June 15, 2022

Yellowstone has open cabins, act quick, grad party & weird sleep in review, & pasta anyone?

Anyone thinking of going to Yellowstone and staying in a Frontier Cabin at Roosevelt (very sought after part of Yellowstone) starting July 15-24? I urge you to go over to their website and see if the cabins (yes, plural) that I just cancelled are still available. 

No need to panic, we're still going to Yellowstone (even though they are having flooding issues, I assume will be ironed out by the time we arrive). I just whittled down our mammoth reservation. Sadly, we aren't able to arrive until July 25th. I had multiple cabins reserved from July 15th-July 29th, knowing we would never need all of those dates, but Reg's final basketball tournament is July 24th. Grr.

Fortunately, last summer when I had to wake up in the middle of the night to reserve our cabins with a special, secret code given to us once the park cancelled our '21 reservations, I decided to book extra cabins in addition to our targeted two week stretch. Those extra cabins have saved the day. We will stay in two cabins with bathrooms July 25th- 29th, and then we will bop over to two Rough Rider cabins for the last few days. 

What's a Rough Rider, you ask? A cabin without bathroom. Glorified camping. Communal bathrooms are down the path. I can do anything for two days, right? I will report back to let you know if I can ACTUALLY do anything for two days. Please feel free to vote in the comments about whether or not you think I'll survive.

All of our cabins are equipped with two double beds, but one of our Rough Rider cabins boasts 3 double beds. That is dreamy to our clan. Less sharing. Ed cannot go with us because of his internship. He's not all that upset about it. Less out-doorsie than some of our offspring. Coach was hoping we'd cancel the whole thing and I do admit at this point it feels a bit like a forced march, but some of the kids are excited to go. Hoping we enjoy it. 

I imagine I will not be sleeping my best in a full size bed in a bare-bones cabin, but not to worry. The last few days, I've been sleeping like a hibernating bear, perhaps storing up for the big trip (even though it doesn't start for 6 weeks). I attribute my need to sleep to:  the grad party, and allergy shots. 

I slept around 8 hours Sunday night. Then on Monday afternoon, I dragged Reg and Curly to the endodontist, who is hoping Reg's tooth survives - we're waiting, both kids saw the dermatologist, and I squeezed in my allergy shots. 

I couldn't keep my eyes open on the drive home, so I crawled into bed at 4:00 pm. I woke up at 5:45 pm. What? Remember how my allergy shots knock me out? Think back to the tornado last year that ripped thru our neighborhood, and I never heard a thing. I slept over 10 hours Monday night too. What is even in those allergy shots, and why can't they sell me some on the side, so I can sleep like the dead more often? 

Prepare for battle. 
June 11th was the combined Mini /Curly grad party. The party was fun, but as the hostess with the most-ess, there really never seems to be enough time to visit with everyone. 

My sisters were some of the first guests. I was in the kitchen fussing over the trays of mostaccioli that I insisted on producing in ridiculous mass quantities AGAIN. Who makes that much food for 50 adults, and 20 teens? When will I learn that I don't need enough food for an army at these gatherings? In addition to mountains of pasta, we served Italian Beef and sweet and sour green beans from a collection of crockpots plugged in around the kitchen. 

Is there name for what's wrong with me?
 My kids are not too happy to be eating
 leftover pasta. What I wouldn't give
 to be able to dive into a plate of it.

Anyway, my sisters greeted me, I said hello back. Then I turned to Ann, who also has Celiac disease, so this relates to her:  "Mini picked up the Portillo's salads but didn't realize until she got home that they put pasta in them. The receipt even said, no pasta, which is how I ordered them. I called, and they're remaking the salads and Pat is gonna grab them on his way."

Ann stared at me blankly. Cat got your tongue? Apparently the 'not talking to me thing' because I wrote a funny story is ongoing. The family weekend at a resort in Wisconsin is in less than two weeks. I can hardly wait. I doubt I'll get to spend much of the weekend with my folks, since my sisters will hover and box out. 

I'm not all that interested in conversing with Ann, or Marie. But really, why come if you can't be cordial? 

Cookie making central. Guess who was happy
when the occasional cookie broke in
 half and therefore became fair game?

