Monday, October 29, 2012

That time I went to Montana, part two.

See part one here!

The next morning, I napped on my aunt's couch while everyone else helped pack the cars full of food for the dual family lunch picnic that was supposed to happen after the wedding rehearsal. Since I was napping, people had to fill me in later on the drama that had unfolded that morning.

Seems Cam's wedding bros were not good bachelor party shepherds, and Cam had ended up with a nasty hangover that left him nauseated, weak, and tearful. This was compounded by an extreme case of nerves. Long story short, he missed his wedding rehearsal because a doctor had to give him a shot in the butt.

Meanwhile, we had to act as very awkward ambassadors for our fallen comrade during the world's tensest picnic. Plus, somehow a somewhat fierce wind and some very dedicated bugs were able to coexist, and together they plagued a perfectly nice lunch spread. Also there were raw onions.

But the next day, my family came together to celebrate our grandparent's anniversary with brunch, and by then Cam had rallied and we were all able to enjoy watching cousin Mike try to enjoy some fatty steak he had picked out from the buffet.

Then, because I'm me, it was time for another nap before getting ready for THE WEDDING OH MY GOSH THE WEDDING.

Cam, looking dapper.

We waited out in the sun for a long, long time. Then the flower girl walked stoically down the aisle, methodically placing each petal as though the arrangement had been preordained.

Then the bride came down the aisle with her father, and my cousin Cam got a teary, anticipatory look on his face.

One thousand words and pictures later, we had some dinner.

I was too nervous to eat much because I was supposed to sing "The Story," by Brandi Carlile, for the first dance. But that went well, and then I was free to dance the night away.

Terrible sound quality, sorry!

The very next day, Taite and I were back on the road. We went through historic Butte, only to discover that we hated it with an irrational passion.

Despite this, we were able to fake some joy for a few jumping pictures.

Then it was on to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where we met Cliff the dog and his gracious hostess, whom we found through the magic of CouchSurfing.

The next morning, we woke up early and got breakfast, then walked around the lake with our coffee before hopping back in the car.

I thought I was supposed to be at a doctor's appointment by the afternoon, so we were trying to book it back to Seattle when I got a call from a nurse explaining that they had to reschedule me. I was a little irked to have cut my vacation short for nothing, but it did mean that we got to idle our way back home, stopping to peer at petrified ginkgo trees and a Roslyn oasis as we pleased.

Dinosaurs! More jumping!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Because BOOBS.

This weekend was entirely about boobs, boobs, a little Halloween, and also some boobs.

It all began on Friday, when I meant to attempt a siege of the local mall in search of some sensible shoes, since all my current shoes are utter nonsense. But, because I am a woman and thus at the whim of a cocktail of hormones and a mammary gland or two, I let my boobs guide me to the nearest boob shop, which was Soma Intimates. I reasoned that it was still a practical mission, since all my bras had let me down in some fashion or another, as bras are wont to do. I didn't imagine that I'd go into that store a 34B, and, courtesy of a quick bra fitting, emerge a 32D. What! How!?

None of Soma's bras enticed me, so I wandered back out. At this particular mall, Soma Intimates faces off against Victoria's Secret in a very unfair juxtaposition. I'm sure Soma usually intends itself as the more grown-up antidote to the trumped up man-bait, parading as supportive undergarments, that VS hawks, but unfortunately it ends up looking like the frumpy older sister. I am a somewhat frumpy older sister myself, but I'd prefer to be perceived otherwise, so I allowed The Girls to meander into Victoria's Secret next. I could barely find any options in 32D, so I grabbed a bunch of 34D bras instead. I spent at least an hour wrangling Guildenstern and Rosencrantz into all manner of styles, but I at last emerged triumphant...somewhat. Turns out, five bras = $300.


But I sucked it up and bought those bras, mostly because they had tiger stripes and sequins and because I need cheering up, and what better way to improve one's mood than to incur more credit card debt?

Then I got home and read everything I could about bras and boobs and fittings...



I had to march back to Victoria's Secret today and return all the bras I bought. Then I went through the hassle of getting fitted again (still a 32D, dammit), and allowed a salesperson to lead me around the sales floor on a tether so I could pick out new boob cages.

And then I had to sprint like mad to get out of there, because some feminist had set the place on fire.

(Did you know that it is IMPOSSIBLE to find 32D bras in most brick-and-mortar stores? Like Target?)

Also, this.

Oh, Ellen. You're a gem.

