This last week we had the opportunity to visit Glacier park and celebrate the wedding of my good friend Candace Jones.
Our afternoon flight was on Saturday and Blakely was a champion the whole time! In fact, on our second leg of the flight from Dallas to Missoula, a cute grandma was sitting in the back of us and Blakely interacted with her most of the trip. It was a nice break for us, and entertaining for the lady. Blakely didn’t sleep at all on the plane but there was hardly ANYONE on our flight to Montana so we could stretch out and use the space.
We waited for my bag to come off the plane but it somehow got stuck in Dallas so… no change of clothes for me or B until the next day!
We stayed in a Motel 6 in Missoula as we didn’t want to drive the 2.5 hours to Whitefish. It was a good decision as we were tired, however, the room was small and pretty crappy. Blakely ended up sleeping in between Ben and me which usually means 2 out of the 3 people in the bed actually get some sleep. I’ll let you figure out who those 2 people are.
Sunday morning we headed up north to Glacier park! We stayed at a VRBO right outside the entrance to Glacier park, however, it was a small crappy cabin. It worked for us but we definitely paid high for the location. That worked out well because we visited the park every day for the next 4 days. Because we couldn’t enter the rental until 4 pm, we headed to the park and walked around the visitor center, and Apgar village. Turns out Blakely loves to throw rocks in the lake. The stones in Glacier are different than any other I have seen before. The colors range from red, green, and blue.
Monday, we all headed for the “going to the sun” road. Ok, let’s back up. For some reason, you had to buy tickets for the park (like a national park pass) AND a “Going to the sun” road ticket. They were only $2 and were in place so the park didn’t get too packed. After researching it, I saw that you could only purchase the tickets 2 days in advance online. I tried to buy them on Thursday (for Saturday because it’s good for a week) and they were already sold out. So I set my alarm the night before to purchase them Friday morning right at 8 when the slots opened. 8:00 hit and I tried to buy but a popup said, too many people were trying to do the same thing I was. I attempted a few more times then finally got through. The 500 tickets were gone in 4 minutes. I was really relieved to get them as we were right by that entrance and it would have been a pain not to be able to get in! Ok, moving on.
The road through Glacier was incredible. Nothing like we have ever seen before. The mountains were so jagged, and the rivers so clear. Everywhere you looked seemed like the photo. We stopped once to capture the sun going through the clouds and I would have to say it was worth it!
We didn’t do any crazy hikes as we had Blakely with us, but we did the St Marys waterfall. We parked at the farthest point and hiked in. That was nice as parking was open, however, it made for a much longer hike. It was beautiful and B did awesomely. We made it to St Mary falls and saw people swimming in the water. I was so bummed! If only I would have known I would have jumped in as well. The water looked so nice. Probably freezing but would have been a fun story. On the way back, we tried to do Logans pass but I guess the overlook was closed because of bears. I really didn’t want to see a bear hiking.
Tuesday – Thursday Ben had to work so I and Blakely-boo started out our day hiking in Glacier, then threw rocks into Lake McDonald, then back home for lunch and a nap. Thank goodness the internet worked well where we stayed.
There was a lake within walking distance from the cabin. It had a Dock and the whole time Ben and I were on pins and needles making sure B didn’t fall in. It was lovely. On the last day, we woke up early and watched the sunrise over Lake McDonald. Then got hot chocolate and headed home to pack everything up and moved 40 minutes west to Whitefish. It was a cute town. Reminded me of Park City Utah.
Our next place was right by city beach and had two levels. I am still not super comfortable with Blakely and stairs but we better get used to it because we head to Grandma’s house in 2 weeks and she has some pretty big stairs.
Thursday night was the welcome/rehearsal dinner. This property was incredible! This couple bought the land and made their residence and wedding venue on the same property. There was a bachelorette house, pond, gazebo, huge Pavillion, and ceremony spot. It really was charming.
The rehearsal didn’t take long, and you could tell Andrew was holding back tears. We all were… let’s be honest. You could just see how much they love each other. They have a really neat story on how they came together but you will have to ask me about that later. The dinner was small and chill, and the BBQ that they got was really good! I convinced Ben to take B back to the VRBO so I could sleep at the bachelorette house with everyone and get ready in the morning with the group. We planned on a Fast and Furious-themed Bachelorette night but, Candace just wanted to chill and put photos together.