I continued to cook pasta, strategically place appetizers, offer people drinks, chat with guests, start the 'Mini' movie highlighting our high school grad, etc. When I was passing out the cookies (below) where Marie was sitting with her daughters and other nieces, I joked about a few funny parts of the video. 

I never went out of my way to single out either sister to talk to them. Aunt Leprechaun was also there, and I really didn't get a chance to talk to her either. Family members tend to know more folks at these shin-dings, whereas guests who arrive and don't know anyone I feel like need to be attended to a bit more. Am I wrong?  

Cookies the girls and I made. Mini's grad colors:  yellow and black. Curly's: blue, and the high school mascot is a hornet. 

Eventually I was in the kitchen with Delilah and Nettie, Mini's bestie's mom. My two sisters leaned in through the sliding door from the deck, and in very weak, annoyed, whispery-tones, they spoke hissed: "Oh, thanks." "Yeah, nice party." Marie's mouth was drawn into a straight tight line. 

Me:  OH OK. YOU HEADING OUT. HAVE FUN AT THE WHITE SOX GAME TOMORROW. (Marie organized a family outing for the next day, my kids decided to caddy instead and Coach and I took a pass, but the next morning when the girls weren't needed to caddy, they ended up going to the game). 

Marie:  (shrugged and made a sort of disgusted face)

Not even sure how to interpret that. 

When they left, Nettie turned to me and asked:  GOSH, WHO DIED? 

I was glad to have witnesses to their surly behavior. Nettie happens to be one of 9. She read my story and she just doesn't get what there is to be upset about. She reports that she and her siblings all look back and laugh at how they were raised and the stuff that went on. I try to explain, my sisters still drink the Kool Aid. 

Anyone want me to livestream the weekend in Wisconsin? It might be interesting. Who wishes they live close enough to come join us for a plate of leftover pasta? Or a yummy hornet-shaped cookie? 


Nicole said...

That is a lot of pasta, Ernie! Wow! Those cookies are adorable and I bet they are delicious too.

joymariecooks said...

Those cookies are amazing!

Re the camping with communal bathrooms: I am writing this from the "rough rider" style cabin we've been in for two nights here on Prince Edward Island. The eaves are crashing gently just outside the cabin door, while a snoozing baby softly snores on my lap. The communal bathrooms are clean and have sinks and flush toilets. It's not bad at all. may your camping experience be similarly nice!

Also I saw your two comments on my blog and I need to reply to them but to make a long story short I can't seem to log in to my blog ony phone so I have to wait until I get a chance to hop on the computer.

joymariecooks said...

*waves not eaves

Beth Cotell said...

Just keep acting like nothing is wrong and she will eventually have to speak. I can't wait to hear all about the weekend in Wisconsin! Hopefully everyone will be civil. And I am getting hives just thinking about making that amount of food at one time and having enough people in my home to actually eat it all!

Colleen said...

Girl that is a LOT of pasta :)

In 2020 we went camping for the first time, staying in a cabin that did not have a bathroom. It wasn't horrible, except when you had to use the bathroom at night and it was dark and a bit of a walk. I don't think I would do it again, but it was a fun experience to check off. Also, buy a camping toilet for those middle of the night problems :)

ccr in MA said...

Your sisters! So weird! Really, why come and then behave that way? Did they talk to the kids at least?

That is a LOT of pasta. Now I'm hungry!

Jenny in WV said...

|I had to google mostaccioli and it sound delish! I'd love to have some of your leftovers!

Camping (of any kind) is not my thing. So primitive cabins would not be for me. Visiting Yellowstone wasn't really my thing either, so all around not the trip for me! I'm more of a sit at home in the AC and eat leftover pasta type.

Hope Reg can availd that root canal I've heard they are more unpleasant when it's done on a front tooth.

Kari said...

Holy hell that is a lot of pasta.

I thought of you when I heard Yellowstone was flooding. I will think good thoughts.

I love those cookies. They look like bakery cookies. I'm not at all good at stuff like that.

Ernie said...

Nicole - It is a lot of pasta and my people are growing weary of eating the leftovers. The cookies are a favorite - great recipe. I'm getting no complaints about eating those leftovers.

