As many of my clients know I took last week off and went on vacation to visit my mother in law in Big Sky, MT.  It took two days to drive there and once we were there, we spent a lot more time in the car traveling to other places around MT, and Yellowstone in Wyoming. 

Below is a beautiful picture of Old faithful that I took while we were there.
                                           
   We also saw many beautiful animals, in and around Big Sky, Montana. 

    Here is a gorgeous deer and moose we saw on one of our drives through town.

                                       

                                       

       There was also the most beautiful river perfect for river rafting right near my mother in laws home.
                                       

         All in all we had a pretty wonderful trip. Soaking up nature and enjoying all the wonders Montana had to offer. It was great to get away from the city for a while and just appreciate all our beautiful country has to offer. 

          We had planned to be back to Portland on Sunday the 23rd, so on Saturday the 22nd, early in the morning we said our good byes, packed up the van and our dog and headed to the half way point of Coeur d'Alene Idaho where we would spend the night and continue on our way on Sunday morning. This is where our trip started to fall apart. 

           When we arrived at the motel in Coeur d'Alene ID we were told our room was now more than double the price than when we had reserved it the day before. At this point we had been driving for about 7 hours and were exhausted, however we were not about to pay more than double so away we went on to Spokane, WA to stay at a motel that was half the price.  

           After 8 hours on the road and with a restless dog, we were finally able to settle in for the night. We awoke early Sunday morning refreshed, feeling good and ready to set out and get home. We knew we had 5 1/2 hours of driving ahead of us and had all of our stops planned out and knew we would get home in the early afternoon. Needless to say after a week of being away from home, we were more than excited to get home. 

           Everything seemed to be going fine and we were 90 miles from Spokane, WA when disaster struck. All of a sudden the van started to swerve and lose control, and we felt a big "POP" and metal scraping along the road. We were going about 85 mph on the free way in the middle of nowhere Washington. Thankfully the van didn't flip and we ended up on the side of the road. Our hearts were pounding and we were clearly shaken, but everyone was ok and that's the important part. At first we thought we just blew a tire, but alas, after getting out of the car and checking the front passenger side tire we realized just how horrible the damage was. 

             Our entire wheel blew off the van. The wheel bearing became too hot, seized and exploded, causing the wheel to come off. Upon further inspection we discovered there was so much more broken than we first thought. We called AAA and a tow truck came to rescue us from the side of the road. He was very persistent to take us to a little town called Ritzville, WA instead of a larger city called Pasco,WA. We were about half way between the two towns and he said the mechanic in Ritzville was amazing and could fix anything. So, that's where he took us. The shop wasn't open on Sundays so unfortunately we had to stay the night. 

                This has to be the creepiest little town I have ever been in, in my life. It's very small only about 1600 people, it's dirty, run down and the people stared at us like we didn't belong there. The motel room smelled of cigarettes and dirty diapers, and was visibly dirty. We sat in the room clearly uncomfortable and clearly in a panic as to what was going to happen to us. It was a long day and night just waiting to find out what was going to happen to our car, could it be fixed? How much would it cost? Could we get home? 

               I did something I didn't want to do and I called my clients that I had booked for the week and told them I had to cancel due to a break down. We were stranded 300 miles from home after all and I had no idea when we would make it home. I was crushed and completely stressed out. Thankfully I have the best clients in the world and they understood.  

               The next day we woke up early and went to the shop that had the car. Bad news, not only did the wheel, the wheel bearing, and the wheel well needed to be replaced but so did the water pump, the calipers, the rotor and the breaks. They wanted so much more than we could afford. I was again panicked and we had no idea how we were going to get home. So we yet again had to stay the night. We took a walk to the local store to get some dinner and while we were walking back I took some pictures.  I can't stress enough how bizarre this place was, truly very creepy and unnerving. I have never felt so uncomfortable in one place than I did here. 

              When we got back to our room I showed the pictures to my husband and he right away when looking at one of the pictures said it reminded him of something and the picture below is a side by side of the picture I took and a picture that it reminded him of. 

                                           
        The picture on the left is the picture I took as we were walking back to the room and the picture on the right is from the popular game Silent Hill 2.  This town really was like silent hill or children of the corn, VERY creepy.  

          It ended up that we couldn't afford to fix the van, so thankfully my dad and step mom drove all the way up the next morning to save us. We had to leave the van up in Ritzville WA and are now currently looking for a "new" used car. We are so grateful and happy to finally be home, and I never want to go back to that spooky little town again. It was however quite the adventure.

           I obviously needed to take at least 2 more days off once we got home (which was last night), to unpack and tidy up, But I am open Friday and Saturday and have openings throughout next week. 

           I have never been so happy to be back in Portland and I think I'm done with vacations for a while lol. ;)