Helena is the destination I decided on before I left Whitefish…it was southeast of Whitefish and I wanted to make sure I would be heading towards Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. It was about a 3.5 hour drive so I didn’t go out of my way much heading there. I saw a lot, I just didn’t stop a lot.
I got to the hotel – Doubletree Helena – settled in and went to their restaurant…The Bella Rosa. Got to say, good food but snobby attitude for a restaurant attached to a hotel. My room was near the elevator…since I am a Diamond member of Hilton Honors I have noted my preference to be near an elevator but rarely is it honored. Well, these guys honored it…put me right on a double elevator shaft. The regular elevator and an express elevator. Every time someone took the express elevator it sounded like a 747 was taking off!!! It kept me up the first night but I slept through it the second night. Moving on….
I really liked the view out of my window, strangely the hotel was already starting to decorate for Christmas and it was only December 20th, and I did go for the food/wine pairing dinner and every course was fantastic. Time to call it a night!
Helena is a great walking city and my hotel was located in a beautiful part of the city so I decided to brave it and walk to enjoy the city rather than drive, hopping in & out of my car. If I remember correctly I walked about 4 miles today which is a lot for me but there were benches all over so sit and relax my aching hip and it was in the mid-60’s so it was a perfect day. Off I went!….
These are the spires at the top of the Cathedral of Saint Helena…I have other pictures of the church but the spires were what I saw off in the distance coming into the city.
After walking around the city for a few hours I headed back toward the hotel and stopped at a wine bar – THE HAWTHORN BOTTLE SHOP & TASTING ROOM – for a quick bite, a glass of wine and some people watching. This was a restful hour but I had done something I rarely do when I am traveling…I used my Open Table app and made a reservation for dinner at The Highlander Bar & Grille and it was time to go back to the hotel and shower for dinner. The Highlander was a little difficult to find. I called once and was given weird directions….turned out I called the wrong place. I looked it up again and called and it turned out I was there…the restaurant looked like someone’s house…because it was! The ladies who welcomed me were so hospitable I said I felt like I was welcomed to someone’s home as a guest and they said I was…it was their home turned into a restaurant. They gave me the option of sitting in the dining room or at the bar. I was the only guest and they were not expecting anyone else. A whole restaurant to myself! Food was good, conversation was wonderful…an overall great experience and…deer wandered onto the property while I was eating dinner so I got to go out and take some pictures. Can’t ask for a much better dinner experience! For dinner I had the appetizer special – Meatballs with a Cognac Sauce – a Caesar Salad and Seafood Alfredo. I couldn’t eat even half of the Alfredo but it was worth it to have those amazing meatballs!
On the way to and from the restaurant there was a lake – Shannon Lake – that the full moon was shining down on and sunset was nearing.
Tomorrow I head towards Yellowstone!! Can’t wait to get there and explore. A friend of mine had been here not long before…I had been hoping we could meet up when I went through Montana on the way out to Seattle but my route didn’t come close to her at the time. I had seen some of her pictures and was looking forward to exploring! Be sure to come back for the adventure. If you have never been to Yellowstone you have something to look forward to seeing!
“When was the last time you did something for the first time?”
– John C. Maxwell