Sunday, June 26, 2011

Coming Home...

Ah, sad day.  Time to head home.

We had our farewell breakfast with everyone this morning - lots of hugs and "See ya in two years!"  I hope so - I really do!

Then, Mom and Dad and Mike and I crammed into their little car and began the drive back to Denver.  We took a couple of side roads...  Driving through Loveland Pass (there were still skiers at Arapahoe Basin!), driving through Red Rocks, and through the towns of Evergreen and Morrison...  A beautiful drive.
(You can't see the specks in this picture...  But there are skiers on that mountain!)
(Arapahoe Basin - slopes are open!)
(Lunch in the town of Morrison, near Red Rocks.  Beso Latina - best sweet potato fries EVER!)

Then, to the airport we went.  Once again, an uneventful trip home.  And since all went smoothly, we drove out to my parents' house to pick up our dog first thing.  Wow, was she excited!

We got home around 10:30pm...  The house was quiet and a nice breeze was coming in.  As I crawled into bed, I have to admit, it was very nice to be home...

But I may be dreaming of Colorado for awhile...

Things I am thankful for today:

1.  Safe travel.
2.  Beautiful places.
3.  Looking forward to the nest reunion!
4.  A chat with my sister, on the phone, at the airport.
5.  Pictures of my grandparents when they were younger than I am now - very fun!
6.  So many interesting people in our family...
7.  Brainstorming possibilities for our next vacation...
8.  Picking up our dog - lots of kisses!
9.  Kayla's surprised text at what we paid her...  Kind of fun.
10.  Crawling into our own bed with clean sheets...  So nice to be home!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

At the Ranch

Day four!

Uffda.  Sleeping in a bit was a must today - but so worth it!

We started the day with breakfast at the condo - with Mom, Dad, cousin David, and his wife Nancy (they're our roomies for the week!).  It was a relaxing, unrushed kind of morning.

Then, while Mom went out with some of the other ladies, Dad and Hubby and I headed into Vail for the day.  What a unique place!  The streets of Vail Village and Lionshead look like little villages in Switzerland!  So cute and quaint - full of upscale shops and art galleries, and cafes on every corner. 

We managed to take a gondola ride to the top of the mountain - a fun spot with lots of activities for kids!  Rock-climbing, trampolines, slack-lining, bean bag games, pony rides, etc.  A nice patio and restaurant, and great photo opps!  We played for a while, then took the gondola back down the mountain into Lionshead for an art fair.
(The hubby was missing the Jimmy Buffet concert with his sisters this weekend.  So he sent this picture to them, with the caption "Fins up from Colorado!")
(Yes, Mike gets comments on that shirt everywhere we go...  Too funny!)
(Show off!)
(Can you see the little dot at the top of this picture?  That would be a snowball.  Something just isn't right about getting snowballs thrown at you on your summer vacation...)

We enjoyed walking through the artist tents (I found one artist I would LOVE to own something by...   But alas, I don't think I could ever afford it...).  We also found the "maypole" displayed on one of the streets of Lionshead - a colorful, playful, whimsical maypole - commissioned by one of my artist relatives!  (Chris Huck's wife, Laurie.)  So cool!

By this time, our stomach's were growling...  So we headed back into Vail Village and found a little cafe tucked in a little riverside spot...  Sapphire, I think, was what it was called.  Great tuna steak sandwiches!

Once again, we headed back to the condo - and I took a nap.  The sun is intense up here! 

Our evening event tonight was at 4 Eagle Ranch - awesome.  We headed out to the country to a ranch that has been in operation for decades - with all kinds of animals!  Horses, cows, a buffalo, llamas, goats, prairie dogs, chickens, etc.  Too fun!  We got a wagon ride around the property with "Tink" as our storyteller and driver - hilarious!
(A wagon-full of Hucks!)
(And MORE Hucks!)

Then we headed back to the buildings for dinner, country western dancing, cattle-roping practice, campfires, smores, and more visiting.  It was picturesque and a wonderful place to have a little fun.
(I could handle this view from my porch...)
(Little Owen...  too cute!)
(Cousin Alex - he planned and organized this reunion with the help of his wife and kids.  Awesome!)
(Alex's wife, Pat, blushing as we all sing 'Happy Birthday!')
(A little country western dancing.)
(Such serious conversations...)
(Larry - this guy makes everyone laugh.)
(Ha ha ha.  Jenny doesn't look too sure of Mike's marshmallow-roasting ability...)
(But I can attest - he's a great marshmallow roaster!)
(Apparently, it runs in the family - look at Brian's perfectly roasted marshmallow!)
(Little Owen was "roping" his dad in the yard - very joyful giggles coming from that little game!)

And the sunset was spectacular!

Once back at the condo, the hubby and I went for a late night walk...  The stars are amazing here!

I'm realizing we're going home tomorrow... and don't want our vacation to end.  Not yet.

Things I am thankful for:

1.  Humidifiers.
2.  Art - it brightens the world.
3.  Sidewalk cafes on sunny days.
4.  Watching dogs playing in the river.
5.  Kayla - for taking care of my dog!
6.  Little kids in overalls.
7.  "Tink" - I bet he has a fascinating story!
8.  Mac and cheese.
9.  Campfires.
10.  Starry nights.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Day Three of our Colorado vacation!

Our big adventure for today was a visit to Sylvan Lake State Park.  Can I just say - Stunningly beautiful?!  It's tucked back on gravel roads a few miles from the town of Eagle...  It must be just far enough in that many people don't know about it, because there certainly weren't many people there - which made for the perfect spot for our Reunion Picnic!

We had a pretty little lake, surrounded by mountains - all to ourselves!  So 55 of us had our picnic lunches, hiked around the lake, did a little canoing and kayaking, and just enjoyed the day!
(Mom and Dad)
(Alex, Josh, and Owen)
(Owen, Pat, Kathy, and Jenny)
(Jason - the camera man)
(Dad, the canoe master)

Later, we all went back to the condos for an afternoon rest - all that dry air and warm sun can wear a girl out!

And in the evening, we had an informal dinner at another cousin's condo...  Moe's BBQ catered the dinner - YUM!  Generations were looking at pictures of reunions gone by, young adults were getting to know one another, little kids running around and playing...  More laughter and stories.  So fun!

And yes, later that evening, some of us younger cousins went down into town for a little mischievious fun.  Finnegan's Wake Pub was the place to be - a bit of a rough, local hangout - but fun nonetheless!  A few beers, a round of Irish car bombs, some bean bag tossing...  Way too many laughs for people who basically just met - but oh so fun!  Good stories for future reunions...  That's for sure!
(Dan, Ryan, and Brendan - I'm pretty sure they are the reason the next picture happened...)
(Irish car bombs...)
(Jason and his new bride, Ginna)
(Ginna and Josh.  Josh is my new best friend.  For those of you who knew me growing up - He's visited the Gorilla sanctuary in Rwanda!!!!  Crazy.)

Things I am thankful for today:

1.  Loving life.
2.  Hiking the small, pretty lake.
3.  Mule deer - so dopey looking!
4.  Sunny days.
5.  Canoing with my dad - I think for the first time!
6.  Mike and I figuring out the kayak - and then making progress.
7.  A nice, long nap.
8.  Larry's mischievious stories.
9.  A fun night out.
10.  2am bedtime - had to have at least one of these on vacation!
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