Sunday, July 19, 2015

Road Trip Part 2

We woke up in East Glacier excited for the day ahead of us.  We stopped at the Whistle Stop Restaurant and got some grub before starting out.  Rick had their famous Huckleberry Stuffed Fresh Toast.  I had and omelet and a cinnamon roll:)  

We drove into Glacier Park and enjoyed the beauty of it all:)

We saw a little bit of wildlife as well.  This coyote almost ran right into our car!  Pretty cool! We got a nice picture of him.

There was a herd of mountain sheep just across rom the visitor's center at Logan's Pass and I was the one in charge of taking the photo.  This is what I got.  
I was trying to get a closeup and cut them all out.  Sheesh:(

We also saw a mountain goat lounging in the shade.  We were really hoping for a moose and bear sighting but, no such luck:(

At the end of the day drove through West Glacier and a few small towns to get to the Bad Land B&B where we overnighted.

After a nice breakfast of strawberries and waffles we drove back into West Glacier and went with the Montana Rafting Company for a 1/2 days ride on the river.  We were with two other couples and one child.  I was on the left side of the raft in between a woman and her child and I'm not sure but neither of them could get the rowing pattern down.  My paddle not only got tangled with the lady in front but the girl in back kept at it too.  There was really nothing I could do about the child because well, not my child but I kept telling the lady in front of me,  "Watch the lead man in front of you and sync with him".  You would think that wouldn't be so hard but HOLY COW she had a hard time getting the rhythm down.  I was nice about it but seriously, I  had to tell her many times to watch the guy in front.  It was especially bad in the rapids because that's when you really need to paddle.  Finally, toward the end of the trip she was getting into the groove.  We hit about seven good rapids and on one called the RePete I about found myself in the river.  I was bouncing all over the place.  I actually grabbed the rope in the middle of the raft to keep me in.  I did NOT want to go overboard!  That water was cold!  Anyway,  being on the river is always a good time:)  A good way to spend the morning.  
(The only picture I have of the day is on Rick's phone no pics)

After having lunch we started towards Kalispell.  I had wanted to tour an old mansion there. We got to the mansion and decided to take a nap instead:)  Afterwards we drove past the beautiful Flathead Lake on our way to Butte where we overnighted in a dive.

That was OK because I knew for our last night we would be staying in a ritzy place.  We left Butte the next morning and went to Virginia city.  Again, no pictures.  They must all be on Rick's phone.  It was fun to peruse the shops and see all of the old buildings of this old mining town.  that afternoon we drove another 3 1/2 hours to Idaho Falls.  We stayed at the Destinations Inn.  We were in the "Rome" room and I'll tell you that it was one of the nicest rooms that we have EVER been in!!  It was very spacious and luxurious!  We didn't feel like eating out so we brought Olive Garden take out in and just enjoyed the room.  Super fun!! Nice tub:)   We had a huge movie screen in front of the bed and so we watched a double feature.  First, Castaway and then National Treasure 2.  

The next day we drove the last four hours home.  A LOT of driving on this road trip but we got to see some amazing sights!  Just under 2,200 miles.  It feels good to be back home!!

Road Trip Part 1

It's time to finally post about last week's road trip.  After the 4th of July fireworks and getting a good night's sleep at The Carolina B&B Rick and I hopped over a couple of blocks to Brandon and Jenni's to get a tour of their cute home.   I brought some candy to get in Sophie and Britta's good graces and enjoyed our visit with B&J.  Before church started Brandon took us on a little tour of Helena which was actually quite nice:)  Brandon is just a great guy.  They are a darling little family:)  Since they have late meetings Rick and I only stayed for Sacrament Meeting and then got on the road seeing we had about 4 hours to travel to cross the border and get into Lethbridge where we overnighted.  Brandon suggested we take a scenic route just 30 minutes north of Helena that runs next to the Missouri River.  So we did.  It was a really beautiful drive!  There were many fisherman out doing their thing and it was very woodsy and beautiful.  My thoughts turned to Brach and Skylar who love river fishing.  That river would be heaven for them:)

