Our adventure begins in Billings, Montana,
where we flew in to visit Sari and Josh. . .
Their newly-wed home is charming and cozy,
and surprisingly crowded. . .
The Dramatis Personae
Hooja (emigre from Minot)
Tobie Won-Kenobi (Rascally Usurper from Montana)
Starring Josh and Sari
With duets from Sari & Tobie
and Josh & Hooja
and occasionally making an appearance,
foster-pup Parker . . .
. . . generally in Perry Como repose
With guest star visitors — Momma Helen in $1 dollar garage-sale heat-vibrating booties. . .
and OCD Camera-wielder Auntie O . . .
And, last, but not least, Josh’s beloved Flatscreen. . .
* * *
For H and me, our journey began back in Minneapolis. . .
Where selfless Auntie Irene insists on getting up before the crack of dawn
to give us a ride to the Airport. . .
* * *
Before Billings, our flight takes us on a crazy dipsy doodle to Denver. . .
A bit out of the way, but some people will do anything for a modest discount. . .
The scenes below were spine-chilling. . .
From the air, Denver was a classic crazy quilt . . .
At Denver’s Airport, we meet this exotic little creature . . .
hauled about like some Burberry accessory
but clearly operating as some sort of auditory assistant
* * * *
One hour later, we are back in the skies, crossing into Montana. . .
An astonishing Arctic footprint greets us . . .
Encrusted with snow and ice, the spine of the Rockies appears to shiver. . .
. . .even more entrancing. . .
Shadows steal over undulating earth. . .
A giant bear pawprint on the landscape . . . so very Montana !
Billings, nestled in a valley of mountain shadows
A River Runs Through It — Yellowstone, to be exact
* * *
From the delightfully compact airport, Sari picks us up
and delivers us to her and Josh’s humble chapeau. . .
The wind is crazy blustery ! I love it !!
It’s so exciting to see S & J in their new home,
yet while we are digesting this
Tobie is asked to display his talents in their spacious backyard. . .
Tobie’s charms are immediately apparent. . .
Though not so much from Hooja’s perspective
as she views the proceedings behind glass
Her rotten tomato rating? “Show-off !” [Mrrrow]
Josh and Tobie check on Iron Chef . . .
For our first night, Sari proudly serves a parmesan-crusted chicken
with tomato basil coulis and roast taters. . .
Mama Mia ! It’s delicioso !!
Quel coleurs ! . . .
That evening, Sari sets up a showing of Avatar
Having been up since 4 a.m., H and I vainly try to stay awake. . . .
No matter how much action is going on on-screen
We keep taking turns falling into a coma
Only to have Sari burst out, “Auntie, are you sleeping??”
Or, “Mom! Are you asleep??”
Once, when I awoke, and blurted, “No!”, she quickly interrogated me,
“Well what just happened then?”
“Er,” I stalled, “The blue guy is being chased and there’s been lots of explosions,”
After Parker’s snickering, Sari threatened to pull the plug on movie night…
“No!” I protested deliriously, “Let’s just finish it. . . I can stay up. . .”
Shortly thereafter, however, catching another conk-out, Sari finally had enough,
“Stop it!” she ordered Josh, a/k/a Captain Remote, “Stop it right now — turn it off,”
“No more of this while you two pretend to watch while you sleep !!!”
Apparently Sari takes Avatar viewings ver-r-r-y seriously. . . zzzzz
* * *
After a deep and pleasant slumber
(thanks to a tranquil Montana street)
We headed out for. .
MONTANA WALKIES !
(Minus Parker, in custody of his Whopper-lovin’ owner)
Don’t even get me started !!
In the backseat, Tobie is beside himself. . .
Check out those little pantaloons he naturally sports. . .
Oh sure, the weather looks spotty, and the skies might be spitting,
. . . but the spectacularly moody skies are the best, no?
Sari brings us to her favorite trail. . .
The magnificent Phipps Park
As western skies brew up a storm. . .
. . . which we vicariously view over the valley. . .
Sari and H run into Lola’s exhausted owner . . .
while we ventured out to help look for Lola,
on the steep-ish hill she was last seen scampering up. . .
The climb was a bit hairy in spots. . .
H urged us to call out for Lola every so often. . .
Halfway up, we stopped to drink in the magnificent view
No Lola. . . .
Even Tobie seemed disturbed. . .
Having made our way to the ridge, there was nowhere further to go . . .
Well, there was, but the top was like an endless flat scrub plain. . .
You couldn’t tell how far the area stretched. . .
And time was running out. . .
When we first wound our way up
I heard a barking somewhere to our left, above the cliff,
We did see Nixon’s profile in rock, however. . .
Disappointed, we made our way down. . .
Dusk was coming. . . The temps would soon drop. . .
Would Lola find a save haven for the night?
All we could do was hope and pray Lola was safe
squirreled away for the night in some cozy carved-out cavern in the hills. . .
* * *
While driving around rural Billings . . .
. . . we learn just how serious Viking fans Josh’s grandparents are . . .
Or will Hooja just kitty b*tch-slap everyone and send us all off to bed . . .