Friday, March 25, 2016

Spring Break 2016.

It's spring!  Which in Montana means the fact that it was snowing sideways early this afternoon is totally normal.  I've always thought winter was my least favorite season, but I think I've changed my mind.  It's spring.  At least with winter you know what you are getting.  You can count on it being cold and snowy.  I actually welcome this in the winter because it always looks so pretty and perfectly festive for the holidays.  With spring most people would be expecting tulips to be popping up, birds to be returning and temperatures inching up.  Those people don't live here.  Yes, we have flowers popping up and the robins returning.  However, as soon as I get excited about these signs of spring the snow begins falling, the temperatures drop and the flowers get buried.  The robins hop around on the wet sidewalks with looks on their little bird faces, like " what the heck, why didn't we go to California instead?"  Spring in Montana is just a tease...she flirts with us...go ahead, get out your patio stuff, maybe have a beer out there one evening.  Just kidding, not quite done with the snow.  Ugh.  

Okay, okay.  That's enough of my spring rant.  We have had a couple beautiful days tucked in there...just enough to give us hope.  We also just finished spring break.  We didn't go anywhere warm, no vacation, no real plans.  Yet, it was just what we needed.  A break from the school routine, no homework, activities or bedtimes.  A slower pace.  I had to work most of it so Matt took a few days off to hang with the girls.  There was some cousin time, some playdates with friends and lots of indoor activities thanks to the not-spring-like weather (seriously, I'll stop complaining.)  To wrap it up we went with our friends for a weekend getaway adventure.  We had loose plans to go for a soak at a local hot springs and stay at their families cabin tucked in the mountains.  It may not have been Spring Break 1999 (the year in college we all went to Mexico), but Spring Break 2016 was still pretty awesome.  

There's something about getting out of town that instantly gives the vacation vibe.  Pack the car, hit the road and get away.  First stop, Fairmont Hot Springs.  The sun was shining, but the wind was freezing so we stayed in the warm water watching our little fish of children splash around for hours.  Finally when we were all so starved for lunch we were able to convince them it was time to leave.  Rather than eat there we took our friends advice and drove the short distance into Anaconda where she promised was the cutest little diner that had converted VW slug bugs as tables.  It did not disappoint.  

Stomachs full, we went from the dry roads in town to a winter wonderland at the cabin.  As much as I'm ready for spring, it was fun to go someplace where it was FULL of snow.  Not the wet snow storms we keep having in Bozeman where it sticks for a minute, melts and makes everything turn to mud...but real snow the kids could play in.  They traded their swimsuits for snow pants and jumped in.  The parents found their spots on the fantastic back deck and soaked up the warm sunshine that was reflecting off all that snow.  Visiting, laughing, engaging in snowball fights with the kids and just enjoying.  

The sun was so warm we sat out there until it set over the frozen nearby lake.  The light was gorgeous...


I think it's from all my happy childhood memories of going to our cabin that I love doing things like this.  It's nothing fancy, but cabins always feel so cozy.  Once the sun went down we were all tucked inside, eating dinner...kids played games and fell asleep watching movies.  Adults playing cards, drinking beers and laughing.  A lot.  I love it.  I love that we have been with these friends since those spring break days of 1999 and while things certainly have changed since then, the laughter and love is the same.  It makes me so happy.  

The next day we got up slow.  No one was ready to get back to Bozeman because that meant the real world had to begin again and spring break would officially be over.  There is a small Montana town, Phillipsburg a short drive away that Matt and I had never been.   Our friends had and said how cute it was.  The decision was made to take the long way home and check it out.  Oh my gosh...it is the cutest little place!

The main street is full of restaurants, coffee shops, stores, a brewery and the kids favorite...a huge candy store!


So many decisions!!  I loved the old buildings and the small town charm.  I loved that there was a pay phone, something our kids had never seen before...

I loved telling them how we used to carry dimes around just in case we needed to make a phone call because there were no cell phones.  Yup, we totally dated ourselves with them.  We wandered up and down the whole Main Street, made a detour to a pizza place that was closed but found a great park instead for the kids to run around.  Still not quite ready to let go, we headed back to the main street for lunch.  Sadly after that we knew it was time.  We made the long drive back to Bozeman.  Happily exhausted after the fun-filled couple of days.  

Spring Break 2016 may not have been filled with Corona's and night clubs, but I wouldn't trade them.  I love the memories we have from those crazy days, but I love even more the family memories we are making with our crazy kiddos.

Now if Spring would just stop flirting with us and officially come to Bozeman I'd be a very happy girl.