We got into Lethbridge and stayed at the Holiday Inn.  We had planned ahead and bought a rotisserie chicken and some bread and cheese the night before so we wouldn't have to buy dinner on the Sabbath.  It was wonderful.  Perfect meal at our little hotel room table:)

The next morning we had breakfast at Cora's which is a popular Canadian breakfast spot.  A nice diner setting.  We thought before making the two hour drive to Calgary that we would do something in Lethbridge.  We saw the Nikka Yuko Garden advertised in a pamphlet and thought to give it a try.  It was a beautiful setting.......not any flowers but lots of trees, shrubs, water, and greenery.  

Southern Alberta has a lot of farmland.  There were many of these beautiful fields of gold.  We never found out what it was that was being raised but we guessed it was Flax.  Even a local we asked couldn't tell us.  I was going to goole it but never did.......sure was pretty though!

After getting into our hotel (Fairfield Inn) we drove to a spot to catch the train and headed in to downtown Calgary.  Right away I could see many people with their cowboy getup on and knew that we were headed in the right direction.  After about a half hour train ride we made it to the Stampede.  Talk about a crowd of people.  That last train transfer we were bottled in there like sardines.  Luckily, it was just a few minutes ride from that point.  

After getting off the train we followed the group of people to the front gates (I knew we were all going to the same place).  We showed our tickets and we were in:)  I wish that I had been better prepared of what to see and do because I felt kind of lost when we got through those gates.  What now??  I had been planning this for a few weeks but didn't really check into what to do when we got there other than the show that night and the rodeo the next day.

We  wandered around in awe of the fair like feeling and just enjoyed the sights and sounds of the place.  I realized that the first order of business was to get a hat and a jacket.  I was hoping for a sweatshirt but found a cute brown jacket that totally matched my skirt so I bought it:)  I also found a rockin' hat!  Great find!! 

We wandered around looking at the different sights and decided that we had better get some dinner before the show started.  We decided to share some ribs and were so excited to eat them.  Not so good:(  Fatty and just....not good.  I did enjoy the potatoes and cornbread though.  We got some donuts on a stick for dessert and then headed into the stadium.  

Our seats were a ways away from the rodeo grounds and grandstand but that didn't bother us.  We were at the Calgary Stampede!!  We had driven 900 miles just to get there!  The show started out with the Chuck Wagon races and I'll tell you ....THAT was exciting.  Watching those teams of horses racing their figure eight int he arena and then flying around the race track was exhilarating!!  There were nine heats and each one was really fun!  After the races came the show put on by The Young Canadians.  Lots of singing and dancing and acrobatic acts and lights and fireworks.  An amazing sight to behold:)

After getting a good nights rest at the Fairfield we hopped on the train for the second day.  We got there in time for the Superdog show which was cute and then got some fair food for lunch.  Corn dogs and pizza and fries.  So bad for you but so good:)   Speaking of bad for you,  I wanted to get an ice-cream to take into the rodeo.  I grabbed this big boy (Truly, it was gigantic!)and met Rick near the grandstand.  He bought himself a funnel cake.  Well, there was no way I was going to be able to eat that much ice cream.  Rick tried to help me but it was no use.  The cone was getting soggy and falling apart and we were a mess.  It was an experience though:)

Our seats were even farther away from the grounds this time but we sure enjoyed watching those cowboys and cowgirls do their thing!!

Loved the stampede!  A couple of locals mentioned that if we had time to go up to Banff National Park.  They hailed it as an amazing place.  Well, we didn't have time this trip but if we ever get the chance to go back then we'll head up that direction.

Before we left town we stopped at the Calgary Temple.  It was CLEAR on the other side of the city and took us nearly a full hour to get there but it was a beautiful sight to see.  We actually had hoped to go to a session that morning before the rodeo but the temple wasn't open in the morning, only afternoon and evenings:(  We had four hours to drive that night so we got on the road again.

