"What do you think about Jackson Hole?" Micah asked in a text one afternoon.
We had been planning on taking a ski trip to Aspen during my Winter Break, but flights were filling up quickly. Because we fly "non-rev", we must fly standby--basically, we are only getting on a flight if there are no more paying customers who need on. I completely agree with these rules, but because of this, we often have to be flexible with our destination.
I had never heard of Jackson Hole, Wyoming before, but a quick search on my phone revealed this trip would be a fraction of the price of Aspen. I agreed that if flights remained open, that's where we should go.
After doing a bit of maneuvering with flight details, I was able to meet Micah in Dallas. We boarded our Jackson Hole plane, booked our hotel on a phone once we were in our seats, and were off to Wyoming.
As soon as we landed, I had the same distinctly strange feeling I get when going to another country. It was dark, making it difficult to see any scenery, but there was snow on the ground. We deplaned outside and were happy to step inside the warm, cabin-like airport. It was small, with wooden beams and statues of elk and buffalo. Men were wearing cowboy hats and had long beards. Everyone looked as though they were dressed for the arctic. If Switzerland had a bit of a western cowboy edge, I would imagine it would feel like this place.
We stayed in a hotel positioned right on the ski slopes, Snow King Resort. We chose this place based on its proximity to skiing and access to an airport shuttle (I always use hotels.com to find a place). We could not have been more pleased with this hotel. It is beautiful inside, with a double fireplace surrounded by plush leather sofas, wooden beams, and views of snowy mountains all around. The ski slopes were right outside the door, and they offered ski and snowboard rentals.
There was also a restaurant in the hotel called Hayden's Post. The restaurant offered a bar, another fireplace, and one of the best breakfasts I've ever had. The first morning I ordered biscuits and gravy, but I quickly regretted my decision after seeing Micah's plate: Chicken Fried Eggs Benedict. The next morning we chose to split this dish along with an order of pancakes. The pancakes also did not disappoint.
The restaurant offered a Cowboy Cocoa Bar all day, which included cute red tin mugs and all the toppings you could ever want in a cup of hot chocolate. I went with a solid five marshmallows topped with peppermint pieces, while Micah chose marshmallows and peanut butter chips for his.
We were only in Jackson Hole for two full days, so we spent all daylight hours skiing. Before this trip, I had only been skiing once briefly (and by briefly, I mean maybe a couple of hours) when I was fourteen. Micah had never skied before, but he did quite a bit of snowboarding when he was in college. We rented our skis, turned down a ski instruction opportunity, and just went for it. The first day we both fell a lot, and when I wasn't falling, I mostly looked like this:
By the second day we were much better, and I am proud to report I did not fall once! Granted, I did stay on the beginners course the whole time (aside from one accidental run-in with a black diamond course, but I'll save that story for another time).
Both days when it started to get dark, we would leave the slopes to get cleaned up and head over to the town square. Our hotel was only a half mile away, so it felt nice to walk together down the snowy sidewalks. The square is small but bustling, full of shops and restaurants. There were a lot of stores for typical tourist souvenirs, but also quite a few shops that sold art and Native American jewelry.
Jackson Hole was the perfect Christmastime vacation. It was beautiful, offered a lot of winter activities, and was easy to get around. Micah and I definitely plan on returning.