Sandy and I flew out to Montana last Saturday to see our grandson, Oliver Scott Kinley. Oh, and to see Jason and Emily as well. Emily's mother, Suzie was also visiting, having arrived earlier but able to stay for a few days while we were there and attend Oliver's baptism on the evening we flew in. Father Casimer was gracious enough to drive from Spokane to perform the ceremony.
What can you say about you own grandchildren that hasn't been said by probably every other grandparent in the world? Oliver is the cutest ever. At only 4 weeks old he is still incredibly small but we could notice a change in his size just in the week we were there. He gained a pound during the week, or 10% of his total.
We babysat Oliver one evening to give the kids a night out on the town. It was the first time they were able to get away for an extended period of time. Oliver slept most of the time they were away.
Every morning Sandy and I would be the first ones up and we would walk into town and have coffee at on of the local shops. Kalispell is bigger than Whitefish where Jason used to live but the downtown still has a lot of local shops. We were able to do most of our Christmas shopping for the Montana family in the small stores.
During our stay we got to see some of the outlying area that we didn't see on our first visit a few years ago. While there wasn't much snow on the ground in town there was some as you got into the higher elevations. And the surrounding mountains were covered as well.
We took a drive into Glacier National Park but could only go in about 9 miles since the roads were closed beyond that. The park was beautiful with all the snow on the peaks and the ground. If we had more time we could have snowshoed into some of the other sections of the park.
Whitefish was decorated for Christmas and looked just like the typical ski towns you see pictured on the Internet. With less people the town has a very cozy feel to it, especially since the ski area isn't open yet so there weren't too many visitors. I also stopped by Hammer Nutrition's office and had a nice visit with the staff.
We did snowshoe part way up Big Mountain ski area. It was the first time I have snowshoed although I got Sandy a pair for Christmas a few years ago. Oliver was strapped to the front of Jason and seemed to enjoy the hike, sleeping through most of it.
We were sorry when it was time to leave, knowing we wouldn't see the family again for several months. The trip out west did confirm how much we like the area, perhaps we might move out there if the opportunity would present itself.
A lot more photos can be seen here http://kinley.smugmug.com/gallery/3921869#P-1-16
Oliver in his snowman suit
Downtown Whitefish with Big Mountain in the background
Summit Prepartory School where Jason and Emily work
Glacier National Park
Snowshoeing up Big Mountain, Whitefish Lake in the background
Oliver was with Jason
All of us at the top of the climb