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Good travels, but there’s no place like your own bed

I’m finally back at La Barista, in my favorite circular table with a latte by my side.

I prefer the buzz of people talking to the empty silence of Venus Espresso House in Butte, Mont. You see, that place taught me that it’s not only the coffee that gets me going but I also take in energy from the people around me.

In my last article, I mentioned that I was off to Yellowstone National Park. This was exciting because that was my first time there and my parents got to come along. We were visiting my aunt and her family, so it was kind of like a mini family reunion except for on my mom’s side.

We started off on Sunday morning. It was a decent ways to where we were going, but after driving to Butte and Tahoe and back to Butte, it felt like nothing. Soon we got to West Yellowstone where I had my first impression.

That first impression was … overpriced. I didn’t see how everything from gum to bear spray could be off the charts of pricing. I also got the touristy vibe.

I wasn’t complaining though as they had a Mexican food bus. The people cooking couldn’t understand a word of English, which was a good sign that the food was going to be great. Let’s just say that I wasn’t let down as my enchiladas even came with lime wedges.

A little more driving, and my cell phone reception disappeared and geysers appeared. We had entered the park.

My second impression of Yellowstone was that it was a place where busloads of people from East Asia. They took pictures of everything. There were so many Chinese speakers that it got to the point that grocery stores were hiring people who spoke Chinese.

In a little while, we met up with our relatives, who were staying at a hotel, and then went to a restaurant where we got a girl from Taiwan as our waitress. The restaurant was right on a lake, and it was gorgeous. I must say, the best part was the fact that they served spaghetti.

One of the things I find upsetting is the fact that so few restaurants serve spaghetti. I eat spaghetti about as much as I go to La Barista, so it’s a staple in my diet. My dad tried a bison burger and loved it, but I was still full from my amazing Mexican lunch that getting my favorite dish was perfect.

I got to see a very pretty sunset with my cousins, but we had to go to our place where we were staying, which was a little ways away. My dad got us a cabin, and by a cabin, I mean a tent with walls. There was no electricity and a queen sized bunk bed without blankets for us to sleep on. This continued my tradition of sleeping on top of a bunk bed; I did that all throughout camp and during the reunion.

The next day started off with a delicious, not overpriced breakfast of a Clif bar and huckleberry yogurt. We got going and saw Gibbons Waterfall, as well as a few more elk by the road.

The highlight of the trip was definitely seeing the bubbling mud pots. Not only was the hike to see them very pretty, it was kind of hard to imagine what they might be like so it was really interesting once we saw them.

Big bowls of sulfuric mud bubbled and shot pieces of mud high up into the air. My 12-year-old cousin was absolutely fascinated by this. It was even more interesting than video games and that was saying a lot for him.

The last stop was at Mammoth springs, where I learned there’s a reason why they call it Mammoth springs and not Mice springs. The springs deposited lime, which formed terraces, and they were massive.

The number of tourists there was also mammoth sized. I thought I’d seen the worst for tourists, but let’s just say we were lucky to find a lunch spot next to some friendly park workers who were from Taiwan.

At this point, we departed from our relatives. We picked up a few huckleberry chocolates, which was exciting considering my love/obsession for huckleberries. It was raining, and my parents didn’t want to camp, so we started heading back home.

On Tuesday night we finally reached our home. It was kind of nice to sleep on my own bed for once. After all, it’s great spending half of your summer on top of a bunk bed and away from home, but eventually you have to return.

Holly McCamant is a junior at Frazee-Vergas High School.