Making Memories in Montana

Remember the days when every summer your family had a planned vacation? Maybe it was a camping trip or something more exotic that required a plane or boat to get to your destination. Those were the days. As us kids have gotten older, it’s been harder to plan family vacations. It took about a year in advance with lots of question marks in between-like me getting pregnant, us moving to Washington, Emily and Johnny buying a house. But we made it happen. And even then, my brother was still unable to join us-oh to be young, living that single life.

After two long years of dedication and hard work, my Dad received his Masters this May and as a celebratory gift to him we wanted to fulfill his family vacation dreams of taking us kids to Yellowstone National Park. Buuuut it didn’t quite work out that way. He and my mom went galavanting on their own through Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons and us four kids met them in Montana to explore the majestic glaciers.

As us four stepped foot onto the tarmac after a bumpy 1 hour flight on a little 76 passenger plane from Seattle into Kalispel’s TINY airport, we were greeted with wide open skies, mountains surrounding, and a homemade apple pie made by our Airbnb host, Jean.

The laughs, conversations, and food were pure gold and just what our hearts needed after a busy first half of 2017 for all of us. It’s in these moments you grow as a family in a different way. I’ve always known I have an exceptionally good family-the kind where we don’t bicker, are respectful of each other’s interests and investments, and look forward to simply being together no matter what the occasion. That’s rare. So I hold onto it with special care and a deep appreciation for the family God has chosen to place me in.

A camera lens will never do justice for the beauty we witnessed, but here’s a glimpse of where we spent our summer vacation and hopefully it will inspire you to go explore with your family some time soon, or if you’re like us, maybe Summer 2018.

Columbia Falls

We stayed in an Airbnb in a small town just about 20 miles outside of the West gate of Glacier National Park.
Highly recommend their Summer Farmer’s Market on Thursday nights and Montana Coffee Traders.

Glacier Park – West Entrance

Apparently Going to the Sun Road is all the business and is open for a slim season-we were a couple weeks short of that road opening due to snow. But the road is open to cyclists and pedestrians-so we took a little stroll to catch these views.


After a rather aloof park ranger strongly advised we don’t waste our time driving up to Polebride, we rebelled because the news spread quickly that there’s this amazing bakery??? And we are SO glad we went! In fact, we went back the next day too.
These pastries are U-N-R-E-A-L, I forgot to snap a photo of the amazing cinnamon roll I had not just once, but twice. Needless to say-this place is a must!

Johnny is sporting their famous huckleberry bear claws.

Many Glacier Hotel

We had to stop and eat here for lunch-there was too much beauty to take in!
It’s as if we were in another country-maybe it’s because the bellboys were wearing lederhosen.

Aren’t my parents THE cutest???

We ventured on a quick trail to a waterfall when we passed some people who casually mentioned they saw a grizzly bear on the path-so Brad got ready…eventually we turned back. No bear spray essentially means you’re asking for trouble to hang out in their territory.

Bowman Lake

After a looooong colossal bumpy ride, we all wondered if making the drive past Polebridge to some lake was worth it. Then we saw this. So yeah. Totally worth it.


We couldn’t NOT go to Canada when you’re so close to the border. Plus Brad’s Afternoon Tea sensors were going off and he found us a magical venue, Prince of Wales hotel,  to share our favorite activity with the fam.

Another thing that made this particular trip so special is that the babe had a major growth spurt. He’s now at the point where I can feel different little parts of his body poking out. Emily and Mom got to feel him kick and roll and those are moments I think none of us will forget.

Ready to go on vacation? Make it happpppen.