Monday, September 27, 2010

Ice blocking!

This weekend was a special weekend - Curtis (my brother) came to visit from Texas and he brought his girlfriend, Dache to visit with him! This is the first time that she has been able to meet the entire family and I certainly hope we haven’t scared her off!

On Saturday night we had a big family BBQ and afterwards the whole group of kids and significant others (Me, Dave, Curtis, Dache, Kelly, Erin and Zach) went Ice blocking. For those of you not familiar with this activity, you get some big blocks of ice, put a folded towel on top and then find a steep hill and slide down - like sledding without the snow! This is something that my siblings and I have done a few times before with youth group but this was the first time that Dave and Dache have attempted this, and they did really well!

I’m going to apologize ahead of time for the quality of these pictures - it was obviously dark outside and people were moving down the hill pretty fast!

Downhill Everyone went down on their own

Couples Then we went down in pairs

Fun Poses We even tried going down in funny poses!


Despite some bumps and bruises from falling off the ice blocks or hitting divots in the ground and flying off the ice we all had a great time hanging out and sliding down the hill. Leave it to us to go ice blocking at 10:30 at night in a park in the middle of suburbia. With this family, there is never a dull moment!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It’s Fall!

I’ve resisted for a while now, but I am finally ready to embrace the changing of the season complete with sweaters, closed-toe shoes, falling leaves, football, autumn decorations, fires in the fireplace, warm dinners and pumpkin spice chai (OK, so I’ve already had a few of those, I couldn’t help myself). Today I put up my fall door wreath and put out my leaf-shaped placemats and have even purchased a tree-shaped tea light holder to use as a centerpiece.

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Wednesday night I made Dave’s favorite cold weather meal, Southwestern Chicken-Biscuit Pot Pie (slightly modified from the recipe). Mmmmmm. It really feels like a new season now.

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Happy Fall to you all!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It sounds like they’re right outside…

Last weekend Dave and I started our weekend early and headed out to Rocky Mountain National Park to get in one last weekend of camping before the weather turns and it’s too cold to go. Our hope was to spend a few days enjoying the mountains and to hopefully catch some bugling elk while in the park. Turns out we got much more than we bargained for.

On on first morning there we were woken up around 6:30 to some really loud elk bugling. I mean, REALLY loud. I turned to Dave and said, “it sounds like they’re right outside!” Dave agreed and we slowly unzipped the tent door to see an entire elk herd right in our campsite! We slowly got out of the tent, leashed Gromit and grabbed the cameras. The herd moved through the campsite and we followed them for a good hour just taking pictures and video and enjoying the view. We saw some younger bulls try to challenge the big bull but the little guys were easily scared off with a little charge from the big bull. It was amazing to watch and such a unique experience that I doubt we’ll ever get again.

RMNP Elk

We spent much of the weekend driving around the park and enjoying the beautiful mountains, wildlife, crazy tourists and trees beginning to change colors. On Friday we drove up Old Fall River Road to the Alpine Visitor’s center where it was snowing a little bit. Luckily that was the only place there was snow and the weather the rest of the weekend was gorgeous. We took tons of pictures of the scenery. Here are a few of our favorites.

RMNP Trees

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No camping trip in our family would be complete without at least one hike and this trip was no different. We took a beautiful but sort of eerie hike around Monarch Lake near Grand Lake. I don’t know why, but I was really feeling spooked by wildlife on the hike. I was on alert for bears and moose for no good reason and it, to some extent, ruined the hike for me. It didn’t help that at the beginning of the trail there were signs telling us that the lake trail was clearly marked with arrows but we didn’t see one arrow until at least halfway through the hike and there were very few other hikers we ran into to assure us we were going the right way. I just felt lost and scared the whole time. We did see some snakes on the trail and I totally freaked out. Thank goodness Dave is a patient man and put up with my unnecessary fear.

