Fish That

PW and were able to escape the banshees for the better part of a day and do some fly fishing on the Yellowstone River. The river is really spectacular and we were lucky that it was a great day for fishing. Our guide was none other than Matthew. Yes, the same Matthew that Matthew the deer is named after. He is as good a hunting guide as he is a fishing guide. His home is the wild Montana country so he is an expert at all things outdoors. Not to mention a good friend and very funny.

We started off slowly – the weather turned cold and we waited out a rainstorm for about an hour. The wait paid off as the fish were suddenly very hungry. Matthew said it’s because they know after the rain that the river is going to mud up from the run off so they eat a lot in anticipation of not being able to see their food for a few days. I didn’t care what the reason was, I was just happy that we were actually catching something! We caught so many that we stopped counting – it made the day really fun.

One of Matthew’s signature phrases is “yup, good, fish that”. He would tell me where to cast and then judging where the nymph fell, he would tell me to leave it (“fish that”) or to recast. The beauty of being in a row boat with Matthew at the ores is that he could maneuver the boat to make my cast work – and me feel like I knew what I was doing. I actually didn’t realize that was happening until PW pointed out after. Which is why Matthew gets paid the big bucks.

Point of Rocks

291

First fish of the day – and yes, it was cold enough for a hood!

294

296

298

Did you know that trout talk?? I did not. That fish was squeaking all over the place and freaked me right out.
305

310

Manly fishermen only hold their fish with ONE hand!308

This picture cracks me up. Matthew had on his trademark serious face (and was probably sick of my pictures and or bad fishing skills) and PW is heaven. 316

God Bless America

There are few things that feel as patriotic as the 4th of July in Montana. There are purple mountains majesty, amber waves of, well grass, but still and all the cowboy hats too. Hubbard’s always puts on a cookout that screams holiday and Mike has a fireworks show that is second only to professional displays. Watching the kiddos run around in their red, white and blue is really the best.

Aunts Sarah and Nancy. Auggie is a big fan.
158

Thank goodness we had a professional taking our picture. Vern (his real name is Eric. However the summer he worked at the ranch there were too many Erics so they started calling him Vern. Why? Because he’s just such a Vern) literally took 40 pictures and there were only FOUR where A) everyone is looking B) Peter’s eyes are open C) everyone is smiling and or not crying. I’ve realized also that Augg has inherited PW’s squint and head tilt.

206Seriously. Look at those eyes.

184

Again, the cuteness.

217

Cousin Madi, Sienna and Baylor with Madi’s patriotic press on nails.

fourth flag

229

fourth

Pig roast! It always tastes delicious, I just don’t like knowing what my dinner’s face looked like so I make Peter get me a plate.

160

This was the first year that B did sparklers and I didn’t have a heart attack. We were spelling out her name.
281 241

247

It really is Big Sky Country

263 262There were friends and friends of friends at the lodge for dinner and they thought that the sparklers were the fireworks. They about lost their minds when they saw Mike’s AMAZING firework display. Peter is always the fireman at the docking station. I’ve asked him not to tell me what happens down there because I never like hearing about how he almost lost an eye or a finger or is now deaf. Baylor always watches with her hands over her ears and I was anxious to see what Augg thought. Thankfully he loved them – and by that I mean he didn’t scream so it goes down as a win in my book. Fireworks? Check!

I Love a Parade

PW does not, however, which is why he’s not in any of these pictures. He claims that he doesn’t enjoy it, but I think the fact that he has a heart attack every time Baylor runs into the street to get candy has something to do with it. Which is why he goes fishing when we go the Livingston Parade.

I, on the other hand, LOVE the parade. I love the rodeo queens. I love the Costco “float” where they throw out rolls of toilet paper. I love the totally random groups of people that roll down the street and call themselves a float. I love the man who drives his truck through with a sign saying that he’s been in the parade for the last 65 consecutive years. I love that you can sit on the sidewalk outside of a bar and legally drink. It’s all around good fun.

