Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fri, July 20 to Sun, July 22: Estes Park, With a Different Family

My guy invited me up to a wedding in Estes Park, where I got to meet his ginormous family.  It was a leeeetle intimidating to say the least...

...but we had beauty and fresh air, blue skies and trees all around us to soothe my nerves.

These photos are courtesy of his cell phone, since I managed to forget my camera.
Even through the lens of a cell phone camera, it's so beautiful here. :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Weds, July 17 and Thurs, July 18: Estes Park and Zip Lining With the Parents!

On Wednesday, we headed for a tour of the Stanley Hotel up in Estes Park.  Apparently they don't give their ghost tours all the time anymore, which was a huge disappointment!  My mother and I really wanted to take my dad on the ghost tour.

Oh well, we still got to take a neat historical tour of the hotel and spent the day wandering around Estes Park.  While Estes Park is a pretty commercialized little mountain town, it doesn't have the attitude of some of the other mountain towns so it's one of my favorites too. :)

On Thursday, we headed down near Canon City to see the Royal Gorge Bridge.  For my father's birthday, my mom and I secretly booked a zip line tour near the bridge, so we did that first.

This is me.  Whee!
I wasn't even that nervous about it, which made me feel really proud of all of the work I've done to confront my fear of heights.  Take that!

Unfortunately, there had been a forest fire near the Royal Gorge Bridge.  The staff at the zip line tour company said that most of the park had burned down as well as most of the woods around the bridge, though the bridge was untouched by the fire.  I was so bummed that my parents couldn't see the canyon, with the gorgeous Arkansas River roaring way, waaaaay below you.  For me, it was one of the most amazing sights I was able to see when I first moved out here.

My parents are flexible, though, and we all just let it go and enjoyed doing the fun things we were able to do together.

Not many people come out to visit me here.  Usually it's me heading back there - because it's cheaper for me to travel as I'm alone, but also because I miss Connecticut and I need to head back every once in a while to drink up enough of the east coast to somewhat satisfy me until my next visit.  It was really awesome, though, having them come out and showing them some things about Colorado that I love.

Tues, July 16, 2013: Mt. Evans With the Parents!

We had wanted to head to Mt. Evans earlier during their visit but had to wait for a clear day to make the trip.  Tuesday was that day.

Summit Lake:

 This is where I saw the nuns on my birthday a couple of years ago.  It feels like yesterday....
My father and I hiked our way up the small summit that still remains above you even after you're in the parking lot.  My mom had a lot more difficulty and sat at the bottom for a while, unsure if she wanted to attempt the climb.  The altitude can be really brutal when you're not used to it.

Once she reminded herself to go slowly and not try to "race" up (my advice!), she decided to try again and ended up joining us on the summit.  I loved that she did that, just a small reminder that we all have nothing to beat but our own doubts nagging us in our heads.
Beautiful mountains... it's been too long since I saw you like this.
The last time was the day that my own doubts, echoing in the cavernous expanses of my vast imagination, kept me from ascending my mountain.  I still want to rise to meet that challenge and defeat those doubts, but to be honest it was really nice to just experience the beauty without going through all the struggle to get there.  My friend Becky, during a conversation with me years ago, once said that perhaps things are supposed to be hard for me.  (We had been discussing the fact that things were moving along smoothly for her and her family once they moved to New Orleans).

I think that there is some truth to that - I definitely do like learning from challenges and difficult times.  I do, however, firmly believe that I get in my own way WAY too much.  I wonder what my life would look like if I were better able to just take a deep breath, sit back, and remain open to whatever comes my way.  Maybe someday I'll know. :)    

Mon, July 15, 2013: Nederland With the Parents!

My parents wanted to head to some cool little mountain town.  They came equipped with the names of lots of mountain towns that they either knew of, or that other people told them about: Aspen, Vail, Central City... none of which are really all that neat to me.  Sure, they're interesting and worth a visit, but they're so... "done up".

So I suggested we head to Nederland, one of my favorite mountain towns, which I love for its lack of pretense.

It's strange to look at these pictures of Boulder Canyon now, knowing that the road that we took up to the town was destroyed by the floods that happened a few weeks ago.  But then, the drive was gorgeous and peaceful and I think my parents enjoyed seeing scenery that's so different from where we're from.  
Barker Reservoir, one of my favorite bodies of water nearish Denver:

There is a small general store in the middle of the town, and as we wandered around there we came across this:
Coolest spice rack of all time!  I want something like this someday.

It stayed pretty cloudy and gray all day, though it didn't rain like it did in Georgetown so at least Colorado didn't continue to make a liar of me in front of my parents. :)  The Flatirons were pretty, dodging in and out of the clouds as we drove home.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sun, July 14, 2013: Georgetown With the Parents!

My parents came out for a rare visit in July (the last time they were both out here was Christmas 2010!).  One of the things I frequently tell my family is that it never rains in Colorado.  So, what does Colorado decide to do when my parents come out to visit?

It rains! :)  So we spent a misty, drizzly, cool day in Georgetown, dodging into shops to avoid sporadic downpours.  

Guanella Pass was gorgeous and green, though I was disappointed that my parents couldn't admire the mountain tops as they were buried in the thick white clouds.
The mountain tops, then, would have to wait for another day. :)