Saturday, October 1, 2016

Montana Trip (Third Annual GF Reunion)

The grounds at Fairmont Hot Springs
 Just got back from a fantastic week-long trip with my high school buddies. This trip started with a nice dinner meet-up with a couple of brothers we went to school with who live near Yakima. It's hard to believe 40 years has passed by since our shenanigans in school but they (and we) are no worse for the wear and tear. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.
Kathy (Henderson-Crenshaw) and I took off Sunday morning on our road trip to Florence, Montana for a two night stay at Brenda Lanza's place. Brenda and her hubby, Scott, are always busy outdoors with landscaping and gardening but they love an excuse to stop for a bit and be the most gracious hosts in the history of hostessing. This year, we arrived after harvest. Something new this year was the bees Brenda has adopted for her fruit trees. She gave me an education in how the bees help the trees and then they hole up in a cute little box with holes in it and lay eggs(?) in cocoons. She'll gently remove those cocoons and place them in a little box in her fridge and then place them back outdoors in the spring so they can "morph". Fascinating! I wish Brenda would start a blog with all the interesting things she does at the property.
Back to the reunion.
City girl gone country!
We spent Monday in Missoula doing what girls do ... shopping, eating, and sittin' still for a pedicure. Soon after that, we put our feet up and roasted hot dogs on the bon fire at Brenda's place. They had just lifted the burn ban that had prevented them from having a fire all summer. Scott was more than happy to build a fire and eat cave-man style. That may have been the best hot dog I've ever had! There is something about cooking over an open fire that brings out the best in people. Nice conversation and the stars and Milky Way were great décor for a perfect evening. The icing on the day was the super cute little frog that tried to hop inside the door when we retired. Ah, country life!
The drive to Anaconda (Fairmont Hotsprings) was beautiful. Choosing the end of September for this trip was genius. The temps are still in the high 70's and the fall colors are still hanging on the trees. We stopped in Philipsburg, which is a one-horse town with great charm. We visited Montana Gems for what turned out to be one of my favorite moments of the trip ... dredging for sapphires. I learned a lot about this gem and had a blast sifting through pounds and pounds of rocks to find them. We found 10 sapphires!
The stay at the hot springs was relaxing. We had the huge pool almost to ourselves as the kids are all back in school and we chose the middle of the week to be there. On Thursday, we took a trip to Butte, which is only 18 miles from the hot springs, to tour the World Mining Museum and Berkley Pit. Butte is a photographer's dream in the old brick buildings, painted advertising on the walls, and rugged terrain. However, by one o'clock, the hot springs was calling us back and we headed to our last hours in the pool. Side note: both restaurants at Fairmont Hot Springs are something for foodies to write about. A big surprise for this traveler.
There is a petting zoo at hot springs!
I loved every minute of this trip. I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't have a good travel partner. I have TWO of them (besides my hubby) and feel like the luckiest friend on earth for that. We're already cooking up a plan for next year's adventure which looks like will be Victoria B.C. and Seattle.
Traveling with good travel partners makes trips affordable. This topic is a whole 'nother post that I'll write soon.
Until then, Kathy and I still have all of today to finish this week long trip before she boards a jet back to Juneau. The sun is shining and we're going to make the best of the day.
Hope you have someone to travel with and that you go as often as you can.
love, susan


  1. Yes I have the best traveling buddie..Joanne. We just booked another trip to St Maarten for 16 days..Everyone needs a buddie...

  2. I've tried to leave comments on here, but for some reason it doesn't seem to work.

    1. After numerous attempts, THAT's the comment that went through?! hahaha

      I went to Montana the latter part of August for a funeral. Despite the occasion, I had a wonderful trip, traveling with only me, myself, and I. That state occupies a huge place in my heart.

    2. Haha! Not sure what happens in BlogSpot land but sometimes it just doesn't work right. Anyhoo ... Montana has my heart, for sure. Except that it is awfully cold in the winter time ... I think I could live there. Can't wait to go again.


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