Ernie said...

joy marie - We were on Prince Edward Island, I think. Amazing place. So glad you are having a great experience. The sound of the waves, how lovely. I'm glad the eaves aren't crashing, because that seems a tad dangerous . . . I was like GET OUT NOW, THAT SOUNDS LIKE AN UNSTABLE BUILDING. Hee hee.

No worries on responding to my comments. Enjoy your vacay.

Ernie said...

Beth - Oh, she will speak, but it will be in sneer mode. So unpleasant.

I think I could've catered a wedding with the amount of pasta I made. When will I learn? My children are asking this regularly. It took me 3 hours and 15 minutes to make the trays the day before the party. Then I cooked less than half of it at the party, and so much of it was not needed.

Ernie said...

Colleen - Oh, the pasta abundance. I wished you lived closer. Between your gang and mine, we could fill our families and invite friends over.

I initially read your comment and thought it said IT WAS HORRIBLE. Glad that it wasn't horrible. I think I'm the only one that gets up at night to use the facilities. It felt good to finally get the dates finalized, but there is more to this saga that developed today. More to come.

Ernie said...

ccr - My sisters are a pair. They tend to hover around my folks. My dad requested a seat in our gazebo, out of the sun and rain sprinkles. My father in law sat down at the table in the gazebo and visited with my folks when they first arrived. I think this left my sisters a bit lost and confused. I'm sure they really came out of habit, or because my folks were going to be here. Ann does the same things that she has always done (attend parties), or she feels unsettled. It's hard to explain. I think they were fine with the kids. They definitely talked to family friends that were here as if nothing was bothering them. Ann is bothered, Marie acts like nothing has happened, but I have a hard time with her whining about my story to others and refusing to discuss it with me. Then behaving like nothing has happened. Ugh.

The pasta smells so good and I cannot eat it.

Ernie said...

Jenny - I didn't know mostaccioli was an unknown food. At this point I think my kids wish they'd never heard of it. I'm confident you would love it, and if only you didn't live all the way in WV you could stop by and enjoy a plate. ;)

I am so hoping the tooth recovers fully. Coach has a fake front tooth, and that has not been easy. Long story, I'll have to recap it one day. (cap - get it, totally accidental).

There are nicer, more comfortable places to stay in Yellowstone, but we are fine with the cabins. I do prefer the variety with the bathroom, but beggars can't be choosy. We were lucky to have those poised and ready in case our initial dates didn't work, and of course those two weeks did not end up working. There is a new development there and I will have to write an update.

Ernie said...

Kari - That is a lot of pasta, might be the understatement of the grad party season. ;) Slowly we are working our way through it, but it looks like some is destined for the freezer. I just have to remember to get it out of the freezer in July maybe, so we can eat it before it is gross.

Flooding is happening in Yellowstone. I've gotten lots of texts from my children and my sister Marie making sure I know. I figure it will all be cleared up by the time we get there July 25th.

The cookies are so yummy. I miss eating them, but my waistline thanks me. They looked a little like a 2 year old made them until I decided we should outline them. All the difference. The outlining is apparently the key to a more professional look.

Pat Birnie said...

Wow you cooked enough for 100! My mother was Italian and I have not heard of Mostaciolli! I’ll have to look it up. The cookies are so cool. I have always wanted to visit Yellowstone- it will be amazing I’m sure . The family get together- prob not so much. Good luck with that!

Kara said...

I just have to let you know that I know what mostacholli is, and that I have made baked mostacholli many times.

Yellowstone is on our list, but not this year. We're doing Great Smokey and a couple others in a few weeks.

Ernie said...

Pat - I am dumbfounded. Maybe mostaccioli is a midwest thing. Ah Yellowstone, such a beautiful place. I have an update on our plans. Brace yourself. Not sure if you've been around for the entire saga, but we are feeling like this is the quest for the Holy Grail. I am trying to look at the family weekend away as an opportunity for comedic material gathering.

Ernie said...

Kara - Oh how I love baked mostacolli, if only I could still eat it. I'm glad that I'm not the only one that knows what it is. I think I've seen similar boxes of pasta that are simply called Penne.

