I won’t lie- domestic destinations have never held as much allure to me as international ones. I’ve always saved my dollars for overseas trips- in fact, I’ve visited twice as many countries as I have states! (That would be 38 and 19, for your information. The shame, I know.)
But there’s something about Montana that has always intrigued me. Maybe it’s because I love horseback riding, or because I like Westerns, or because I not-so-secretly dream of living in the country someday. Regardless, when my friend McCall (the friend I went to India with!) invited me to her Montana ranch for Labor Day weekend, I booked a ticket immediately.
Well, it turns out there’s a reason they call Montana Big Sky Country, and there’s also a reason why celebrities are buying up all the land. Montana is gorgeous.
After some obligatory cowboy boot shots at the ranch, we headed to town.
Livingston is as cute of a Wild West town as you can imagine, though it’s a little more yuppie than cowboy with both a yoga studio and sushi restaurant. And thank God- I would never be able to do country life without sushi in a thirty-mile radius.
I came close to buying a cowboy hat but opted out last minute. Because when will I ever wear a cowboy hat again?
Plus, I would’ve had to buy a men’s hat because fun fact- I have a huge head. (I’d like to think this is because of my hair. Or my brain. Or both.)
On the way back home we passed a golden field filled with grazing black cows. Naturally, Eleanor and I hopped out to snag some new profile pictures.
Once we got home we tried to coax Lulu, the shy Bernese mountain dog who melted my heart, out of the car. No cigar, but look at that face!
And then (and this makes me a terrible travel blogger as I didn’t take a single photo), we had a huge barn party with kegs of Blue Moon and local ales, a live country band and even some celebrity guests. (Well, sort of, but I was told Aaron Eckhart’s parents stopped by.)
The next morning we woke up (a bit groggily, I admit) to this view from the kitchen.
For breakfast we had homeground whole wheat pancakes with homemade chokecherry syrup. They were so good we didn’t even bother to pass out plates, and ate them standing in our pajamas.
We then headed outside to play with more dogs. I was kind of obsessed with Pepper, the English setter. Isn’t he handsome?
And in effort to burn off those pancakes we then went for a mild hike in the woods. As in like 15 minutes. That probably burned off like a teaspoon of chokecherry syrup. Right? No?
Once we had our fill of big sky views, we high-tailed it back to the cabin for beers and the best peach cobbler I’ve ever tasted.
We capped off the weekend by swinging by a local country bar for dirt-cheap beer and dancing. And for my last night in Montana, Big Sky Country went all out with these cotton candy clouds.
Well thanks Montana, for contributing to my country life fantasies and just for being so goddamn gorgeous. And thanks of course to McCall and her lovely family for having me!