Monday, December 31, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 14

So this is the last day of 2012. It started with breakfast and watching the Downton Abbey 2012 Christmas special. I didn't even know they were doing one until I saw a few tweets about it a few days ago. I won't spoil anything on this blog since we won't be seeing it here in the U.S. for a few months, but if I were you and you watch Downton then move on to the next paragraph and skip the rest of this one. Because from the tweets that I saw I knew something big was going to happen (which kind of spoiled it for me) as Chris and I were waiting for the ball to drop with every event that was happening. We kept saying.. OMG they better not do this or they better not do that.. it kept us on edge the entire time but also when it finally happened the shock wasn't there.. but that still didn't take away the OMG moment and Chris and I just stared at each other. Have to wait a year before we get season 4 and it can't get here soon enough.

Afterwards we played a bit of Lord of the Rings Online... I know shocker...

We then went to lunch at Chili's before heading to the theater to see Les Miserables . If you don't know about this book turned play turned movie here is a brief synopsis. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, 'Les Miserables' travels with prisoner-on-parole, 24601, Jean Valjeun, as he runs from the ruthless Inspector Javert on a journey beyond the barricades, at the center of the June Rebellion. Meanwhile, the life of a working class girl with a child is at turning point as she turns to prostitution to pay money to the evil innkeeper and his wife who look after her child, Cosette. Valjean promise to take care of the child, eventually leads to a love triangle between Cosette, Marius who is a student of the rebellion, and Eponine, a girl of the streets. The people sing of their anger and Enjolras leads the students to fight upon the barricades.

My review... First of all I have seen the play when it was here in LA about 15 years ago but I really didn't remember much.. I mean I remembered the general storyline so going into this movie it was like watching it for the first time. One thing that caught me off guard and I don't know why because I knew it was based off the stage play, is that they are singing from beginning to end. They sing their conversations to each other..  I think there are like 10 words that are actually spoken. The other interesting thing the director did for this version of Les Mis was make everyone sing live while they were filming. Most movie that have people singing do ADR (that's when they go into the studio and re-record the audio and clean it up). But this director didn't and you can tell. Don't get me wrong these actors could sing (well most of them) but it's odd hearing someone sing on film and it not be sweetened and cleaned up to sound perfect.

I'm a huge Hugh Jackson fan and knew he can sing. I am not a fan of Russel Crowe at all and his singing was fine but you could tell he's not a singer. Anne Hathaway is getting praises from critics and friends for her performance and I have to say they are justified. She shined in this. Her performance as Fantine was incredible and heartbreaking. But the person who stole my heart was Samantha Barks who played the love lorne Eponine. She sings my favorite song from that play "On My Own". If you don't know the song you can hear it HERE. I can really identify with that song. I have loved male straight friends so much that it hurts but of course I know they can't return the love the way I need it. So when this part came on the tears started to flow for the first time. I mean I weld up and my chest tighten on several parts prior to this but this one got the tears rolling down my cheeks. Speaking of crying, the end almost killed me. You know how you get to a point where you are crying and you can't stop even if you wanted to.. yeah that was me. I had a hard time seeing the screen through the tears... it was that bad.

The movie is long and I don't know if I could watch it over and over again but I really enjoyed it and plan to see it again at least a few times (I got a DVD screener). I give this movie a solid B

When we got home we jumped back on LOTRO for a bit before making dinner. After dinner we had a glass on wine and went outside to smoke some cigars. Now I don't smoke.. never have but I did have a few puffs on a cigar about 20 years ago to celebrate a friends accomplishment and Chris asked if I wanted to have one to celebrate the new year and I said sure. Again I had a few puffs before putting it out, not a fan of the taste that it leaves in the mouth. We then went back to LOTRO and played until around 11:30. We then started a google hang out with friends Jen, Steve and Scott to bring in the new year. Steven already brought it in an hour prior with the east coast and Jen and Scott still had another hour. But Chris and I got Champagne and as the clocked struck midnight and the ball dropped we cheered along with everyone online and toasted 2013. Afterwards we hung out for another hour to bring in the new year with our west coast friends. At 1am the ball dropped again for them and we cheered for Jen and Scott.. it was loads of fun. Around 1:30am we called it a night and headed to bed.

