Now that we were officially living in Whitefish, well camping to be more accurate, we needed to find our rhythm. Camping with two dogs and two young boys is difficult. But it is especially hard when you are homeless. Maybe I am exaggerating here a bit. I mean, we had a tent and all the camping gear necessary for survival, so it wasn’t dire. What we didn’t have were campsite reservations needed to span over the next two months while we waited to close on the B&B. We tried renting a house or condo last minute, but that was not going to be possible. Whitefish is one of those towns that you need to reserve your lodging well in advance during the summer season, if you want to have a guarantee. Glacier National Park is only minutes away, a major destination for people from all over the world. Everything is booked out from end of June through August, which means all the campsites are booked too. Before our trip started, we were only successful in booking sites at the KOA and Tally Lake campground for a few nights each. After that, we had no idea where we were going or how difficult we would find our situation.
Here is how the first few days at the KOA went:
I’ve mentioned before (in previous blog posts) that KOA’s are an easy way to camp with kids. The KOA in Whitefish is no different and does not disappoint when it comes to keeping your little ones happy. They have a petting farm with two donkeys, three ponies, a calf, and two llamas. They also have a pool, arcade, outdoor games like chess and connect four and even a little golf putt-putt green with 9 holes. They also had a small pool where you could float on boats with a very small waterfall. Go cart-style bikes are available for all to use, which were super convenient to take down to the end of the road to feed the animals.
My kids absolutely loved it here. We were lucky enough to stay here for a few days while we anxiously waited for our moving truck to arrive. It was nice to have somewhat of a routine each day. We would wake up each morning, always way earlier than all the other campers. Caleb is not the “sleep in” type. Which meant we would start our “first breakfast” at our campsite and then about an hour later, head down to “second breakfast” that the KOA. For those of you who do not have children who eat several meals at a time, let me explain. My children have tape worms the size of Sasquatch and nothing can calm them. Unless of course, we are sitting down to a full buffet about every other hour from sunrise to about 5pm. It is not fun, not convenient, but it is my life.
Although the KOA breakfast is not glamorous, it suited my kids just fine. After all, there was plenty of syrup and french toast sticks. In my case (and Ryan’s as well) it was hardly edible. But it meant that we could hang indoors where it was warm, and the kids liked playing the old ‘80’s style arcade machines. There were like 30 of them, mostly all working surprisingly. It allowed my crazy kids to blow off steam while waiting for the other camping families to wake up from a long night’s slumber (uh, so lucky!). After second breakfast and the games, we would head outside to the playground or putt-putt. Then we would ride the bikes down to see the animals. Caleb would usually ask “a cow?” That’s his way of asking to see the animals. We would usually spend an hour or more petting them. It was quite therapeutic. Dylan’s favorites were the two llamas and Caleb’s favorite was of course, the calf. She was only three years old and she was so incredibly sweet.
After visiting with the animals, we would head back to our camp for our first lunch and then Caleb would nap. After he awoke, we would have second lunch and head out to explore Whitefish for the day. That was the routine and it seemed to work for the most part. Ryan could go out for bike rides while we did the two breakfast thing, and sometimes I would get a workout in at the local gym called The Wave. It was pretty great.
Now I must mention The Wave here. It is just too cool not to. We decided to go ahead and purchase the $80 per month family membership. We did this mainly, so we had a backup plan to use their showers, if we fell on hard times. But it had so much more than that. The place is unreal! It has a humongous gym with every piece of equipment you could imagine. They have a spin bike room with the surround stereo and pull-down screen with virtual rides you can select at any time of the day. There are several studios, each with different themes. One has a virtual group instructor that you can join. One has this pulley looking equipment in it, and after three months, I still have no idea what you do in there. This are three pools: one kiddo pool with a water slide and toddler splash zone, a lap pool and the other is for physical therapy needs or classes. They have a huge physical therapy wing and I’ve heard stories from people who travel hours to get to this place for their therapy sessions or massage. They just rave about it. They also have basketball courts, racket ball courts, several types of changing rooms like for small kids and families or just the regular type for men’s and women. They also have a lounge with WIFI (where I spent many hours conducting business), 2 juice bars and a daycare facility. Seriously, we feel like we have died and gone to absolute parental heaven. It was a life-saver! One of the greatest things is that our Bed and Breakfast offers the guests day passes for use. What a huge perk for our guests!!
And this is pretty much how we spent those days. It was the simple life and we were becoming more familiar with our town. We were however, growing nervous that our moving truck had not yet arrived. Our next phase of adventure was about to start and we were worried that if our truck was late, we didn’t have a back up plan. A year prior we booked flights to Traverse City, Michigan. My family lives there still and we planned a family reunion to see my mom, sister and her family and my brother and his family. We rented a four bedroom house right on Lake Michigan, for the 4th of July weekend.
With no news from our truck, we were getting nervous that it was going to be late and had no idea what we would do if that happened. All we could do was hold our breath and wait patiently.
(to be continued…..)