Saturday, August 14, 2010
"A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles"
Upon pondering this quote, I have been inspired to share some thoughts from a recent trip. I ventured out via car, train and uhaul over the course of two weeks and seven states to reconnect with old friends, make room for new ones, spend time with the ones so close, see new and growing children and bring one friend back "home" with me. Random thoughts from the journey:
I LOVE Thai food. I would venture to say that it is my favorite cuisine. But what happens when pad thai combines with a beautiful evening and an old friend I haven't seen in over ten years? Thai food becomes a million times more fabulous. Also, cutting up magazines while eating leftover thai food will always make me happy.
On the (rail)road again:
Something else I love? Taking the train. It requires a time deposit which I find easy to respect while staring out windows at sights not seen from other roads. When my gaze turns away from the window, I see people. Everyone is going somewhere, but for now, be it hours or days, we are all together on the train. To embrace this little community is a part of the nostalgia of the tracks. To those I met on this trip, I thank you for sharing your stories, your markers, your laughter, your homemade cookies, your thoughts and your plum brandy. Cheers!
I'm not much of a napper. On average, I'd say I nap MAYBE once a month. But the day I arrived early on the train and ventured up into the clouds, a nap was my best friend. Engrained in my mind still because I was so content, I found myself curled up on my sleeping bag listening to the lake and soaking up the sun while drifting in and out of sleep, unsure of whether to truly sleep or just enjoy the peace.
I love that I have friends from college to visit when I go back to Montana. Whitefish friends...thank you for being there with your colorful walls that always make me happy, your homemade granola, dancing and music and not needing plans. Sorry I kind of abandoned you for huckleberries. It happens. And Bozeman friends...thank you for having time to reconnect and for sharing your baby and that delicious dessert. Thank you all for always offering up a place to stay. Please say "hi" to the snow for me when it comes. I fear I may not be buiding any snowmen this winter. Super weird.
Talk about quality time:
In only a few days, my mom and I managed to visit both Glacier and Yellowstone, take lots of photos, go camping, discover a new type of marmot, move a huge boulder, pick gallons of huckleberries, listen to lots of classic rock, go shopping, make friends at Arby's and drive about 1000 miles. Good times indeed.
Yellowstone is always a wonderful adventure, but meeting a wonderful friend there makes it even better, especially when it's a favorite photo snapping partner in crime and when the adventure takes a grizzly turn. (Pun partially intended.) I am glad for three things:
1. That we tented it even after the ladies told their crazy bear story about our campsite.
2. That we saw a grizzly.
3. That the sick bear decided to attack the night after we left.
Bear with me (pun fully intended) as I deposit more memories. Oh also, people are stupid. "Not us...it's others." Hee hee. No but seriously, bull elk are dangerous too.
Pub. Beer. Phone Booth. Ice Cream. Laughter. Pianos. People Watching. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos. Fabulous stories. Margaritas. Mix together all these things with friends from all over and enjoy. Lovely day.
Peeps and pipsqueaks:
Sometimes the thing you need most is just a day with the girls. It doesn't really matter whether shopping for umbrellas, sitting around eating chocolate, making peepsushi or playing dress-up. On a sidenote of sorts, I am thrilled to see that Kiley's fashion sense is coming along smashingly. Really, though, there are friends that will be there no matter what new roads are being travelled and they will always be the perfect day in the middle of an adventure...
*sigh* This town will always have a place in my heart. SO MANY memories. It was a blast this time around too. A trip to the ever flourishing mall may be my last ever considering the absence of Chick-Fil-A. What?! Bad move mall. Thankfully, we tracked down a #3 with magic lemonade across the street. Old town is still lovely and Old C's still a great gathering place. The parks make for great picnics as always, but is it just me or is our crowd getting overrun by children? Pretty sure they will soon take control...
Master Plan - Step One:
The last part of the trip was the drive back to Oregon...in a Uhaul...friend in tow. Mwahhahaha. See, if I could make Portland the new Fort Collins, my life would be pretty near perfect. Why? Because I love where I live. It has pretty much everything I've been wanting...except every person I love. That is why you are all going to move here and we are going to live happily ever after. Ok, I realize this is probably not going to happen, but I am still going to try. I suppose it's for the best anyway if SOME of you stay where you are, otherwise I would have no friend filled road trips to write about now would I?
It will always be a spectacular song. Nope...has nothing to do with the trip. It is playing on pandora right now and I just felt like mentioning it as I wrap this up.
Thank you friends for being a part of the adventure that is my life. The miles matter not when you are on the other end. See you again next time I hit the road. Or when you move to Oregon. Or when we meet somewhere else. Or here if you're itching to relocate...it's sunny right now. There's an IKEA. And lots of water. And me. Ok...I'm done.