It was a very emotional up and down kind of day. Sadness from Downton Abbey then fun with Lord of the Rings Online, then heart wrenching sadness with Les Mis but we ended the day with friends and LOTRO. I couldn't have asked for a better New Years Eve gathering.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 13

Well this is going to be an very easy blog today.. Chris and I played Lord of the Rings online all day long. Got up at 8am, showered and ate breakfast. Started LOTRO at 9am and played none stop until 1ish and took a half hour for lunch. Then started again at 1:30 and played until 7pm and once again took a half hour dinner break and started back up at 7:30 and played until midnight. By the end of my night my left hand was killing me and my fingers were so tired of hitting A,S,F,W on the keyboard. Yeah I know.. I'm addicted and I love it. I really hope my internet is fast enough to run this when I get home.. if not I will be bummed.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 12

So I'm addicted to Lord of the Rings Online... got up early, showered, ate and jumped online to play. We played for a straight six hours before taking a break to eat some lunch.

Now it's time for Downton Abbey season three, this is why I shared Downton with Chris during this vacation as I had not seen season three yet and have been dying to watch it. We watched all eight episodes back to back to back for eight hour straight. Now onto my season three review, I know it doesn't start in the US until early January so I won't put any major spoilers only my thoughts on the season overall.

I felt this season overall wasn't as dramatic as previous seasons, I remember with I watched seasons 1 & 2 I was yelling and screaming at my TV and I was angry/frustrated at characters. I mean there is one HUGE event that takes place (which I was spoiled on) but other then that it's just some minor ups and downs. I mean I was still angry and frustrated with these characters... so that's good. It was great watching my favorite characters continue to live their "oh so dramatic" early 1900's lives.

For dinner Chris made a leg of Lamb and brussel sprouts, neither of those have I had before. I enjoyed the Lamb it had some good flavor. And the brussel sprouts weren't bad. I wouldn't eat them on a regular bases but I had three tonight and they weren't horrible.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 11

So here I am at Day 11 of my Montana Vacation... the day started like the previous 10 days. Got up, showered, did dishes and ate breakfast.

We started our day with watching Downton Abbey, we finished season two. For lunch we went to Cafe Rio again for some very tasty burritos. Then we played Lord of the Rings Online for about six hours before making some leftovers for dinner and watching a screener of Silver Lining Playbook to end the night.

Here's a brief synopsis for Silver Lining Playbook: After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

My review... I have to say when the movie started I was not enjoying it. It was hard to watch this person try to deal with "real life". About halfway through the movie I actually started to enjoy it and by the end it was a fun entertaining ride. Would I want to watch it again? No, I think once is fine. Am I'm disappointed that I watch it in the first place? No, thought it was rough at the beginning the ending defiantly made the movie for me. I give this movie a solid C

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 10

Day ten of my trip to Montana to spend the holidays with my best friend Chris. Today like every morning we had breakfast, this time instead of making it ourselves we went out to a local "hole in the wall" Looked like a house converted into a diner.. the prices for breakfast were about $8 to $10, but man they gave you a ton of food and it was so yummy.

After breakfast we came home and Chris surprised me by downloading an MMO that I've always wanted to play but because of my crappy internet I haven't been able to. It's the Lord of the Rings MMO online game. We spent the next two hours setting up our characters. I of course went with a Hobbit and since Chris is awesome and wanted to play in a fellowship with me he also created a Hobbit character. We went through various names but I wound up with Drialdo and Chris went with Perugrin. It was fun going through all the different looks and making him look exactly as I wanted. Chris has done LOTRO before so he showed me around and went over some of the instructions on how to do things. It was everything I was hoping for and more. I was instantly addicted to the game as I expected and will be bummed when I get home and not be able to play with my slow internet connection. Guess that means I'll have to get in as much play time with the game as I can before I leave.

