Day Seventeen

Trip Start Aug 06, 2010
Trip End Aug 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
Collins Mansion B&B

Flag of United States  , Montana
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We had breakfast at the B&B, which was pretty good.  Met an American couple from Ohio.  Nice folk with lots of questions on Canada and health care, politics, landscape, weather, and whether Newfoundland and Labrador are two separate provinces.  :)

Since it was going to be a hot day (+35C), we would hit the Charlie Russell Museum first and save the hottest part of the day for the air-conditioned malls.  The museum is huge.  Charlie is a very prolific artist, and would imagine that he had completed one piece (painting, wax / clay figurine, etc) of art in every day of this career.  We spent about 3 hours in the museum and didn't dwell on a lot of his stuff.  I believe that Leo Mol followed in Charlie's footsteps with his water painting and sculpture work.  Nikki loved all of his work and the cowgirl in her appreciated the western themes, whereas I enjoyed his landscapes more than the rest.

The museum also included his studio and home, and his home which was built in 1903 for $800 is larger than our house with 4 bedrooms and 1 1/2 bathrooms.  It was definitely an upper scale home for the era.  The studio was built about 10 years later, and when Charlie died the studio was kept in the same condition with all his pencils, brushes, stools, paints, etc that he used.  It is very very cool.

This is the only day we had on the trip that was dedicated to shopping, and its in Great Falls.  One would think that being the closest American city to Calgary and Edmonton that it would be a haven for shopping.  Yeah..... not really.  There is one mall that has a JC Penny and couple of smaller shops in the middle of the city, and there is small outlet mall that has a Barnes and Nobles, and a Old Navy.  Not really exciting.  I was hoping to see a Fry's Electronics or a Best Buy.  Oh well.  But we still completed our shopping for the most part.  No Nikon D90 for me :(

After shopping we still had tons of time to kill, so we hunted for the "great falls" of Great Falls.  No road to the big falls, but there was one set of falls that we could access which was dammed, and they promptly shut them off as we got there, so the view was not very impressive.  So much for the "great falls" of Great Falls.

Went to Jaker's for supper, and this would be our first steakhouse of the trip.  And the innkeeper said it was good, so off we go.  The wine list is good, but the menu has way too much seafood for Nkki's taste, but steak is Nikki safe.  The filet mignon was good, but was pan seared so it was fattier and lacked the BBQ taste that we both crave.  Had a couple of California wines that paired well with.

Time to get rid of another bottle of Californian wine tonight as we have 4.5L of wine and are only allowed 3L duty-free.  So, we'll have to pay duty on one of them if we drink one tonight.  Sucks to be us. :)  Bon voyage to the Buena Vista Pinot Noir.
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