I don't know why, but I think I detect a hint of sarcasm in Ellen's voice as she describes these new lady-pens.

Personally, I'm just so relieved that I don't have to dip my finger in menstrual blood anymore to get those pesky recipes written down! Finally, I can use a pen. A pen for women.

That time I went to Montana, part one.

This past summer, my sister Taite and I embarked on a week-long journey from Seattle, to Montana, and back again. We went, ostensibly, to attend our cousin Camden's nuptials. Camden is about my age (mid-20s) and although we'd grown up in different states and under very different circumstances, we have a bond with the guy. So we went.

We also went because road trips are our favorite thing.

Our father grew up in Montana, so Taite and I had visited the state several times throughout our young lives, but we hadn't been for some time and never just the two of us.

I planned for our trip all summer long, calculating driving time and routes and budgets. I also used for the first time ever to source crash pads along our journey. connects travelers and people who are willing to host them on their couches, for free! I was feeling adventurous and thrifty, so I gave it a shot, and it paid off beautifully.

Taite had an inauspicious start. She went to bed sick the night before we were supposed to leave, but rallied like a champ, getting up early the next day to help pack the car. I elected to drive so she could nap, which meant that I got to pull over whenever I wanted, so it was all right with me.

I pulled over for EVERY "Historic Site" sign I saw, no matter how unpromising. My first touristy stop was Treaty Rock in Idaho.

Treaty rock is not as tactile as I would have liked, but I guess that makes sense.
Eventually Taite woke up, just in time for the Sunshine Disaster memorial.

"That miner has a tight butt," observed Taite.

She didn't give it quite the respect that the death of 91 miners might deserve.

But she had a point.

We idled in and around Wallace, a quirky little town in northern Idaho.

Perched on some drill heads in a park.

I made her trespass a little to get this picture.

Finally, we made it to Montana, and promptly split a huckleberry shake and a buffalo burger at the Frosty joint right across the border in St. Regis. We had to do this immediately, or our taste buds wouldn't have known that we were in Montana. Then we had to go peruse a wall of huckleberry paraphernalia in the nearest gift store.

We spent the night in Missoula in a college student's apartment. She had a beautiful, big black dog named River; he ended up being the main attraction. Taite and I stayed up chatting with our hostess and her friend for a while, and then we slept (somewhat fitfully) on her two couches.

Taite and River.

At the edge of downtown.

The next day we drove to downtown Missoula and had breakfast, then explored some shops, then had lunch with our hostess and her friend before continuing down the road.

I wanted to see at least one good ghost town while in Montana, so Taite and I visited Garnet, Montana's best-preserved ghost town.

We'd been there before, with our dad, but not for a long time. It was exactly as I remembered it, though, except without the people in old timey reenactment-type clothing...but maybe those were just ghosts!

There's one now!

After that, we went to Helena, which I quite liked despite there being nothing open - except for a little ice cream shop with unexpectedly unique flavors. I had cardamom, because it is my favorite spice, and it was wonderful.

Helena's pretty, historic Reeder's Alley had this nice thing to say:

That night we stayed in Bozeman, on some college girls' living room floor. Our cousin Elsa hooked us up. In the morning we explored downtown Bozeman, where we had breakfast at a horrible cafe filled with cat-themed junk.

But the rest of Bozeman was great, albeit small. It made a particularly good impression on me because of a thunderstorm that rolled in while we were shopping. Taite wasn't a huge fan of the "fat rain" that came with it, but I was ecstatic.

Our next stop was Billings, where we were meant to meet up with our father and his girlfriend and check into our hotel room. However, Taite had let me try one of her "focus and energize" pills to see what I would do under its influence, and as a result I was feeling anxious, antsy, and highly motivated. I was uncharacteristically chatty and manically cheerful; paranoid that our father would suspect something, we decided to channel that energy into a quick Target spree. Four flannel shirts, a bag of Goldfish, and a pair of moccasins later, we were ready to face our kin.

That night we met up with our whole clan, minus the groom-to-be, for dinner. After dinner, Taite and our cousin Mike and I were invited to come out to Cam's bachelor party, which was just karaoke at a bar. I had had two cups of coffee, the energy pill, and guzzled an Rockstar by then, so I was very disappointed when things wrapped up around 11 pm. When Taite and I got back to our hotel room, I tossed and turned until five in the morning, unable to sleep with all that caffeine and sugar coursing through my veins.
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