Looking for Teton Village

Teton Village and the Teton Club

My resort is the Teton Club in Teton Village. I has taken me 3 years to get a reservation here. My first impression as I drove along the road from the airport is that this is cow country. Cattle fill the pastures along the way. Of course where there are cows there must be cowboys. There are almost as many pastures filled with horses as there are with cattle.

Horses in the paddock

National Elk Refuge

There is a fence line along the highway with signs for the National Elk Refuge. Right now I don’t see any elk but the refuge was created in 1912. Early residents from Jackson Hole valued the Elk for their antlers, hide and meat. Elk migrate from as far away as southern Yellowstone National Park. The Sanctuary protects elk habitat. The Boy Scouts collect the antlers that are shed and sell them to pay for feed to help the herd survive the harsh winters. I’m hoping the elk migration will begin while I’m here. Elk are on my bucket list to see.

Town of Jackson

My directions take me into the Town of Jackson. What’s the difference between Jackson and Jackson Hole? A hole is a valley and Jackson is a town. So Jackson Hole is the whole area while Jackson is the principal town in the valley. As I entered Jackson I noticed a beautiful Visitor Center. Once I find the resort I’ll have to stop back here. I’m sure they have lots of information. I passed the town square which seems to be the heart of Jackson. The 4 entrances to the town square are marked by huge elk antler arches. They have similar arches at the airport and in front of several motels. There are animal and western sculptures everywhere.

Antler Arch in Town Sq. Jackson WY

There’s a Moose on the Loose!

As I turned onto RT 390 I spotted cars lining both sides of the road. A moose was calmly wandering through someone’s backyard. All the cars on the side of the road belong to people like me-tourists. They were following the poor moose with cameras snapping. My camera was still packed with my luggage in the trunk so no picture this time. I’m still looking for that resort.

Wy-O-Wy-O-Wyoming

Where do I start with Wyoming?

Wyoming is such an amazing place! At least the Jackson Hole area. I don’t even know where to start. Maybe we should start at the beginning, when I landed in Jackson Hole. The Jackson Hole airport is small but beautifully appointed. There is western art everywhere. I collected my luggage at baggage claim and made a bee line for the rent- a- car desk. Since this trip is on a budget I had reserved an economy car instead of an SUV. I would have been an easy up-sell if the agent had tried. I wasn’t sure a little economy car was appropriate for the mountains. They gave me a Toyota and a GPS device.

First order of business- LUNCH!

Tepee

The car rental clerk told me if I wanted to have a nice but quick lunch to head to Moose. Its just 5 miles away. I had to take a left out of the airport and look for the tepee. I wasn’t sure what he meant by that but I figured I’d soon find out. The road I was on was well maintained and sure enough there was a sign for Moose. I didn’t think it had been 5 miles and I didn’t see a tepee so I drove on by. Big OOPS. A couple of miles more and I turned around and came back. That’s when I spotted the tepee. You have to actually turn in toward Moose. That’s when you see the sign for Dornan’s.

Restaurant, Groceries and WineTeton Mountains

I think Dornan’s is Moose. Maybe I exaggerate a little. The little group of shops that make up Dornan’s does have a restaurant. It also has a grocery store ( small), fuel pumps, a liquor and wine shop among other things. I availed myself of the restaurant. The main fare is Italian so I indulged in a hot meatball sub. Pretty tasty. Service was casual but nice. The restaurant is small but very busy. And the views are magnificent! If we didn’t have 70-75 mile an hour winds I’d have eaten outside on the deck.

Time to find the Resort

With a decent meal under my belt it was time to locate my resort. The rent-a-car clerk said many of the roads were closed so the GPS wouldn’t help. ( Funny, how he didn’t mind renting me one) I had directions and after he read them he said they should work so off I went. I’m kind of glad for the early flight now. I’ll have daylight to get lost in instead 0f the dark.

 

United we Stand….

Its the Friendly Skies of United

I haven’t flown United Airlines in quite awhile. I’ve flown with Southwest and American and Delta but not United. I guess it was their turn. My trip to Jackson Hole Wyoming is on United. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking when I made these reservations. My flight was leaving Boston at 7:20 am. I’m mean really! Am I nuts? I was up at 3:30 am so I could leave by 4:30 so I could catch the 5:30 Logan Express in Braintree. I’m happy to say I made it along with everyone else! The bus was full. At Logan the United Terminal was also packed. Must be folks like these early flights.

