Archive for August, 2011

Colorado!

We arrived at Avon, where Karen and her husband Jon live.  Avon is a suburb of Vail and is a beautiful town!

Avon, Colorado

View from Karen & Jon's apartment

Jon & Karen, dinner on the deck

After dinner we walked down to the park to watch a “Dunk and Dash” race.  The contestants swam a course in the lake and then ran around it.  Guess who was one of the racers?  None other than Ryan Sutter from the Bachelorette.  Trista and the kids were there also.  Even though I don’t watch the show it was pretty cool to see them!

Ryan & Trista Sutter

The next day we drove up to Beaver Creek, one of the many ski resorts in the area.

Beaver Creek Resort

Beaver Creek ski area

LOVED this statue. So cute! See the arrow?

And after driving around looking at all the multi-million dollar houses…

Just one of many beautiful homes in Vail

We went to a concert.  It was one of the “Hot Summer Nights” free concerts series that’s held every Tuesday night in Vail.  The group was called Great Big Sea, a folk rock group from Newfoundland.  They were great and we had another fun, fun night!

Great Big Sea concert

Next post – Aspen

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August 31, 2011 at 6:18 pm Leave a comment

Colorado!

Colorado – RMNP to Vail

It was now time to head out towards Karens house in Avon, a suberb of Vail.  What a fun trip getting there!  The first amazing thing we came across was St. Malo Church or as it’s known “The Chapel on the Rocks”.  One August night in 1916 Msgr. Joseph J. Bosetti saw a fiery meteor fall from the sky. An avid mountaineer and, at the time, a young assistant pastor at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Msgr. Bosetti later related that the meteor seemed to fall into the aspen and pine-covered forests at the foot of Mount Meeker.  He never found the meteor, but at dawn, did discover an impressive lichen-covered rock formation. Bosetti regarded this as a message from heaven and vowed to build a chapel on the site.

In 1993, Pope John Paul II stayed at Saint Malo during his World Youth Day visit to Denver.  Today, Camp Saint Malo Catholic Retreat, Conference & Spiritual Center is under the care of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, and provides a religious and spiritual place for all denominations.

St Malo Church

We saw more wildlife along the way.

And then we came to Nederland, an eclectic little town tucked in the Rockies near the continental divide.    The Town of Nederland was established in 1885. It started as a trading post between Ute Indians and European Settlers during the 1850s. The first economic boom to the town came when gold, silver, & tungsten ore were discovered near the rich mines of Caribou in 1859 and Eldora, CO in 1875.  Today it is better known as a gateway to all the outdoor recreation the Rockies has to offer.

Next stop was at Central City.  There is so much history in all these towns along this route.  In 1859 gold was discovered in a gulch near Central City which started its’ growing boom.  Within two weeks it had grown to over 10,000.  The grand opening of the Opera House in 1878 started a tradition of community theatre, ranging from opera to vaudeville. Buffalo Bill performed there as well at P. T. Barnum’s circus.  We watched people lining up to see a show while we were there.

Central City

Old jail turned art gallery

Today, people try to find their fortunes in all the casinos that are throughout the town.  We stopped into the Easy Street Casino to have lunch at Millie’s Restaurant.  We had to stop and put a few coins in the slot machines.  Can you believe it?  These slot machines still give out REAL coins!  I love it!  The local church group was there having lunch in full costume to commemorate something?  I can’t remember what but it was fun seeing them.

Millie's Restaurant

Next stop was The Peck House restaurant and hotel in Empire.  Established in 1862 this is the oldest hotel in Colorado.    Gold and silver mines abounded between 1858 & 1865, and many Easterners came here to stake a claim. Among them were James Peck and his 3 teenage sons. They came in 1860 to build their house so the other family members might follow. In 1862, Mary Peck brought the family goods by oxcart and joined her family.  By 1873 the inn became a booming business.  The Lake Michigan Ship’s bell over the door was rung 3 times a day to call the men around town to dinner.   Many of the antiques used throughout the hotel today came by that oxcart with Mary Peck.

The Peck House

As we were driving along, I said if we were to see a mountain sheep now it would make our trip complete.  Low and behold, there they were along the roadway!  The Colorado state animal, the Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep!