We pulled ourselves away from the game just long enough to make some lunch before jumping back on and playing until Chris had to go into work. So in all we played about seven hours total for my first day.

Chris went into work but only had to work an hour so he came home fairly early so we got in a few more episodes of Season two of Downton Abbey. Hopefully we can finish off this season tomorrow.

Called it a night around 11ish ...  Chris and I talked about going up to Canada since we're only a few hours away and I've never been. Calgary is the closet big city so that's where we plan to go. Gonna leave early on Sunday and spend Sunday and Monday there, then come home on Tuesday and I fly out on Wednesday.  Hope those plans pan out... I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 9

Up, showered and breakfast eaten. Headed to a local bank. I have a check I need to deposit but they don't have Bank of America up here. I wasn't sure if I would be able to deposit a check into another bank for my BofA bank account. I didn't think it would work and sure enough it didn't. Luckily I have just enough money to cover my mortgage and bills for January. But Chris mentioned online depositing. I knew Chase did it (saw the commercials) but didn't know BofA did and sure enough they do. So I deposited by check by taking a picture of the front and back.. will see how that works out.

After the bank we went to a few pawn shops and thrift stores. There are quite a few of them out here and Chris like visiting them every once in a while. Didn't really find much, Chris did find another Disney cassette tape for his car collection, this one is the soundtrack for The Little Mermaid. And during our last stop at the Salvation Army I managed to find this really cool coat. I wasn't sure I wanted to get it because living in SoCal I wouldn't really get much use out of it but I kept going back to it and finally tried it on and other then the arms being a bit too long it fit perfectly so I asked how much and when they said $4.95 I couldn't pass it up and had to purchased it. I love it.

Chris and I then came home and started working on our "Special" project. I was hoping to get work done on it while I was visiting him but the motivation just isn't there. We did get a fair amount of work done on it and I hope to still get more done before I leave next week.

We had lunch and watched some TV... a few hours before Chris had to go to work we watched a few more episodes of Downton Abbey (we are currently halfway through Season two).

For dinner Chris drove me to Taco Bell, he went through the drive thru and I went inside to order. Chris headed off to work and I walked back to his place. It's only a few blocks but in the freezing cold and snow it was a interesting trek back to his place.. upside I got to wear my new coat and man does that keep you warm.

Chris texted me and said he wouldn't be home when planned and expected to be home in the wee hours so I called it a night and went to bed around midnight.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 8 - Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!

Got up at our regular time and made breakfast. The first thing we had to do as you always do on Christmas morning.. we opened presents. I got Chris the picture of "The Geek Mob" and several Star Wars items. Chris on the other hand went a bit over board and got me several Lego sets (2 Star Wars & 1 Hobbit mini set), a joke shirt, a awesome Kermit beanie cap, some candy and three very cool Hobbit items. One is a companion book for the movie, another is a small pocket size leather bound book of The Hobbit (and it's AWESOME!!!) and the third is a Bilbo action figure (which I already have) but this one I get to open... yay!!

After opening gifts we wanted to get the turkey in the oven as it's going to take several hours to cook. While the turkey was cooking we watched one of my new favorite Christmas movies "Rise of the Guardians" I've lost count how many times I have seen it in the past month but I love it every time and Chris seemed to like it as well.

Next we played Star Wars Kinect, this time around we played Star Wars Dance Studio (or whatever it's called). That was a blast and a great workout. Afterwards we played Rancor Rampage which is so much fun because all you do is run around, break buildings and eat people.. lots of physical movement and again another great workout.

Once we were thoroughly exhausted it was time for our Christmas lunch/dinner. We had turkey, ham, corn, rolls, stuffing, green bean casserole, mash potato and gravy. It was all very tasty. While digested the food we watched a bit of TV.. there were marathons of Doctor Who and Indiana Jones that we switched back and forth between.

Since it snowed the night before Chris really wanted to go out and see if we could make a Dalek snowman. We tried a few times but the snow was too flaky and was like sand and didn't stick together... so no Dalek snowman. Instead Chris threw some snow at me which began a snowball war. That lasted about 10 minutes before we called it quits since it was so cold outside.

