Category Archives: Montana

Moving from Los Angeles to Montana. (Part 7 – Things I don’t miss because they’re here too.)

I did an entry listing things I miss about California, I also did an entry listing things I don’t miss. So here’s a list of things I don’t miss about California because Montana has them as well.

Billboards

Sort of. Los Angeles is pretty much a sea of traffic, billboards, and tall buildings. Here in western Montana, especially small cities like this one, there are minimal billboards to avoid blocking the view of the sky.

retna billboard

Seagulls & pigeons

It’s almost weird seeing seagulls here, I only saw them near the ocean, but they’re around Flathead Lake as well. Pigeons aren’t actually in my city, I think the hawks eat them all, but I see them in much bigger cities.

Pigeons

Trains

Farmer’s Markets

Sort of. The one here in town should really be called a craft fair, I’ve yet to see any actual food being sold, it’s more of an outdoor Etsy.

Panhandlers

Not in this city, but there’s plenty of people begging for change in Kalispell and Missoula. Usually claiming they need gas money or they’re a veteran in need, and it’s impossible to know who’s telling the truth.

Wildfires

Not that I’d ever miss those.

“Was that fireworks or gunshots?”

I now live in an open-carry state where fireworks are legal, so we play this game a lot.

Moving from Los Angeles to Montana. (Part 6 – Things I don’t miss about California.)

Tangles of powerlines.

This was always one of the things I hated most about L.A, all the cords overlapping. There are just so many. Now I live in a place without such a need for them, and a lot are underground anyway. I live at the top of a hill where the powerlines are underground, so I have an unobstructed view of Flathead Lake and most of the city itself.

The air quality.

I don’t need to expand on this, do I?

smog

The traffic.

I can’t imagine anyone who’s moved away misses the 405, or the way so many people don’t seem to know what a turn signal is, or the lack of compassion for anybody’s safety when quickly changing lanes.

Los Angeles Freeway Congestion

Los Angeles Freeway Congestion

In-N-Out Burger.

I don’t understand the hype! The burgers are nothing special and the fries are just god-awful. Terrible. Probably the worst I’ve ever had. I’m glad I can finally stop hearing about the place.

in-n-out

Forgetting which area code a phone number is in.

Los Angeles has four area codes. Four. In one single city. The state of California has almost three dozen area codes. It’s like, every couple of years some dude decides he doesn’t want the same area code as his enemy two blocks away, and bam, they get split into a new code. The entire state of Montana is only one dang area code. Granted, the entire state of Montana has about a fourth of the population as Los Angeles, but still.

Los_Angeles_area_codes

→ For previous entries in this series: [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5]

One year in Montana.

And just like that, my parents and I have lived here a year already. I can still remember feeling like we were only here on a long vacation, it took almost half the year before we finally felt like this was our home. Unfortunately, I still don’t quite feel like I fit in, like maybe I don’t belong, but it’s coming along. What I’ve dubbed as our “Los Angeles hoity-toityness” has faded, we’re not quite the princesses we’d been. We’ve changed so much over the past year, all for the better.

There’s still a lot I miss about where I used to live, but I’m glad we moved. I needed things to change, I needed new experiences and new adventures. There’s been so many firsts for me this year. Wild deer romp through my yard, owls hoot at night, I saw the Milky Way for the first time in my life, I get to see all sorts of interesting bugs I’d only seen pictures of, eagles fly right over me on a regular basis, the sky is breathtaking almost every single day, and I even made it through the worst heatwave Montana’s had in over 80 years and my first proper winter with minimal complaining. I took a huge chance moving to a state I’d never been to before, but it worked out in my favor.

I’d started to post a bunch of photos and videos, but if you’re really curious, just go check out my Instagram. It started to become a little too difficult trying to choose my favorites, I really do love it here.


Moving from Los Angeles to Montana. (Part 5 – Things I miss about California.)

I’ve been living in Montana for almost a year already. I think now is a good time to sit back and think of all the things I miss about California.

The food.

Carney’s on Sunset, Tito’s Tacos (and just proper Mexican food in general), Jack in the Box, and my homemade sushi. I’ve found a restaurant with amazing pancakes, but so far everything else has been too hit-or-miss. The only place I’ve found so far with an amazing cheeseburger is the A&W, and don’t get me started on how oddly disgusting most of the french fries are in this state, talk about hit-or-miss. I don’t know if it’s the change in altitude or if Montana prepares or cooks their food differently, but a lot of things here don’t taste the way they did in L.A.


The tourist traps.

