Filed under: Family Weekend Trips, Historic Places & Landmarks, Nature & Wildlife, State & National Parks
Sleeping With Old Faithful
Another entry in the list of national park lodges that we have explored is the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. We had initially taken a walking tour around the outside of the Inn on our first camping visit to the park as they were remodeling the interior and it was not open to the public. When it did open, as we were planning our camping trip west for the summer, we made a one night reservation for a room the night before Terry’s birthday as a special gift for him. It was indeed a treat for all of us!
While its size alone is impressive, there is much more to the Inn that makes a lasting impression on visitors and guests. The fact that it is constructed of massive logs makes it unlike most other structures we see in our everyday lives. Additionally, though it is rustic in style, it has a grandeur that speaks of days gone by, an ambiance that is apparent from just walking through the lobby that telegraphs the message, “This is a place unlike any other.”
While our children truly enjoy our camping vacations, since they were able to recall walking around the Inn when it was being remodeled, they were beside themselves with excitement as we checked in for our one night stay at these luxurious accommodations. We had booked a room with two double beds so that we could all stay in the same room. They were especially excited at the luxurious cotton terrycloth robes for our use in the room and the shower soaps in the shape of little bears.
After we had checked in, we walked around to check out the hotel. We were able to sit outside on a balcony to watch Old Faithful erupt and were joined by other hotel guests. The camaraderie and our front row seats made a magical event even more festive.
Later that evening, after we had dined in one of the park restaurants, we sat and had a drink on the mezzanine level of the hotel. Filled with luxurious lounge and easy chairs for guests’ comfort, the mezzanine also featured a piano player playing quiet music to softly entertain those relaxing in the chairs in this special area that overlooked the hotel lobby. The people-watching was superb!
We had purchased a book of national park ghost stories from the gift shop and spent an hour or two softly reading ghost stories with our teens while we relaxed. Surprised to learn that one of the stories centered on the Old Faithful Inn, the kids were off to discover the room (not ours) that was supposedly haunted. Ryan was excited, Meg a bit reluctant; both returned a short time later with not much to tell but a glint of mystery in their eyes.
The following morning, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the Inn’s dining room. As that was actually the day of Terry’s birthday, I ordered a cake to be delivered to our table after our meal was through (yes, at breakfast; it was the only restaurant meal we would be having for a few days and I couldn’t exactly bake a cake over an open fire—after all, what are vacations for?) Our waiter appeared to be from some European country, as were others who joined him for a multicultural version of “Happy Birthday” as the cake was delivered.
The kids were thrilled! It was an adventure they want to repeat and one, I’m sure, they will want to share with their own children one day. Check out Woodall’s to read more about Wyoming camping and things to do in Wyoming.