One thing I look forward to on Christmas day is Doctor Who. (SPOILERS) For the past eight years they have released Christmas specials on Christmas day. This year I get to share the event with Chris. The title of this one is The Snowmen and it introduced a new companion, well kind of.  We got to see the new interior of the TARDIS, which I'm not sure if I like it or not.. it's very modern and scifi looking. There was also a new opening graphic and music for this episode. This episode is different from other Christmas specials as this one dealt more with emo Doctor when the threat to Earth. I mean there is still a threat and the Doctor does save the Earth again but in the end the Doctor gets his mojo back.

As for the new companion... we saw this actress in the very first episode of this season but she was actually a Dalek and dies at the end. And again in this episode she dies at the end, but we know she is the new Doctor's companion in the upcoming season... so the question is what's is the deal with Clara Oswin Oswald.. can't wait to find out.

Watched some more TV before putting in another one of my screeners, The Impossible. This is a movie I wanted to see and when I got the screener  but Chris immediately contacted me and asked if I would wait to watch this movie with him since he is a huge Ewan McGregor fan. Of course I said yes so I've been looking forward to seeing this.

Here's a short synopsis of the movie: The film tells the true story of a Spanish family, played by Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and their three children. It starts as the family begins their Christmas vacation in Thailand, with the intention of spending a few days at a tropical paradise resort. However, their idyllic vacation is interrupted on the morning of December 26, 2004, when a devastating tsunami interrupts their relaxation and destroys the coastal zone. The family is separated in surviving the apocalypse, and they begin a desperate search to reunite.

I enjoyed the movie.. the first half the movie there isn't a single piece of music which makes it so creepy and eerie. It's hard to watch when the tidal wave hits and you follow the story of the mom and older son. Honestly I didn't feel like there was a really strong story.. You really don't get to know the family before the wave hits and then you spend the rest of the movie watching them struggle to find each other. I guess it doesn't really matter that there isn't much of a story as it's really about the event and what this family goes through... I mean it's based off a true story. Some of it is painful to watch and it defiantly tugs at the heart a few times. The movie felt like it just flew by. Once the movie was over you understand why it's called The Impossible. I give this movie a B-

After the movie I was tired and only stayed up another half hour and watched a few episodes of Robot Chicken before calling it a night and going to bed.

This is the first time in my entire life that I haven't spent Christmas day with my family. But in a sense I did spend it with family as Chris and several of my other friends are very much like family to me.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 7

Well I'm halfway through my visit with my best bud Chris. Can't believe it's halfway over already but man what a blast we've been having.

Merry Christmas Eve....

Today started with me checking outside and seeing a few inches of snow on the ground and still falling. Looks like I'm going to be getting my White Christmas after all. In all my 42 years I've never celebrated a White Christmas. I mean I live in SoCal all my life so I was hoping for snow on Christmas and until this morning I didn't think it was going to happen. It's suppose to continue through Christmas Day.. yay!!!

So we got up, made some breakfast and turned on the TV to find that The Science Channel is having a Firefly marathon all day. We watched for a bit before we went outside to play in the snow... well that lasted all of ten minutes. Chris did manage to convince me to do a snow angel. I haven't been around snow much so I've never made a real snow angel. It was freezing cold but still fun and I think it turned out pretty good.

Came in and Chris wanted to share with me another one of his favorite teas. A few days ago I had hot tea for the very first time. Yes I know, but I don't like ice tea so I never tried hot tea.. but wow did I love it. It was English breakfast tea and today Chris made me Chai tea. Didn't like it as much as English breakfast tea but it was still good. Next up is Earl Grey tea. I've always wanted to try that ever since I saw Star Trek The Next Generation as it's Picard's choice of drink.

We opted to turn away from Firefly and watch one of the screeners that I brought. Our choice is Lincoln. I've been wanting to see this since I saw previews. First of all it's directed by Steven Spielberg, who I love and second it has Sally Fields who I've always adored since her Gidget days.

