Day 57: Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

Day 57: Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

What is it like to wake up in a Castle you ask? Incredible. Like a fairytale, I felt like royalty waking up in such a large room, looking over the courtyard. I woke up crazy early, to excited to sleep anymore. I finished the blog post for yesterday, watched the rest of “Rose Red” and then dug into the first two films of the “Twilight” Series.  Stop judging, I love them, and you can bet your bottom I will soon be in Forks, enjoying every Twilight location that I can find.  #TeamEdward

Only an hour until my next destination, it wound up being a lazy day and I am AOK with that! The drive over to Bellevue, city right next to Seattle, I was incredibly tired and not at all about their traffic. Dear 405 Interstate….I 4 and you should date…y’all are A LOT alike! I forgot how much I HATE this kind of traffic, and it just drained my patience today.

Blessed that my hotel tonight could check me in early, so I could take a nap and pretty much do nothing until dinner with a classmate and his wife tonight. Thank God they are picking me up, after attempting a run to Target here (something that was easy in FL) I was surprised to see that their Target was on the third floor of a shopping center.  Parking in the garage to get groceries felt so off…and I missed Downtown Disney in that moment something serious.  I had to take an elevator to get TO Target, and then it opened up right in the store…what planet am I on?  LOL  I grabbed my blueberries, spinach, Sprite, raspberries, soups and snacks for the three nights I will be in town. I always check the size of my freezer in the room, and it is the tiny one, so great for my ice tray, but nothing I can freeze from the store. I got back here in one piece, avoiding the interstate on the way, but the hills here are crazy!

Dinner is Asian this evening with Aaron Schielke and his wife, Mari.  I am super excited to chat with him, as I am pretty sure I haven’t seen him since graduation in 1992.  I am looking forward to catching up this evening.

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Aaron and Mari graciously picked me up at my Hotel for dinner so I didn’t have to navigate the roads here on my own.  We talked from the moment they picked me up until I was dropped off…plus an additional 2 teenage boys in the back. It is so cool meeting my friends kids, it seems so surreal. When I am with any of my classmates, I feel like I am back in High School, talking about life.  We reminisced and laughed out all sorts of memories, and I TRULY enjoyed getting to know Mari, definitely a new friendship blossomed this evening!  I am hoping to see them again on my way to Forks, WA, even if for a lunch or breakfast.  We had a great meal at “Wild Ginger” which was Asian Fusion, and it was DELICIOUS! We each picked a dish and then shared all three….it was so good! Aaron ordered the “Seven Flavor Beef” and I got the “Shrimp Fried Rice” and Mari chose the “Mongolian Prawns.”  Drinks were Mango Mojitos and I can’t remember what Aaron ordered. I was so excited to drink because someone else was driving and I was with safe people to do so…one of my rules while traveling alone is to never drink alone or around strangers on my own, to many creeps out there.   We ate, we laughed, it was THE best time and MUCH NEEDED for this girl’s sensitive soul.  I had a Berry Sorbet to finish off the meal with a Diet Coke, and THANK YOU to Aaron and Mari for their kindness on the meal.  OH and Walter got to meet them both, he was very excited to get a pic with them. Before we headed out we walked the Mall….and there was the Disney Store…it was so nice to see. Feels like another life now.

Wild Ginger in Bellevue WA

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Wild Ginger in Bellevue WA

Wild Ginger in Bellevue WA

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Wild Ginger in Bellevue WA

Wild Ginger in Bellevue WA

Wild Ginger in Bellevue WA

Bellevue WA

It is actually when I DO spend time with others, especially from my childhood, that I feel a bit homesick coming back to an empty hotel room. But I am oh so grateful for the time they blessed me with today, and so happy that they asked to use them as an emergency if I found myself in one in this part of the Country. It is something I think and worry about now and then, car troubles or medical problems, who would be able to be at my side quickly? A kindness offered that reassured my soul that it would be ok…just in case

A long day, so happy to see an old friend and make a new one, and have a great hotel room until Friday.  Have a great night, see you tomorrow.

