Tuesday, July 20, 2010

RTT: Returning to Cali after a week in Montana


Click here after reading to play the random game with Keely and friends.

When we got off the plane at LAX, I was ready for more travel.  Our week-long trip to my family's cabin on Flathead Lake in Montana had been a good test to see how trekking with the twins worked out.  (More words and pics about the trip here and here.)

It was about 3:00 p.m. and we had been on the move since 7:00 a.m. California time.  The kids were still in great spirits despite having missed their first nap.  We still had a two hour drive home from LAX--we flew from there because of cheap tickets and a direct flight--and I was confident they would sleep all the way home.

I guess a week in Montana made me forget all about the phenomenon known as "traffic."  Sure, we had gotten behind some rickety RV's and horse trailers driving between Missoula and the Res, but what we encountered here was full-on SoCal style Friday afternoon mayhem.  We tuned into the traffic report and heard about a wooden crib in the HOV lane (there's always something in the lanes--furniture, ladders, parts of cars, human carnage), baseball game traffic, LGBT Pride traffic, and garden variety rush hour traffic.

Alas, there would be no napping for the little ladies.  Like me, they don't find stop-and-go relaxing.  At the two hour mark, when we should have been gingerly waking the little angels from their slumber so we could carry them into the house, we were instead battling our way across a vast military base, hoping we didn't run out of gas before we hit the next rest stop, twenty miles away.  At that point, Cobra started making her distinctive poop-grunts, on the heels of which followed cries of unextinguishable anguish.

After an excruciating hour, we had crawled the twenty miles to civilization, such as it was--a seaside town where, according to the dusty postcards in the gas station, the women wear thongs, crimp their hair, and hump large motorcycles, and the men enjoy steroids, acid-washed jeans, and mullets.  In the shad of the lone tree in a Denny's parking lot, we changed Cobra's diaper (which revealed that all her sound and fury signified very little) and her sweat-soaked onesie.

When we finally got home (total elapsed time 4 hrs 15 minutes), I dropped to my knees and kissed the laminate flooring.  "I will never leave this place again!" I sobbed.

That reminds me.  I have to make arrangements for dog-care while we go to L.A. next weekend.

As I mentioned, it was Pride Weekend here, so we came home to a gayborhood festooned even more thoroughly than usual with rainbow flags and big yellow "equal" signs.  There was also some very colorful vomit on our front step, which I suspect came from someone celebrating the great strides made by their community since the Stonewall riots four decades ago.  Either that or a drunken teenage girl.

In an unrelated atrocity, someone didn't pick up their dog's poop from the little strip of grass ("mow strip," "boulevard," or "devil strip," depending on where you're from) in front of our house.


I had been a bit disappointed that, while we saw some bear scat outside our cabin, we didn't see any actual bears while in Montana.  But when we got home, there were bears all over the place!  

"Pecs," the bar up the street from us, was overflowing with big, hairy guys wearing flannel and leather.  In fact, that "dog poop" in front of our house may have actually be bear scat too.  I'll check it out more carefully when I get around to removing it.


Some wonderful friends of ours gave the twins a very generous gift certificate for a used baby gear shop, so we went there to pick up some toys.  We only spent about twenty bucks, and scored two items that have become the center of their daily activity.  At this rate, we'll keep them entertained until they are teenagers on what's left of the gift certificate.  Check it out:


  1. Travelling with one little kid can be tiring. Traveling with two has to be exhausting. Welcome back.

  2. Ah yes. I remember road-trips with my children. Once, when my daughter was less than six months old, we had car-problems still three hours away from home and so we went to every little greasy hotel/motel in that town but no rooms were available. Then it started to rain. My wife and I just stared at each other. Finally I turned to my infant daughter and said, "Who do you think you are? The baby Jesus?!"

  3. You remind me of a comment we got from a local when we were traveling through SW Colorado a week or so back.

    When asked for directions, we were given the route and a warning that "rush hour will be starting any minute!"

    Well, we drove straight through rush hour, and it consisted of 3 pick up trucks, one horse buggy, and a trans am from the 70s.

  4. There's not enough booze in the world to deal with our traffic here in LA. Just ask Lindsay.

  5. Oh, the cuteness! I love the drunken baby walk. It's just too much.
    PS- A dog poop AND vomit homecoming? Yikes. I might be tempted to turn right back around, no matter how awful that drive home was. (I don't manage icky things so well.)

  6. I'm amazed that the girls can walk so well with the push toys. Just a few days ago they were crawling and risking only a few shaky steps. Best of all, cobra notices butterbean is stuck, turns to her, and reaches out to her. Looks like they are bff.

  7. Traffic sucks.

    At least you guys made it back in one piece.

  8. @DiPi,

    Thanks. I'm glad to be home, but I would have been glad to stay at the cabin for another week too.


    Oh yeah. Car trouble. Another reason to think about upgrading our 13 year old hatchback. We're going to LA this weekend, and could be taking our 120# dog as well. And bringing my MIL on the way back. That's three adults, two babies, one dog, and all the gear in a '97 Golf. At least it would be good blog fodder.

    Traffic is relative. I've lived in SoCal, NorCal, and NoVA, so I'm not impressed with provincial backups.

    Word. There's also no narcotic powerful enough to dull the pain.

    The vomit and poop just made the inside of the house all the more inviting.

    Wait till you see the video of BB walking from the kitchen to the back door! She wasn't faring as well as Cobra with the pushy, so she just abandoned it and has been walking all over ever since.

  9. I have wanted to visit Missoula ever since I watched A River Runs Through it.I have a few friends who have been there and had good things to say about it.

  10. What a coincidence! Somebody vomited in front of our house too! And we didn't even have a pride parade to blame it on.

    I have found that the only pleasant way to make the LA - San Diego (I'm assuming that's where you were headed) drive is to not make the drive, but to take the train. Just saying.

  11. Gayborhood, that was beautiful. I noticed a lot of rainbow flags downtown today so our parade must be on soon as well.

  12. Sitting in traffic for that long makes me murderous. The kid could probably handle it a lot better than me.

    Gayborhood. I like it.


Don't hold back.


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