Kristen is lucky enough to have family in the beautiful city of Bozeman, Montana, which is where her mom grew up and most of the family has remained. Who can blame them? It is a stunning outdoorsy town which has maintained a lot of the historic sites and neighborhoods that make it a gem. Plus, it’s perfectly located a few hours from, arguably, the best national parks in the country: Glacier, Yellowstone, and Tetons. Also, the weather started changing for the better the closer we got to Bozeman, such that when we arrived we were greeted with a warm sun. Our first stop was Grandma Ruth’s old house, which is where Kristen’s mom grew up, and is just down the road from the elementary school they attended (which now is home to artist studios and galleries, we’re told). If and when that house goes on the market, we’d consider buying it - no joke.
We unpacked our stuff into Kristen’s cousin’s house, set up the tent to air out and cleaned up and got ready just in time to get together with the rest of the family. Loren finally got to meet Aunt Roxie, Uncle Jack, (cousin) Jess, her husband Carl and their two adorable kids, Annie and Eric, and enjoyed dinner together on Bozeman's historic downtown strip at Bacchus Pub.
Kristen ordered her standard fish and chips, while Loren got to enjoy a burger with avocado and bacon. We also splurged and ordered moscow mules, delicious cocktails with vodka, ginger beer, and lime. It was great catching up with the family, and they gave us some insider tips on other good spots to check out in the area.
Once we got home, we were all a bit sleepy. We stayed up long enough to catch the tail end of Obama’s DNC speech, and then retired to bed, happy to be inside and under a down comforter!
Even with intentions of waking early, we slept in a tad and had just enough time to have coffee and some homemade molasses oatmeal bread before riding the family cruiser bikes down the street to Roxie and Jack’s house, a quaint bungalow that they’ve restored beautifully. Roxie, Jess, and the kids had to head over to MSU to meet with an entomologist to identify a spider they'd found in Roxie's basement (turned out, their fears were warranted: it was a hobo spider, which delivers some nasty venom known to cause necrosis)!
From there, we rode to the Cafe Francais des Arts, where we enjoyed another caffeine boost and split a crepe with egg, ham and onions (sans fromage). To wrap up our Main Street tour, we made a quick stop at the Vargo’s Jazz City & Books store (no photos allowed) and then a trip to The Co-op grocery store to stock up for the road.
By the time we got back to Jess’s house, it was much later than we’d planned for. We had a bit of fun with the kids on the trampoline, and then hugged everyone goodbye. We hit the road, thinking what a great place Bozeman seems for raising a family. Yep, we could definitely live here!