by Marinka on June 3, 2012

In August my family and I are going to Montana, which sounds really great, except in August my family and I are going to Montana.

It’s sort of a long story which I will try to make a lot longer by adding irrelevant details and perhaps a car chase or two, but basically, my daughter has a really good friend who lives in Montana and after this Montanan visits us in New York we’ll fly her back. And then, instead of saying, “well, here you are, home at last,” and heading back to the airport to get back to New York where we belong, we are going to “have a vacation” and “see a bit of Montana” and some of the auxiliary states that are apparently next to it.

I don’t really understand it.

On the one hand, I’m really excited because I’ve never been to Montana.  On the other hand, I’ve been warned by some friends who have been to Montana that the WiFi is “spotty” and that the food in Yellowstone is horrific.   Also something about animals being in the park, but I’m sure they were just saying that to take the sting out of the whole “WiFi is spotty” lead balloon that they dropped on me.

I’ve already had several discussions with Husbandrinka about our trip and we have negotiated a settlement about the things that I will and will not do on this trip.  I assume that publishing it here makes it legally binding, so please be prepared to testify on my behalf and have bail ready:

I will go on a hike.

I will not sleep in a tent.

I will make up to 5 exclamations complimenting the natural beauty of the state.

I will not refrain from making gagging noises at the food.

I will take an interest in the historical significance of the sites we explore. Limited to three.  And cannot be combined with the natural beauty of the state comments, previously discussed.

I will not know what I am talking about.

I will not sing “Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam” even though Montana is supposed to have buffalo.  Which are probably roaming.

I will be allowed to refer to Yellowstone Park as Jellystone up to six times throughout the trip. (No one called that there is a limit to the pre-trip calling it Jellystone, so I’m enjoying that already.)

I checked with my friend Annie who lives in Montana and she gave me lots of great ideas/destinations to visit. And also told me that there’s a volcano around there that’s in a constant state if near-eruption.  But no one knows when it will erupt because, duh, they don’t have WiFi.

I’ll just have to pre-read all of the internet before we go.

One year ago ...

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

June 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Our neighbors just moved to Helena. Which means they aren’t our neighbors anymore. Technicalities.


June 3, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Montana? That’s west, isn’t it?


June 3, 2012 at 9:14 pm

That’s far! Take a sweater.


the mama bird diaries
June 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Montana is no place for New Yorkers. Bring bear spray.


June 3, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I’m typically not fond of wide open spaces and such…but I love Montana. My dad lived there for nearly 25 years and I am still pissed off at him for leaving that state(and ruining my vacation plans for the next 25 years. The nerve).


Jennifer June 4, 2012 at 10:14 am

You hafta go to Glacier National Park. So saith Jennifer. But if you send me a postcard from there or, say, a video of yourself in all that gorgeous scenery, I shall never speak to you again. I love that place.


kim @the fordeville diaries
June 3, 2012 at 11:32 pm

My dad, a life-long New Yorker, is now retired in Montana as part of what I can only describe as his “City Slickers” meets “River Runs Through It” fantasy-comes-to-life plan.

Yes, it’s beautiful out there. But “spotty” Wi Fi in his neighborhood would be living the dream. He’s still beholden to a dial up connection. Just bring your carrier pigeon and you’ll be fine.


deb June 4, 2012 at 12:10 am

everything you say is true. the food is terrible–a situation made worse by the imposed inability to communicate this, via cell or internet–to those “outside.” but you will love it anyway.


Jonathan June 4, 2012 at 3:11 am

I couldn’t imagine there would be many historic sites to explore in Montana beyond the filming location of Brokeback Mountain so I googled and there was a list of 26. Most of them all seem to be trails or passes or “sites” where things happened once when Lewis and Clark were roaming around, so there may be a plaque maybe. The one that stuck out the most was Camp Disappointment. I am sure the trip will be nice and peaceful though, especially since you negotiated not sleeping in a tent!


June 4, 2012 at 7:40 am

Montana – one of those square states where we get potatos from, right?


