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Family Reunions are a lot more fun that I thought. having never been to one, I guess I only knew what I heard others say about theirs...weekend before last we flew to Montana for Martin's (hubby) family reunion. Four generations got together to share stories, food & fun...His family is so kind & sweet, I now have all kinds of cousins that I can keep in touch with, something that I am not able to do with my own since they are stuck in Iran more than half way across the world.
 
My first impressions of Montana was the calm & quiet you feel everywhere... nothing seemed to be in a hurry which is such a contrast to our lives here...& after the last week of busy busy for us, hubby & I seriously missed the gentle manor in which everything happens in the pretty state of Montana. 

The second most noticeable difference was how folks treated each other & us the visitors, I mean the family was nice, really really cool & kind, but I am talking about the other people as well, like the waitress at the restaurant or anyone we saw anywhere we went. Here in Santa Cruz California, you are lucky if you get service with a smile, let alone good kind treatment. When I hold the door open for someone here, often I never even get a nod, let alone a thank you, the same gesture in Montana gets you a whole lot of thanks & smiles... perhaps where you live people are kinder than they are in my town & therefore you think this is a silly thing to see...but we saw it in Montana & liked it a lot. 

Hubby & I are thinking about buying a small house somewhere out there near the grand parents, just so maybe once a year we can escape there & just tube down the river or sit & watch the landscape without smog, fog or noise...Why do we live these kinds of fast lives in busy cities when we could live calm, relaxed & happy lives in such gorgeous surroundings as Montana I will never know, drop me a line if you know the answer to that one...& don's say its the coffee houses or the movie theaters, there were plenty of them around in Montana too...my only complain would have to be the lack of great food, as in fun different international restaurant food. Maybe if there were not so many cool places to eat around here, I would cook at home more, who knows.
CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

1MontanaVista.jpg (56562 bytes)
Pretty Vistas everywhere you go in Montana

2Grands&Martin.jpg (79121 bytes)
Martin & his grand parents, Guelda & Martin Johnson

3Victoria&Chris.jpg (91332 bytes)
Martin's mom Victoria & his brother Chris

4Marty&Family.jpg (95243 bytes)
Martins Dad, Martin Johnson (standing) & his cousin Jeannette & her hubby

5Johnsons.jpg (416939 bytes)
Here is an old photo of the Johnson family, Martin's great grand father, Martin Johnson is the first person standing on the far right, his wife Carrie to his left

6Martin&Wife.jpg (85872 bytes)
Here is another photo of Martin's great grand parents, Carrie & Martin Johnson

7Martin&me.jpg (96737 bytes)
And here we are...Marin looks so much like his dad, his grandpa & great grandpa, its kind of cool, I knew early on what my hubby would look like as he got older...they are a good looking bunch to say the least

8Marty&family.jpg (87540 bytes)
Martin's dad & more awesome family...

9Pastkeepsake.jpg (87410 bytes)
Cousins Joey & Jeannette had gone to the old family ranch, found all kinds of cool old objects left from a life long ago, added flowers & such, made them in to table center pieces, one great way to preserve the past...not to mention a lot of work...they had done so much to make this reunion an extensive view of the family...

10MyPrize.jpg (76782 bytes)
There was also a table full of cool giveaways from pictures to more memorabilia from the ranch...hubby won a wreath made with barbed wire found at the ranch, I however got the coolest prize which is a bone back scratcher that Martins' dad's cousin & favorite hang out buddy, Butch, had painted a gorgeous Montana vista on...you can see it on the table, we have to get it from his parents, since we could not bring them back on the plane, they had driven to Montana & brought them back for us...

butch1.jpg (85497 bytes)
and here is a photo of Butch, an honest to goodness cowboy, yes they are still around, he was so nice and has such talent, he made & painted the back scratcher that I won...

12Kitty&SweetJulia.jpg (76121 bytes)
Here is a photo of this little kitty that Martin & I found on the day of the big picnic, she is being held by Julia, one of my new favorite & cool family members...

13JohnsonRanch.jpg (76057 bytes)
The old family ranch, we went out there on Sunday to see where it all started...I can tell you one thing for sure, the Johnson's had a great view, in this lovely valley...

15RiverTubing.jpg (102252 bytes)
This river is on the old ranch property & this is where we went river tubing, things got a bit out of hand later on, where the water was a bit faster & there were these big rocks they call turtle rocks every where, I ran in to 3 of them just for fun, hurt my hand, my finger still hurts...and stopped right then & there...it was so much fun, we also found a whole bunch of crystals in these cracked turtle rocks...brought some home, pictures of them and our prizes when I get them from Martin's parents

16lastday.jpg (88559 bytes)
Here we are, our last day there...we had so much fun...we want to go back now...

usatFishHatchery.jpg (103741 bytes)
Here we are at he fish hatchery, not sure why I missed out on the fish photos, but one of the other cool things about most parts of Montana is that unlike California, Nevada & Arizona, they have lots of great fresh spring water...you can drink it right out of the tap & is great on your hair...can not do that here in Santa Cruz...

 

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