Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 21, Oakland - Helena

July 21, Oakland - Helena

Quote of the day:
I am fully committed to Hannah Montana. It's what gave me this amazing opportunity to reach out to so many people. I'm really excited about our new season. We are making great new episodes that I can't wait for our fans to see and I'm looking forward to the "Hannah Montana" movie that will be out in the spring.

Pics: Helena International Airport, THB and DB go back in time, the hotel fitness center, kilns in the backyard (can you make pizza in them too?), Archie (Sarah’s wheaton terrier), the local mosque turned into Civic Center (the main tower at twilight)

The beginning of another Oakland Art Museum Trip. We arrive early afternoon at what is one of the smaller capital airports. We were here in Helena as a family in 2003, spending a week on a Habitat build. The town is quite a bit more “modern” now, and we are staying in a reasonably new hotel/conference center, meaning it is new because it wasn’t here in 2003. We did find one of our more interesting diners, the No Sweat CafĂ©, where we decide to have eggs and hash browns for lunch. Next time we’ll come early and have the whole wheat pancakes, something we remember as being way better than average. Two lunches and one ice tea: $17.50.

No longer in town: the organic market with good to-go items. Now a carpeteria.

We find out that one of our party has a car, and after several false attempts, we eventually find the house. Now, when I say we found the house, when were doing the build, we did foundation and framing. Ain’t no way to understand what the house looked liked, unless you ask me some questions about the plywood sheeting I pounded with thousands of nails to build up the pre-flooring.

We think this is the place, because a) it felt right b) it seemed to have the right view c) we didn’t dare ask our co-tourers to spend any more time dragging all over Helena until we got it absolutely right.

Back to the hotel for a workout, then re-join the group for our first outing, a visit to the house and studio of Sarah Yeager, a well-known local ceramicist that start out training at Archie Bray (more coming on the Bray in later reports), decided to stay and has been here for 25 years. We buy a cup, hopefully the first of several on this trip.

Dinner next to the hotel at the Silverstar, a steak place. Group meal, and it is clear that the restaurant can’t really handle a party of 30 with one waiter. The salmon (as 20+ report) was overcooked. I order rare prime rib; BINGO!! This one the restaurant gets right. Lots of choices on desserts, the fave turns out to be the brownie and vanilla ice cream. I have a local brew, pretty good, and DB has white wine.

We decide to take a walk afterwards, around 9:15 local time; it is gorgeous out! The daytime temp was around mid-to-high 70s, now it is in the mid-60s.

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