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes June 4, 2012 at 8:01 am

I fully understand your plight, having just found that our holiday rental comes without an internet connection.
No internet for two whole weeks. I’m not sure how I’m going to preserve my sanity…


June 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

Please go visit my birthsite in North Dakota and hang out with my relatives on the farm. They’d “get a kick” out of you, dontchaknow.

Also, resist all urges to rent a cabin and make letter bombs.


annie June 4, 2012 at 10:06 am

No, I said Yellowstone IS a volcano and it could erupt while you’re sightseeing. Well actually it’s a caldera that has previously erupted and could again. Get it?

Yes, on the bear spray and sweater mentioned above. No, I’m not joking.

Speaking of roaming buffalo, i have a funny story for you. I know you’ll enjoy it – and your family will thank me for putting this little nugget in your brain.

I know a guy who drives the tow truck for a car rental company. You know, in case tourists aren’t paying attention. Anyway, he got a call to go into the Park because apparently some people were waiting for a herd of buffalo to cross the road and one of them got impatient (the buffalo not the people) and decided to go OVER the car instead of around it.

The windshield was gone and there was a hole right through the passenger seat where a hoof went through it. Isn’t that cool? No one was injured.

By they way – there are great restaurants outside the Park – Bozeman has a few.


June 4, 2012 at 10:06 am

Have fun in KidneyStone!


Megan June 4, 2012 at 10:39 am

Bring a picnic basket for Yogi and Boo Boo.


love and lunchmeat June 4, 2012 at 11:35 am

You’re going to hate me for saying this, but I’m going to say it anyway. Yellowstone is beautiful, and while you’re there you should make sure to eat a buffalo burger. My apologies to all the card-carrying members of PETA, but they are delicious!


Lurky Kathy June 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Delurking to share this. A few years ago, my daughter and I went to visit her dad and stepmom in Yellowstone Park. (Montana is my home state, but it was her first trip to the park) Being the mature adult that I am, I consistently referred to the park as Jellystone and to them as Yogi and BooBoo.
Montana is beautiful. Enjoy!


Dusty earth mother June 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I prefer to call it SlyandthefamilyStone.


sdl June 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm

If you are going to see Annie whilst in Montana, then I do not feel sorry for you a bit. In any case, my compliments on negotiating all that in advance! What restrictions does husbandrinka have? Limited eye-rolling? Agreeing to lead the way where buffalo or bears might be?


Joycelyn June 4, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I got back from Montana at 7:05 tonight…it was wonderful, but I was in Missoula where they have fantastic food and my brother and his family live there so it was perfection. I grew up in the non postcard NE corner of Montana, where you will, undoubtfully, not be going. The western part of the state is beautiful, a buffalo burger is a must, a sweater for te evenings would be a good plan and bear spray or jingle bells also a good plan. There is a buffalo reserve in western mt where we have had buffalo sticking their heads in the window…I do not recommend, their breath stinks. I cannot wait to hear of the adventure, but negotiating now is a good plan.


Heidi June 6, 2012 at 12:52 am

It is all perspective. I would have the same yucky-uneasiness about viviting NY. The horror of eating food and not knowing where it came from and how it was raised/grown. And the pain of dealing of all the noise and lack of space. Just thinking about NY gives me a headache. 🙂 It is entertaining to hear another’s perspective 🙂


Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
June 6, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I’ve never seen Montana. It would be on my bucket list if I could concede to do any of the things you’re agreeing to.


Christina June 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm

My parents retired to Montana several years ago. My mother gave up her St. Johns and took up sewing and hiking. When I call, I get updates on the wildlife that wander through their yard like bears, cougar, deer and turkey. My mother carries bear spray EVERYWHERE and tells me stories of snow storms, hail and lightening beyond belief. Somehow she’s convinced my city kid / hipster that Montana might be a good place to go to college. Guess who else has to go to Montana in August? Thanks mom. I don’t think they make bear spray scented bubble wrap! Now what? My mom thinks it’s all OK since she only lives 5 hours away. Right!!! That’s why she gave my precious 18 year old baby girl a survivalist backpack loaded with all kinds of safety stuff for her graduation – because Montana is SAFE. Right…. Safe.


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