I don't know much about the history of Lincoln, other then his larger deeds and I really didn't know what this movie was going to cover.  Here's a brief synopsis: As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

First let me say that I enjoyed the movie, it's incredible acted, the costume are wonderful, since I don't know much about this history I found the story very compelling and interesting. It amazed me at how horrible human beings were back then (not that they are much better now). This is a very slow movie. This movie is less about the war and more about politics.  It covers the final months of Lincoln's life. I see why it's up for all kinds of awards. I give this movie a solid A

After the movie we we out to lunch to a place called Montana Club, I got a very tasty steak sandwich. It was a bit pricey but some very yummy food.

We then went to Walmart to pick up some stocking stuffers for each other. Things didn't go as planned which bummed me out. But I did manage to find a few things for Chris as he did as well for me.

Decided we were going to make gingerbread men but we needed butter so we bundled up and walked to the local liquor store. Chris began a mini battle by throwing a snow ball at my back. I chased him to the store before taking a tumble in the middle of the street. On our way back Chris manage to take an even harder tumble in the street.. both of us were okay. I did manage to catch up to him and throw him into a snow bank.. ahhh good time.. cold times.. but good.

We got back and made our gingerbread men but they wound up being more like gingerbread blobs. We decorated some and wrote friends names on some. They may not look like gingerbread men but they sure are tasty.

We watched another screener and this time it was Skyfall. Now I'm not a huge James Bond fan. I mean I've seen alot of the earlier ones but only a few of the newer ones and never seen Danial Craig as Bong. Here's a brief synopsis: Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her, bringing MI6 under attack.

Not being a huge Bond fan I can't compare it to the others but as an action movie I really enjoyed it. I liked the story and the action was awesome. It had your typical Bond moments, at least the ones I remember from the Connery and Moore eras. I liked Danial Craig as James Bond and I look forward to going back and watching his other two movies. I'd give Skyfall a solid B

After the movie we watched a bit more of Firefly before calling it an night. Another fun filled day has come to a close..

Up next... CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Geek Love Returns

Last year in December TLC aired a really cool special called Geek Love. Well I fell in love with the show and was hoping it would be picked up as a regular TV series. You can read my original blog post about Geek Love HERE

Well TLC never picked it up but now it looks like You Tube channel START (IGN) has picked up the series for their online TV channel... it premieres this January and I can't wait. Here's the new trailer.

Montana Vacation - Day 6

Breakfast, this time Chris made french toast, I made some coffee and since I don't make coffee I made it about 3 times as strong as it should be... still very tasty.

We played Star Wars Kinect for about an hour.. wow what a fun game and a workout.
Watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this is my fourth time watching it in a month but I love it so much and want to share it with everyone I know. Chris really enjoyed it as well.

Chris introduced me to Dexter. I never really had the urge to watch this as I can't see how you can enjoy watching a show about a serial killer but after watching episode one of season one, I really can't wait to watch more. I like how they deal with the main character and what he does.

Chris had to go into work for a few hours and I wanted to get some blogging done but instead my stomach issue which started earlier in the day was still bothering me, but I did manage to finish my geeky Christmas stocking.

Once Chris was home we started to watch season two of Downton Abbey. We only watched the first episode before calling it a night.

This was a more relaxing day of just hanging around the house, playing games, watching TV and enjoying ones company.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 5

Woke up again at our usual time of 8am, took a shower and then made some biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

I recently purchased Downton Abbey seasons 1 & 2 on blu-ray and wanted to introduce Chris to it. So we started with season 1 episode 1 and he enjoyed it, though he complained that he normally doesn't watch drama because it stirs up the emotions. We continued to watch the first four episodes of season one. While we watched we made some yummy fish and rice for lunch.

