Thursday, July 16, 2009

Work Hard. Play Hard.

We have discovered this to be the motto of Ketchum. We know many people with multiple jobs, working double shifts, starting early and finishing late, but still party like it's 1999.

So, being locals, we decided to live by this motto. The annual Allen and Company Conference was last week. I think we have described this already, but basically a lot of rich and famous CEO's, business leaders, political figures, and media moguls come to town to discuss really, really important things. We actually have no idea what is accomplished, but we do know that work really picks up for the week. We both picked up shifts for friends at the Roosevelt, making our week a lot more hectic, pulling more double shifts than usual, while trying to get ready for our trip at the same time.

However, we worked hard for the money, and finally left for our trip on Sunday morning. Our first stop was Jackson, Wyoming. This town is right beside the Tetons, so we had a lunch break before seeing Becky's friend, Caroline, who is working there for the summer. We walked around for a few minutes before heading to see Caroline, and we luckily (for Becky) stumbled across a Coldwater Creek store. I don't think I have seen B any happier this summer than when she noticed the store. Pictures capturing her joy are below. Another form of excitement for her was using the street-crossing flags. This is possibly her favorite aspect of Ketchum, and using them in another town was beyond her joy capacity. Finally leaving Jackson, we took the top down of the Jeep and took the 45 minute ride to see Caroline. We got there at the perfect time, as it started to rain as soon as we parked, so we were able to cover the car just in time. After the rain and a short nap, we took a nice hike in the Tetons. On our way back to the room after dinner, we noticed a large traffic block. Upon asking everyone about the hold-up, we realized there was a bear chasing a mother and baby elk. A BEAR! Needless to say, we immediately parked the car, got out with our cameras, and joined the fifty other tourist blocking traffic all in the name of getting the shot. After about 20 minutes of patiently waiting for the bear, we finally saw it! Granted it was fairly far away and hiding behind bushes, but still, we saw a bear! Unfortunately for the bear, I think everyone scared the elk away, so the bear was not able to get its food. Caroline was able to get off work the next morning, so we went kayaking at Jackson Lake in the Tetons. It was gorgeous! Becky had the solo kayak, and Caroline and I shared the tandem kayak.

(The two pictures above are the bear adventure. The bear is somewhere in the background of the blurry picture, and the other is evidence of the back-up caused by the bear)

After our kayaking adventure, we hit the road for Missoula, Montana. Deciding to take the scenic route through Yellowstone, we quickly realized we made the wrong decision. Road work made us sit in pretty much stand-still traffic for hours, making our six hour journey to Missoula actually nine hours. No worries though, it was nothing a few Chinese fire drills, dance parties, P. Diddy, and Wild Cherry Pepsi couldn't get us through. Being oh-so-cool, we had the top down in the Jeep, giving us a lot more air flow while sitting in traffic. We later realized this was another possible mistake, as we arrived to Missoula with sunburned faces. Only our faces, though- it looked like we laid out at the beach with turtlenecks and pants on. Getting to Missoula around 11pm, we just laid low. Two people from Broughton, John and Reeves, are living and working there for the summer. The next day, we went around town, got some lunch, and went on a little hike overlooking town. All of the other guys had to work or do their own thing in the afternoon, so B and I went around town. This of course included shopping and ice cream, duh. While waiting for everyone to come home, we showered and went to dinner at a local hang out. We hung out with all the roommates later that night, enjoying the last night of our trip. The next day, we went to lunch at probably the nicest Taco Bell we've ever been to. It was nice to eat fast food restaurants, since there are absolutely none in Ketchum. The ride home was nice, except that our faces are as red as roses from being in the sun for hours.

We are back in town, and back to the real world. We are both working a lot this weekend, to make up for lost time from our trip. Today marks two weeks until we leave, and we still have a pretty long bucket list of things to do before we leave. Between the list, work, and hanging out with friends, the next two weeks will be extremely busy and fly by. We are excited to come home and see friends and family (and for me, to eat Armadillo Grill and drink sweet tea), but we will definitely miss this place and all of our friends.

Hilary Allen

She FINALLY sent us some music, so I guess she deserves a shout-out. Anyways, she probably heard all the songs while at the Blue Martini.

Caroline Dumbalis

Thanks for letting us stay with you for the night!

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