WHY THIS WESTERN TOWN HAS MY HEART
I’m gonna be honest.
I’m a city girl, who fell in love with the great outdoors. Thanks to my husband who’s from the North Georgia mountains. So naturally, for our 10 year anniversary, since I couldn’t bring myself to cross the Atlantic with my babies being so young, I decided to find the perfect place for a city girl like me and a mountain man like my hubby.
Enter Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
I mentioned it to my husband one night and his face lit up like Rockefeller center on Christmas. I then mentioned The Amangani property. After some recommendations from friends and some typical google research, we landed on a big YES. And I’m pretty sure it was the best decision ever. And here’s why.
If you told me 12 years ago, that Wyoming was on my list of ‘must sees” in my lifetime, I probably would’ve laughed. Rolled my eyes and not been open to it. I know, immaturity most definitely would’ve been the culprit. After all, 12 years ago I was living in Italy. But with age, comes wisdom, and with marriage and children, comes the desire to explore. Everything.
God must be laughing at me right now. He probably laughs a lot. Because his plans for us are always so surprising. And incredibly smart.
A lesson in love and in life, was found in Jackson Hole Wyoming.
The acute awareness of God’s country is defiantly present. It doesn’t stop. It surrounds this town on every corner. Like you’re sitting in the middle of castle protected by the most fierce Grand Tetons in the world. The beauty takes your breath. And so does the elevation. The only reason to look at your iPhone, is simply to grab a photo. I don’t remember being outdoors on this trip and scrolling my facebook or shopping ads that popped up in my feed. Not once. God created this little slice of heaven so you would pay attention. It’s that phenomenal.
Something about holding my husband’s hand and walking through the mountains only to discover the most beautiful waterfalls and perhaps an elk eating some grass nearby is yes, wildly romantic.
I said it.
Nature is sexy. Breathing hard after hiking up to a hot springs is both liberating and fascinating. With only the sound of your breath, and red foxes running past your feet, it brings your heart and your mind to a different place: an open blue sky and plethora of real authentic content in your heart.
I’ve never seen my husband so happy.
I’ve never seen myself so relaxed.
I could go on and on about how this trip to Wyoming changed me. It was a far contrast to walking the streets of Rome, or having a beer in Dublin, or a late night drunken train ride home to Soho from uptown Manhattan.
It was the wild wild West. The great wide open. The answers to so many questions I’ve had as to who we all are and where America began.
And no, I won’t get political here.
I’ll simply say this.
I’ve lived In Italy. I’ve lived in Scotland. My home is Tennessee. My heart is California.
But riding a horse to the top of a mountain in the Grand Tetons of Jackson Hole Wyoming, set my heart on fire.
It also did wonders for my marriage.
I highly recommend a visit. Sans kids. Better than couples therapy. K bye.
* Recommendations noted below.
Where we stayed: The Amangani
Perfect for lux accommodations, serene quiet, stunning views and impeccable service. Located on a secluded remote mountain and only 10 minutes to downtown. Highly recommend for couples. For families, I’d do some more research.
Where we ate: The Local was our favorite. Excellent food, casual but cool decor and overly friendly staff. Both the local burger and the veggie burger plus truffle fries = yes please. The Snake River Grill was amazing and our other favorite. The food was way above par and the donuts for dessert are a must. Like, we ate all of them. Orsetto was decent Italian in a charming little nook off the square. Our waiter gave us so much insight into the town that we talked for hours. We were also eager to try the Kitchen too but we didn’t make it. Word around town says it's a must so we'll catch dinner there on the next trip.
Where we sipped local wine: Bin 22 is magical in a small liquor store/bar and restaurant casual shared table vibe. A great hang to meet people, sip champagne and walk to your next hot spot in the heart of downtown.
Where we drank the beer: The Millionaire Cowboy Bar. It’s the famous watering hole of Wyoming. The bar stools are literally saddles and the staff is super friendly. The music is country and western and the dancing is encouraged. You can also shoot pool if country music isn’t your thing.
Where we roamed: The Grand Tetons Park is vast, but perfect. Just the drive alone is out of this world. So much beauty to be seen and hiking. But don’t forget your bear spray. Also granite creek falls is my favorite drive in Jackson Hole. The river running through is hard to explain because it’s that majestic. The landscape is inexplicable. A must see. Horseback riding as I mentioned before, was the highlight of our trip. Ask The Amangani for a reservation. I would call that experience bucket list for sure. 100%.