National Park Wedding

After falling in love in one national park and then getting engaged in another national park, it seemed fitting for us to want to get married in a national park.  Steve and I have visited Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks the previous year and loved it there! And so, we started investigating the options, costs, and logistics for a wedding across the country and in a national park!

We started planning this wedding in 2003. Mind you, the first iphone came out in 2007. So while we used websites and the internet, we still had to make lots of phone calls, snail mail, and even use the fax machine! (We really aren’t that old, but this sounds old thinking about the technology changes!) Check out my huge planning binder!

 

Wedding magazines helped a lot with ideas and planning suggestions for destination weddings. I remember finding one issue of Martha Stewart Wedding that had a a western-style wedding in it. That wedding incorporated their own western looks into a beautiful wedding. It definitely inspired me to add our own touches to our wedding.

For our wedding, we wanted a mix of a formal wedding, yet set in the national park.  We wanted the wedding to reflect us!

For our attire, we wore a formal wedding dress and tuxedos, but had photos done outside by this famous barn (T.A. Moulton Barn) and at the log chapel (Chapel of the Transfiguration). My dress ended up with some grass stains on the bottom, but didn’t care at all!

S K barn laughing

chapel

We rode a bus as our transportation to photos, the chapel, and back to the lodge.

getting on the busjust married bus

At the reception in the Jackson Lake Lodge, we had a stuffed animal surrounded by berries from our florist as our centerpieces.  Each table had a unique national park stuffed animal and we named each table after a different national park. Our head table was the Grand Teton National Park with a moose.

Reception national park tableStuffed animal centerpieces

We created the wedding and reception into something really special that fit us and our personalities.

Enjoy some more photos from this amazing day!

S k walking by barn

S K hiking by barn

The kiss

Group yahoo at chapel

I would highly recommend having a wedding in a national park!

 

15 years ago…

15 years ago in 2004, a few big things happened!

Greece hosted the summer Olympics.

Hurricane Charley hit Florida, Cuba, and Jamaica.

The Boston Red Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1918.

President Bush beat John Kerry for a second term.

Facebook is launched.

Martha Stewart gets convicted of a felony and sentenced to 5 months.

A 9.3 earthquake hit the Indian Ocean causing a tsunami that kills around 200,000 people in South Asia and Africa.

Disney released the movie, The Incredibles.

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! is published by Mo Willems.

Ireland became the first country to ban smoking in all workplaces including bars and restaurants.

And…

I got married to an amazing guy in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

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July 24, 2004

National Mall

Happy 229th anniversary to our National Mall.  The National Mall is centrally located in Washington, DC.

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The National Mall is America’s most visited national park and nicknamed “America’s front yard”.

The Mall area preserves the Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, D.C. War Memorial, World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, George Mason Memorial, Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, the National Mall, East and West Potomac Parks, Constitution Gardens, 60 statues, and numerous other historic sites, memorials, and parklands.

I remember seeing the National Mall for the first time. I had traveled to DC for an internship after graduating college. In my free time, I walked over to check out a few sights and knew this area would be an ideal place to see some iconic memorials.

I grew up seeing the skyscrapers in Chicago. I’ve seen tall or big buildings. I’ve seen open areas and parks.

Yet, this place wowed me. I paused in my steps there. The beauty, the history, the size, the importance of it all truly awed me.

I love going back to this part of our national park system. It brings together our country in unique ways. It still awes and wows me!

According to the National Park Service, “The open spaces and parklands envisioned by Pierre L’Enfant’s plan, which was commissioned by President George Washington, created an ideal stage for national expressions of remembrance, observance, celebration, and expression of First Amendment rights.”

If you’re traveling to the DC area, definitely make some time and check out the National Mall area.

Happy 229th!

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First National Park

Cheers to Yellowstone National Park, America’s first national park, celebrating 147 years of national park designation!

Enjoy a few photos below from our trips to this amazing national park!

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“There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.” ~ President Theodore Roosevelt

100 Years of Grand Canyon National Park

Happy 100 to the Grand Canyon National Park! President Teddy Roosevelt urged Americans to protect this great canyon, “What you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American should see.”

I have had the opportunity to visit this national park two times (so far).  It’s on our list to take the two children there, so we will be back.