We took a stop in Cardston to see the temple there.  We could see the temple up on a hill as we were coming into the town.  It did not disappoint!  To me, it was even more spectacular than the Calgary Temple.  It was different without the traditional spire and Angel Moroni but oh, so beautiful!!  Cardston is just a cute little town!  The wide streets reminded me of St. George's nice wide streets.  There was just an amazing feeling there:)  The temple was the first one built in Canada, probably in the 60's is my guess.

Another couple of hours past Cardston was our stop in East Glacier.  Our room was VERY old and rustic but situated in a beautiful area.  Lots of trees in the mountains.  I got out of the car and just took a big long whiff!  Earthy!!  Love that smell!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

4th of July 2015

On Friday the 3rd of July,  Rick and I started on our road trip.  We are traveling up to Calgary for the stampede and then coming back down through Glacier Park.  We left Friday afternoon and got to Blackfoot about 6:00.  We met Dennis and Karen and Janis for a bite to eat at Tommy Vauhgn's Restaurant.  Brent and Lar were originally going to join us but needed to get to their daughter Tiffany who is still having some health problems.  We enjoyed visiting with the others and then went back to D&K's for some dessert that Karen had made.  I am sorry that I didn't get any pictures of the family together:(  We had an enjoyable time visiting with them and seeing their newly (2 years ago) renovated bedroom and bath.  It is very spacious and pretty.  

Afterwards, Rick and I drove 30 minutes to Idaho Falls where we overnighted.  In the morning we drove over to the Boulevard where the parade was to be.  We found a nice place in the shade and enjoyed the sights and sounds of hometown 4th of July festivities.  
At the parade


My favorite float

After the parade we went to the museum to see a National Geographic exhibition on the pirate ship "Whydda" and the story behind it.  Pretty interesting.  A hard time of life to live.....

Next to the museum was an old sandwich dive called Franklin's Famous Cheesesteak Company.  I really wanted to try it out.  Not too shabby.......

After lunch we headed out on our four hour drive to Helena.  We both took turns driving and napping.  Helena is a beautiful little town nestled on the hills.  We are staying at a B&B called The Carolina House.  After getting settled and having dinner at "The Mediterranean Grill" with some seriously amazing lasagna we drove 10 miles up into the canyon to meet Brandon and Jenni and their girls for a fireworks show.  The setting was on privately owned property that was extremely beautiful.  There was a pond with a fountain and tree covered mountains in the background.  WE were pleasantly surprised to find that the family was LDS.  Before the fireworks began they had a granddaughter sing the nation anthem and then we were led in the pledge of allegiance followed by a prayer.  Afterwards, a son gave a few thoughts quoting Abraham Lincoln and none other than Gordon B. Hinckley and even closed in the name of Jesus Christ.  Very inspiring!  And then the fireworks began...... they were terrific!!  They had it all set to patriotic music and lasted for quite some time.  I was very impressed with this family and what they do for their community each year.  Apparently it's been a tradition now for 10 years.  Great missionary tool I'd say:)

Happy 4th everyone!!

Summer Fun

On Thursday, knowing that Rick and I would be gone for the 4th weekend,  I invited the girls and their babies over for a luncheon and then some pool time.  We enjoyed visiting around the table with some chicken salad, chips and veggies.  Before the girls got there I asked them to bring the children's 4th of July outfits since I wouldn't be seeing them.  After lunch we got the kids all gussied and had a fun time taking pictures.  It makes me glad that I am not a children's photographer.  Kinda stressful to get the right shot with wiggly children but after about 20 shots we got some good ones!  Here are som of my favorites......

Rafe loved waving the flag!

Scout had a hard time sitting still but I love this shot of her:)

Beautiful Haivyn liked the flag as well:)

Henry always has a ready smile!!  So darling!

A fun group shot!

mom's and kids at the pool (I missed a picture of Sarah and Henry:(

Scout in her cute hat.

Fun summer times!!
Rafe LOVED the water fountains in the pool!  Pure joy on that kids face!

It turned out to be a great afternoon!