Friends and Family in Livingston, Montana (with a Yellowstone Preview)

bridal party

Well, we just got back from a very special wedding out in Montana, where I got to see my brother marry a terrific person I’m proud to call a sister.   The wedding was in beautiful Livingston, Montana, a place I could easily call home… in the summer.  I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to snowy winters.   The people are friendly, the shops are local and friendly, and the restaurants are great.  There’s something about the laid back lifestyle of the west that I have always found refreshing.  It wasn’t until we returned to the Philadelphia airport, and I felt overloaded by the line of people rushing by us in the terminals, that I realized how nicely I had adjusted to Montana’s space and quiet.  In Philly, my brain actually experienced “there’s a line of people” with a bit of shock, like, how can so many people be together in one place?

watching the horses

Getting off the plane in Montana was a totally different experience, from the healthy vending machine (Oh joy, food I actually want to eat! Almond milk in a vending machine!) to the massive, still mountains outside the large windows.  Due to a rather unfortunate choice of lunch in the Denver airport, we hit the health food store in Bozeman.  After acquiring an upset tummy remedy, we took the owner’s advice and headed to the nearby park where we were lucky to catch the last day of the Sweet Pea festival. I instantly fell in love with the art, the music, the reclaimed items crafted into home decor, the metal sculptures, and the natural beauty products.

our A-frame house outside of Livingston

My mother rented a house for the family to stay at, a cute A-frame outside of Livingston.  We enjoyed the indoor pool and the hot tub, and the funky layout of the house.  The only thing I might have changed was the two inch gap between the floor and ceiling.  Yes, I know, probably good for airflow, but not the best when your family is up drinking till one am in the room above you.

view from family room

brother meets horse

We also visited Chico Hot Springs, a gift from my sister in-law.  The hot springs are not rustic hot springs in the side of a mountain, as we happened to assume.  Chico is actually a resort, and the hot springs: a large pool.  A smaller section is walled off for the hotter water. Even the larger part of the pool stayed comfortably warm as the air temperature dropped around us at night.  There’s a bit of drinking after sundown, too. The saloon is right next to the pool but Kevin and I chose to ignore the libations and amuse ourselves by finger racing across the two foot section of the pool.  (This is a race, conceived by my own brilliant imagination, where one has to walk across the bottom of the pool using only their index & middle fingers.  The taller person usually has the advantage, but watching the shorter person try not to drown makes it all the more fun.)  The pool refreshes itself naturally often enough that chlorine is not necessary, something my sensitive skin deeply appreciated.  All in all, a worthwhile adventure.

Cow Bones in Neighboring Field

Another trip favorite, possibly my favorite part, tubing down the Yellowstone River: a four hour adventure, that could have gone on forever in my world without any regrets.  Peace. Quiet. Nature. Friendship.  Family.  Broken Fingers. (Only one-not mine- after a rather epic attempt on a rope swing.) Loved it.

Livingston is just a short, scenic commute from Yellowstone, and Kevin and I headed down that way for the day.  We saw elk, bison, even a coyote, and had lunch on the banks of the beautiful Yellowstone River.

I ended up taking so many pictures at Yellowstone, that I decided they are worthy of their own post.  But here is a sneak preview below:

Buffalo and Calf at Yellowstone

buffalo close up

I had the best time with the bridesmaids.

Bridesmaids

From river tubing, to yoga, to salon trips, and wedding preparations, the camaraderie was amazing.  We also got a little caught up in the moment, and had our own remake of the movie Bridesmaids.  That’s caught on video, but I’m not gonna show it here.  The wedding was beautiful and to top it off there was a meteor shower.  Not only did I see my first shooting star, but I saw an amazing one with a long blazing tale.  And then I saw many, many more.

Now I don’t know about you, but in my world:

shooting stars= a good and happy omen for the bride and groom.  Yay!

the lovely bride and groom- what a beautiful place for a wedding!

Now, as I sit in my crowded little room, in my crowded little apartment, in my crowded little town, I’m still feeling the jet lag.  Maybe my spirit is lagging behind my body.  Maybe it misses the wide, open spaces.  Maybe it didn’t want to leave this:

Our Backyard in Livingston, Montana

inspirations-signature-best

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