R is for road trip

24 hundred miles of a road trip to be precise from LA to Montana and back again.

What a doozy and done in six days.  Call us crazy (we already did), but it happened!  And in the middle of January too.

Back up.  Why did we drive to Montana, you ask?  Well, my aunt and uncle just moved to Billings and had a few things that, try as they might, just wouldn't fit in the moving van or in their cars.  My mom, being the wonderful sister she is, offered to pack up her Suburban and drive up the 15 with them and recruited me to be her copilot/ driving buddy.  So we packed our yoga pants & our UGG's and hopped on the road.  And truth be told, it was a really fun trip.  When do you get so much quality mother/daughter time like this?  Kinda never - so we lived it up.

Anticipating spending 36 hours in the car we downloaded three books on tape thinking we'd really need some entertainment.
I think we listened to maybe half an hour of our first book and just talked the rest of the way.  Honestly, the last two days of the drive my voice started giving out.

Here's how it went down:

Sunday: LA to St. George
We started off on Sunday with a quick jaunt up to St. George to give us a head start on our week of traveling.

Monday: St. George to Idaho Falls
I'd never actually seen the St. George temple up close and personal aside from driving by on the freeway so when stopped for the night I made sure we swung by in the morning.  What a beautiful temple!  Added it to my favorites list.

A few of my favorite mountains.  Sights for sore eyes indeed.  We stopped in Provo for a lunch break (at Zupas, where else?) and I felt right at home.

That pink sunset over those Idaho snow topped mountains?  Gorgeous.

Tuesday: Idaho Falls to Billings

On Tuesday we made our way into Montana and our finally destination: Billings.  Along the way we drove through many a small town, USA.  If you blinked you'd miss it, but it was charming.  We also spotted a few bald eagles.  Does it get any more American than that?

We decided Bozeman, Montana had a pretty darling downtown to stretch our legs in (and where it was 50 degrees and everyone was out in light sweaters walking their dogs as apposed to our boots and many layers).

We pulled into Billings that night, met up with our main girls, ate a delicious dinner downtown, and had them show us around.  

Wednesday: Billings to Rexburg
We turned around the next morning, helped line a few shelves, had ourselves a fabulous Billings style brunch and hopped back on the road.  We laughed about how we weren't even there for 24 hours, but so it was.  We came, we ate, we dropped off our carload, and we got back in the car.

My aunt advised us that, if the roads were clear, we should drive through Yellowstone down south and that's exactly what we did.  And what a gorgeous drive!  Now I need to figure out a way to get back out there...

We ended up stopping in Rexburg to meet up with few girls from back home and taking them out to dinner.  We rolled in after dark and since we both had never seen the BYU Idaho campus we decided to stay the night and do some exploring in the morning.

Thursday: Rexburg to St. George
After giving ourselves the drive around tour of BYU-I (and being blown away at how much it reminded me of its sister campus in Provo) we hopped back on the road.  Unfortunately we missed the hotel free breakfast so after our self guided tour we asked Siri for the closest Starbucks, to which she responded:
I've found four places matching Starbucks, they're pretty far from you...

We laughed pretty hard at that.  No Starbucks in Rexburg.  Got it.

As we got closer to Utah valley we started organizing a few social calls.  We stopped off in Salt Lake first and stretched our legs at City Creek and then called my grandma to meet up with her.  I'm still so sad she moved to American Fork right when I graduated and vacated Provo.  Oh well.

Next we surprised the Nemrows and ran by their place just to say hi for a quick minute.  Lucky me, two of my cute nieces were over so I got to give them a squeeze as well.

Then there was a Thursday night miracle: all my best girlfriends and (most of) their significant others met us for dinner at (where else) Zupas.  Talk about a great night.  It's pretty stinkin' convenient that they're all still in Provo so when I pass through I can see them all in one swoop.  Love it.

After dinner we pushed past Cedar City and stayed the night in St. George before the long haul home.

Friday: St. George to home
And that was a wrap!  St. George felt so much closer than it actually is when we rolled in the night before.  I forget that we still have 4 states to drive through!  But we made it.

Still so thankful for the clear roads we had through those snowy states and the basically blue skies the whole week.  What a blessing. 

And now I've already checked off one (of my harder) new year's goals!
Go someplace I've never been before:
Idaho Falls ✓
Rexburg ✓
Billings ✓
Bozeman ✓

Check, check, check, and check.

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