Rocky Mountain sheep

Next post – Vail

August 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm Leave a comment

Colorado!

Colorado – Rocky Mountain National Park

Wow, the Rocky Mountain National Park was absolutely breathtaking!  We first drove along the Bear Lake Road to the shuttle parking lot.  I definitely recommend taking the shuttle.  It runs about every 10 to 15 minutes up to Bear Lake making stops at several trailheads along the way.  When we arrived at Bear Lake we took the easy walk around the lake.

Bear Lake

Karen on the trail

Next we took the not quite as easy but well worth it hike up to Alberta Falls.

Beautiful trail

Ran into snow!

Wild flowers!

The other hikers got quite a kick out of a squirrel REALLY wanting Karen to share her granola bar with him.

Gimme some granola, PLEASE!

We met many people along the way up to see the falls.  Once we got there I understood why.  What a beautiful spot!

The beautiful Alberta Falls

We made it!

We had lunch at Moraine park Museum at a picnic table as we watched deer wandering around.

Deer grazing by out picnic spot

And traveled along the Old Fall River Road spotting elk along the way

What a wonderful glimpse of this majestic  park!

Next post – Drive from RMNP to Vail

August 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

Colorado!

Colorado trip – Estes Park

We next drove to beautiful Estes Park just outside of Rocky Mt. National Park with its flower lined streets, a  creek running through town, elk and deer wandering through front yards, lots and lots of funky shops and of course the famous Stanley Hotel.  We had the best time wandering around this cute little town!

Beautiful flowers everywhere

Elk walking around in yards!

Magnificent Stanley Hotel

Of course we had to stay a night in the magnificent Stanley Hotel.  It was built by Freelan Stanley, co-founder of the Stanley Steamer automobile.  The hotel opened on July 4, 1909, catering to the rich and famous, including the Titanic survivor Margaret Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theadore Toosevelt, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and a variety of Hollywood personalities.

Steven King wrote “The Shining” after staying in the hotel and hearing that it was haunted.  Rumor has it that ghosts apparently frequent room 217, the ballroom and upstairs on the 4th floor.  We didn’t hear or see any signs of them while
we were there but a friend of Karen’s informed her that during her stay she heard children playing up on the fourth floor at around 11 in the evening.  The fourth floor was closed during this time and when she questioned the proprietors about it they explained that the children ghosts can be heard quite often.   We did watch a bit of “The Shining” on TV while we were there.  There’s a channel that shows it 24/7 at the hotel.

Stanley Hotel lobby

And having drinks on the front porch was delightful!  It kind of made me feel like we were stepping
back in time.

Enjoying drinks at the Stanley!

Next post – Rocky Mountain National Park!

August 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm Leave a comment

Colorado!

Colorado trip – Denver

This July I flew to Colorado to visit my friend Karen.  Karen and I met several years ago when we both decided to partake in a new venture and work in Alaska.  She was from Georgia and I from Washington state.  She and I became instant friends, along with several other women around our age who ended up working for Princess cruises that year.

We have kept in touch over the years and since she just recently moved to the Vail area and I had never even been to Colorado I couldn’t resist going to visit her.

Karen met me at the airport as Denver greeted me in a huge downpour.  We managed to make it to our motel, the drive taking three hours instead of the one it should have.  It didn’t matter; we had lots to catch up on.

Now that's what I call RAINING!

We went to the White Fence Farm for dinner. I had heard about this restaurant and told Karen we just HAD to go there.  She’s actually getting pretty used to me saying that because everywhere I go it seems I find places I just HAVE to go to.  She’s a good sport about it and just takes me.  We had a delicious fried chicken dinner (their specialty) and afterwards moved over to the “front porch” to listen to a blue grass jam session.  It was a fun evening.

White Fence Farm

Cluck cluck

Yum!

hee-haw!

The next day we went into downtown Denver to the 16th  Street mall.  We walked along the shops and restaurants then rode the bus to the beautiful old train station that was  being renovated.

16th Street Mall in Denver

Denver's Union Station

Karen in the old Union Station

Next stop was to the Buckhorn Exchange for lunch.  Another place I HAD to go to because it’s the  oldest restaurant in Denver.  Their specialty was their pot roast so Karen and I shared a sandwich.  It definitely didn’t disappoint us.  We sat in overstuffed chairs and “enjoyed”  looking at all the stuffed animals on the walls – yikes!  Upstairs was a great old bar and parlor.

