Friday, November 26, 2010

-15 to 27degrees in one morning... brrr it (was) cold out..

So today I find myself exploring terminals E, C and a bit of D at Houston airport. I can safely say this is not a place that I'd recommend to others to layover in, but the highlight has definitely been finding free WiFi by squatting outside the 'Presidents Club' lounge, and having a rather nice glass of Pinot Noir from Gary Farrell – Russian River Valley, CA at one of the bars has eased the 9 hr burden somewhat. This morning I left a very snowy and frosty Whitefish, Montana at negative temps to transit through Salt Lake City (can I say how beautiful those mountains are around SLC?) to end up in a muggy 30deg in Houston.

Today effectively marks the proper start of the 'big journey' – up till now I've been cheating slightly by staying with my awesome friend John in Montana, where there's crunchy snow, big pick up trucks, lots of beer, soya milk in all the coffee shops, people who stop to let you cross the main intersection and stunning scenery and lots of very polite and enthusiastic people! It's been a lovely time - a taste of taking life at a more luxuriously slower pace and relishing the moment.

The sun rising at 9am over Whitefish, Montana
Whitefish is quite a small town in Montana – at the foothills of Glacier National Park and down the road from a ski resort – Big Mountain. It's is beautiful, even when it's -15degrees Celsius, the pipes have frozen at the house leaving all of zilch water and the rumbling of the Amtrak (hear the carriages bumping together) trains keep you company at night. Having seen some photos of the national park in summer, it is a place I would love to return to. The people you meet there have all chosen to be there – for various reasons but mostly because of it's location near the park. So it's nice to come across people who are there because they choose to be, not because they've never wanted to see elsewhere.

Fish Lake - Glacier National Park - check out more of the pics
So... to sum up the last week? Goodness, well for starters, I've lost track of time already. Slightly worrying how easily I managed to do that... But – highlights were definitely relaxing in natural hot springs, hiking up through a winter park wonderland to the eerie Fish Lake, eating copious amounts of cookies and drinking Montana coffee traders coffee, tippling the local beer, being introduced to crepe eggs, spending ALL day in the armchair watching movies and delighting in the uber crunchy/compacting snow and having icicles form when breathing in. Suffice to say I think it's the coldest place I've ever been, but the people and memories some of the warmest (yes corny I know but totally true).
This is what happens when you get stuck at the Packers Roost - a delightful dive where even the barmaid gets topless in winter... (not that I saw)

The next stop – Buenos Aires. I'm catching up with a high school friend – Sara – who I'm very excited to be seeing and hitting town together. So everyone.. watch out! I've heard great things about BA from everyone I've spoken to, and am looking forward to painting the town just well all sorts of bright colours! (oh and yes, practising the non-existent Spanish I have with whomever will listen to me:) Just bring it on I say... bring it on! Oh... and happy thanksgiving everyone:)