Nice, easy start to day 3 set the tone for the drive to Great Falls, Montana where our 3rd gig awaited us at Mighty Mo’s Brewing Co. We woke up to a cool breeze, birds singing and a super kind coffee stand lady who made Rudy a delicious peach/strawberry smoothie. Cruising into middle Montana with the sunshine, laughter, fresh faces, we were all pretty well stocked on joy! Our breakfast was some granola and mini oranges, which I had lined all up in a row for Jared to access easily. He said, “I want to drink my coffee, eat an orange AND make this right turn all at once, but I can only do one.” So, he chose the right turn. As he turned, an orange rolled off it’s perch, down to his feet and he almost spilled his coffee! Without missing a beat, we looked at each other and said, “Should’a chose the orange!” A good lesson for prioritizing, and I’m certain the phrase will become a Fredeen classic.

Today’s musical selections sung by the 4-year-old included tunes like “Another one Bites the dust”, “Bad” (Michael Jackson, not U2), “Kalamazoo” (Primus), “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”, and “Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang” (Silver) … never a dull moment!

The View:

To be honest, I was sort of beginning to think Montana was just like a bit more rural Washington until this day’s drive. I honestly can do no justice in the description of the place, or how many times Jared and I said, “Damn…look at that!”, or how much of the drive was spent just gaping in wonder at the scenery, but I can ruin it all with a wildly inappropriate, yet totally accurate quote from our esteemed college, Rudyard.

“Isn’t this place beautiful Rudy? Do you know who is from Montana?”

“No. Who?”

“Our friend, JR.”

“Oh. That’s great! I’m gonna poop my pants!”

Us too, buddy…us too.

Great Falls:

A delightful town in mid Montana with a bunch of waterfalls (great ones, I’ve heard…) that we’ll visit tomorrow on our day off. Some locals told us that Lewis and Clark actually couldn’t make it through the area, as they found it impassable and fraught with dangers, leading the town to proudly proclaim that “Great Falls is so rugged, Lewis and Clark had to go around it.” After checking out the venue, Mighty Mo Brewing Company, we pulled into the Econolodge to check in and stretch. Super friendly staff and seconds from our venue it was just what we needed to refresh ourselves, jump on beds, clean up, cool off and head back to the venue.

The Show:

Wow! Super well received. The crowd grew and grew and by the end we had a packed house, full of new fans buying music, t-shirts, download cards, towels, checking out our schedule to commit to seeing us upon our return to Great Falls at a different venue, and then getting booked again for the same venue when we head back! Really cool vibe. Wonderful people.

The Girl:

So, when we got to the venue, Rudy immediately spotted some kids playing the arcade-style driving and shooting games near the bar and locked onto them without prompting. We set up and he was back at the table, on his iPad almost immediately. He let me know the kids were “ok”, but he’d wait for his dad to play the games with. There were several kids there, but he didn’t seem interested, until “she” walked in. A six -year-old Montana darling, with dimples, hair like draping caramel, and sparkly gold shoes. Clutching her Minnie Mouse doll and her art box and paper, she led her family right to the front table, put her things down, and locked eyes with me for the majority of the set. My son leapt (literally) into action. Because I was singing, I couldn’t hear the exchange, but as he approached her, her face looked apprehensive. He said something clever I’m sure, she laughed, he pulled his headphones back, she leaned in and (I assume) said her name (which, we found out later, was Brooklyn), he put his foot up on a chair casually and offered her a cheese stick. She declined and he stuffed the whole thing in his mouth (probably still starving from the actions of the quesadilla-stealing granny the night before) and, before the set was through, Minnie Mouse and Darth Vader were locked into a battle of epic proportions! Rudy caught on immediately that if he let Minnie pummel Darth, Brooklyn laughed, the dimples came out and everything was right in the world…

He told me he was going to her house and she was going to come to our house. Then he dared her to eat a spicy pepper, and she screamed laughing and ran off.

After our show was over, they chased and giggled a bit longer, ended in a sweet embrace and said goodbye. I was so proud of what a kind, funny, lovely little man we have. I was sort of thinking this to myself and looking at him when he caught my eye, smiled a little mischievously, looked up at me and said, “Mom, someday I want to be the Fart King like Dad.” (Jared here: This is ironic, because in this family, that crown belongs to another) …

The Wrap:

Back at the hotel, Jared got actual work done while Rudy and I had Wrestle-Mania 2018 on the bed. Jared had to tell us both to be quiet several times…what? It was Rudy’s fault! Hahaha! Anyway, we settled down soon and Jared said we were both snoring before the lights were even out. The blog is up and running now and we’re 3 Days into our “Smile Tour”. Can’t wait for the rest!!

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