Part of the reason I’ve been so quiet here is that my little family went on a vacation. We decided we needed to see our chosen family and road tripped it to Montana. Unfortunately my BFF decided to move to Portland about 6 weeks ago so we had to change our plans and shorten our Montana time so we could stop by Portland on our way home. More on how that turned out later.
Waldo and I know our child. She doesn’t like change. So we started prepping her with excitement for our trip ahead of time and it was working. She was so looking forward to seeing ‘our friends’ and staying at motels and driving and driving and driving. Then the night before the big day she asked why Daddy was showing Papa something in the office. I explained the Papa was going to take care of Kitty while we were gone and I guess that was the first time that we thought to mention the fact that Kitty wasn’t going with us. She melted down. She was already missing Kitty. Oh woe is me. Life will never be worth living again without kitty being with us. And on and on. I finally asked if it would be ok to take some pictures of Kitty to have with us and whenever she was missing Kitty she could look at the pictures. “Oh, Mama, that is the best idea ever.”
She never asked to look at the pictures once. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.
For the weeks leading up to the big day I thought about what all we needed to bring, I planned, shopped, schemed and baked. Oh how I baked, but more on that later too. One of the big things I was worried about was keeping a 3 1/2 year old happy in the car for hours at a time. I decided to take a page from our December plane trip and bought Lil some new things that she wouldn’t get till we were on our way and I’d space them out, giving her one at a time when she really needed something new to do. It was like friggin Christmas over here. Except so far we’ve kept Christmas much lighter present-wise than I did this trip. We didn’t really buy anything expensive, but a nice selection of things that I thought would keep her occupied and make her use her brain/imagination. It worked great and I still have a few of the trip toys tucked away for the future.
One of the things that I wanted for the trip was a little backpack for Lily to keep all of her stuff in and I wanted to sew it. Waldo helped me realize I didn’t have time for another project mainly due to the high volume of baking I was planning. So I asked Waldo’s Mom if she would make the backpack and she agreed. I found the pattern on Pinterest (of course) and the Fancy Nancy fabric at Hobby Lobby (but not on a Sunday of course) and it turned out so adorable. Sorry this picture mostly sucks, its the only one I have of the backpack.
The drive went surprisingly well. We stopped for potty and leg stretching breaks often and did a little sight seeing. This picture was taken at the edge of Idaho and it was a bit of all three.
We had stopped for lunch in Riggins, ID, which is the hometown of one of my best girlfriends, Paula. More about Paula in a second.
One of the things that I made sure Lily had on our adventure was a lot of drawing options. I picked up a last minute notebook from Target on our way out of town. I gave it to Lil at lunch and she loved it.
After lunch it took a few hours, but soon we were out of Idaho. This was Lily and Waldo at Lolo Pass. They were in Idaho looking at Montana.
Our first overnight stop was Missoula Montana. Waldo lived there when he first moved to MT 16-ish years ago and I’ve visited the city a number of times so getting there made the fact that we were in Montana very real. It was very exciting.
The most important thing on this trip was visiting with as many of our friends as possible. Our first friend visit was breakfast with Erin. I’m not 100% sure, but I think the last time we saw Erin was when she visited us in the hospital after Lil was born.
After Erin we went to visit my friend Paula (the one who grew up in Riggins, ID). Paula has a little girl; Emma, who is 2 weeks older than Lil. The last time we saw Paula was Emma’s baby shower almost 4 years ago. Even with that long time between visits you would never know it, we fell back so easily into our old conversations and patterns. It was amazing.
Paula and her husband Steve have their daughter Emma and a 18 month old boy named Brady. Brady went down for a nap right after we got there.
Emma wasn’t interested in taking a picture with us at all. After Paula put Emma down I should have put Lil down and taken a picture just the two of us, but it didn’t even occur to me until days later. I’m slow like that some days.
Emma was cool with this picture though.
We spent about 2 1/2 hours with Paula and her family. Lily and Emma played on opposite ends of the living room the entire time. As per normal Lily wanted Waldo or myself right next to her while she played so I sat on the floor and talked to Paula. At one point Lil sat on my lap and I handed my phone to Paula. I was so impressed with this picture she captured.
As we were leaving I snagged this picture of 3/4 of Paula’s family.
Spending time with Paula makes me miss her so much more than I already did. She commented I think more than once that she wished we were neighbors so our girls could play and so could we. I feel the same way.
After leaving Paula’s we headed out on the road again. We drove to Whitefish, which was our ultimate destination. It was only about a 3 hour drive and we were so glad for the short drive, especially since Waldo and I had made the trip between Missoula and Whitefish so many times in the past.
We stopped at a McDonalds to grab a quick bite to eat and use the restrooms. Lil saw the play area and was intrigued. She’s never played in any indoor play places before so we let her for a few minutes.
As soon as other kids headed for the play area it was time to leave. She wanted nothing to do with them, which is very usual for her.
After we got to our motel and brought ALL of our stuff* in we had time to kill so we went to a park. I lived down the street from this park for 8 years and I always dreamed of the day my kid would get to play there so it was great to see my Girl at the park.
I’m going to stop here since this post has gotten out of hand and it so picture heavy. Part 2 will also be picture heavy so I don’t want to clog up the internet tubes too much.
*I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of all of our luggage together. I believe we had 11 bags, 4 boxes, 1 ice chest, my purse and a few other odds and ends. Crazy!