We all went to bed around 10. Most of us traveled that day and were somewhat tired.
Getting ready in the morning was a fun and nostalgic experience. We were roommates at one point and are all really great friends. I tried to do an updo and it reminded me how much I don’t do my hair as a mom. To be honest, I thought I was going to be hot in the dress and wanted my hair up. Turns out the weather was perfect and I probably could have curled it and would have looked better. ALSO! Candace gives the best gifts and got us bridesmaids Kendra Scott earrings. She is so great.
Ben and Blakely came up around 2 and hung out on the property. We all did some photos and prepared for the ceremony at 4. It was all just so perfect. A small, intimate wedding. The vows were pure and vulnerable. They are a perfect match.
After was appetizers by the pond. Because it was a smaller wedding, the workers were super friendly and all loved Blakely. One even let B sit on her lap and drive around in the golf cart! Because I have always wanted to run an event/wedding venue, I chatted it up with the owners for a long time. They were a sweet couple from California and love what they do. We told them if they ever come to Waco, they have a place to stay!
Dinner, toasts, and dancing followed. I feel the sign of a good wedding is that people want to hang out. We made some friends, met Andrews’s side of the family, and all-around had a blast. Around 8:00 (which is 9:00 Texas time. She usually goes to bed around 7:30) Ben and I started worrying about Blakely and if she was getting overtired/overstimulated which is just a recipe for a breakdown. We felt like we had a ticking timebomb on our hands. However, we just really didn’t want to leave yet. So we waited for the cake to be cute and danced to a few songs. Blakely LOVED it. This was her first experience seeing people really dance and she couldn’t stop smiling. Around 8:40 pm we wrestled this little girl in her car seat and headed home. She was out within minutes and went straight to bed. Tantrum avoided.
The next morning we get a message from VRBO asking when we are going to be heading out. OH NO! I thought we had booked 3 nights but turns out we only booked 2! Checkout was at 10 am, and it was 8:30, so I needed to act fast and figure out where we were going to sleep that night. The thought came to me, that I should reach out to the venue owner and see if we could stay the night there. Since their wedding was on Friday (they didn’t want their anniversary to be 9/11 understandably) and I thought, maybe they won’t do any cleaning until Sunday. Turns out I was right and they were totally fine with us staying the night there. It is swanky!!! So nice.
We explored Whitefish during the day and headed to the Venue late afternoon. We saw the husband and talked more about owning a venue and how they liked living in Montana. He even let us take the rowboat out on the lake! For dinner, we ate the leftover BBQ from the welcome dinner and headed to Bed. So comfortable!
The next morning we took our time and walked around on the property again. Blakely loved throwing rocks in the pond and watching us skip stones on the water.
Around 11 am we started our drive back to Missoula. I was pretty exhausted and slept most of the ride but it was gorgeous country. Missoula is a cool town and I would love to go back someday. We stopped at a playground for kids close to downtown the stumbled on a restaurant called “The Top Hat” and had the best fish tacos. The people of Montana were very friendly and enjoy interacting with moms like me.
Last night was back at the Motel 6 and thank heaven we had a better room. I crashed right after B went to bed and thankfully she stayed in her pack and play for the rest of the night. I woke up automatically around 4 am and started packing. We made it to the airport at 5:30 with plenty of time to spare. We even consolidated our bags so we didn’t have to pay for a 3rd to be checked. As we settled in for the flight home, we heard over the intercom that the plane needed to be topped off with oil and spent the next 1.5 hours just sitting on the plane. It wasn’t great. Especially with a toddler. But we somehow made it home.
It felt so good walking into our own home with plenty of space. It was a great trip and we are over the moon happy for Candace and Andrew.
I will say one thing… We moved 5xs in 8 days and I am super over packing and unpacking! Glad to be stationary for a while until we head to PHX to see Grandma!
Nana J or Gram Gram to Blakely
Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed seeing and reading about your adventures.