Road Trip // Summer 2015 // Part 4: MT

< Go back to part 3: WA

Montana was a surprise. I was expecting cowboys and mountain folk, but when we rolled into the parking lot of a grocery store in Bozeman, I could tell this was not the Wild West. Yes, there were plenty of pickup trucks: bright and shiny F150s and Chevy Silverados. And no shortage of men in cowboy hats, with their blonde, Botoxed cowgirls.

We had lunch at a cafeteria-style restaurant inside of a health food market. I think it was called the Co-Op. There were artsy paintings on the sidewalk and the utility boxes, and cute shops along the street.


Then we went on to our one “official” ($3) paid campsite, where we set up a tent and everything.montana-camp9montana-camp-8montana-camp-5montana-camp-sunset montana-camp-6b

Adelaide posed as mermaid Ariel on a rock.montana-camp6a Kyle and the kids explored the campsite.montana-camp-4a montana-camp3 montana-camp2They gathered some firewood, but then the camp host came and gave us some kiln-dried wood.
montanacamp1We loved slowing down and having some real camping time. So much so, we decided that next year, we’ll do less driving and more camping.

(Well, the same amount of driving, but spread out over more days.)

On to part 5: Yellowstone >

Road Trip // Summer 2015 // Part 3: WA

< Go back to part 2: OR

(Really? I only have FOUR photos that I edited for our day in Seattle? Shame on you, Emily of the past…)

You may have already realized that it doesn’t make sense to drive from California to Minnesota by way of Washington. Heaven knows we didn’t have the budget to drive an extra 828 miles out of our way. (Not to mention the potential wear and tear on our kids, tacking on another full day of driving.)

But I’d never been to Seattle and I’ve wanted to go there forever. Well, at least since watching the “Real World: Seattle” in 1998.

So almost forever.

My frugal nature was really not digging this plan, but there’s another part of me, the part of me whose life verse is Psalm 90:12:

Teach us to number our days
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Or, in The Message version:


And Kyle is always down for extra adventure. So we did it. We went to Seattle.



Seeing this sign was magical. I felt like, “We’re here! We’re actually IN Seattle. Wow.”

And henceforth, this sign will always remind me of our squealing brakes as we inched our way down the steep hill to the Public Market.

(Don’t worry, there was nothing actually quote-unquote “wrong” with our brakes. It’s just that we’d decided not to replace the shims — who’s ever heard of shims anyway? — because they weren’t necessary when we got the brakes replaced, but the mechanic said they’d eventually squeal if we didn’t replace them. And wouldn’t y’know? He was right.)

We scored a great parking spot right at the entrance to the farmer’s market. I saw buckets of sunflowers with honeybees all over them.

seattle-sunflowersWe walked all through the market. There was a pickle shop called Britt’s or Brittany’s and I wanted to take a photo for Kyle’s sister because her name is Brittany. But I didn’t. (Sorry, Britt!) (Here’s a link.)

In preparation for the trip, we asked some people what we should do in Seattle. Kyle’s friend Christian (who lived in the Seattle area for a while) said we should visit the public library. I was underwhelmed with his recommendation, but we thought hey, what the heck?

Turned out to be a pretty good suggestion.
seattle-library2 seattle-library1

Welp, that’s the end of the photos I edited!

Not pictured:

– The gorgeous drive up the coast from Oregon to Washington

– The ferry ride in to Seattle (an excellent recommendation from Kyle’s parents and the aforementioned Christian and his lovely wife Alexis). (I want to say we took the ferry from Bainbridge? But I’m too tired to look it up.)

– The impossibly delicious roast beef panini from Michou in/near the Public Market. (Thanks, Yelp!)

– Us getting slightly lost and walking into downtown Seattle, looking for the sandwich shop that was a few steps away from our car.

– Our visit to the first Starbucks (I just used the bathroom, didn’t get a coffee).

– Speaking of coffee, WE DIDN’T GET COFFEE IN SEATTLE. Obviously we need to go back.

– We also didn’t get clam chowder from the place with the very long line. Next time.

After Seattle, we stopped in Spokane for dinner at a very inappropriately-themed gourmet hot dog restaurant called…uh, I think it was Wild Dawgs or something like that.

The food was OK, but our visit was overshadowed by some drunk girl who had sat on the hanging sink in the bathroom and broke it off the wall, hurting her leg in the process.

Incidentally, it was the second time that Yelp led us to tasty food served in a restaurant totally inappropriate for children. (The first being Cheba Hut, a marijuana-themed sub sandwich shop in Oregon.) Thankfully our kids were 6 and under and none the wiser.

On to part 4: MT >

Patty Cake

August and Mommy playing patty cake:

Patty cake, patty cake, baker’s man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can
Roll it (roll roll roll)
Pat it (pat pat pat)
Mark it with a B
And put it in the oven for BABY and me!

August: Ohh nooo…I not a baby!
Mommy: Ok, then…For Hazel and me!
August: Noooo, not Hazel!!
Mommy: For Augie and me!
August: (smiles)

Sick week

It started with Adelaide. She got sick and was throwing up. But Adelaide tends to get sick more often than the rest of us, so I didn’t think too much of it. We planted her on the couch with an iPad and 7Up.


Then Kyle got sick. That’s when I knew it was serious, because Kyle doesn’t usually get sick. And when he does, he usually gets over it pretty quickly. That’s when I knew it was only a matter of time before everyone was throwing up. But I was hoping and praying that the rest of us would be spared.


August was next. Poor bub. He didn’t know how to handle throwing up and he kept trying to swallow it. Ew. But he sort of got the hang of it eventually.


Hazel was OK for a while…


But soon even Hazel got sick and was throwing up. (Fortunately she got the lightest case of us all.)


Then I got sick. It was so bad. Here I was, caring for four sick people while I’m trying to take care of myself. I got so mad at Kyle for not being very helpful, which wasn’t really fair because he was recovering. But I was literally cleaning up vomit and other bodily liquids off the floor and changing two kids’ diapers and nursing Hazel while being sick myself.


We each lost about 5 pounds.


It was perhaps the worst three or four days of my life. But we survived.

Thank you for coming to my pity party. It’s over now.

Saturdays lately

We’ve kind of fallen into a rhythm on Saturdays lately.

We sleep in.

We go to The Habit. (Kyle and Em split a cheeseburger with avocado and peppers and extra grilled onions. Adelaide and August split a cheeseburger. We get fries and onion rings. Coke, root beer, iced tea. You know, super healthy stuff…)

Daddy goes to work.

Mommy and the kids go to the library, then to the park.

Adelaide makes friends and plays. Sometimes August plays with Adelaide, sometimes he hangs out with Mommy and Hazel. Sometimes Mommy reads a book.

Then to McDonald’s for ice cream cones. Sometimes Adelaide and August put ice cream on their noses.

We go home to nap/play/clean the house/listen to public radio/make dinner.







Catching up

Here’s a bit of what’s been going on lately:

We went to Disneyland…

Hazel in the Storybook line

Emily and Hazel in the Storybook line

Adelaide in the Storybook line

Hazel turned 4 months old…

Hazel laughs

Hazel cute

The Seahawks lost…

Kyle and August after the Superbowl

Augie got a haircut…

August haircut

…and we went to the park on a rainy day…

August on the swings

Hazel’s face was scratched in a home improvement mishap…

Hazel scar

My parents had a layover at LAX and we ate at In-N-Out (I still need to get the pictures off my other camera)…

Hazel and grandma

August grandpa

August made himself a snack of cheese, jam, and ranch dressing…

August's snack

And Hazel’s still digging her teething keys…

Hazel on the floor

Now you’re all caught up!