time (0200 Wyoming time) Off to Detroit Metro to catch our puddle jumper to Chicago. NO direct flights to Jackson Hole. What seemed like HOURS later we arrive to the most beautiful view from the tiny airport. Join me for a walk from the runway to the terminal.

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-04.jpg

DS2, Hubby, DS1 They are handsome but look at the view!
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-02.jpg

Don't see this at every airport! An elk-antler arch to enter the terminal building:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-03.jpg

No problem finding the luggage carousel - there is ONE. Nicely appointed - don't forget to look up!
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-05.jpg

We snagged our lugged and quickly moved outside to grab a cab into town. They have set rates which is nice. About $54 to get our family into town plus tip.

Next up:
The Wort, Bubba's, and our nap in the lobby. Hope you enjoy following along. I'll add another installment tomorrow. My pillow calls.

sayhello 08-11-2009 09:43 PM

Whoohoo! Looking forward to more of this report!

What gorgeous weather you were welcomed by!

Sayhello

HappyGrumpy 08-11-2009 09:46 PM

This is a welcome report!! Given all the Drama on the boards the past 24 hours I will gladly read your report! :sad2: Oh but wait we leave on the 25th...should I or shouldn't I? This is going to be hard!!

tksbaskets 08-11-2009 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HappyGrumpy (Post 33123935)
This is a welcome report!! Given all the Drama on the boards the past 24 hours I will gladly read your report! :sad2: Oh but wait we leave on the 25th...should I or shouldn't I? This is going to be hard!!

I saw a bit of the drama...bummer. I'll put you out of your misery. It was a FABULOUS trip!!! You are in for a treat when you go. I was prepared for being disappointed but was not in any area. I will give you my unique perspectives as I go along but sleep easy tonight - overall we thought the trip was a BLAST.

TK

HappyGrumpy 08-11-2009 10:04 PM

Quote:

I saw a bit of the drama...bummer. I'll put you out of your misery. It was a FABULOUS trip!!! You are in for a treat when you go. I was prepared for being disappointed but was not in any area. I will give you my unique perspectives as I go along but sleep easy tonight - overall we thought the trip was a BLAST.
I don't know you but I LOVE YOU! I am going to bed right now to have sweet dreams about this trip! Thank You your an :littleangel:! for giving me a heads up and it is TRULY appreciated!

HG

tksbaskets 08-11-2009 10:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HappyGrumpy (Post 33124163)
I don't know you but I LOVE YOU! I am going to bed right now to have sweet dreams about this trip! Thank You your an :littleangel:! for giving me a heads up and it is TRULY appreciated!

HG

No problem. Is that a reference to "Up"? I loved Dug! More tomorrow. Now I really am going to bed :wave:

TK

brewcrew 08-12-2009 04:51 PM

I can't wait to read about it!

tksbaskets 08-12-2009 10:10 PM

Arriving in Jackson Hole
 
We had a nice short drive from the airport and were soon turning into the Wort Hotel. The town isn't very large and the Wort is right in the middle. Here is our view:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-06.jpg

See the orange flags on the sidewalk corner? You take that and cross the road. Traffic always stopped for us be we did feel a bit like we were playing 'Frogger'!

It was about 11:30 am Wyoming time and our room wasn't ready. We went out of the Wort, turned right, and headed out to lunch at Bubba's BBQ. It was recommended in a couple of books about Wyoming I read and we weren't disappointed. It was a good 15-20 minute walk and there we were~!

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-07.jpg

Again with the beautiful view!
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-08.jpg

May we recommend the "LUNCHEON" portions?? That is what I had. The fellas (that's western talk don't you know) opted for the dinner portion and were stuffed! My beef brisket was to die for, the men folk all got the rib combo and proclaimed the short ribs the best. Although the beans were delish I may recommend not getting them as a side with four to a room :rolleyes1

My first food pic for you:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-09.jpg

The onion rings were as delicious as they looked. Our waiter was GREAT and brought unlimited refills of soda and water for us. I loved that they had Diet Pepsi in Wyoming!

We shopped in a few of the stores on the way back to the hotel. It was a little before two and we were really tired. Boy they have comfy chairs in the lobby of the Wort (BTW the lobby entrance is off the side street). We checked on our room, 'not ready' and settled in for a nap. Yes we ALL slept.

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-11.jpg

Another view from the lobby:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-10.jpg

We did have a group pass by and asked if my family had undergone anesthesia! LOL, no just up since 2 am. Teens on two hours of sleep and all!
We did awaken to walk around town about 3:30 and were called on my cell at 3:37 to say our room #220 was ready. We checked in and were pleased with our room. Here is a little tour. DH and I had this room all three nights.

