Cheers to 2020!

Dang, I’ve really neglected this blog in 2019…probably because I’ve been so damn busy this year! 2019 has been the raddest year in recent history…super stoked to round out the decade with a year like this.

And, yes, apparently I use words like ‘rad’ and ‘stoked’ since moving to Montana. Gahhh!

At the beginning of this year, I was living in Michigan. Remember when I got bangs? 

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.22.44 PM.png

In Feb, I went on an adventure that took me to Denver, LA, and San Diego where I met friends both old and new. Oh, and now I’m moving to Boulder, CO for three months starting in just a few weeks!!

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.25.38 PM

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.25.28 PM

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.25.16 PM

Then, omg I joined a gym FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE to prep for my adventure to Havasupai. Definitely the most challenging trek I’ve ever physically embarked on but holy shit it was incredibly rewarding.

GET YOUR PERMITS THIS YEAR, PEOPLE.

giphy

Screen Shot 2019-06-22 at 11.40.04 AM

MVIMG_20190428_073830

Then, I said goooodbye Michigan at the end of May and embarked on a road trip to my new home in Missoula, Montana. I stopped in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and probably other places.

Oh, and America is weird and beautiful and lovely.

img_20191231_164702_078.jpgIMG_20191231_164656_794IMG_20191231_164652_020img_20191231_164724_864.jpg

IMG_20191231_164817_170img_20191231_164826_484.jpgimg_20191231_164831_776.jpgimg_20191231_164838_482.jpgIMG_20191231_164759_528IMG_20191231_164752_953IMG_20191231_164809_657IMG_20191231_164803_781

Did I know anybody in Missoula? Nope.

But I wanted a change and I did it and I MADE FRIENDS AND IT WORKED OUT AND OMG IT’S BEEN THE BEST CHOICE I’VE EVER MADE. Admittedly, it wasn’t always easy. I had moments of *did I make an awful mistake?!!* *how will I make REAL, true friends?!* But ladies and gents, it always works out. 

I also started volunteering at the local Humane Society and adopted my new bff, Dolores!

IMG_20191003_171340849_HDR

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.34.19 PM

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.34.07 PM

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.33.56 PM

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.33.44 PM

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.33.35 PM

This year was all about saying YES and doing things I’ve always wanted to do!

I’ve always wanted to pick up and move somewhere totally new. So I did it. I also tried skiing and STAND-UP COMEDY which I plan to keeeeeep on doing forever because holy heck it’s incredibly fun and I’m a silly goose for now and forever.

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.38.18 PM

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.37.57 PM

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.37.44 PM

Oh, and remember that time I eloped? I finally signed those divorce papers!!!

On top of a mountain, of course.

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.40.18 PM.png

Also, I discovered there are trees that naturally smell like VANILLA. Liiiike, this was some Charlie and the Chocolate Factory shit and I WAS SHOOOOOK.

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.42.31 PM.png

Thank you to absolutely everyone for an incredible 2019! I rounded out the year in Ireland with my cousin and I also have a new godson (dog), Biggie! He’s adorable and I love him.

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.44.08 PM

Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 4.43.51 PM

Cheers to 2020! Keep spreading kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

 

Montana is the best but no one there wants you to know it

A bit of culture shock is expected when you leave your own country, right? Like, oh, I’m going to Paris and everyone is going to smoke everywhere all the time and I don’t have to tip anywhere and I’m going to get dirty looks for even trying to speak French…TRES BIEN. I get it. This is not America and the servings here are not large and I’m ok with that (no I’m not). But, hey, life’s great and I’m eating my weight in croissants on quaint little streets named Rue Saint Dominique and such. Ya know?

But what about culture shock IN America? AS AN AMERICAN?!

I present to you, Montana.

fullsizeoutput_c03

M

O

N

T

A

N

A

fullsizeoutput_c0a.jpeg
Glacier National Park

I’ve been to the South. I’ve been to Utah. I’ve been to Texas. I’ve been here and there.

But…

MONTANA.

GUYS.

I loved it. I smiled the entire time I was there minus when the power went out in my Airbnb just as it started to snow and I was all alone but ANYWAY.

fullsizeoutput_c2d.jpeg
Mission Mountain Range

LOOK HOW PRETTY EVERYTHING IS.

fullsizeoutput_c24.jpeg
Lake McDonald

Montana’s the kind of place where folks are friendly for no good reason and it’s weird because NY is, like, well…not like that. I mean, NY is my home and I adore it and I too hate when tourists stop in the middle of sidewalks and/or walk on the WRONG side (people, sidewalks are like ROADS…there is a right way and a wrong way to walk) and people who think Times Square and 5th Ave. are New York City, like, hello no bye.

