Saturday, May 24, 2008

Montana Continued

OK, so where did we leave off? ... Oh yes, we had just picked up the car rental.

After we picked up the van, I dropped my cousin off at her house so she could pack, then I drove down to Provo to pick up my aunt. She had to run to the store to pick up some things, then we loaded her and her tons of crap (just kidding, she actually had the least crap of any of us) in the van, and headed back to Draper.

The orgininal plan was to get up at 3:00 to load up, then get on the road by 4:00 am. But by the time we got back to my cousin's house it was after 1:00 am, so we just decided to load up and take off right then. So we did.

We left the house around 2 am, and drove all night long. We stopped twice to sleep because both of us were having a hard time keeping our eyes open. The drive through Idaho was fairly uneventful, except for the snow that hit around the ID/MT border. It was sticking to the ground, slush was everywhere, and it really slowed us down. After we crossed into Montana, the weather got a little better, but still not great.

Montana was an interesting place to drive through. There was beautiful scenery, but every little outpost along the way had the same bar/saloon in it--and none of them would let you use their bathrooms unless you bought something from them, which we had to learn the hard way. We pulled off at several of them, only to get back on the freeway as fast as we could, until we reached a desperate situation. Our bladders were full and our gas tank was empty, so we stopped in Clinton, home of a unique and legendary celebration: The Testicle Festival, aka The Testy Festy. Their slogan is, "Have a ball!" and we had to take pictures of all their advertisements, and so forth. I'll share them as soon as I can. The gas station was also the same type of bar we had seen in every other town, and I can now tell you all that I have been in a bar. It was thrilling. Gas was over $4 a gallon there, though, so we only bought a couple until we found a larger town with cheaper gas.

Around 3:00 pm we hit Kalispell and found ourselves in the middle of some kind of freak traffic jam. It was really weird, because I couldn't figure out what so many people were doing on a Thursday afternoon in a town like Kalispell. Oh, and every Kalispell driver (except my cousin) drives at like five miles per hour. It was frustrating in the extreme! My poor cousin got really car sick because I was driving, and trying to pass stupid drivers as fast as I could. I got a little crazy, I admit, but I had reached the end of my traveling rope long before we hit Kalispell, and this traffic jam was like being kicked when down. It was a cheap shot citizens of Kalispell, a cheap shot I say!

Anyway, we finally arrived, and spent the evening catching up, showering, and taking naps. It was good to be out of that van! Well, I'll close for now; in the next post I'll tell you all about the trip to the temple, and what a nice but weird town Cardston, Alberta is.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fun Adventures

Good evening (or morning, or afternoon as the case may be). I write to all my devotees from almost the tippy-tip-top of the U.S. of A. I'm in Kalispell, Montana, to be specific, and what, you may ask, am I doing here? Well, tomorrow morning, bright and early, we drive across the U.S./Canada border to attend the temple with my cousin, who will be going through for the first time. It's an exciting time, and we're very proud of her, but we've had quite an adventure getting up here. Let me begin at the beginning ...

Yesterday, I spent the day in Logan with my coworkers. We completed our disaster training by destroying things--books, fur, photos, maps, newspapers, etc. We dumped them in tubs of water and practiced drying them to get some hands on experience in what might happen after a disaster. It was all kinds of fun throwing our trainer for a loop with the odd things we brought to play with. After the requisite visits to Pepperidge Farm and Gossner's Cheese factory, we returned to Ogden, and I returned to my apartment for last minute getting-ready-ness. By about seven we were on our way to Draper to begin our trip to Montana.

Why Draper you ask? Well, Jess and I aren't the only ones on this trip. We've traveled with a cousin, her son, and an aunt, and we had to head down to Draper to run errands, pick people up, and ultimately, pick up our car rental. At 10 p.m. we got to the airport where our car rental was waiting for us. Only we hit a small snag. Turns out the company we rented from requires proof of insurance if you don't purchase theirs, and we were completely unprepared for that. My cousin had purchased some insurance online when she reserved the car, but was planning on using her personal auto insurance to cover the liability on the rental. When the lady asked for her insurance card we almost panicked. We were exhausted, we still had a full night ahead of us, we had never heard of a rental agency asking for proof of insurance, and now we were facing the real possibility of returning to Draper to pick up her insurance card, then coming back to get the rental. Fortunately, the rental lady offered us a complimentary upgrade to a minivan to make up for the unexpected expense of purchasing their insurance. In the end, I'm completely glad we got the van, because I don't know how we would have made this trip with the five of us and all our crap in car--even a full size one.

I must pause the story telling for the time being, as there are preparations I must make for tomorrow, and this post is already long enough. Coming up, look for tales of sleep deprivation, gasoline woes, an excess of bars and saloons, and an interesting local festival where one can "Have a ball!" All in the next installment of MELISSA'S MONTANA MEANDERINGS!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Moving Out

Cupcake, my co-worker, has been after me for a while now to update my blog. I guess she just finds it that fascinating ;) There hasn't been a great deal for me to comment on lately, but I'll try to find something to write about because I'm the only one at work and am really, really bored right now.

First off, the school semester: it's over, I passed both classes, I rejoiced. Summer school is in session, however I am not attending. I just didn't want to, ok? I will be back in school this fall taking a history class and another class called Museum Methods. We'll be studying how to work in museums, which will be all kinds of fun and excitement. Plus, I'm taking the class with cupcake, and we both like the teacher. She's nice--the teacher, I mean, but cupcake's nice too.

Second, as the title of this blog entry states, my sister and I are moving out of our apartment. Where are we moving to, you ask? Back home with our parents. I know it would appear that I'm regressing, but actually I think this will be the best thing for all of us right now. There are some possible changes for our family on the horizon, and I think Jess and I need to be home. Plus, I just miss everyone, and I hate our apartment.


OK, I started this a few days ago, but didn't finish it. I don't remember where I was going with all of this, but I have lots of new things to talk about, so I'm going to post this, then create a new post to update you on all my fun adventures.