Check In

I had an MRI done recently and since then my back is in worse shape than before the procedure. When I checked in online the website asked if I needed any assistance. I checked that walking long distances was a problem. I was hoping for a ride on the little carts that scoot up and down the corridors. When I got to Denver a personal attendant was waiting with a wheel chair. He brought me right to my gate for the Jackson Hole leg. He offered to push me down the jet way too. I told him I could manage that. When they began boarding the gate attendant sent me down first. Wow!

Jackson Hole Airport

I might have gotten the same treatment at Jackson Hole except they are a tiny airport. They had a wheel chair waiting but no one to push it. The gate didn’t have a jet way. We walked down a long ramp. At least it wasn’t stairs. The wind was howling so I wasn’t going to wait for someone to show up. I managed to get myself and my carry on to baggage claim. The winds were gusting  70 – 75 mph but the sky was a brilliant blue. There was snow on the tops of the mountains. If the wind hadn’t been taking my breath away the view would.

If I ever have the opportunity to fly into Jackson Hole again I’m going for a window seat instead of aisle. I heard enough oooh’s and awe’s as we came in to know I was missing an amazing sight.

Mystic Dunes Resort

Mystic Dunes Resort and Golf Club

Mystic Dunes is a family resort in Orlando Fl. I’m creating this post for my sister. Sandy always wants to see what the resorts are like and where I stay when I travel. Since I am a Timeshare owner through Diamond Resorts International I’ve always found the resorts to be top notch.

Diamond Resort Logo

 

Mystic Dunes is no exception. Its located close to all the family attractions, Disney World, Universal and SeaWorld. If you try to squeeze everything in you’ll be singing “And I Had The Time of my Life”.

Mystic Dunes and Hurricane Irma

tree down

My scheduled trip coincided with Hurricane Irma’s visit to Florida. With the Orlando Airport closed it was clear my trip was on hold. A few phone calls later my new dates were 2 days after Irma. I had no idea what to expect. Was I headed to a disaster area? The Golf course was closed but not because of the hurricane. It was just getting a face lift.

Entrance

My home away from home at Mystic Dunes

No Phone, no Cable, no Internet

Livingroom & Dining room

Living area of the condo at Mystic Dunes

The first thing I noticed when I arrived was that reception had no air conditioning. The second was the large hole in the ceiling. But the resort personnel were intrepid. They sat at card tables with lap tops checking in the guests. My unit had A/C. in fact it was downright cold but the tables and chairs for the deck were in the corner of the living room. The phones, cable and internet were down but expected to be back on corner tubsometime before I left.

Amenities

I didn’t spend much time at the resort but I made a check of the grounds to see what damage there Grill areawas. A few trees were down. Grounds keepers were busy cutting them up and repairing the decorative fountains. The club house restaurant, Kenzie’s,  was open for business.

 

Pool

 

 

 

The pool was clean and waters flowing. Even the grill area was all set up and ready to go. By the time my brief vacation wrapped up, the hole in the ceiling at the reception area was repaired and the A/C was on for them. They were still on generators but it was business as usual. Kudos to the dedicated staff. They made sure the hardships of Hurricane Irma never touched their guests.Bedroom

Kitchen

Safari trumps Zoo

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Safari

Going on a safari Disney style is better than going to the zoo. The attraction imitates an open-sided safari ride through the savanna of East Africa. It may be bumpy but that’s to make it feel authentic. They used to do this whole “catch the poachers” routine to raise awareness. That was gone on this trip. I think it was much better without that.

Passing through the Birds of AsiaAsian Pigeon

Leaving Pandora, JR suggested going through Asia to get to Africa and the safari. I was happy to go along with that. Usually we get to see the tigers but they were all hiding. Another section of the trail has loads of exotic birds. Best to wear a hat when you pass through here. I always enjoy that section even if one must beware of bombs from above.

Welcome to Harambe ReserveThe Harambe Wildlife Reserve

The Kilimanjaro Safari takes place in the fictional Harambe Wildlife Reserve. Everyone is loaded into the trucks. I prefer the left side if possible because the lions are usually on the left. Still there seem to be more animals on the right side. Like this curious giraffe that practically posed for his picture.Giraffe

If we were in a zoo there would be fences and cages to distract from the viewing. Here you not only get to ride, but you get to see the animals un-caged and acting like wild animals. Don’t get me wrong. The animals are separated so the lions can’t eat the gazelles but the fences and moats are very carefully hidden.

Wild Africa Trek

Two Cheetahs taking a rest

If the Kilimanjaro Safari is too tame for you Disney has just the thing.  It’s a privately guided VIP expedition at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park! You’ll walk along a grassland path, cross a rope bridge and ride in a rugged safari vehicle over an open savanna. I haven’t done this but you can see some of the trail while you are doing your safari. I found it very tempting.