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-12.jpg

Notice Sam the little bear? Well his twin was shipped home to me. Yes, the DH said they saw me coming when they put him on our bed. ***Warning to all with small children (or children at heart). Set aside $40 for the bear. He was shipped from Wyoming to Michigan for $8.***

Our sitting area:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-13.jpg

The wardrobe had a television, there was a nice dressing area with a sink and vanity separate from the bathroom. The shower was 'great' says DH. We had a stunning view of the street behind the Wort and saw plenty of early morning activity at the recycle/dump area. We didn't spend a lot of time in our room so we didn't mind at all. The beds were comfy and the room was very clean. Happy adventurers all.

We headed to the town square to look about, shop, and forage for a snack. All the guys were pretty full from lunch. Those of us who ate smaller portions were a bit hungrier. Hmmm :goodvibes A classic Jackson Hole shot:

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-15.jpg


By the far side of the square we watched street performers do an old west comedy show. Fun but crowded. Nice sculptures all around town.

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...FTWDay0-14.jpg

DH and DS2 had an ice cream snack. Then I insisted on a 'real meal'. Billy's burgers had a 45 minute wait for a table so we decided to grab a bite at the hotel before turning in.


Dinner at the Wort:

We were seated right away and ordered a light dinner. I can recommend the corn chowder. DS1 had the pasta which he liked. DH had an unremarkable Greek salad, and my spinach salad was too tart for my liking. DS2 kept us company with a beverage. Would I recommend the Wort dining room, no. Was it awful, no. $67 before tip.

We stopped in at the front desk to ask about the next day's activities and found out the boys were assigned room 221, an inside room, right around the corner from us.

That completes my day zero trip report. Off to organize pictures for Day 1 of Adventures by Disney!:)

Next up: Wyoming Welcome!

SLK1 08-13-2009 08:56 PM

I'm loving this trip report! Thank you so much. I'm eyeing this tour for 2011 with my DD13 (will be 15 then). Keep it up and thanks!:)

tksbaskets 08-13-2009 09:23 PM

Thanks! More coming tomorrow as I'm off from work. I'm glad you are enjoying the trip report.

TK

sayhello 08-13-2009 09:33 PM

Looking forward to more!

Sayhello

HappyGrumpy 08-13-2009 10:33 PM

Ok I am not looking anymore after today!

I am getting so excited! I feel like a kid at xmas like your parents telling you not to peak in the closet when you know darn well there are xmas presents in there!!

It's going to be VERY hard!!!

tksbaskets 08-15-2009 02:10 PM

Day 1 - Wyoming Welcome
 
We were up and at 'em by about 0800 today (which is 1000 at home) Went right out of the lobby, turned right on the corner and quickly found our way to The Bunnery for breakfast. Our taxi driver had recommended this place for breakfast.

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...ay1QFTW-03.jpg

We were seated outside and I was COLD. After we ordered I went back for my sweat shirt. It was in the high 40's that morning but quickly warmed up to a very comfortable mid 70's. We recommend the Bunnery for any breakfast needs - YUM

After breakfast we did a bit of shopping and headed back to the Wort to drop off our purchases and my sweatshirt. There we met our Disney Adventure Guides Landon and Daniel in the lobby. There was one other family that was on our tour that flew in early that morning. VERY fun to finally be meeting our group!

Alpine Slide, Putt-putt Golf, and Scenic Chair Lift
We picked up discount coupons from the concierge, (Don't you love to say that!), and started hoofing it to Snow King Resort. It was a good 25 minute walk with the last 10 being a good incline up. We purchased a 'combo' ticket good for all three adventures. There was a trampoline thing that none of my family cared to do.

First up the Alpine Slide. You sign a release form and then take the chair lift up. The lift is for one of the older runs but it was a nice ride. The sleds are hanging off the side of the chair lift in front of us:

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...ay1QFTW-04.jpg

They take your picture on the chair lift near the top. It is quite a nice picture with the Tetons in the background. I shelled over ~$18 for the one of my boys. After getting off the lift you grab a 'sled' (suprisingly heavy) and head to the line. Slow riders on the right, 'speedy' on the left.


Here is the track:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...ay1QFTW-05.jpg

DS1 near the bottom:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...ay1QFTW-06.jpg

We all proclaimed the ride 'OK' and had no burning urge to go again. Perhaps if our kids were small it would have been a bit more thrilling. One too many spins on the Rockin' Roller Coaster to compare it to. The ride up was very enjoyable.

Putt-putt golf. This also was 'OK'. The course was largely cement with in-door out-door green carpet. That didn't bother me as much as the grass and weeds growing up on the holes. Obviously no one maintains the 'greens'. So unremarkable I didn't even take a picture :scared1:

By this time my family was a bit hungry and very thirsty. We went to the adjacent ski resort for a snack. We each had a soda and a cup of soup. $40.

