Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wonderfully Weird Missoula.

This past weekend my little family made our way a few hours west to the other best town in Montana.  

Now, I am a Bozeman girl through and through, but I love Missoula in all it's laid back, hippie-vibe coolness.  (Case in point-we met a dude who carried a tiny kitten around in his bandanna and the kitten also wore a tiny bandanna.)  I think there are two type of people in Montana...those who love both cities and those who only love their own and really dislike the other.  I suppose there could be a third type who could really care less about either.  Anyhow, I have come to this conclusion based on many visits and the comments I receive when I tell them we are visiting from Bozeman.  Some respond with "Oh, I love it over there"  or "Lucky you!"  On the other hand I get..."Oh, I'm sorry to hear that."  or "Is it true Bozeman puts their homeless on a bus with a ticket to Missoula?"  

I fall into the type that loves and appreciates both for what they are.  Bozeman with its beautiful mountains and a touch of yuppie.  Missoula with the river roaring right through the center of town and a touch of hippie.    

Okay, enough of Missoula vs. Bozeman...it was the perfect weekend away with the family.  And we soaked it up.  First stop-the Fairy tail Festival, complete with princesses and fairy wings.  We got there in time for the last 45 minutes of it which in my opinion is the perfect amount of time to spend at a thing like this.

I found that if a child is wearing fairy wings, it makes people walking by smile.  I like this.  

We wandered around their downtown, lunched al fresco and then stumbled upon the Missoula Art Museum.  One time when just Matt and I had been in Missoula I wanted to check this out.  It was the one day they were closed.  Lucky us, it was open this time.  These guys have it figured it out.  They've found a way for parents and kids to enjoy an art museum.  The girls were handed a scavenger hunt upon entrance, broken down by exhibit for things to find in the art work.  They had a blast.  One colorful room was particularly entertaining...

Another museum goer advised us to not go in because it wasn't "kid friendly"  We must be hippie enough for this town because our kids loved it.  In all its weirdness.  It's a beautiful three story art museum and I am so happy we came upon it.  

Beyond wandering around, fairy tales and museum going we ate a lot, let our fish swim in the pool and checked out another festival going on...The Celtic Festival.  And, of course had ice cream at the best place ever.  A look at our weekend-

Layla totally photo bombed my shot...she's pretty darn cute tho.  

The line was down the block.  Totally worth it.  

A stroll over the bridge at sunset.  So lovely.  

A band playing at the Celtic Festival was called "The Fighting Jameson's".  As Jamison's we of course had to check them out.  

These Jameson's rocked it.  I would describe it as heavy metal Celtic music...couldn't really understand the words and sounded a bit like screaming.  But, they were so passionate it was still fun to watch.  We had two tired Jamison girls by this point so we called it a night.

The next morning, Layla and I crept out of the hotel early while Matt and Ava slept.  We didn't even get dressed...took a pajama walk in search of coffee.

It wasn't a long walk, just enough to soak up some one on one time with my baby girl.  I really treasure these small moments when I am with one daughter.  They don't happen often.  This makes them all the more special.  We hooked back up with the rest of our team for breakfast...

Notice the fairy wings were back on...just more making folks that walked by smile.  And then a final stroll before heading to the water park where we would spend the next 4 hours straight.  

No photos from the water park...cameras and water don't mix for me.  (My last camera ended up at the bottom of the Missouri River).  Just picture two girls who had grins on their face All. Day. Long.  Picture the first hour spent going in circles through the lazy river...in tubes, out of tubes, with life jackets, without...over and over.  Picture water slides...fun ones.  Poor Layla is still too short but we got Ava to go a couple times.  Pretty sure Matt and I were on them more than the kids.  They're just so fun.  Break for food, re-applying sunscreen and back in the water.  I think Ava spent more time under water than above.  They love it.  Bonus of the day?  I got to meet a gal whose blog I've been reading for awhile now.  I only follow a couple blogs and one of my favorites is Dig this Chick, a woman from Missoula writes.  I love her writing because it is very honest and poetic.  Well...who should show up at the water park and sit right behind us but her.  I casually whispered this to Matt and of course knew I wouldn't get up the nerve to say anything.  I don't know her, even though I know so much about her from her writing.  This is why my husband is awesome...he is my voice when I can't seem to find mine.  As she walked by he introduced himself and I then got to the opportunity to meet her, tell her how much I enjoy her work and get a bit of a girl crush.  Our very big world is actually very, very small.  Pretty cool.

We came home to an overflowing garden and raspberries galore.  

These babies were begging to be put on vanilla ice cream, so I got out the ice cream maker and got to work.  I love them growing crazy in our backyard.  As the girls pick them about half actually make it in the bowl.  They both kept  saying "Oh, mommy they are too hard to resist" as they stuff deep purple berries in their mouths.  

All the fresh veggies make me crazy excited about cooking.  I love taking what we have from the day and creating whatever sounds good.  No planning...just chop, season, saute and serve.  The other night I was making a tortellini, corn, tomato toss...simple.  But once I looked in my fridge I couldn't help but keep adding more and more-
I threw in kale, onion, banana pepper, peas, magic beans (from my sista's garden!) and fresh basil.  It turned out so pretty.  And, so tasty.  (I sauted all the veggies in olive oil with garlic.  Then tossed with cooked tortellini, parmesean cheese and sea salt)

Tomorrow is the last day of July.  July is the only full month without school. It seems as if it went by in a blink.  I suppose that means we were having a really good time because January usually crawls by in all its snowy coldness.  I do love August though.  It's always wonderfully hot, Sweet Pea Festival will be here and Matt and I celebrate our anniversary  in August.  It's going to be a good month.  Have I mentioned before how much I dig summer?

One final shot from my other favorite Montana city...with my only favorite guy.

Happy almost-August.  Enjoy your last day of July.  

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