Thornewood Castle 2021

Thanks for your support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 56: Monday, July 26th, 2021

Days Inn last night proved to be a much-needed rest, although I forget how much I don’t like hauling my heavy suitcase up and down stairs. Shocked some hotels STILL don’t have elevators. Anyways, checked out nice and early and hit the road about 7:30 a.m. Two hours to my first destination, driving first among nothing buy golden fields, and then it’s like the Mountains opened up and it was SPECTACULAR!! I was in LOVE with the area!

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Angela had mentioned this charming Bavarian town, nestled in the Mountains, that I could stop and take a gander at on my way to my next sleep. The town is called “Leavenworth” and it was everything I thought it would be and more! I truly felt someone had dropped me off in Europe, and I was skipping among flowers and colored walls. Shop after shop with something for everyone, and it was COOL stuff…not that gift shop garbage in Florida. I loved how everything fit the theme, seriously it was like it’s own amusement park. 

Leavenworth Washington

I walked and shopped, grabbing stickers here and there.  I found something “like” school bread from my beloved Norway in Epcot, a long with “Bob’s Brat” because when in Bavaria, you eat bratwurst!  Between the two, I was stuffed, and enjoyed the full tummy while I perused the shops and museums.

A Nutcracker Museum you say? Yes! I am all about the NEW experiences, and I had never been to one, so there you go. It was incredibly cool, and for only $5 to tour it, it was a steal for something to see and do. The largest collection I had ever seen, it was quite impressive. The pics below are of my favorite Nutcrackers I saw.

My kindness today was giving someone my all day parking pass and my spot, so they got their spot and got it free- it made me feel good. I headed out for m next 2 hour drive to Lakewood, WA, which turned into 3 hours with rush hour traffic. Orlando had prepared me for spots like this, so I did very well with it. I arrived at my bed for the evening, and I drove in with my mouth on the floor.  Months ago I was looking online for something different to stay at, and this came across my path.  #1, I am a HUGE Stephen King fan, #2, I am a HUGE Castle fan, and #3, it’s haunted….and I am a HUGE Paranormal fan.  This is Thornwood Castle….also known as “Red Rose” and “Bly Manor.” (Both filmed here).

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Thornwood Castle

I checked in, got my key, and squealed with delight at my room. I chose the “Blue Room” online because it had the most beautiful view of the front fountain and gardens.  Probably the largest room I have ever had in my life, I felt like a Queen with my soft robe and plush towels. Even now as I sit here and write this, darkness has fallen outside my windows and I can’t help but me excited for what spirits may visit me tonight.  I wonder who was in my room back in the day, and what they did in here. After my love affair with my room, I showered and freshened up so I could tour the rest of the Castle and grounds.

My favorite by far was the garden, something out of a storybook. I wanted to wear a flowing dress, have my hair in curls, grab a blanket and read a book at the foot of the fountain. I walked it again at twilight, and someone named “Joe” was talking to me there. I loved every second.

Thornewood Castle 2021

Not many staying here tonight, so it’s been quiet… I walked every inch and corner of the sections they allow us too. I am assuming the residence area is on the left side of the Castle since I never see any of that part. After a small nap, something to eat, and started “Rose Red” in my room…I  decided to take a walk at sunset.  It was so beautiful and peaceful, and then I walked down to the Lake and put my feet in the cool water. I sat and just drank in the sun going down, praying something wasn’t going to grab my feet in the Lake. Thornwood Castle in the background, the sun setting on my face, it was something I will never forget. You can believe I will be ghost hunting in my room tonight, who wouldn’t? It’s a freaking haunted Castle!! 

Thornewood Castle 2021 Lake America

Thornewood Castle 2021

Thornewood Castle 2021

Thornewood Castle 2021

I will let y’all know how it goes tonight, tomorrow, but for now, I am going to go and watch the rest of “Rose Red” IN Rose Red- eeek! Goodnight!