I first visited the Grand Canyon National Park many years ago after finishing the 8th grade and went with my grandma. Coming from the Midwest, I had never seen this grandness (had to use the word in this blog at least once!)!  As a child you often feel like the center of everything and I remember seeing this canyon and realizing how little people are in this great world and what wonders exist out there to see and experience.

Many years later, I traveled to the Grand Canyon National Park with my husband in the spring about 13 years ago.  We spent an entire week exploring this national park.  Again, the grandness of the canyon truly resonated here with me. We really enjoyed our time in this national park!  We even experienced some snow while out on a hike one day!  In today’s social media era this would be a disaster, but our camera broke on the way back home, so we have no photos from this amazing trip! Crazy! And our cell phones did not take photos back then either (not sure our children will ever understand that idea!).

My husband visited the park last year with a couple of friends. Enjoy a few of his photos here.

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To understand this grandness, I will share some statistics of the park with you.  The park covers 1,217,403.32 acres or 1,904 square miles. The Colorado River runs 277 miles in the park. The South Rim averages 7,000 feet of elevation and the North Rim averages 8,000 feet.  The park preserves landscapes and resources ranging from 1,840 to 270 million years old.  The Colorado River established itself there about 6 million years ago. So, this park has some grandness (tired of the word, yet? 😉 ).

If you visit Las Vegas or Arizona, take the time and check out this grand national park! Definitely worth the time and journey! Just make sure to protect your camera!

Cheers to 100 and to the next many 100!

 

 

 

Lincoln Memorial

Happy 108th anniversary to the Lincoln Memorial!  The Lincoln Memorial is a national monument built to honor our 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. You can find this grand structure in the National Mall opposite the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

This towering monument stands 190 feet long, 120 feet wide, 99 feet tall and constructed with a Colorado-Yule marble. The Lincoln Memorial interior is divided into three chambers (north, south, and central).  The north and south side chambers contain carved inscriptions of President Lincoln’s two most famous speeches, Second Inaugural Address and his Gettysburg Address.

Between the north and south chambers contains the statute of President Lincoln sitting in contemplation. The statue, originally intended to be only 10 feet tall, was on further consideration enlarged so that it finally stood 19 feet tall from head to foot.  The scale being such that if President Lincoln were standing he would be 28 feet tall. Above him, you can see another inscription.

If you visit D.C., I highly recommend checking out this majestic national monument! The size, history, and symbolism will stay with you long after your visit here.

Enjoy a couple of photos below from a visit to the Lincoln Memorial several years ago with my sister.

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“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” ~ President Abraham Lincoln

Muir Woods National Monument

Happy 111th anniversary to Muir Woods National Monument!

On January 9, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt created the Muir Woods National Monument named after conservationist John Muir. Muir Woods became the 7th National Monument and was the first one created from land donated by a private individual.

In 1905, Congressman William Kent and his wife, Elizabeth, bought 611 acres for only $45,000. To protect the redwoods here, the Kents donated 295 acres of the land to the federal government. President Roosevelt originally suggested naming it after the Kents, but they wanted it named after Muir.

Muir Woods lies in the middle of the redwood’s latitudinal range that spans from the California/Oregon border to Big Sur, just south of Monterey. And it is quite easy to get to from San Francisco!

In 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge was completed and visitors tripled in numbers to Muir Woods that year!

And in 1945, delegates met from all over the world to draft and sign the Charter of the United Nations. President Franklin D. Roosevelt died just 12 days before he was to have opened the United Nations Conference in San Francisco. President Harry Truman still proceeded this conference. In the middle of the two-month conference, over 500 delegates representing 46 nations took the time off from the conference to go to Muir Woods National Monument to honor and to pay tribute to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Muir Woods’ Cathedral Grove.  Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., U.S. Secretary of State, who spoke of Muir Woods as a symbol of Roosevelt’s ideals, saying, “These great redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument are the most enduring of all trees. Many of them stood here centuries after every man now living is dead. They are as timeless and as strong as the ideals and faith of Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

Muir Woods is a great place to see some amazing redwood trees, check out the history here, and take in a few hikes! If you’re in the Bay Area, I highly recommend that you check out Muir Woods National Monument!

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