Oh, Montana, how we did love thee. … Let me count some ways:
1. The people are so friendly! Everyone we ran into — if they found out we were from out of town — would step back and open their palms and say, “Well, welcome to Montana!” No joke.
2. It’s so beautiful there. Really, all the land, the green, the rivers, the trees. … It was like being in a movie set every day.
3. It stays light there until almost 10 p.m. in the summer! I couldn’t get used to it. But I loved it. It was so weird that 9:30 felt like dinner time. (But we were told that, in the winter, it gets dark at 4:30 p.m., so there’s a flip side to that!)
4. Downtown Missoula is adorable. It’s got the historical thing going on, but is mixed with a youthfulness from the college and sort of a bohemian feel. One of their ads is “Missoula: We’re like Montana, only with green tea.” …
5. It’s got that small-town vibe where all the neighbors know each other, and no one locks their car or house.
6. The weather changes quickly (rain clouds rolled in one morning, were out by that afternoon), but it doesn’t stop anyone from doing what they want to do.
7. No sales tax!
8. The University of Montana is gorgeous.
9. Missoula is such a university town. Everyone is SO into Griz football, from the haircutting salon to the local bars to the nearby Dairy Queen. Apparently everyone gathers somewhere to watch the game — from a local bar to friends’ houses. And home games get a collection of viewers on the Missoula “M” (in the picture above — the stadium is just to the left). Everyone has Go Griz license plates, tail lights, flags, T-shirts. It seemed that restaurants all had some menu item named after the Grizzlies or the mascot Monte. Even our hotel had Griz mints!
I have driven through Montana many times, but never stopped to enjoy any of the cities. A lot of the pictures reminded me of Washington. We have the same daylight hours they do – it is great that it stays light so long, but it is depressing in the winter when it gets dark before 5pm!
I am glad you guys like it there and that you all got to go see where Ricky will be staying! I hope he really like s it there!
Hi, Debi! I was thinking about that — that Montana might look like a lot of Washington. I always think of Seattle when I think of Washington, but most of the state probably looks like the great north, huh? So you have those long summer days too, huh? But yeah, I was just reading about how SAD often affects those northern locations because of the minimized days in the winter, so I’ll have to make sure Ricky is aware of that part. Thanks for all the good wishes!
Gorgeous! I guess it’s hard to snap a bad pic when everywhere you look is country, big-sky, outdoorsy perfection. What an awesome pick for Ricky’s college years!
Wander Woman´s last blog post ..Summer Lovin’
Yes Laurie, our state is very beautiful in areas! It is the best place to live if you like outdoor stuff. You can go an hour or so in either direction (for us) and get to hot Eastern Washington to play in the water, fish, hunt,kayak on the Columbia- or go the opposite direction to Baker and still play in the snow! I love it here when it is sunny (always a California girl at heart), but it is gray and wet during the fall and winter and it can get depressing! It is totally different than California lifestyle, but I am sure Ricky will be fine in Montana! He is gonna have all that new College excitement so he might not even notice how cold and dark it gets =)
Stunning scenery. I’ve always wanted to visit Montana. I am sure that Ricky is excited and nervous at the same time. I still remember the feeling in the pit of my stomach when my parents dropped me off at college. In Montana, he will have so much to explore! Has he chosen his major yet?
Thanks, Wander Woman! Yes, it’s one of those places that make it really fun to have a camera! I’ve never snapped so many pictures out a CAR WINDOW in my life! (Not an optimal way to take pics, but the scenery kept changing so quickly!)
Debi — That’s the point Chris and I keep making about why Ricky may survive the winters! When you’re young, all you care about is FUN, not comfort! So maybe he won’t notice???? 🙂
Steve — Yes, he does seem nervous and excited at the same time. He seemed that way at orientation. I didn’t have that feeling in the pit of my stomach when I was dropped off, but I wasn’t very far, either. You had (and Ricky will have) much longer distances separating from home, so there’s probably a lot more wary feeling. But he seems excited, too, so hopefully that will carry him. He chose journalism as his major, and they have a very good journalism school there, so hopefully he’ll learn a lot about the whole new world of online journalism!