Thank you for your kindness!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 55: Sunday, July 25th, 2021

Day 55: Sunday, July 25th, 2021

OK, let’s first address that TODAY is day 55…I messed up yesterday and said it was then, oops, my bad, only took 54 days to screw up LOL. Listen, it is a miracle that I can even REMEMEBER to do this every day. I have never written 55 straights days before in my life, so the fact that I am recording this journey, and for judgement and scrutiny mind you (yes I get PLENTY of it), is an every day miracle and achievement for myself. I am DAMN proud of it.

I headed out of Kalispell around 6 a.m., happy with my time there but also super excited for what is to come.  The original plan was to staycation it tonight in Spokane, as a half way point to my next destination. I was really trying hard to not have continual 6 hour drive days everywhere, it doesn’t make it fun because I am so stressed out on getting up early, getting on the road on time, then traffic making that 6 hour more like 10…so I wanted 3-4 hour drives that were simple, sweet, and easy so that I could catch points of interest along the way.  I am about the journey, the destination is the icing on the cake, kind of girl. So today was probably about 4 hours, but with my stops, and I did stop a lot today, it made it a long day on the road which I was happy to finish up around 3 p.m.

Montana

So when I plug my phone in my car, always charging it, using Google Maps, and playing my music, I somehow found an old playlist I hadn’t heard in years. And as Coldplay sang “Clocks” and Newsboys sang “He Reigns”….. I cried. I just wept like a baby as I am driving the valley of these Mountains, past sparkling blue waters, seeing deer stand by the side of the road. HOW could I be this blessed? It was an amazing morning of self-reflection, worship time, and loving myself. The scenery may have had something to do with it LOL.

Montana

Montana

Montana

I drove through St. Regis, Montana where a beautiful gift shop was located. I had so much fun just looking, shopping, and enjoying a moment out of my car.

St Regis Montana

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Onto Idaho, a BRAND NEW STATE for me!  Now, today I am just driving over the top of it, and catching the bottom after I complete Oregon. I only caught it because I am headed to Washington State.  BUT they had THE coolest State sign, as you are exiting the Mountains, it reveals itself, and THANK YOU, they had a pull out there so you could actually grab a pic of it AND the Pacific Time Zone sign- huzzah! 

Idaho State Line

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Bet you didn’t know, but “Dante’s Peak” was filmed in the little, silver mining town of Wallace, Idaho. Named after the man who built the town, this set the scene for the infamous 1997 movie starring Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton fighting the “town’s” volcano. Did you know that the footage in the movie is actual footage of Mount St. Helen’s erupting? Just driving in the town, I geeked out at the Main Street alone…VERY familiar turret that blows up in the movie, still standing today. 

Dantes Peak Film Location

Dantes Peak Film Location

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I headed to the Train Museum, figuring that they would have someone there who would know a bunch about the town. I stand by this ALWAYS- talk to the OLDER folks in town when you want to know something, they are willing and wanting to tell you their story and their beloved hometown.   I had such a gentleman who not only gave me a great tour of the 1880’s Train Station, but he also told me his background. We were the only ones there, so we talked about his bartending days in Vegas and how he served Frank Sinatra and the Brat Pack…along with is favorite, Elizabeth Taylor.  How cool is that?!  The Train Museum is free, donations always, and is worth the visit just to see him.

Wallace Montana

Wallace Montana

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Wallace Montana
One of the remaining flags that flew when Teddy Roosevelt came to Wallace.

Wallace Montana

Wallace Montana

Wallace Montana

Wallace Montana

Next I headed downtown and just walked.  I like to get the feel of a place by just walking, drinking it in, taking pictures, and talking to shop keepers who are open.  I learned about the bordellos and how this was THE place for miners to “get a little something something” after a hard day’s work. So I guess silver, sex, and Dante’s Peak? I couldn’t find that tag line on anything lol. BUT they also are “The Center of the Universe”- yes they make this claim that this town is THE center of the Universe…and they say noone can prove them wrong so they don’t care if you don’t believe them. Ok, center it is!

