We chose Bozeman, Montana for our adventure. It may seem like an odd choice but it fit our three requirements. 1) It had to have beautiful summers, 2) it had to include a ton of outdoor time, and 3) it had to be a destination of Allegiant Air. The last one was crucial. Jon would fly out of Las Vegas every Thursday evening and fly black every Sunday evening so he could still run a company but still have some summer fun with us. We were also able to use miles for all of his flights. It may seem like a lot of time away, but with Jon's normal work schedule, it was great to have him completely for the three days each week.
We rented two houses for our summer stay. One was just a few minutes from downtown Bozeman for the first half and one was more out in the country in Belgrade, the city right next door. To make it a little more affordable, we rented out our house during the weekends while Jon was gone. I haven't actually sat down to do all the math, but I know we were pretty close to breaking even between the renting of our property and renting the ones in Bozeman.
The youngest three kids and I started our adventure with our suburban full of a summer's worth of living and drove up to Moses Lake to film a dance recital. Jon flew up with Scarlet and Rhode to meet us that weekend and we took off for our new summer home.
This may be one of the pretties road trips I have been on. It was green and beautiful the entire drive. We stopped in St. Regis, Montana which is the turnoff to Glacier National Park and enjoyed a cool aquarium and our first huckleberry milkshake.
Ridley was a fan.
Our first house in Bozeman. This house was located on Sourdough Drive.
Every time we ate sourdough bread (which was pretty frequently since they had an awesome breadmaker at the farmer's market) my kids just laughed and laughed that they were eating sourdough on Sourdough. Ridley is always stealing my sourdough.
We were just down the street from Main Street but it had such a beautiful outdoor feel. It was surrounded by homes that were more and more beautiful than the last. This is the view from the balcony.
This is part of the backyard.
One of the first things we did is scout out the local thrift stores for some board games, outdoor toys, a few baby toys, and some warm clothes (it was about 60 degrees at the high when we got into town). My kids love a good board game.
Ridley finds it very rude when we play out of her reach.
Babies adjusting to new places + no husband for a few nights = mom gets kicked in the head all night.
Happy baby in a jean jacket!
We saw and did as much of Bozeman as we could. We tasted all of the treats like at the French chocolate company.
We found yummy treats at the local Co-op grocery store that my kids called the "coop".
We even found a local oils and vinegar store. Oddly enough, my kids were obsessed with that place and I had to limit the amount of oil samples they were allowed to try. We came back to try new things regularly.
Most of the treats were tasted at the weekly farmer's market. We tried everything worth trying and then a little more every Tuesday. Then we played in the park on the property. It was one of our favorite summer traditions.
They also had a wonderful library with a great kids section. It came in really handy when our second house didn't have Wifi. Library to the rescue!
Right outside the library was one of the many park. This one was a beautiful walking path that kept going and going and going. But the main road was called Sculpture park. We spent several afternoons enjoying the creations.
Another park had dinosaur fossils and climbing walls.
and when those walls weren't high enough, we found some higher ones.
I learned how to belay all of my climbers up the wall and they would spend hours going up and repelling down.
Jon and I got out once or twice on our own. We found a Shakespeare in the Park performance of Macbeth on the college campus. How cultured do we look?
We got out to dinner once or twice and had a grand time.
Next Up, the hiking.