Sunday, June 17, 2012

It Happened One Weekend

This weekend started as a dream.  A vision of a world where life was fair and my hard work as a mother and wife (and daughter) paid off in the form of a weekend away with girlfriends, hanging out and doing what we do best.  Which is drinking and laughing.  

The dream sort of morphed into reality in the form of an overnight with ONE girlfriend (although many were there in spirit, of course), and what we really did best was eating and laughing.  We did a shit load of both.

From Bozeman 2012

Meet Misty.  We have been friends for over a decade and this is the first time we've had a sleepover.  And I think we knocked it outta the park.

From Bozeman 2012
We went to Bozeman for a little R & R, and it turned out to be one of the funnest and most relaxing trips I might have the pleasure of one day saying I have ever taken.

From Bozeman 2012

Bozeman is filled with a smorgasbord of styles, from the old stain glass in the buildings to the obvious art deco influences of some of the architecture.  This is an example of Art Nouveau I found downtown.  I had an architecture boner the whole time.  I also love the old Hotel Baxter you see in the background, they have a restaurant, a pub called Bacchus and a French chocolate shop.  I would be broke if I lived closer.  Three words.  Nipple.  Of.  Venus.

Let's talk about THE FOOD.  ***Disclaimer - If you are prone to palate-jealousy or are on a diet, please be forewarned that this is going to get graphic.  Proceed at your own risk.***

I put feelers out with some folks on the places to eat in Bozeman.  Cafe Zydeco was a recommendation from two foodies who have never been there but have heard from other foodies how amazing it is. 

We got to town and parked at the far end of Main Street, closest to the Montana Ale Works, as this was where we were planning to end our day of downtown shenanigans.  We walked a long way..... let's just say about 18 blocks... just to get to Cafe Zydeco.  If we had planned better we may have looked the place up and parked closer, but the spirit of adventure was alive in both of us.

SIDEBAR: This weekend was Pride weekend in Bozeman.  There were a lot of rainbows, and we witnessed one woman walking down Main Street topless.  More power to ya, sister.  Bras suck, and if men can do it I say brave the sunburn and relish the freedom.

So 18  blocks later, we have reached our destination, Cafe Zydeco, conveniently located next to La Chatelain Chocolat.  They have another location in the very same Hotel Baxter I mentioned earlier.  They have artisan ice cream and the prettiest chocolates I've ever set eyes on.  I wish I would have taken a picture..... now I'm overwhelmed with sadness.

Back to the Zydeco....  we walk in and it is warm.  Really warm.  Sweltering might be the word.  And there is a ceiling fan over their lovely ordering area that just gives you the feeling that it could be just as easily churning the air over a restaurant in New Orleans.

From Bozeman 2012

This is the area we chose to eat outside... we're in a little open shed, perfectly shaded and cool.

From Bozeman 2012

We order a muffaletta sandwich to share and an order of beignets with cafe au lait.

From Bozeman 2012

This is the close up of the sandwich.  There is capicola, salami, the most delightful ratio of olive tapenade and mayo, and the lettuce is sprinkled with balsalmic, which pretty much made my taste buds climax.

From Bozeman 2012

Then came the beignets.  They pour about a cup of powdered sugar over the 4 you order.  This is Misty enjoying hers.

From Bozeman 2012

I had a slight problem with my beignet.  When you bring the beignet to your mouth to take a bite, but end up laughing at something your traveling companion says, you wind up "antiqued" by the shower of powdered sugar that flies everywhere.  You will still have spots of white on your jeans and your sweater, no matter how much brushing of ones self you do.  Fact of life.

So after saying "this is so good" about 30 times during our visit we decide to head back downtown and peruse some of the other vendors on our way.  We skipped the stop at the next-door chocolate shop, opting instead to stop in at the location in Hotel Baxter.  I ordered toasted coconut ice cream.  It's the closest you can get to literally eating Hawaiian Tropic tanning lotion without the illness that occurs when you eat tanning lotion.  Decadent is an understatement.

From Bozeman 2012
We stopped at an Irish pub as we made our way back to the car.  Pub 317 is gorgeous, filled with dark wood and real Irish tall booths.  They have live Irish music on Sundays.  I think I'm going to make sure I'm there for a Sunday evening the next time I'm in Bozeman.

Misty and enjoying a beer before jewelry shopping.

Benjie's is jam packed full of beeeeeautiful jewelry, sterling silver, and it is all 50% off whatever the price tag indicates.  I got a new labradorite pendant and a pair of iolite earrings.  My total was less than 20 bucks.  Thanks again to Laura G for another great suggestion.

