There’s a tiny town in northwest Montana that holds my heart. My grandparents built a house up there fifteen years ago, and my family has visited every summer & every winter since. This trip was a little different from the others, however, as we had many more cloudy days than we did sunny. Usually the skies are always blue and the sun is always shining, but the end of 2017 had different plans.
We didn’t care though, because just being in Montana is a treat, and we can have no fun no matter what we do! Our plane arrived at 2pm, and I was welcomed back to my favorite home away from home. It was just like I remembered it, and more gorgeous than ever. My grandparents had built a fire for us to enjoy when we got there, and I couldn’t wait to spend the next 10 days in our humble abode.
We spent the afternoon settling in, unpacking, resting (attempting to adjust to the time change), and getting ready for dinner. Our grandparents’ house is in a country club neighborhood, and the club’s restaurant is one of our favorite places to eat!
The next few days were a blur. My aunt and uncle flew in, we had homemade spaghetti and meatballs, we ate at the club again, we had lazy days with movies, we shopped downtown… I even worked on some article pitches for the upcoming month! I honestly didn’t miss the sunshine all that much 😉
Suddenly, before we knew it, it was New Year’s Eve! This is one of my absolute favorite holidays – because a) you get to dress up b) i’m a sucker for ~new beginnings~ and c) FOOTBALL. Jen and I spent so much time getting ready, and then we headed down to the country club for a fancy buffet, dancing with a DJ, and a champagne toast!
The next day was FULL of football (and snacks!) and I was in HEAVEN. The Georgia Oklahoma game almost gave me a heart attack, and the Alabama game made me happier than I had been about football in a long long time!
2018 must have known what we wanted, because the next week had a few sunny days. We went to a nearby “city” called Kalispell and saw a movie (The Greatest Showman; it changed my life), and Jen and I got our nails done! It was a great day, but the next day was even better…
There was an inversion at the mountain (meaning it was cloudy, but not at the very top!) so when you went up top, you had clear skies and were skiing above the clouds! It’s one of my all time favorite views and I couldn’t wait to get my ski legs back!
It was a PERFECT day of skiing, and afterwards we went to our favorite restaurant on the mountain for some apres ski food. Then I went home and took a bubble bath, and for dinner we went to my favorite sushi bar in the whole world. It was the best Thursday I’ve had in a long time. Maybe even ever!!
Our last day, we spent time downtown again, just enjoying the views, indulging in some of our favorite restaurants and coffee shops, and of course, we spent time at home packing! It was bittersweet. I think by the last day we were all excited for some warm Florida weather, but it’s always hard to say goodbye to our beautiful Montana♡
SO… I’m kind of switching things up…
All of my Travel posts so far have been very straightforward. I talk about what I did, where I went, what I wore, what I ate, etc. That’s what a Travel post is, but there are also guide posts, which help suggest an itinerary, rather than just act as a diary.
One of the pieces of feedback I received on my end of year reader’s survey was to aim my content more toward everyone and to relate more to you guys (DUH!) so I am going to try harder with my travel posts to do just that! So, for the first time, here is my “Guide to Whitefish” if you will. (Also, other wintery places if you ever go skiing, bc I’m tossing in some tricks & tips!)
W H I T E F I S H, M O N T A N A
PLACES TO EAT:
Casey’s Bar – The BEST food ever. They have every comfort food imaginable (chili, soup, etc.) as well as fun items like the “Montana Grilled Cheese”, Thai Tacos, and a burger with whiskey BBQ sauce & mozzarella cheese!
Wasabi Sushi Bar – The best sushi in the world. And I would know. The end.
Abruzzo Italian Kitchen – This place is brand new and I’m SO glad we went!!! First of all, it’s decorated so authentically it reminded me of Italy. I started with a super interesting cocktail called the “Uptown Shuffle” which was made of rye, coffee liqueur, maple syrup, pineapple and orange juice! It was incredible. Then I heard that the night’s special was truffle pasta and I thought I had died and gone to Heaven.
THINGS TO DO:
Shopping Downtown – This is true for Whitefish, but probably for many other cute small towns! You will never find a chain store, and you will always find something unique & amazing! Win – win!
Coffee Shops – Another duh, but damn do I love trying local places over Starbucks. Some of my faves in Whitefish are the Red Caboose, Montana Coffee Traders, and Cowgirl Coffee!
Skiing/Snowboarding – When you’re in place like this, it’s a must. Winter sports are something I never thought I’d do, but here I am, fifteen years later, and I love it, and if I can say, I think I’m pretty good at it too.
Board games – When it’s a cloudy and nonstop snowy day – this is the BEST thing to do! Forget Netflix, sit by the fire while you watch the snow fall and play a game over a mug of hot chocolate!
THINGS TO PACK:
Cute hat – Comes in handy any day you’re not skiing (safety first!) and always looks good in a picture
Gloves – I am a full supporter of gloves over mittens, but both will keep you warm!
Booties – Yes, that’s right, even in the snow I wear booties. Just make sure theyre not suede or a fabric that will stain easily and you’ll be good to go!
A blanket – No matter how many jackets I pack, I love having a blanket to curl up under while I watch tv or read my book! Oh, that reminds me…
A book! – I love love looovve reading, and never really have time until I’m on vacay, but once I’m on it, I read SO MANY BOOKS! So don’t forget one of these, no matter what winter wonderland you’re going to!
I hope this has inspired you/helped you/excited you for your next winter vacay! Where are you headed next? What are some of your fave winter travel guide tips?? Let me know in the comments below!