Home For The Wild West Holidays

I got a call from my mom and my aunt and adventure is in the air!  The three of us feed off each other and you never know what might happen (remember our silliness in Glacier Park this summer?).  It started out a somewhat normal conversation…we’re listening to Christmas music on our road trip, so of course we thought of you.  Somehow that turned into the three of us planning a flash mob during their small town parade of lights next month!

Let’s backup a minute and figure out how we got here.  Last month they helped organize the Wild West Days in Chinook, MT.  They helped with the stick horse parade, the can-can contest, and even got involved in the Miss Kitty look alike event.  We are not sit on the sidelines kind of people!

Chinook, MT Wild West Days

Chinook, MT Wild West Days

Bandits taking over the Wild West parade

Bandits taking over the Wild West parade

Guess which Miss Kitties are my mom and aunt!

Guess which Miss Kitties are my mom and my aunt!

In addition to running different events, they also entered the 1st place float!  My uncle and family friend built the float to honor the centennial of our family homestead.  My grandma played beauty queen and waved to crowd.  A couple of the dogs and chickens even rode the float for authenticity!

The guys and their prize winning float!

The guys and their prize winning float!

My grandma playing beauty queen on her family homestead float

My grandma playing beauty queen on her family homestead float and yes that’s Sponge Bob in the window!

The chickens even made it on the float!

The chickens even made it on the float!

Since they now have a reputation as master float builders, their church asked them to be in charge of the float for the annual parade of lights.  I remember going to the parade as a little girl all bundled up, mesmerized by the lights. We talked about different ideas for the float including a surprise flash mob.  I LOVE Christmas and music and lights and flash mobs, so I don’t think I’ll be able to sit this one out!  I’m already listening to Christmas music looking at plane tickets!  Hopefully I’ll be able to scratch off a few items on my Montana bucket list while I’m there!

Finally Fall?

The weather is finally cooling down here in Florida and I am loving every minute of it!  Out of stubbornness I have been wearing light sweaters and scarves in 85° weather for about a month now.  I am ready for Fall…and for … Continue reading

A Dreamy Afternoon

I had a blast last weekend with my sweet friend from www.diaryofafrancophone.com!  I played DJ as we took the scenic drive along 30A between Destin and Panama City Beach, FL.  We sang along to The Beach Boys and Taylor Swift and everything in between.  There is just something about road tripping with your girls that can turn any grown woman into an goofy teenager full of hope and excitement.

There are so many little treasures to be found on the back roads and this one did not disappoint!  There are several adorable beach communities that dot the road, each with their own charm and personality.

Entrance to Alys Beach

Entrance to Alys Beach

Inside one of the towers at Alys Beach

Inside one of the towers at Alys Beach

All that singing on the drive made us hungry, so we were on the hunt for a great lunch spot.  We had heard of this place called Grayt Grounds of Monet Monet and decided to check it out.  I searched for it in my GPS and burst out giggling when the results came in.  One day and 19 hours!  What!!! I don’t think we are going to make it back to work in time!

We did find Grayt Grounds to be only about 15 minutes from where we were.  We both fell in love with it and can’t wait to go back!  The food was phenomenal and the garden was magical.  There were hidden surprises everywhere you looked and it just begged to be explored.  The property is inspired by Claude Monet’s property in France.

Garden at Monet Monet

Garden at Monet Monet

I don't why I thought the face this lion was making was hilarious, but I did

I don’t why I thought the face this lion was making was hilarious, but I did

We made our way back to Seaside and stumbled upon the Seaside Plein Air Artists Colony Invitational (www.pleinairseaside.com).  It was so fun strolling through the peaceful grounds watching artists capture the moment so gracefully!  My favorite artist participating is JJ Zanetta.  Go check out his work at www.zanettaillustration.com!  His paintings of Pittsburg are my favorite, so full of passion and life.

For me, the best part of the day was connecting with some incredible people.  I don’t know how often this happens to you, but we had three people randomly open up to us and share their dreams and aspirations.  It was so fun getting excited with them and encouraging them in any way we could.

I think sometimes we forget that our dreams aren’t just about us.  We have gifts and talents so that we can bless others, not to make us feel better about our shortcomings.  Using your gifts is a responsibility, not just an opportunity.  And, I’m not just saying that because our first new friend plans to open a restaurant featuring local ingredients. 😉   Our other new friends shared with us their artistic aspirations!  I can’t wait to see all of their dreams come to life!  What’s that dream you’ve been afraid of pursuing?

France in Florida?

This weekend I have a little adventure planned with friend and fellow blogger Diary of a Francophone. Who knows what will happen; who knows where we will go!  I am one who loves to just get in the car and make it up as I go along.  While we don’t know where we are going, we will be on a bit of a scavenger hunt.  I am helping her find a little piece of France right here in Florida and she is helping me find adventure and something beautiful.

Since we are talking about France, I thought I’d share a few photos from my trip to Paris.  Don’t worry, it’s not another standard photo of the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe that you’ve seen a thousand times before.  Like I mentioned in a previous post, I have this silly habit of taking photos from moving vehicles, so most of my Paris photos are from the top of a big, red double decker tour bus.

This was my favorite sculpture on the Arc de Triomphe.  What is that facial expression all about?

This was my favorite sculpture on the Arc de Triomphe. What is that facial expression all about?

I fell in love with this carousel!

I fell in love with this carousel!

Look up from inside the Eiffel Tower

Looking up from inside the Eiffel Tower

My favorite place in all of Paris - Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris!

My favorite place in all of Paris – Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris!

The stained glass was amazing!

The stained glass was amazing!

This incredible opera house just made me want to put on a ball gown and belt out my favorite aria!

This incredible opera house just made me want to put on a ball gown and belt out my favorite aria!

Loved this sculpture on top of Le Palais Garnier!

Loved this sculpture on top of Le Palais Garnier!

Lion

Oh To Be Outside!

This cooler weather has me wishing I could be playing outside today! This is from my last trip to Yellowstone Park. I am really hoping I can make it back there during the winter. The park is beautiful in the summer, but absolutely breathtaking in the winter!

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pure magic: the Northern Lights

Breathtaking! Just one of the many reasons I love Montana!

Glacier County Honey Co.

Cut Bank is our county seat, where we go to pay taxes, buy groceries, and tinker with cars.  I started my legal career there as an intern in 2006, and in the way of small towns, quickly became friends with a guy about my age with a similar inclination for twisting political conversations and an adoration of the Rockies.  Not long ago, my friend decided to apply himself to his photography hobby, and the results are stunning.  I emailed him and asked to use these photos on my blog because I think y’all just have to see them.

May I present, the Northern Lights from Cut Bank, Montana, on October 1, 2013:

jaxb3

jaxb2

jaxb1

To keep up with Jackson’s photography, check him out on Flickr: jbell2006.

Thanks for letting me share, Jackson.  Keep up the good work!

2013.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All photo credits to Jackson Bell.  All Rights Reserved.

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Wow!  What an honor!  I am so humbled that Turquoise Compass would find my blog inspiring enough to nominate!  She is such an inspiration to me!  I so appreciate her willingness to go against tradition and follow her dreams.  Hopefully … Continue reading