Saturday, May 14, 2011

Post #6: Things We've Learned About Montana... And More!

This will be funny to you all.... because these are all the things that we've found interesting over this first month we've been here!  The slight differences you notice after living in one place for most of your life...

The Bozeman Top 10:
1) It is not unusual for guys to wear full-on cowboy hats to dinner at night! No, Justin has not done it yet, though we all know he is tempted...

2) It is standard to take your dog everywhere, even if they just sit in the car... the grocery store, coffee shop, dinner, gas station.  The owner of the building I work at brings his dog, "Decoy," to work with him everyday, and he greets everyone as they arrive, and most people bring him treats regularly. Gunther has already noticed this and it is apparent that he wants to take part in every activity (because all the other dogs are doing it, and it is the Montana way).

3) It is not uncommon to see strange animals all over.  Within a few minutes of us, everyday,we see: Llamas, Peacocks, Donkeys, and Gophers.  There is always horses and cows, of course, and then we've seen wild turkey, bison, and big horned sheep- Bizarre! Here's a pic Justin got of the 2 llamas that live down the road!

4) The first week we were here, I discovered that there are not stop signs at every intersection!  Throughout most of downtown Bozeman, I guess it is just "understood" that everyone will slow down and look both ways before driving through!

5) The speed limit on the main I-90 is 75mph!  So nice!  Which means everyone goes 80!

6) There's no sales tax!  This was strange...first day I was here and went to Target, I got something that was 3 for $5- she rang me up and said $5 please.  The state income tax rate seems to be less, too. Score!

7) Houses here don't have AC!  When we moved in, we noticed there is no switch on the thermostat that says "Heat" and "Cool", just a temperature gauge.  Apparently, in the summer, you just open the windows and let the fans work... as long as we have heat in the winter, I think I'm ok! :)

8) There is no Waffle House, Chick-Fil-A, Publix, or Suntrust out here!  But there is a great mom and pop local breakfast place, the "Pickle Barrell Sandwich Shop", "Taco Johns", Albertson's and the local Co-Op grocery store, and we have officially switched over to Wells Fargo- switching banks is a task...

9) Most people have a full-size camper in their driveway- I would say about 70-80% of neighbors around us!

10) With the weather getting nicer this week, this is one of the strangest ones...  It does not get fully dark here until after 9:30pm or so, even though the sun technically sets earlier. Because we are in the west, and we can see so much farther west, it still looks light where the sun hasn't set yet, if that makes sense. One of my co-workers said in the summer it is usually light until at least 10pm!

Kaitlyn Goes To The Zoo!
Last Saturday I had to take the dreaded Montana Life and Health Insurance licensing exam, which was a 3 hour test, over in Billings, MT, which is 2 hours away. So Justin drove me and took Kaitlyn to the zoo there! She loved it and is still talking about the Tiger they have!  Luckily I passed my test, so we don't have to do that trip again- it was an all day thing... and much harder than the Georgia test, I might add!
Here's some pics from the zoo!

Gunther's Birthday!
Kaitlyn is at an age where Birthdays are a big deal and very fun, so for Gunther's 5th birthday, we had Sloppy Joe's for dinner and then ice cream cones... Only in Gunther's cone, he got sloppy joe, and Kaitlyn blew out a candle for him! We might have to make it a tradition- too funny!

 She had to give him his Sloppy Joe cone!
Mother's Day and First Ponytail!
Mother's Day was fairly low-key- We ran around and went to dinner at a couple's house (Tasha and Brian) that we were connected to through Pete and Courtney Lee (from Alpharetta). Pete works with Tasha and they moved to Bozeman 6 years ago and are from Marietta! They have a 3 year old little boy named Bridger and a 11 month old little girl named Brianna.  We had such a great time and are having them over next weekend, so it was really nice to meet new people with so much in common!
Here's me and Kate on Mother's Day!
Monumentous Occasion!  I finally got that hair in a ponytail! It is more like a sprout, but it stays for a few hours or until she pulls it out!
Some others! She has really learned to say "CHEESE" for the camera!
And her new favorite food is corn on the cobb- who would've thought? For some reason, she calls it "Apple-Corns"???

Hope everyone is doing great! We are looking forward to a fun summer of nice weather, outdoor adventures, family and friends visiting, and Kaitlyn getting potty-trained!!! :)
Have a great weekend!!