Thursday, August 26, 2010

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in California anymore...

The signs I knew I was not in orange county anymore:
  • There was a tornado shelter in the Denver airport.
  • Huge bat's nest outside my window, and one got into the house one night.
  • Eating pancakes one morning, I looked down and there was a spider crawling across that plate. "Was that IN your pancake?" Hillary asked.
  • Bears and mountain lions roaming the yard
I went with the Williams on their annual family reunion trip. Two years ago I went with them to Chama, New Mexico, this time we are at Eagle Eye Ranch in Granby, Colorado. It is a huge 100-year old ranch house (the website does not even do it justice) with three floors and more beds than I can count. just one room alone on the third floor there were 10 beds (5 bunk beds).
It was a fun trip. Gorgeous area, only my second time in Colorado, the first just passing through on a train but didn't spend any time there. The 5 days were filled with hikes, relaxing, trips into the local towns, card playing, snapping pictures left and right, trip to the local hotsprings and playing with the caretaker's three dogs- Gonzo the basset hound, Ivy the Husky, Bentley the American Bulldog, and Tyler & Hillary's dog Bodhi.
{Highlights of the trip}
On the flight to Denver, I wanted some kind of ice pack for my back, so I brought a ziplock bag, and filled it with ice from the airport Starbucks. About halfway into the flight my leg felt strange and realized the entire bag of ice had melted and completely leaked out. My jeans, seat and back pillow were all soaking wet and I had to sit like that for the remainder of the flight. Luckily I was wearing dark jeans so it didn't look like I completely peed myself.

The caretaker had warned us not to go outside alone at dawn or dusk because there had been bear and mountain lion sitings. The first morning we went outside and there was a big bear print on Tyler's car, but luckily it didn't try to break in!!

I went on a hike, a 2.5 mile hike. Yes, ME! I paid for it later bigtime, I think I am STILL not back to my baseline of pain. But that being said, it was really fun and I am glad I went! Beautiful hike with a really cool abandoned and dilapidated house, a wild raspberry bush, wildflowers, wild mushrooms....
We were able to fill a ziplock bag with the raspberries on the hike. We ate them for dessert with vanilla ice cream and they were so sweet and fresh and amazing!
Tyler and Hillary made a killlllller dinner on their night: chicken posole, sweet potato fries, and spinach salad. Absolutely delicious!
Granby is about 2 hours away from Denver (above is the downtown Denver skyline). To break up the driving and flying time for me & my awesome back, we spent the last night in Denver and flew home the next day.
So on Monday night we went into downtown Denver and explored the 16th street mall. Its a 1.25 mile long stretch of restaurants, shops, and street performers, we saw a lot of musicians. It was a cute little area and fun to explore, my favorite part was the pianos. The city rolled out nearly a dozen pianos painted by local artists in the midst of the 16 blocks of the outdoor area. Anyone is free to just plop down and play away on the pianos, and we saw quite a few of them occupied-so cool!
Dodging bears, hiking through Colorado, learning how to build a fire....I kind of like Colorado Chelsea!
♥ ♥ ♥

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