The Noni with Ms.B and me with Augg.

photo 5 (9)

 

0702131611a

Ready to get started!
0702131425a

Love the rodeo queens. Actually, I think was a queen wannabe…
photo 2 (21)

0702131426

In my defense – it was empty and I didn’t know he was chewing on it…

photo 3 (17)

Baylor, Zoe and Siena trolling for candy

photo 1 (17)

The big man enjoying the wagon to himself

photo 4 (15)

Cowgirl Up

Ms. B has been dying to ride horse since taking the Mini Horse Hands class last summer at the zoo. When we went down to feed the horses some carrots, she began begging us to let her ride. Thankfully, Uncle Mike agreed to take both B and cousin Zoe for a spin around the corral.

The Barn Bar

046

Big man trying out a saddle

023

028

Star, Cahl and Seabass (my favorite)

017 016 010 007 006

Auggie was unexpectedly not a fan of the horses. He literally shuddered when he pet them. Hopefully it’s only a temporary reaction.

043 039

Ready to ride!

098100 103 106 110 125

Can’t stand the cuteness

127 As long as he was not actually touching the horse, he was happy131 132

Ring Around the Rosie139

138

This picture summarizes the whole trip for Baylor. She was loving her independence and cousins to pal around with!

145

Wild Montana Skies

The summer vacations continue! We landed safely (and on time thankyouverymuch Allegiant)last night and as I loaded up the pictures today, I realized how bummed I am to be back in the desert. MT has a little piece of our hearts and it gets harder and harder to leave.

This marked Auggie’s first real trip and plane ride. It went….ok. Not amazing but not horrible either. There was a fair amount of crying before and after takeoff but I think the temperature was to blame. Temperature you ask? Yes, it was 117 degrees while walking across and standing in line on the tarmac and then at least 102 on the plane. Peter bought a little battery operated fan and I totally made fun of him…until we were sitting on the plane. Yes PW, you were right. The fan was a fantastic idea. Pun intended.

Someone did really like taking off.

window

Eventually we got to this. I got to eat my Mike and Ikes AND read my book. The return flight? Not picture worthy…

plane auggThis girl? Is amazing.

plane bay

The worst part about traveling to the ranch is that once you land after the 2 hour flight, you have a two hour drive. It’s rough when you’re an adult. It’s murder when you’re a baby and just. want. to. crawl. We finally pulled in and turned the banshees loose in the grass. After a little unpacking when the sun was finally setting around 11pm, we sat on the deck in rocking chairs. I was holding Auggie and my brain was buzzing. And much like a loud noise stops you in your tracks, the dead silence hit me like a train. I suddenly was able to take a breath and realize that we had made it. We were in one piece and not in too bad of shape. So there we sat, breathing in the cool air listening to the soft squeak of the rocking chairs and letting vacation begin.

058

The Rules of Vacation

I know I’m 2 weeks behind in this post…but I promise it’s still informative. And funny.

 

Several years ago PW and I developed some pretty strict rules for vacation. They are as follows:

Rule #1: There are no rules.

Rule #2: See rule number 1.

You see, when there are too many rules about what time is bed time, eating vegetables and limiting cartoons, no one has any fun. There are too many distractions and differences from normal life to carry on a normal routine. So, we say to hell with the rules. If Baylor doesn’t even look at a veggie for 5 days, she will not die. If she doesn’t go to bed at 8pm, she will probably be a little crabby the next morning….but there’s also a chance she’ll sleep past 6:30am. Does one more Doc McStuffins cartoon mean I get to keep reading my book? Then watch away kiddo. We’ll mold your mushy brain back into shape next week. Cheesecake for breakfast? Why not (this was one of mine and it was fan-freaking-tastic). French fries for lunch? Sure. No nap? Let’s throw those dice! Multiple cocktails on the deck of the Del with lunch? It’s vacation!! (Sad I missed on this one this year –  I do, however, plan to make up for it next year).

I think the most fun part about the no rules is when Baylor realizes it. She will ask for something she knows she normally doesn’t get and then when she gets it, the look of surprise on her face is priceless. More than once I said “we’re on vacation! Run amok!”. And by the last day her favorite phrase was “we can because we’re on vacation!!”.