Took a break to go out to JoAnn's to pick up some replacement material from my stocking fiasco yesterday. When we left the apartment it was lightly snowing. At JoAnn's we pick up the geeky prints but they have so many awesome prints that Chris and I purchased 17 different prints at 1 yard each. We now have a ton of material and are thinking of making pillows and other easy to sew things.  Afterwards we went to Target to get Dexter season 1, since I'm sharing Downton Abbey with Chris he wants to share Dexter with me. So he purchased season 1 so we can watch it later. After Target we to went to Albertsons to pick up some ingredients for dinner tonight.

Believe it or not I tried egg nog for the first time and am now completely addicted. Gonna try some different flavors next. (actually did this yesterday but forgot to blog about it, hence different t-shirt)

When we got back home I popped some popcorn and Chris and I strung some out for our Christmas tree. I had more patience with this task then Chris.

After all the drama we watched today we wanted a change of pace and I got to see Anchorman for the first time. This is one of Chris' most quotable movies and he wanted to share it with me. I actually liked it. I thought it was going to be more slapstick then it was. It wasn't crude like most of these new comedies. Of course it was way over the top but that made it even funnier. I'd give this movie a B-

We wanted to finish Downton Abbey season one today so we watched episodes 5 through 7 and finished off the season. During this time Chris made some home made meat loaf which turned out great.

Once Downton Abbey was complete it was late and we watched regular TV for a half hour before calling it a night.

The snow had stopped so I didn't quite get the White Christmas that I was hoping for but it does look like it's going to snow tomorrow and Christmas eve.. so there is still hope.

I know I say this at the end of each blog post but it's very true.. I had another fantastic day hanging with my best bud and I can't wait to see what we do tomorrow.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 4

So today is the End of the World... well according to the Mayan calendar. And there are even folks out there who actually believed this but most saw it as a joke and we got to see lots of funny pictures and comments on Facebook and Twitter.

Chris and I woke up at our usual time 8am-ish, took showers and then ate breakfast and got ready to start our day.

We headed out to several people's houses that Chris was going to purchase stuff off Craigslist from. First up was Skis, Chris has been wanting to find some nice skis since he's been going snowboarding/skiing more and more. We got to the guys place,  he was very nice (you never know about Craigslist people). Chris checked out the skis and liked them so he purchased them. Afterwards we headed over to another guys place to check out a kayak. Again since Chris has been in Montana he has been taking up activities suited for living in Montana, like snowboarding, skiing and white water rafting. Again like with the skis Chris checked out the kayak, loved it and purchased it. I have to admit the kayak is pretty sweet. We strapped it to the top of his car and headed back to his place.

We dropped off the kayak in his garage and then headed to the theater to see The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey. Chris had not seen it yet so of course we had to go see it asap. This would be my fourth time seeing it in the theater. We saw it in 2D which would be my second time seeing it in 2D. Still loving it and I'm happy to say that Chris enjoyed it was well. He did take issue with one event that happened at the end but I informed him that that is how it happens in the book which seem to placate him.

After the movie we headed out to lunch, Chris wanted to try a new Chinese place, I'm not one for trying new Chinese places because you never know the level of vegetables used. Well I have to say that this was some of the best Chinese food that I have ever had. Both Chris and I really enjoyed this place. I told Chris I would want to come back to this place again before I leave but of course he said he has another place he wants to try.. so will see if we eat at this place again before I go.

Our next stop was Wal-Mart which I would never go to during Christmas time but Chris found out that I had never seen Anchorman and Chris being Chris had to get a copy so we could watch it. We picked up the blu-ray from Wal-Mart and headed home.

We spent the rest of the day working on making geeky stockings. We had purchased material from JoAnn's a few days prior. Sewing sounds easy enough but man it's not. We had construction paper and cut out our patterns. It was tough making a stocking shape even though I know exactly what they look like. Once the pattern was cut we laid out our material... I was doing a Star Wars one and Chris was doing a Star Trek one. We traced out the pattern and I cut the stocking shape out of the material. We had two different pieces so that front design and back design would be different. Well I cut my two sides out and realized my fatal mistake. I didn't flip the pattern when cutting out my second piece so I had two of the same sides which made my two pieces useless. So that was it for me, I didn't have enough material to cut another out so I had to set my aside (until I could get more) and we focused on Chris' as he didn't cut out his second side yet but even if he did he would have been fine as he did flip the pattern even though he didn't consciously think of it. So we both focused on getting his done and after an hour Chris' geeky Christmas stocking was done and it looked AWESOME.