New Yorkers are blunt, brash, bonkers, and bankrupt because the rent is too damn high.

We run on Dunkin’ and Montana runs on these adorable little coffee shacks that I quickly became obsessed with but oh so embarrassed to drive through in my dumb Cadillac (quick story time: I rented a car and they gave me a Caddy which most would love but I was like UGH and it didn’t have a CD player and I was SO mad because I brought my Man of the Woods CD because duh and I missed my little 2000 Toyota Camry and I felt like I was driving a spaceship and it had Cali license plates to make things worse and it was just so not Montana or me but ANYWAY).

20180928_083005
Cowgirl Coffee where they claim to have “the best hot chocolate ever” so naturally I got it and it was not the best. City Bakery in NYC is still THE BEST but whatever it was chocolate and it was hot so it was nice.
20180929_094554
Not my Caddy but the car I wish I had been driving bc I BET that puppy has a CD player.

Things I did in Montana:

  • Went camping for the first time.
  • Saw the Milky Way with my own four eyes.
  • Saw a half-full milk jug on the side of the road.
  • Saw a few bison!
  • Went to Wyoming.
  • Drank huckleberry wine.
  • Wait, Wyoming is NOT in Montana. Whoopsie daisy.
  • Changed my mind about dinosaurs existing. I blame Zack.
  • Hiked a mountain by myself and thought I saw a bear but it was really a large deer.
  • Pulled over several times to let other cars pass me because I was driving grandma miles per hour to really take in my surroundings. SO MUCH BEAUTIFULNESS.
  • Said “Wow, everyone here is SO nice!” approximately 2,945 times.
  • Said “Wow, everything here is SO gorgeous!” approximately 2,946 times.
  • Couchsurfed for the first time and met the coolest family and fellow couchsurfer.
  • Fell in some mud in a field after dancing to JT on the side of the road. I blame Zack.
  • Turned bright red when my tour group and guide sang ‘happy birthday’ to me on a red bus tour in Glacier National Park the day after my actual birthday only to find out that there was another lady and it was her ACTUAL birthday and then the tour guide was like ‘sorry, we’re not singing again’ and I was like omg I just stole her thunder WHOOPS.
  • Saw Old Faithful erupt! That might’ve technically been in Wyoming but– oh, look! A bison!

fullsizeoutput_c39.jpeg

I’ve been to quite a few places. And I always ask myself, “Hmmm, could I see myself living here?” whenever I travel somewhere new. I compare everything to NY. But we all know NY is incomparable. It’s electric, magnetic, rat-infested, and smells like pee most of the time.

But it’s wonderful.

And it’s safe and cozy and I know where all my favorite things are because the grid system is INCREDIBLE but hot damn huckleberry pancakes!

Montana sure felt like home.

Like your favorite worn-out book with all the soft, wrinkly dog-eared pages that you keep going back to, re-reading it over and over because it’s just so damn GOOD and you find new details and bits of gold and coffee-stained spots (whoops) each time you read it and it never ever gets old.

THAT’S MONTANA.

fullsizeoutput_c1c.jpeg

20180928_135128.jpg

But the locals don’t want you to know it! They want to preserve the great treasure state– and I don’t blame them.

Here’s the thing. If you go to a place like Missoula or Bozeman, you can’t expect it to be like LA or NY or wherever, right? You have to EMBRACE the simple life. I mean, it’s not all dirt roads and log cabins and fishin’ and all that– in fact, I saw the prettiest Walmart while in Montana. And by “prettiest” I mean it was literally a regular Walmart SURROUNDED by gorgeous mountains and it was unreal and it almost made me want to shop there but I didn’t.

DSC07148.JPG

Ok, so where did I go, exactly?

  • Kalispell
  • Whitefish
  • Missoula
  • Helena
  • Bozeman
  • Big Sky
  • Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, into the woods, down some streets, here and there, you get it.

Right after Montana, I flew to LA for a weekend to visit some friends and, let me tell YOU, flying from the tiny little airport in Bozeman (complete with dinosaur fossils) to LAX (complete with yoga rooms) was culture SHOCKKKCKCKKCKCK. I was like, wait, what IS Starbucks and where are my little Cowgirl Coffees at and why is everyone wearing full make-up and talking about acting and avocados?

I found myself missing Montana as soon as I left. 😭

From the sweeping landscapes and the abundance of mom and pop shops to the suspiciously friendly residents and the unpredictable weather, I am HOMESICK for this state.

So, au revoir New York! I’m excited to call Montana my actual home beary soon.

fullsizeoutput_c13.jpeg

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie