At dinner the previous night we were given pickup and transportation instructions to depart. There are not lots of flights out of Jackson and it is not exactly a busy airport. We had two pickups for the 90 minute trip back to the airport: 9:15am and 10:15am. If you had a 9:15am departure they were picking up luggage at 8:15am, and the later departure had luggage at 9:15am. Since my roommate was on the earlier transportation list I had to ensure her bags were picked up prior to me setting out luggage, so I kept a watch on the time while I was having breakfast (which was quite delicious!) One of the lodge employees actually sought me out for bag pickup too as they were running ahead of schedule. Worked out pretty well as he picked up my bags and no hassles for me.
Just about everything I have ever done with Disney has been prompt, and the departure from Brooks Lake Lodge was no exception. Our group piled into the van for the long drive to Jackson. On the way it was a pretty quiet ride as there are no radio stations out that way, and our driver didn’t search for one. I amused myself waiting for 3G service on my cell phone to pick up to I could see if I had any voice mail. After being disconnected from televisions and communication devices for several days I was strangely comforted by seeing the cell phone pop into service.
After a very quick and uneventful trip through airline bag check in with Frontier Airlines, I discovered that I was OK in the luggage weight department at 46 pounds (I went out with 43.5) and I shoved another sweatshirt in my suitcase bringing it up to 47lbs. No overweight fees so all was good. Then I made a quick trip through TSA lines with the friendliest agents I have found in ANY airport anywhere, and it was time to sit in the terminal and check email. Ironically I had gone all the way back to “civilization” in Wyoming and I had no cell phone or internet service. Thankfully I had spent the time on the trip down to Jackson checking mail and I could deal with waiting until Denver, which was my first layover of (gasp!) THREE HOURS!! At least Denver was a big airport and they had free internet. Plan was to sit down and catch up on paperwork while waiting for the flight.
Hot Spring at Yellowstone
This was my first time flying Frontier and I was pretty impressed. Reminded me a lot of Southwest with the comfy leather seats, but this plane had television! Wow… Television. Hadn’t seen one of those in about five days and I was all by myself and could be in charge of channel selection. Since this part of the journey was less than an hour I decided to skip the TV on this flight segment and splurge for it ($6 for flight duration) on the trip from Denver to Indianapolis. Uneventful flight, and perfect landing (and boy was I due a nice landing after my last few trips) and I was in Denver for several hours. Worked a bit, found a hamburger, and finally boarded the plane to Indianapolis which was about 30 minutes late. Once in the air the TV started its preview and I happily swiped my credit card in the reader. Can’t even tell you how long the flight was but I enjoyed being in control of the channel changer and not having to share and I never even got out of my seat. Landed in Indy around 11:35pm, waited (and waited, and waited) for luggage, and walked the half mile to the parking lot. Was not going to wait for a shuttle as walking was likely faster at that hour and I was enjoying the pleasant weather, albeit more humid than Wyoming. Arrived home shortly after 1am–and the cat seemed happy to see me. Everyone else was asleep.
So what did I think of my great Adventure to Wyoming? I really loved the trip and the whole concept of Adventures by Disney and the guided tour. After my initial trepidation about going to Wyoming and being out of my comfort zone, I decided to just roll with what happened because it was unlikely that I would go that way again. This was designed as a family trip with kids, and Disney was putting it together, so nothing was likely to go wrong. Disney and my Adventure Guides made the whole experience interesting, and I actually learned a lot about something I did not know or even think about–which was Wyoming. I was able to step outside of my comfort zone (in spanky new hiking boots and souvenir sweatshirts and jacket too) and enjoy it.
Disney really delivered a premium experience with this trip. An Adventures by Disney vacation tends to be a bit pricey even before airfare, but I do think that a guest gets a lot when doing this sort of trip. Its immersive with many experiences, and guided by people who really know their facts about the destination. An ABD includes excellent hotels and meals and a small group–and all of these items contribute to the enjoyment, and price. Plus when someone doesn’t have to plan their activities, and things go smoothly from one thing to the next, there’s no stress. My Adventures by Disney trip was the most hassle-free trip I have done in my life. Plus it was fun even without television and telephones. And I will make a confession: it was nice to decompress and not be so wired in to technology. My stay at Brooks Lake Lodge forced me off the telephone and the computer which was a good thing.
Would I do another Adventures by Disney trip? Absolutely. It was a great even with cold weather and snow in the middle of June.