Oldest restaurant in Denver

Is that deer looking at me???

Beautiful Parlor upstairs

Next post – Estes Park

August 15, 2011 at 1:07 am Leave a comment

My baby is having a baby!

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned that my beautiful daughter Heather and her husband Joe are having a baby.  This last year has been a whirlwind in their lives.  It hasn’t been a year ago that I was at their beautiful wedding.

A special moment before the ceremony

The beautiful bride and her handsome husband

Not long after the wedding they announced that they were going to have a baby!

We're having a baby!

They soon found out that the little bundle was going to be a boy!

It's a boy!

Between now and then they have moved to a bigger apartment and bought a car big enough to carry the whole family including their fur kids Ava & Jackson.

Jackson & Ava

They set up the nursery,

Babys bed

Toured the Birthing Center, got the car seat inspected at the police station, chose a pediatrician, and made practice runs to the
hospital.  They have the bag packed & ready to take to the hospital and are ready to welcome their new son to the family.

Any day now!

It’s hard for me to take this all in within just one short year.  Time goes by so fast, it seems like it was only yesterday that I was bringing my baby girl home from the hospital, and now she will be bringing her baby home.  I know my daughter is the happiest woman alive right now, just as I was 30 some years ago, and I know that she and her husband are going to be great
parents!  I can’t wait until my third grandchild comes into this world.  It won’t be long now…I’ll keep you posted!

August 11, 2011 at 5:58 am 1 comment

Get Your Pet Ready for the Road!

Get Your Pet Ready for the Road!

By Maggie Marton  (Zootoo.com)

Check out these helpful hints for traveling by car this summer with your pet.

Hitting the road for a family vacation this summer? Bring your dog! Taking your pup on a road trip can be enjoyable for
everyone — especially your dog — as long as you plan ahead. Amy Burkert is traveling the country with her husband and their two dogs. The couple founded GoPetFriendly.com, a site dedicated to making pet-friendly travel easier. Here, she shares some helpful tips to ensure you and your dog are road-trip ready.

Warm Up

Practice the behaviors your dog will need to have fun on vacation. Eat with him on the patio of a local dog-friendly restaurant so that he’s prepared for eating on the road. Bring lots of treats and reinforce good behavior. And if you purchase anything new for the trip — a crate, travel bed, bowls, etc. — give your dog time to explore the new items before departing.

Take Care

Burkert recommends getting a health exam before you hit the road. “Make a visit to your vet for a check-up, to confirm all
vaccinations are up-to-date, and to discuss any possible concerns about flea, tick, or heartworm risks where you will be traveling,” she advises. “It is also a great idea to discuss possible remedies for car sickness, diarrhea, and restlessness — just in case.” And don’t forget to pack your pet’s medications, vitamins, or supplements.

Be Safe

“Most of us can’t imagine driving anywhere without our seat belt, and our pets should have the same level of safety. Crates, carriers, or car harnesses will protect them from injury in case of an accident, and will allow you to open the doors without worrying they might slip out,” says Burkert. She also suggests having your pet microchipped or, if he’s already chipped, updating the contact information.

“It would be a nightmare, but pets do become separated from their people while traveling. Shelters, animal hospitals,
veterinary clinics, and humane societies have scanners that read the chips so they can notify you of your pet’s recovery.” Bring a current photo of your pet in case you get separated, and make sure your cell phone number is on his ID tag.

Get the Gear

Bring plenty of food and treats, bowls, your dog’s leash and collar, and a bed or crate. Pack a copy of your pet’s vet records, including his rabies certificate. Burkert suggests that owners consider bringing other gear like drinking water. “If your pet’s stomach is easily upset, it pays to take drinking water from home with you.” Stash these additional items in a tote to round out your pet’s gear: paper towels, an old towel, toys, plastic bags to pick up after him along the way, a first aid kit, pet insect repellent, and sunscreen.

Have Fun!

Enjoy the journey, and be sure to take a lot of pictures. Burkert says, “Most pets love being with you more than anything else. Having new places to explore and smells to sniff is icing on the cake.”

August 7, 2011 at 4:55 am Leave a comment