Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it...yet.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Big Sky Fourth of July

Quick catch-up post before we dive right into New York City.
I started Independence Day off right by waking up on my Colonial Days schedule: early in the morning. My first thought was honestly "This time back home, I'd be avoiding John Wolfe right about now." But I got out of my I-miss-Provo rut quickly enough and entirely enjoyed the day.
Small-town Fourths are...different. Home's not big, mind, but our celebrationsare huge. Here, not so much. And much more hick. (In a good way.)

We went to the parade in Choteau (pronounced Show-toe.)
Now this parade is no Macy's Thanksgiving extravaganza. It's not even Provo's Independence Celebration. Nope, this is the heart of Montana...which turns out to be really, really small. There are three main vehicles: Horses. Tractors (or combines.) And old cars. Mind you these old cars are not "Look at me and my vintage-ness," but rather "I haven't actually bought a new car since 1952." Endearing in an odd sort of way. The parade goes al the way through town, then turns around and comes back--it takes about 40 minutes total.

We then proceeded to the family picnic, where we ate sloppy joes, chips, Shasta soda (a 4th of July Gleason tradition) and THE BEST ICECREAM ON EARTH. Period. We make icecream parlor runs probably three times per trip. Sometimes more, but who's counting?

Then...the rodeo. Oh yes. Funny, thrilling, occasionally terrifying. If you've never been to one, you should probably get on it.

After that we were pretty exhausted so the day just kind of ran down into chatting, with fireworks in the evening. Huzzah for America!

One very important aspect of the vacation that I've neglected to mention: The Gleason Plague of 2011.
It struck on Saturday, July 2nd. By the 4th, 25 people were afflicted. Instead of Big Skies, this is what we all looked at for a few days:
At last count, we infected 50 out of the 150 in attenance at the reunion. It was pretty miserable for a while there.

I finish posting about Montana with this picture of my brother, just to remind you all that some things never change, even 600 miles from home, and this video, which really does sum up our entire trip, and our entire family.

We got into New York Saturday afternoon, no problems. (Luggage getting to the correct baggage claim is a greater miracle than planes flying.) I knew I was going to have a good trip when we stepped out of the airport and saw this facing us on a bus:

Sunday was quiet. We ate pancakes and watched Anne of Green Gables, which was lovely, until Lauren got here.
Today we went swimming, watched Despicable Me, ate macaroni and cheese, pineapple, and Icees, and went to Central Park. Tomorrow the fun really starts as we officially hit the town.

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