Once we finished jewelry shopping our last scheduled stop before we figured out what we were doing for the night was Montana Ale Works.

From Bozeman 2012

Where we saw the world's shortest bottle of ketchup.  Mary size.

From Bozeman 2012

This was my wedge salad. Pretty epic as far as salads go.

We had toyed with the idea of heading to Chico and staying in Livingston.  We ixnayed that because our bellies were too full and I had to face the reality that I would not be up late enough to take part in any of the fun stuff Chico would offer after hours.  So we got a room at a hotel with a pool and a hot tub.  Make that just a TUB.  There was nothing hot about it, but we did sit in it's tepid water for nearly two hours so it obviously cured something that ailed us.

I was in bed by 11:00 pm.  No night life, no bar scene, just two girls, some HGTV, and the promise of breakfast.

Breakfast.  If I'd only written about breakfast in this blog it would have been equally as long as it already is.  Misty, being the smartest researcher on the planet, Googled "best breakfast in Bozeman" and came up with two options.  One of which was The Nova Cafe.  If Bozeman hadn't already surpassed my culinary expectations, this would have put me right over the top.

Everything is local.  Everything is delicious.  The coffee is quite possibly some magical elixir, because it was neither too bitter nor too light and had just the right flavor.  JUST RIGHT.  I drank cup after cup, the waitress seemed prepared for this and made sure the fresh cream kept a coming.  The food.... well, it was so good I didn't even get a picture.  Misty had the breakfast burrito, which was epic.  I had the Bozli, which is two eggs scrambled with local ham and white cheddar, and their amazing potatoes.  AMAZING.  This was also a meal I think back to and remember saying "this is so good" and making yummy noises through to an almost obnoxious level.

We had to hit Zydeco's one more time on our way out, just to hold on to the magic a little longer.  One to-go gumbo and shrimp po' boy for me, a muffaletta for my friend, and a quick stop for "thank you" chocolates for my mom and sister for staying the weekend while Thad was on call.  Perfect.

This ext weekend we are in Colstrip for Colstrip Days, an excellent time to let kids run wild and enjoy time with old pals.  Riding the high of this weekend into the coming week will help keep the wind in my sails until my next awesome weekend adventure.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Under the radar

Wow, it's been a whole month since Cinco De Oh-no, and while there isn't a huge amount of news I'd like to at least catch up on things we've done since last month.

- I have not turned in Elora's school enrollment stuff, mainly because I need her birth certificate and have to order one online.  I should probably do that tonight.  I also need to send her enrollment for the YMCA after school program.  Hopefully having blogged about it will mean I can no longer procrastinate.  Don't count on it.

- I've fallen head over heels in love with the HBO series 'Girls'.  Hilarious.  It is nothing like "Sex and the City", except there is sex, 4 girls, and it's in NYC.  Other than that, nothing.

- Thad is doing super good in school, all A's so far.  He also just got an old car, like from the 80s, this weekend to save some money on his in-town-commute gas consumption. 
- An old Colstrip friend, Kari, moved to the Heights recently, and it's been fun getting to hang out with her and throw our kids together in her yard.  Super nice to have yet another close-by friend (shout out to my other close-by friend, Laura G, for being an impromptu hostess to my motley crew last night, sorry about the cup LOL). 

- Ask and you shall receive... after posting on Facebook that I needed a girls weekend a dear friend and bride-to-be approached me about making some fun weekend plans and we're taking a little trip to Bozeman this weekend to shop and eat and maybe dip in at Chico for the evening. 

- I read "Fifty Shades of Grey" this weekend.  Whoa.  In a word, that's all I can say.

- I also finished 'The Forsyte Saga' on Netflix this weekend.  Ten hour long episodes.  All packed to the brim with passion and Victorian/Art Nouveau/Art Deco architecture, clothing and jewelry.  I loved it.  I feel a gaping wound in my soul.  Now taking applications for a new Netflix show to consume me for a few days/weeks.

The summer already seems half over, mainly because of so many weekends with plans already made.  I took a calendar we got on our recent excursion to Idaho and marked each weekend with what was going on, and it boggles my mind how we can have so much going on, all leading up to the grand finale of Elora going to school. 

I better start a list of things that have to happen before 8/22/12.  The first thing on my list is to make a list.  I might make it more like an outline with bullets and a numbering lettering system.  I'm going to nerd the eff out on making a list right now.  Go find something else to do to kill some time, quit bugging me!