November started with some intense meetings and trying to figure out what is happening and what will be happening for both Austin and Katrina. That is what a one year assignment somewhere gets you--confusion about next steps about half way through and we are finished with 5 months living in Yellowstone. Wowza, we do feel so lucky!
The first weekend of November we headed back to B-town to complete some tasks, run so errands, help my folks winterize and get some Gama and Papa love (Ilija calls my mom Gama currently). Austin and I even got a grown up date--drinks and dessert at Enzo's. It was delightful, if short-lived.
Austin and I took a few hours between meetings and work to take a quick hike that we had been wanting to do. It was awesome to hike along prior to the snow, but see tons of prints in the dried mud. Austin had been trying to convince me for weeks to do a mid-week hike while Ilija was at school and one day it just hit me that those are the experiences that I will remember, not the reports that I wrote while I was here (although those are very important too). The next week on Tuesday (election day) was the library bazaar, a Gardiner social activity that no one should miss. It was fun and exciting seeing all of the artistic and crafty talent of the area and of course supporting the library was nice. It was even nicer that Ilija fell asleep on the way home and Austin and I got to listen to the election results come in with a glass of wine or a growler of beer.
I had tons of meetings that week. A wintery store settled on the region on Thursday and we ended up leaving work early to hit the road before it got completely dark. Dark and blizzard don't mix too well for driving. Austin flew out early Friday morning for a week in Massachusetts working on projects, meeting with people, throwing a few back and eating all of our favorite pioneer valley grub. Ilija and I hung out with my folks until Monday nap time when we ventured back to YNP via the very windy highway. We had a good time in Billings, just relaxing, eating at home, playing in the snow and doing a little shopping.
Austin came back on Thursday and we were all excited to see him--especially Pirate. I gave that dog walks everyday and tons of treats and he still would rather be sitting at Austin's feet. :) We spent the weekend relaxing--relishing one of the last weekends where all of us are in the park together. We ended up walking, making a snowman and then watching two different football games at two different friend's houses. Football is always a good reason to get together.