Lacey and I flew out to Bozeman, Montana this weekend to visit Antonia for her birthday. (And in the process, met Keri, another visiting friend who, it turns out, lives just a few blocks from me.)
I must admit that I was moderately terrified of leaving comfy California for somewhere with highs that barely cross freezing temperature. But it turned out to be not too bad. Going to the Norris hot springs at night was quite a contrast, though. It's very daunting to change into a bathing suit in 20° weather and make the scurry over to the warm water. (Which you want to go into slowly because of the dramatic temperature change, but also quickly to get out of the cold.) Then your body gets all cozy but your head is sticking out in the freezing air. Golly. But the core warmth stays with you for a while afterwards, which is really nice.
We spent a lot of time in the kitchen over the weekend. In addition to actual meals, we made oatmeal raisin cookies, brownie bites, an apple pie, several lemon cheesecakes, and perhaps other stuff I've forgotten already. Most of these were snacks for Sunday's event. Oh, and Antonia has the most wonderful gigantic drawer of tea. It's an absolute delight to behold and sample from.
On Sunday night we had the "excuse" for the whole visit: Bozeman's first ever Waltz Night. Antonia has always liked Friday Night Waltz out here in the Bay Area, and has been wanting to take the concept out to Montana for a long time. So she organized it all and I agreed to help by teaching a cross-step waltz lesson and DJing.
It was a very satsifyingly successful dance. Not a huge group for what I'm used to, but for a smaller town and a brand-new event, it was very good. We had contra dancers and tango dancers and ballroom dancers all show up, and we did the usual FNW sort of mix of dances, plus a contra and a circle mixer. The last waltz was fun, too, since we developed an amoeba of about 9 or 10 people that found several amusing ways to all dance with Antonia at once. A lot of folks thanked us for running it and seemed very happy about it overall, which made us all glad.
After the dance, we had a celebratory late night "dinner," which in my case consisted mostly of ice cream and cheesecake. Which didn't help me sleep much last night. Which in turn made it harder to get up at 5AM for the plane flight this morning. So I'm probably going to go to bed soon....