Wallace Montana

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Wallace Montana

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Wallace Montana

Wallace Montana

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Center of the Universe

Center of the Universe

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The adventure there ended at a bakery where I sat with a delicious piece of “Cotton Candy Cheesecake” with my Diet Coke and a picture window to watch the World go by. Never had that flavor of cheesecake before, and it checked my “something new” in my food category for the day- try it, it was excellent!

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Wallace Montana

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On the way to Washington, I had heard about the oldest building in Idaho, which was a Catholic Mission. So I parked, and as I ascended the forever staircase up the hill to the church that sat high on a hill…I noticed I was underdressed. Hundreds of families were getting out cars, dressed up, bonnets on….I thought, am I in the right place?  Well come to find out, it was a “Pilgrimage” day.  A huge crowd was walking up the road, as I was driving out, so clearly something of a holy experience was happening.  I am sure it was beautiful, but because I was the odd man out, it just felt….weird.  The Mission was beautiful, glad I saw it, took about half hour to get up and back down and to see it, so if you have the time, check it out.

Old Mission of the Sacred Heart

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I wasn’t so lucky with the “Washington” State sign as I entered… who puts it on the left side?!? So I will have to find another one at a Visitors Center somewhere. I wound up having to leave the highway for about half an hour, a slow down of more than an hour had a big NOPE on it and I followed the “advice” of my google maps. Thankfully it worked, and I checked in to my hotel around 3 p.m. 

Now, this THREE hours behind FL time now is throwing me off. Granted, it has been gradual, but just when my body gets used to one time zone, I seem to be entering another LOL. It messes up my eating times too, good thing I just eat now when I am hungry. Crazy right? Also I stopped “Morning Musings” weeks ago only because I was having a hard time keeping them up. Many mornings were enough with getting in a healthy routine to make me feel good, with shakes, vitamins, then packing and remembering everything with every click of the hotel door closing behind me on check out.  SO, that is why you don’t see them anymore. But THANK YOU to those who watched them, loved them, and gave incredible feedback. I know who you are, and I always pay attention to those who support me.  On that note, thank you for supporting me as well. Every dollar you donate goes into my gas, food, lodging, but best of all, I am able to spread the kindness by treating people to tours, meals, and bus rides. So THANK YOU, it means the world to me that you believe IN me, it makes this adventure feel like a warm hug from so many that care. I truly love you guys. God bless, see you tomorrow.

Glacier National Park 2021

Thank you for helping me spread kindness with your support!!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 54: Saturday, July 24th, 2021

Last day in Montana, bitter sweet to move on tomorrow but always exciting to see what’s coming up next. I will miss the 55 degree mornings, the shadows of Mountains that surround her property, and the kittens that greeted me every day. And of course, Angela. So melancholy were the feels, but I was too excited to grieve the time that has passed.

Finally feeling back to normal, I got ready for the FIRST EVER Montana Renaissance Faire here in the Valley. You never know how these things are going to go, first time “anything’s” can be a bit of a journey, if you know what I mean.  Here is how I think it went down. Someone walked into an office and said “I think Kalispell needs a Renaissance Faire…and I will be the one to put it on.”  And then he/she/they realized that they would have to deal with parking, admission, food, vendors, entertainment, security, and everything else that goes along with putting on such a large event. This wasn’t a “Fyre Festival” but, this was close. Now, grace must be met with an event on day one…look at Jurassic Park, prime example LOL. Let’s dive in.

Montana Renaissance Faire 2021

Parking was $5 and they directed you over the back roads of Morocco to a destination where you hoped your car wouldn’t be eaten by a sink hole.  Park opened at 10 a.m.. small crowd was there, maybe 100 people. Word was 1,000 tickets were sold in advance, I was one of few who seemed to need to buy at the window. Probably a promotion was out there for it, but I was clearly just traveling through so full price it was! $25 to get in, for adult, I paid, bracelet slapped on me, no tickets to give anyone when I walked in. Weird, but hey, easier to get back in and out of the Faire without needing the infamous “stamp on the hand.” (Which by the way, don’t EVER accidentally touch your face after getting one…. It’s quite embarrassing to have that image smeared across your face).