Museums, the zoo, Disneyland, Hollywood, Santa Monica, to name a few. I hadn’t been to Disneyland in years already, so now that it’s no longer 40 minutes away, I miss it even more. Feeding the birds at Hollywood Forever Cemetery had always been so much fun, and people-watching in Hollywood and Santa Monica is always amazing. I knew I’d miss the Autry Museum, but the bright side to that is I now live in a place with actual cowboys.


Palm trees.

Before moving, I wondered if I’d miss them. They’re just all over the place in California. I miss them because they were always in my line of sight, and suddenly not having them anymore just feels strange.


Earthquakes.

I know. Weird thing to miss, right? Montana gets one every couple of years or so. I’ve yet to experience one here, and oddly miss the frequent baby ones we constantly dealt with in Los Angeles. It was always a game of “Was that an earthquake or a large vehicle driving past?”

Don’t get me wrong, I love my new home, but there’s a lot more I miss about California than I realized considering how unhappy I’d been the last five-or-so years before we moved. I figured I’d just miss the convenience of things more than I’d miss the things themselves. Despite everything I miss, I’m glad I moved. It’ll make me appreciate things more when I go back to visit!

→ For previous entries in this series: [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]

Moving from Los Angeles to Montana. (Part 4 – my Pinterest boards)

The first idea I had after my parents and I decided to move was to make Pinterest boards full of ideas and tips to help make our move as easy as possible. I ended up pinning some links I ended up not reading, and pinned tips I ended up not using. As a matter of fact, we never had a yard sale, so I didn’t look at anything I’d pinned in that board. So maybe this isn’t all great advice. Just the same, if you’re looking for more moving tips, here are my “holy crap I’m moving” Pinterest boards because some of it really was helpful for me.

Read more

Moving from Los Angeles to Montana. (Part 3 – advice)

This was my first time moving. Clearly, I am not an expert on moving. I do, however, consider myself to be a near-expert on over-preparing and not actually doing very much. I did so much research and yet did not budget my time correctly at all. Packing was a hilarious nightmare, I’d pack one or two boxes and then spend the rest of the day on the computer, usually doing more research. I ended up packing 30 boxes and did most of it in the final two days before moving, rushing like mad the night before.

I read a few blogs that gave some great advice, so I’d like to share my favorite tips as well as tell you what you should probably expect. It’s needless to say if you’ve moved at least once before, you’ll at least have a vague idea about all of this, but you can still laugh at my fiasco.

  • You will need more boxes and bubble wrap than you ever imagined.
  • You will need a comical amount of each, especially if you’re a family of 2+ people who has at least 20 years of crap that needs to be cleared or packed. (We’re a family of three who’d lived in the same house for 30 years.)

  • Say goodbye to your manicure.
  • Your cuticles are going to look like hell, your nails will end up short and jagged.

  • No matter what, you are going to leave things behind.
  • You’re going to be frazzled, it’s just going to happen.

  • If you’re moving with pets, don’t forget to research for that.
  • Have plenty of food and meds (if they need any) in case you can’t get to a store/vet for a couple of days. Look up pet-friendly hotels, don’t just think you can leave the animal in their crate in the car overnight.

  • If you hesitate or ask yourself if you want to toss/donate something, the answer is yes.
  • If you’re not sure about something, get rid of it. Don’t waste time making up your mind about something you obviously don’t love or can live without.

  • Sell the big stuff, donate the little stuff.
  • Instead of sitting on ebay for hours listing all your property and then dealing with that, have a yard sale for any expensive items and donate things like clothing and old toys. Losing out on a few dozen dollars is worth the time you save, even if you think you have a lot of time.

  • Try to avoid packing too many “junk/misc” boxes.
  • Label your boxes properly and don’t let yourself make more than one box labelled “miscellaneous” as you inevitably run out of time and patience. You’re just guaranteeing at least one situation where you’ll start unpacking a box and ask yourself “Why did I pack this?!”

  • Color code boxes for each room, and/or use a numbering system. Then keep a list with that info for move-in day.
  • You are definitely going to want to keep track of all your boxes somehow, this will make it so much easier to quickly make sure all your stuff made it off the moving truck and where you want it.

  • Pack books, clothing, & stuffed animals in a trash bag before putting them inside a box.
  • Everything will be safe from potential water damage, and you can pack more clothing in boxes with this trick since you can smoosh the bag down the get all the air out.


Packing up my toys and the box is practically nothing but dinosaurs.

A photo posted by Heatherface (@hthrfc) on

→ For previous entries in this series: [Part 1] [Part 2]