On the drive back to the campsite I actually got some cell coverage so I decided to see if there were any geocaches in the area and sure enough there was one along the road we were driving on! As soon as we got close to the cache we stopped the car and took a little hike to find it. It wasn’t a hard find and we were able to quickly sign the log, exchange trinkets and get back to the campground before it was dark.

RMNP Geocache

Another thing we like to do all the time is take pictures of Gromit. Here are a few of our favorites from this camping trip.

Gromit

Now that I have camped for the last time this year I feel like Fall is officially around the corner. It’s hard to believe it is actually coming with this 80-90 degree heat but the weather forecasters assure me cooler temperatures are on the way. I’ve resisted the coming of the new season because I feel like I am still recuperating from the snow storms this spring and I am not ready for cold weather again. But I finally gave in to everything I love about the season and changed my blog theme, Twitter background and started to decorate our home for Fall. So goodbye summer and hello cool weather and warm, inviting decorations. I just hope the snow doesn’t come too soon!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Balloon Classic

Way back (or so it seems) during Labor Day weekend Dave and I went to the Colorado Balloon Classic. It is something that we have done every year for a long time and something we both look forward to each year. Dave has been going since he was a little kid and has won a place in the photo contest at least 12 times over the years. Since I have joined the competition I have won twice. Now we are in stiff competition with one another to place this year. Because of this our main focus every year is taking great pictures to enter into the contest. This year I was lucky to be able to borrow my brother’s camera, but unfortunately I wasn’t used to all of the manual setting so I worry that I may have taken more over-exposed pictures than good ones. But I think I did manage to get a few decent pictures to enter.
 Balloons 2010
For the first time this year my parents and sister, Erin, came with us and were able to see what the Balloon Classic is all about. I think my parents had a good time and I know Erin had a good time taking some pretty good pictures of her own. Dave and I may have some tougher competition this year in the photo contest! We tried taking a picture of all of us during the Balloon Glo but it turned out a little fuzzy. You can still see us, sort of…
 

We rounded out the weekend with coffee and brunch with my good friend, Trisha as well as some much needed nap time when we got home. All in all it was a great Labor Day weekend and a nice break from the usual happenings. I hope you all had a great Labor day weekend too.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm still here, barely

I'm sorry I've been so absent lately. Work life has gotten really busy lately preparing for, what feels like, a bazillion activities and events happening in October. I hope to get some time this weekend to get my personal stuff back in order; my home, the dishes piled in the sink, my blog, the huge mountain of laundry in the hamper... you get the idea.

So hang in there, folks! I'll be back online giving you things to waste your time reading soon. Until then, Happy Friday!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tour De Fat

It was an incredibly busy Labor Day weekend, so I'll break it up into separate posts for both my sanity and yours.

It all started Saturday morning with the Tour De Fat. In case you're not familiar with this fabulous event, there is a great company, New Belgium Brewing, that really works to make a difference and promote sustainable living in many of the communities where they distribute their beer. Even the brewery itself is wind-powered. Its a great company that brews even better beer. You can't beat that. One of the specific things the company promotes is riding your bike when you can, so all over the country they host "Tour De Fat" bike parades and festivals to promote riding your bike and enjoying good beer. We participated in one such event in our town.

The idea is that you dress up in crazy outfits and bike along the parade route with 5,000 of your fellow bike riders; because when everyone is dressed crazy, nobody is. Its a fun event with a lot of wild, wacky costumes and tons of people just having fun on their bikes. Take a look:

Other Tour De Fat participants

Even Gromit joined in the fun dressed as Peter Pan

Me in my pink outfit

Dave in his pirate costume


One of the funny stickers handed out during the event

The whole thing is so much fun with all of the people, unique outfits, good beer and original entertainment and Dave and I enjoy participating each year. I'll leave you with a video of us waiting for the bike parade to begin and the punk rock marching band playing a tune for the crowd - you can't see the band very well but you can hear them and get a good view of what people are wearing and get an idea of how crowded it was. It gives you a good idea of what being at the event is like. Maybe we'll see you at next year's Tour De Fat!

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