Montana 2024: Part 2

March 30, 2024

Hi from DFW again!

This time we are on a long layover waiting to fly back to West Palm. We had such a fun time on our trip!! Since it was the second time, it was honestly even more fun because we didn’t have the learning curve of figuring out how to do things, and we felt like we were building traditions. I know there are other places to ski but it is hard to mess with success . . . and so I anticipate that this was not our last Montana experience.

Skiing: We skied 4 out of 5 days – G in ski school for 2 full days and 2 half-days, and A/C 2 full days only. This worked pretty well though I would have loved a little bit more adult ski time. Still, we had a decent amount. I skied cautiously and thankfully no one sustained any significant injuries. G made it down a real green hill two or three times by the end!! I think skiing will only get more and more fun as they get older.

Eating: We had sooooo many good (and fun) restaurant dinners on this trip, culminating in a sleigh ride dinner experience that was so memorable and fun. We met up with Josh’s cousin (she lives there!) at Blackbird in Bozeman which was great too! I embraced the vacation mindset and enjoyed a glass of wine or cocktail every night. We also ordered a lot of desserts with 5 spoons 🙂

Running: I managed to run on the hotel treadmill 4 times for 5 miles each time. I was out of breath running my usual paces which honestly made it fairly unpleasant (it was hot in there too!!) but I didn’t want to totally pause my training on this trip. This felt like enough.

(I checked my O2 sats on my apple watch and they were 89-90% in the beginning of the trip and rose to 95% by the end! Normally they are 98-100% . . . so interesting)

Laughing: Our family had a lot of fun just being together on this trip! Of COURSE there were still tough kid-wrangling moments but it really is getting easier and more fun overall.

Hotel: We stayed right at the base of the mountain at Huntley Lodge, right next to where we were last year in the adjoining condos. (The condo section was taken this year when I booked, but the lodge ended up being cheaper anyway so I was fine with that). We had a room with 2 queen beds and then a loft upstairs with bunk beds. A slept downstairs with Josh and met, and C/G were upstairs. It worked pretty well. Our kids do well with sharing rooms but not beds 🙂

Books: I read all of Happiness Falls (Angie Kim – loved it) on this trip and ~30% of Mad Honey (Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan – really like it so far). I think I am out of my reading rut!! These are actually sort of similar books (centered around a death narrated by an adjacent family member) but I am not complaining.

SUMMARY: It was really a wonderful week. I can’t even say I’m excited to embrace my usual routine — I’d rather ski a few more days, haha. But it was restful and fun and I truly felt relaxed.


just hanging on the side of the road
on a real lift!
heated pool / hot tub surrounded by snow!
sleigh ride cabin dinner
on the sleigh
family group shot!! (the Big Sky sign went missing which is sad but the view remains!)
so happy
I actually got in the water for once

We are going to get in OBSCENELY late tonight but I’m just going to try to roll with it. At least I can usually sleep pretty well on planes!


  • Reply Grateful Kae March 31, 2024 at 12:00 am

    So happy you had an awesome trip!! I think for something like skiing it totally makes sense to go back to the same place… once you have things “figured out” it’s always easier! Also proud of you for getting in the water. 😉

  • Reply coco March 31, 2024 at 3:39 am

    Love the idea of family tradition trip! I wonder where/what would be ours if we ever had one.
    I’ll definitely plan a ski trip next year.

  • Reply Sara March 31, 2024 at 7:59 am

    Looks like a fun vacation! We went skiing in Vermont during spring break and now that we’re in our second year of skiing as a family, I agree it really is starting to be so much fun now. Montana looks incredible!

    Like you, I took a break from skiing for a while (my husband and I attempted to go skiing locally in the mid Atlantic years ago but got frustrated since it was crap and still really $$$$), but am soooo happy to be back into it again! It’s such a fun family activity!

  • Reply jennystancampiano March 31, 2024 at 2:31 pm

    This sounds amazing. I never skied as a kid, never learned how, and since I can’t even run down a trail without hurting myself I definitely don’t think I should take up skiing now. But I’m sure it’s really fun if you’re good at it! And how fun for the kids to see some snow. But wait- why don’t you usually get in the water? Swimming is much easier than skiing!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 31, 2024 at 2:49 pm

      I do get in the water when I need to. I hated having to go in for so many years when the kids were little and I don’t trust the ocean at all!!!! I can swim to survive (and I actually remember I had to pass a swim test to graduate college?!) but it’s not pretty. I would say I do ski slightly better then I swim. Not an expert at either though, ha!!

  • Reply Sophie March 31, 2024 at 4:37 pm

    Yay how fun, so glad it was a great holiday. That sleigh ride dinner sounds awesome. Definitely nice to have a couple of favourite holiday spots you return to, especially somewhere like skiing where there’s such a learning curve. And here’s to kids getting older and having more fun and less angst. We took the kids to NZ last year and even with our kids being 5 and 2, there were definitely times when my husband and I looked at each other and said, “wow, this is actually fun not stressful”. A glimpse of our travel future!

  • Reply Beth March 31, 2024 at 7:58 pm

    So fun! It absolutely does get better as they get older. My kids (9 and 12) are about to outski me and constantly encourage me to do new fun things.

  • Reply Jo March 31, 2024 at 9:17 pm

    It looks so beautiful! Do you think your O2 sats were down due to altitude? Or is just life?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 1, 2024 at 8:27 am

      Oh 100% the altutude!!!

  • Reply Liesl April 2, 2024 at 5:35 am

    Sounds like fun! I really enjoy returning to the same places.

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