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Montana Renaissance Faire 2021

Montana Renaissance Faire 2021
This is … the king…. yeah…sunglasses. He looks like guy from “Robin Hood Men In Tights”

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The layout of the Faire was, well, a farm field. Not an ethereal forest (that’s you Bristol), not a piece of land with ANY shade, just a farm field with overgrown brush that was attempted to be smashed down, but tripping happened many a time.  Clearly someone forgot about shade…umbrellas, tents, ANYTHING that would provide some relief from the afternoon sun. I can tell you from attending Bristol for 15 plus years, plus other Renn Faires, is that SHADE is a requirement. People want to grab something to eat, a beer to drink, and just chill under the shade of a tree or something like it.  It doesn’t feel good to eat a warm shepherds pie while roasting in the hot sun….not fun. I wasn’t in any shade for the 3 hours I was there- especially needed in the jousting area.  Today’s Faire was bare requirements, they can do better.  4 Food Vendors available, and sadly, out of food trucks.  I do not recall in the Renn period any such food truck….good noodles or not.  I had a breakfast burrito…not a turkey leg, or an ear of corn, because those weren’t offered. At a RENN Faire. Again, first day, first time, trying to extend some grace here.

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Montana Renaissance Faire 2021

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The entertainment seemed to bring the biggest crowds…particularly the Fire Guy and the Joust.  I didn’t recognize any of the acts, but they were good. A Minstrel was singing on his stage, but attempting to be miked caused his speaker to have feedback, and it was hard to enjoy his beautiful sound with the tinny undertone. 

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Montana Renaissance Faire 2021

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The vendors were few, and VERY far apart. Maybe trying to make the Faire look bigger? But it didn’t make sense to have them spaced so much apart…and not a whole lot to shop from.  I don’t know, maybe I am spoiled by the best Faire ever, but I am used to having so many options, I was hoping to find boots for my Renn outfit for next summer. It was disappointing, but people were buying, so I’m happy they were making their money.

Montana Renaissance Faire 2021

I wound up staying from 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m- heading out after the joust. The joust was entertaining, and I love a good Knight who is sarcastic, funny, and usually French.  They were amazing, so hella proud of them having a woman as one of the Knights, VERY cool! 

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Montana Renaissance Faire 2021

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All in all, it was fun to say I was there at the first EVER Montana Renn Faire and I hope to find more on my travels.  It made me miss home quite a bit, and Bristol even more.  I can’t wait to see it next summer.

The day wrapped up with a drive to get gas, wash my car, and a stop to get pics with the Wienermobile that was in town today!  Walter was beyond happy to meet the infamous hot dog on wheels.  Great photo opp, and then it was back to Angela’s for take out- pear and blue cheese flatbread with huckleberry ice cream and cookies for desert! 

Wiernermobile Oscar Meyer

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MacKenzie River Pizza Co.

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I am full….my soul, my heart, my stomach. So off to post this, pack more, and up early for the drive to Washington. Thank you Montana, it has been a blast!

Thank you for believing in my hard work!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! Spreading the kindness is my goal on this amazing journey, and I thank you for helping me make magic for so many people. So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 53: July 23rd, 2021

A couple days left in Montana, I woke up with a renewed spirit since my migraine seemed to finally break.  At a very low level, I was able to work it out and just get up later today, take my time, and give myself the space to just BE.  After I was sick of myself, I headed out to the living room where Angela and I planned out heading to Target and touring around Kalispell. I was all for it, something still chill enough to keep me occupied but not too much to trigger another headache. Got to LOVE being an adult!

We had a fantastic trip to Target, I enjoyed just walking around and figuring out what I needed on the next leg of my trip. Then we drove around downtown Kalispell, finding all the murals and fun, quirky stop around town.

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Kalispell Montana

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Kalispell Montana

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