Oh, enjoy the Smokey Mountains and I hope your plans to get to Yellowstone turn out to be easier than ours.

Bibliomama said...

Holy noodles, batman. It's SO hard to know how much food you need for a big group. Too much is bad, but omg, running out of food would be unthinkable (it shouldn't be, but it is). Those cookies are amazing.
We go camping in a tent with no bathroom, so a cabin where I just had to walk down a path to the bathroom would be welcome. I went from a confirmed non-camper (as an adult) to a sort-of grudging camper, and at this point I don't even know if I can do it this year. Sigh.

Ernie said...

Ali - Ha - you nailed it. Yes, exactly. I do feel crazy over-producing like this and I did make half as much as I did for Ed's party. Do we call that progress, or still haven't learned my lesson? My youngest brother's family of 5 didn't come at the last minute, because he didn't feel well. Not like they were going to eat a tray a piece or anything. I live in FEAR of running out of food. Factor in (and I don't think I made this clear) that Mini invited her friends to come 'later'. All the kids have done this and sometimes those teens come ready to eat, other times I get polite, OH NO THANKS. Who wants a bunch of hungry teens staring at you late at night? The cookies were supposed to be a last minute no-brainer add-on. Much more labor intensive and messy than I'd factored into the equation. Plus the girls fizzled or had other activities come up.

I never camped as a kid. I've done the camping thing, but we have closed that chapter. I feel like a cabin with no bathroom would be a step up from camping in a tent, so it can't be THAT bad.

Nance said...

So much food. It's like our family was in charge; we always prepare enough for a small town to eat *and* take a plate home. It's a sickness.

I'll take a hard pass on your offer of Yellowstone cabins. We saw Yellowstone for a whole day way back a hundred years ago when I was 17, and that was enough for me. That, and the word Cabin makes me shudder even though you have indoor plumbing. Those days are gone for me, and good riddance.

But you have fun. Respect the wildlife (not like the idiots who end up gored and mauled).

Ally Bean said...

I believe staying in a motel without room service to be roughing it. That's as close as I get to this thing you refer to as *camping* however in college I lived in dorms with communal bathrooms so I can believe you might survive. I dunno. Only time will tell. As for your family weekend with your sisters and parents, good luck. Sounds like a level of Dante's Inferno to me.

Ernie said...

Nance - Thanks for visiting. I agree, it is a sickness. A week after the party, my kids are SO tired of leftover pasta. Ed had a dinner to attend last night that he in invited to once a year for a scholarship he won. Um, they served lasagna. He's a great eater, but this was an unwelcome menu thanks to the timing of our own pasta abundance.

Laughing at your reaction to the word cabin, etc. I am not a huge lover of camping, but the beauty out there makes it worth it.

Ernie said...

Ally - I'm chuckling at Dante's Inferno and at the motel with no room service comparison. Too funny. Staying in a cabin with or without plumbing is certainly not for everyone, and the fact that I am much older than our last adventure makes me wonder how I will fare. My sisters can usually only be taken in small doses, so the weekend will be interesting. I plan to focus on my SILs and my nieces and nephews. There is a bar at the pool, so that might help.

Busy Bee Suz said...


I prefer to believe that those cookies are BEES and not nasty ass hornets. ;)

Your sisters. GOOD LORD. What is wrong with them?

I'm sure the cabins and your entire trip to Yellowstone will be perfect and you'll have nothing to blog about. 😜 NOT!

Ernie said...

Suz - Yes, I could fill the raccoon spa and take a pasta bath.

Bees it is. I'm quite sure that was what the cookie cutter company was going for, we fudged it a tad to match our mascot.

Oh, well - the Yellowstone trip is definitely not perfect, but at least my sisters won't be there. Much to blog about for Yellowstone and we haven't even left yet.

We leave Friday for the Wisconsin trip to celebrate my mom's b-day. I've been making an effort to stop in and see my folks when my sisters aren't around. They have glue like tendencies and they hover, which makes having a relationship with my folks a challenge. I might have to divide up all the nonsense that crops up this weekend and fill blog posts for the rest of the summer. Fingers crossed it is smoother than I imagine, but one of my sisters texted me last night and let's just say IT HAS BEGUN.