This is the wonderful family who took us into their home in Idaho, Dave's best friends from dental school. We spent the weekend riding around in their Yukon, just like two extra kids in the family.
I didn't get any decent pictures but we went to two fabulous restaurants: Brick 29 and Pizzal Chick. It was definitely a Food Network experience dining at these places. Brick 29 is a delicious bistro in the basement of an old Masonic temple. (The upstairs has an event center - might be kind of fun to be an event coordinator in an old temple.) Pizzal Chick was actually featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri (I love that show). We got to meet the owner there who apologized for not wearing his tie-dye and said I looked really familiar - surely I had been in before. Nope but I hope to go back some day, it was that good!
After too short a stay with our friends we hopped on Hwy 21 and wound our way through the mountains to reach Great Falls. It took us nearly 12 hours to get there on all those back roads but the scenery totally made it worth the drive. We saw some really amazing views and passed through some quaint little mountain villages.
Our first stop in Great Falls was at the Air Force Museum. We received a personal tour of the inside exhibits from one of the servicemen. Dave had so many questions our 15-minute tour turned in to over 45 minutes. But it was fascinating to learn all about the work done in the silos of Malmstrom AFB.
Later that night we ate at MacKenzie River Pizza Co. There were so many enticing options on the menu my head was spinning. We settled on two pizzas that we shared but I would have loved to try one of everything. Then after dinner we played several rounds of Ladders with our lovely hosts. During practice Dave and I were scoring points with every throw but once the actual competition began we both froze. I lost every game. Sad.
We enjoyed a "junk food" picnic at Ryan Dam our last day there - cookies, pastries, and Capri Sun. It was as gross as it sounds.
They're my sweet niece and nephew and I'm trying to fill a void.)
The final stop on our 10-day road trip was Yellowstone National Park. We met up with my family and enjoyed a small portion of the wonders of the area. I forget how HUGE Yellowstone is. There was so much to do and so little time to do it in.
As we left the Park one day my little twin nephews begged to come with us in our car and it didn't take long before they were both sound asleep. Several miles before Madison Jct. the cars in front of us all stopped. We couldn't figure out what was going on. After being in the slow-moving pile up for over 45 minutes, we finally reached the cause of the problem - a small heard of buffalo walking along the road with the cars. They were so close I could reach out the window and touch them - but I didn't. We took a few pictures through the window (which are all on Dave's phone) and carefully passed by, relieved to finally be back at the speed limit. Before long the twins woke up and wanted their mommy. In an effort to console them, I showed them the pictures of the buffalo and told them how close they were to the car. Well, they took that story to heart and put their own three-year old spin on it. When we all arrived back at the condo, they ran to their parents telling them how the buffalo almost got in our car and how they had fought them off and saved us. It was hilarious. The next day, they both picked up big sticks to beat the buffalo if they came back. Oh, you gotta love three-year old imaginations.
We had such a great time on our road trip! We might have to do it again next year. Thanks to all our friends and family we met along the way who made it the best vacation of the summer!