Off to the Scenic Chair Lift. Now this was NICE!
Up we went:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...y1extras-2.jpg

Again they took your picture near the top and I purchased the one with DH and me. There are two nice viewing platforms and a nice gentle hiking trail around the top. We thoroughly enjoyed it all. Here are a few pics of the view:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...y1extras-1.jpg

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...ay1QFTW-07.jpg

Beautiful flowers:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...ay1QFTW-10.jpg

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...ay1QFTW-11.jpg

This completes our adventures at Snow King Resort. If we were giving suggestions to other families I'd say do the slide and the scenic chair lift and bring your own snacks. :thumbsup2

We headed back into town. I was glad it was down hill! This time we went to Billy's Burgers and were seated right away. It was around 3:00 by this time and our Adventure dinner was slated for 7 pm. We split two Billy Burger Baskets between the four of us and they were DELISH!

At 4 pm we were back at the Wort to have our first 'official' Disney activity. We met with Landon and Daniel and received a 'gift'!! (Repeat after me boys, 'included in the price') Each room booked received a cool tote bag with goodies:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...1QFTW-15-1.jpg

Luggage tags, hand sanitizer, and cute little binoculars:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...ay1QFTW-16.jpg

Landon took our food orders for dinner that night and Day 2 - lunch at the Jackson Hole Playhouse and Day 3 - boxed lunch after our hike. My DS2 wanted pickles on his burger the next day and Landon said he'd see what he could do as they didn't have pickles.

Our Wyoming Welcome Photo on level two of the Wort lobby:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...ay1QFTW-12.jpg

The boys checked into their room. Very nice with a slightly different interior:
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...ay1QFTW-13.jpg
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...ay1QFTW-14.jpg

We relaxed until our welcome dinner. All the meals were in the room right off the lobby. We found the atmosphere just great! We also became known as the first family to arrive at any activity :rolleyes1 DH and I did NOT want to be the family holding the tour up.

We all received name tags as we entered the room and complimentary wine. Landon did an overview of our itinerary. We also recieved a more detailed book for our trip.

The families were introduced and three families were returning ABD travelers. Two last summer did the Southwest Splendors and one had been on the Knights and Lights in June. Once the families arrived (two late commers) we did a small 'mixer' event. We had a singing cowboy entertaining us too. Everyone received a ABD lanyard and each day we'd get a new pin. VERY nice touch.

We had 28 adventurers on our trip. One other family had a 20 yo daughter and 11 yo triplets. No other family was traveling just with adults. All of the children were 12 or younger. Two fathers were traveling alone with a child. Very nice families and we enjoyed them all. If my math is correct, 12 adults, 3 young adults, and 13 children 12 or younger. The youngest was 5.

Dinner was a choice of beef, salmon, or a hot dog and an accompanying buffet. It was all very good. Our beverages were iced tea, lemonade, and water. The waiter would bring soft drinks on request. YUMMY dessert too.

Landon took the junior adventurers out of the room and Daniel went over the next day's activities with the adults/older children remaining.
http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...y2extras-1.jpg

I guess 12 is the cut off for being a Junior Adventurer. There was one girl who was distressed by not being included with the JA group. By the next morning they had her suited up with a passport and JA lanyard. WHEW. Crisis averted.

Around 8:30 pm our boys were ready to go to their 'own' room. So we bid farewell to the other adventurers (the singer was having the kids sing along with him by now). DH and I did a bit of shopping, the stores all close between 8 and 9 pm, and then went back for a good night's sleep. Magic while we were gone...our beds are turned down and Sam is keeping watch.

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...y2extras-2.jpg

Next up: Western Magesty

sayhello 08-15-2009 02:39 PM

Whoa! First day, and it looks amazing already! The view from that "scenic chair lift" look spectacular. What a gorgeous area. You've gotten some gorgeous pictures there! (And being me, I *love* the closeup of the flowers!)

Were the binoculars decent binoculars? I bought some small Eddie Bauer binocs, but I'm wondering, assuming we'd get them on the Alaska trip also, if I should leave mine at home... oh, well, they are small, and if there's only one pair per room, maybe they'd come in handy. We shall see.

Quote:

We picked up discount coupons from the concierge, (Don't you love to say that!)
I'm looking forward to it!!!! :thumbsup2

Looking forward to more report!

Sayhello

rlyrehc 08-15-2009 04:03 PM

More!! More!! I need more!! We leave on Thurs. to head out west. We start in Vegas and continue on to Grand Canyon and keep heading north until we check in with Disney. Your trip report is absolutely awesome!! You are really getting me excited about the ABD portion of our trip. I was getting a little nervous when I read the posts that have been coming lately but you have put my fears to rest. You are a wonderful photographer. I may end up trying to "steal" some of your photos if you don't mind. Please finish your report by Thurs. I am Sooooooo looking forward to the rest of what you write!:surfweb:


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