Afterwards Chris had to go to work so I decided to catch up on some blogging but he wasn't at work for long so I didn't get much blogging done, instead we watch "This is 40" before calling it a night.

It was another awesome day here in Montana with my best bud.

Something I forgot to mention in yesterday's blog post. While walking back with our Christmas tree Chris gave me some sad/bad news. When he was transferred to Montana in April we thought he could put in for another transfer in 3 years (which is horrible already) but come to find out he can't even be considered for a transfer until he puts in a full 4 years here. :( so he can't even consider coming back to California until 2016. This news hurts my heart.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Montana Vacation - Day 3

Woke up early and made some breakfast for Chris and I. We had a long drive ahead of us today. We were going to the Lewis and Clark National Forrest so we could cut down our Christmas tree.

When Chris mentioned that we could cut down our own tree I was excited. I never done anything like that and figured it would be a once in a lifetime kind of thing. But I got to thinking about killing a live tree when there are already so many that are cut down and waiting to be purchased at tree lots. But it was only $5 for the tree permit and Christmas trees on lots go from $25 to a few hundreds and as I mentioned it's a very unique thing to be able to do.

The forrest is about a 50 minute drive east of Great Falls. It was a nice drive, Montana is very flat at times but then you drive into large mountainous areas. There were a bunch of very scenic landscapes along the way. As we entered the forrest we started looking for trees.. there are a ton of rules that go along with cutting down our own tree. We took this side road as one of the rules is that you can't cut any trees 100 feet from a main road. Well this side rode took us well out of the forrest and into the flat lands. We were literally in the middle of no where when we decided that it would be best to turn around and get back to the main road. About another mile down the road was another side road but this one looked more promising. The road was completely snowed over as we made our way deeper and deeper into the forrest. We got to a point where we couldn't drive anymore so we parked and continued on foot. We looked around the area that we parked but couldn't find a tree that we liked. So we decided to walk down a snow covered path. We were about a half mile from the car when Chris stopped and said.. "OMG we should bring the saw with us" then we joked about pulling a Griswald. Chris ran back and picked it up and we continued walking down the pathway. We walked for about 45 minutes before we finally found some decent trees. We really couldn't find any full trees so we started looking for nicely shaped trees instead and found two that we really liked.

We opted for one that was a bit taller then we wanted but we figured we'd just trim it down when we got it home. So we took turns cutting the tree down. It was actually pretty easy as the base of the tree was very small in diameter. Once it was down we trimmed down the stump to less then 10 inches (one of the rules) and then carried the tree back to the car. Chris went to pull out the tree permit which you have to attach to the tree but it wasn't in his pocket. Yeah it fell out somewhere along the way. He retraced our steps while I tied the tree to the top of Chris' car. Luckily Chris found the permit and attached it to the tree and we made our way back to the house.

We put the tree in Chris' garage and went out to lunch. Chris wanted to take me to this Mexican restaurant that he really likes. It's a build your own burrito, taco, etc kind of place and I have to say, though the food is super fattening it was some of the best Mexican food I've ever had.

Once back at Chris' we went to put up the tree. It was still about two feet to tall so we had to cut it down a bit. It took some effort but in the end we got it up and standing straight. Next was the decorations. We started with lights and then moved to bulbs. We then did some geeky ornaments and finally finished it off with candy canes. Both Chris and I are very pleased with the end results.

Chris had to go into work for his 3 1/2 hour shift and I watched some TV. We ended the night with watching TV and chatting.

It was another fantastic day in Montana. I'm actually liking the cool crisp weather, there isn't much snow at this moment but it's suppose to snow over the weekend. Got to do a very unique thing with my best bud.. yeah that's a great day in my book.

Check out pictures from today HERE