The caveat here is that while this makes vaca fabulous, it can make the return home a little troublesome. The key is to emphasize when it is and when it isn’t vacation. The declaration of “vacation over” makes for a lot of sad faces all the way around, but it makes it more understandable when the cartoons get turned off, the platter of veggies served and the wine gets left in the rack (maybe it was PW who struggled most this time around…).

Going Going Back Back

We put another great vacation in the history books this weekend with the annual trip to Coronado, CA. We spent 4 days enjoying the cool weather, walking to every destination and relaxing. It was just what a beach vacation should be!

SAND MOMMY!!! SAAAANNNDDD!!!

Very serious game of kickball

Finally getting to fly her Barbie kite

 

The beach is a lot of work for Baby Mason

Ok, the beach is a lot of work for everyone…

“I don’t get it…where’s the beach?”

The surrey bike. PW and I laughed about riding these around campus when he ran for student senate in college..

Showing off her new favorite hat that she picked out at the surf shop

Dancing to the music on the deck…mommy wishing she had cocktails to improve her moves…

I love the way she is hanging on to us. Hoping she plans to do so for a very long time!

T-Town Bound

We made a quick trip to Tucson this weekend and had a ball. Normally I am opposed to overnight trips – they’re just too much work. Packing up the kiddo’s stuff, bedding and “just in case” supplies is a pain in itself, but I have to find someone to check in on the BearMeister, pack myself and PW…it’s just a lot of work for 24 hours. Not to mention that this weekend we had stuff scheduled on both Saturday and Sunday so we were litterally zipping in and out of town. But to my big surprise, it all went very smooth and was a ton of fun!

We arrived with enough time before dinner to walk around campus. It was so much fun to see The Phi, Peter’s fraternity house (which is currently being occupied by another fraternity and caused PW to hold back a few swear words), buildings that we each attended classes in, our favorite resturants, our respective dorms…the list goes on. It was amazing to think back and realized how much life has changed in the last *cough* eight years since we graduated. The campus has changed so much, yet all the amazing memories are still there. It’s even more fun that PW and I were there together so it wasn’t me showing him, but rather getting to tell each other our favorite memories. At one point Baylor sighed and asked when we were going back to the “HO-teeeellll”. Apparently memory lane was not as exciting for her.

Ah The Phi. I lived in the window right above the “Alpha Phi”

Next we were off to dinner with the family I babysat for while at UofA. It’s scary to think that Madi is now graduating high school and headed off to college herself! Amazing how she’s grown and I haven’t aged a day…to say that it’s wonderful to catch up with the L family is an understatement. They are truly amazing people and even when we haven’t seen each other in years, it’s like we just talked yesterday. Dinner was at one of our collective favorites: Rosa’s. I had forgotten how amazing the refried beans are and I said a little prayer of thanks that the morning sickness has passed so I could enjoy every stinking last bite of my enchilada and tacos!

After dinner it was the UofA baseball game – PW’s reason for planning the trip. The team has moved off campus to Hi Corbett Field which turned out to be awesome. The stadium was packed, they served beer and there was a jump house, what more could you ask for? Oh yeah, a win! We got that too.

Pretty sunset

We had to teach Baylor not to cheer for the other team. She broke out her signature “dirty look” instead.

PW and BW

The Super Moon! The camera phone didn’t do it justice.

We headed back to the “ho-teelll” after it was looking promising that the Cats would pull off the win. We were impressed with The Lodge on the Desert. It was close to the hotel and campus, full remodeled and a nice price. Bay was excited to try out her new Pea Pod sleep tent and it went swimmingly. If you have any traveling to do with a toddler soon (especially one that sleeps in a crib but has out grown a pack and play) then I highly recommend the tent. It has an air mattress, is one piece that folds flat and doubles as a play area. It was perfect way to divide a room for her and us so we could do crazy stuff like brush our teeth and watch TV without waking her up!

We’re already talking about another slightly longer trip later this summer to one of the resorts. Sure there are two world famous resort just down the street, but there’s something about getting out of town, visiting places you haven’t been to in years and a long drive that make a trip even better.