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 >