Welcome to Montana

IMG_4563Or, Where the Hell I’ve Been for the Last Two Months

Well, hello strangers! First off, I apologize for having been away for so long. No excuses: I suck.

So much has happened since I last updated this blog. First and foremost, Boo and I got married in Canada, on the stunning Moraine Lake, on July 5th! It was an amazing week and a wonderful, wonderful wedding. The forecast called for rain on our big day all week, but the weather gods were with us. The sun was shining and we got some truly
fantastic photos thanks to our trusty photographer (I cannot say enough nice things about this lady). We had half-kidded her that we wanted her to duplicate a photo we had seen of a bride and groom with one of Moraine’s adorable chipmunks in the foreground, and she managed to get us a whole series with one of the little guys (we call them Fluffy, because we love them so).

Because it was a destination wedding, it was on the smaller side, but we loved that. And we actually had more people than we had been expecting! It was so much fun to see our closest family and friends mingle and meet each other for the first time. We feel so lucky.

On top of that, we had an unexpected bit of luck when we got back to New York. To give you the full story, Joel’s parents live in Helena, Montana. We’ve visited them a lot over the past few years and had a great time. So, we formulated some long-term plans to move to Montana at some vague, undetermined point in the future. Well, in the last year we found ourselves growing increasingly dissatisfied living in NYC. Don’t get me wrong: New York is a wonderful city. I’m originally from Long Island and New York will always feel like home to me. It’s in my blood. But the fact remains that it can wear you out. Everything is expensive, everything is crowded, the subway is a nightmare, etc. After a while, it gets to you. We found that any time we traveled somewhere, we would get in a funk for a long time as we tried to readjust to NYC life.

Well, almost immediately after the wedding, Joel’s business found a good excuse for us to make the leap and realize those long-term plans to move to Montana now. So we did it! I gave my two weeks’ notice at work, and a month later we were on a plane for a new home. It was scary that it happened so quickly, and I do wish there had been more time to say goodbye, but I’m so happy we did it. We’re in Missoula now, which is a college town on the western border of Montana. The Rocky Mountains pass right by us on their way up into Canada, and it is beautiful here. Locals tell us that being nestled in the mountains protects us from the harshest weather most people might associate with Montana, which is nice.
Sunset in our new neighborhood

Not to say that there hasn’t been a small degree of culture shock. Our first night here, we went from the airport to Bed Bath & Beyond to grab a couple of things we knew we would need. Leaving Bed Bath & Beyond, we noticed that it smelled a little like a campfire, but we didn’t think anything of it. We went to the grocery store to pick up some more stuff, and on the way out I noticed that it almost looked like it was snowing .Confused, I looked closer and realized that ash was raining down from the sky! Turns out, there was a forest fire in Lolo, on the other side of the mountain, and the ash was getting carried over on the wind. To say that this was disconcerting would be an understatement, but everything was under control. Locals didn’t even bat an eyelash.

Everyone has been so friendly as we get settled into our new home. We’ve already met some great people and they’ve all welcomed us in with open arms. Cashiers are even friendly here! That may sound like a given, but anyone who lives in NYC will appreciate how much you can miss good customer service on a daily basis.

We miss our friends and family back in New York terribly, but Facetime and Skype and good old-fashioned phone calls have been a lifesaver in the last two months. I’ve never lived away from my family, so this is very hard, but I’m glad we made the leap and made a change. New York City just wasn’t where we wanted to be anymore. Stay tuned, because I’ll probably share more details about the move and Montana Life in the coming months. Someone told me that she can’t wait to read my fish-out-of-water blog posts, but it turns out I haven’t been too much out of place at all!

Anyway, I can’t wait to get some reviews up. There hasn’t been a whole lot of reading in the last two months, but I do have some books that had been on the back-log when I was in New York, and I’m excited to share those with you. I’ll just tell you right now, if you haven’t read David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing, get on it. Right now. More on that to come.

I’m also, understandably, no longer a publishing insider, since the publishing industry is heavily centered in NYC. That was also a hard decision to make, but I’m so excited to be branching out, venturing into uncharted territories, and finding new ways to connect to books and fellow book-lovers. I’m still going to stick with my mission statement, where I give you full disclosure about whether or not a book I review was given to me for free. I believe transparency is important, and I remain as committed to it as ever.

Again, apologies for the long sabbatical.

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