Thursday, August 11, 2016

Whitefish, Montana: Days 1-3

It's that time again! When I humble-brag my way through a half a dozen simulcast mountain vacation recaps. If travel posts aren't your thing {or if the sight of my family in long-sleeves makes you stabby as hell}, please feel free to skip these suckers! 

After enjoying the hell out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park for the past 3 summers, we were bummed to learn a new city ordinance outlawing short-term leases would take effect this year. We really prefer a VRBO / Air BNB Situation over hotels or resort condos, so we {re: E...that man loves to plan a trip!} started searching for comparable options. 

After much hemming and hawing, we settled on Whitefish, Montana, and - 48 hours in - we're so glad that we did! The town of Whitefish, although smaller, is similar to Jackson -- loads of delicious eateries, family-friendly breweries, a weekly farmer's market / festival, kitschy shops, and luscious window boxes, but without the hoards of Asian tour buses! The views are gorgeous (although I do miss the Tetons being right outside my every window!), and the town is in close proximity to the West Entrance of Glacier National Park, as well as a National Forest and Whitefish State Park. We hope to hike a bit in each, so stay tuned for trail reviews! 

Our house is a VRBO offering {I'll link to it and everything else with a web address upon our return; these posts are strictly phone-composed!}, and it's pretty insane -- our dollar definitely goes further here! It is a "smart house" {although we're learning sometimes it's a bit too smart for its own good! it's a fabulous place to vacation, but I'll stick with my "stupid house" for the long haul, thankyouverymuch!} built on a ton of equestrian acreage. We have plenty more than enough room to stretch out at the moment and will be perfectly portioned on space once my parents join us for the second half of the trip. I'd say the house could sleep 8 adults (in actually beds) comfortably. There's a great little patio area, fire pit, basketball court, gas grill, walking trail to the river, and rooftop deck -- we are living the dream!

Note: We rented a full-size crib for B from Glacier Baby Outfitters, and the service has been fabulous! They have a great deal for kids' hiking packs {only $25 to rent along with your other gear so long as you've spent $100} and have been so accommodating to us {too long and too boring of a story to share here, but let's just say we've been a little schizo about whether we need a 2nd pack, and they've been super understanding}. Highly recommend if you're vacationing anywhere in Flathead Valley! 

As you can see, the horses are POPULAR. Introducing ourselves was our very first activity Tuesday morning when we awoke! {Monday was a good travel day -- two 2 hour flights on two tiny planes: Austin to Denver / Denver to Kalispell. The kids did great, especially considering we flew smack in the middle of nap / rest time! Picking up our rental was a synch, as was the drive to Whitefish. Upon arrival, we hit up the grocery story, fixed a quick dinner and plunked the exhausted kids in bed in favor of the Olympics} B is particularly smitten with all things horsey, and L named our new friends Kara and Sarah (although I discovered today Kara is actually a He Horse!}. We also meandered down {what we thought was} a trail to the river {only to discover it wasn't much of a trail} and admired all the succulent action surrounding our little pond. 

Sensing the impending storm, we loaded up for a more extensive grocery trip and a little town exploration. Bless the local toy store owners who welcomed the hoards of sticky children into their space! And Montana Coffee Traders for your fair trade caffeine and clean restrooms! We also enjoyed battleship, brews, sammies, and {Olympic} swimming at Great Northern Brewing Co for lunch. I'll be heading back for a Selfie Stick Saison simply because the description is so perfect! 

After MUCH NEEDED naps, we headed back into town for the weekly farmer's market. Much like the People's Market in Jackson, the town square was lined with tempting produce stands, creative food trucks, and artisan booths. Loads of families {and doggies!} enjoying a break from the rain and the live music. L and B danced their hearts out while enjoying a pizza supper {and my Acai bowl from the Mountain Berry Bowl trailer was the best breakfast-for-dinner I've had in a very long time!}. We topped off our visit with kiddie snow cones and booked it back home for bedtime / Olympic coverage before another summer storm. 

Due to more rain, our Wednesday was equally slow-paced. We swam at The Wave rec center {there's a zero-entry kiddie pool + water slide, as well as a lap pool, and loads of ball courts and cardio / weight machines}, noshed at Makenzie Ave Pizza {they give kiddos automatic goldfish appetizers - so genius!}, enjoyed a solid naptime, found the correct trail down to the river on our property, indulged Kara & Sarah, romantically imprinted on a tractor, cooked some tacos, and roasted the stalest marshmallows in the world in honor of National S'mores Day {which we didn't even know was "a thing" until after the fact - thank you, IG friends!!}. 

When we told L we'd get some {more} fresh accoutrements tomorrow {seriously, our marshmallows were rock hard}, she replied "BUT I LOVE THESE SO MUCH!" 

And I love these people so much! I'm a lucky duck to spend 11 days with them...and to be wearing long sleeves while I do it. 

More updates to come! 

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