Friday, November 19, 2010

Heading Down The Road

We reluctantly left Fort Collins on Tuesday.  We spent just over two weeks there and the weather was definitely changing for the worse.  We experienced a few days of snow and it was below freezing every night for the last few nights.  Time to head out!  I’m excited to come back in the summer when we’ll get to explore more of this beautiful state.

Can’t drive in this stuff!



Reilly & Ashton


Wow, quiet time coloring!


It was a good day to travel.  The sun was shining and the wind was light.  We drove a few hours to Lamar which is in the southeast part of Colorado.  We had planned on staying just one night but when we got there the winds picked up and we rocked and rolled ALL night long.  We decided the next day it was NOT a good day to travel.  The wind was coming out of the north and we were heading east so that meant a side wind.  Not good in a RV.  Luckily, we don’t always have to stick to a plan.  We are free to wait out the weather.

We left the next day and headed to Plains, Kansas where our good friends, Mac & Lynette (Netters) were visiting their family.  We hadn’t seen them in such a long time and since we were so close we decided to stop in.  They invited us to their Granddaughter’s basketball game and then to their daughter’s house afterwards.  What a nice surprise.  Dana had cooked a roast with mashed potatoes, brussell sprouts, salad and even dessert!!  We certainly didn’t intend on intruding on their family time but they insisted.  We had a GREAT time with Dana and her family.

Samantha and Dakoda


She shoots, she scores!!!




Dana and Brylee



So today we have left Plains and as I write this we are following Mac and Netters to Amarillo where they will be staying for awhile.  We are only staying the weekend but we’ll get to meet more of their family while we’re there.

See?  We really WERE in Kansas



We had to pass through the Oklahoma panhandle to get to Texas.  This is one of the lamest State signs I’ve seen


Then we finally made it to Texas where we’ll be staying most of the winter.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Still Hanging Out In Colorado

Yep, we’re still hanging out here in Fort Collins.  We do our own thing during the day and then the kids come over after work and school in the evening.  Sometimes we go over to their house but mostly they come here.  Saturdays are sleepover days and that’s always fun.

As I mentioned in my last blog JB & Brenda (click on it to read their blog) arrived today.  We were SO excited to see them.  They are our favorite Canadian couple.  Since they were arriving late in the afternoon I made sure to have a salmon dinner for them.  Brenda made a really yummy spinach & raspberry salad.

Together again…


The next day since it was going to be a beautiful day we all piled into our car and took the scenic drive on Highway 14.  This state is so beautiful that I think anywhere we drove would be a scenic drive.  We had planned on making one big loop but we stopped so many times for pictures that we would have never made it back in time.  Todd had made dinner (pulled pork) and was bringing it over so we had to be back in time.  We only made it to Walden and had to turn back after having a late lunch.



We found snow at 10,000 feet


Silly Canadian with flip flops on in the snow


Made it to Walden for our lunch stop


Lunch!!  You can guess which plate is NOT mine…


Sunday we had a “stay at the park” kind of day.  Football is on so we don’t usually go anywhere on Sunday anyway.  Brenda made a fantastic pot of taco soup with corn muffins on the side.  Man, that soup was so good but so filling that I could only eat one bowl.  I guess that's a good thing.  LOL, she also made her famous frozen peanut butter pie.

The gang (ever seen JB without a hat??)


And the other gang (Michele, Reilly, Ashton & Todd)


Monday JB & Brenda were supposed to leave but with some (A LOT) of gentle persuasion we convinced them to stay just one more day.  We really weren’t ready for them to leave yet.

We all piled into our car again and headed for the second part of where we were supposed to go on Saturday.  We were headed for Rocky Mountain National Park.  YAY, another stamp for my passport book!


We saw LOTS of wildlife along the way.




These guys were just walking through somebody’s backyard in Estes Park



HUGE herd of over 200 elk inside the park (see the “king” in the middle?)



Then we saw a much smaller herd on our way out of the park but still impressive animals


I don’t see how they walk around with that thing on top


So, we couldn’t convince JB & Brenda to stay any longer because snow was predicted for Wednesday night so on Tuesday they headed out.  We had already paid for another week here to visit with the grandkids so we figured we’d just hunker down and stay inside.

Sniff sniff, there they go…


And here we are…


And here’s our car


More snow is predicted for Saturday so we’ll be leaving here on Monday.  That’s our best bet for good weather unless we leave on Friday but we don’t want to cut our visit short.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Fort Collins, Colorado

We’ve been spending our days visiting with Ashton and Reilly because we know this visit will soon come to an end.  We sure do love seeing them when we can.  Since they’re in school all day we only see them for a few hours each evening on the week nights.

They loved Nana’s spaghetti


The fun part about being here this time of year is that we get to go Trick or Treating with them.

First Reilly had to get her hair colored

DSC_0002-1 - Copy

Then we went over to their house where Todd had cooked up a batch of  roasted red pepper, tomato and butternut squash soup with shredded chicken in it.  Wow, was it ever good!!

Like the little pumpkin bowls?


Then it was time to head out for some candy




I’d say they did pretty good collecting loot



Wednesday was Rod’s birthday so he told Todd he wanted carne asada for dinner.  Todd got together all the ingredients, marinated the meat all day and made a homemade pie.  Again, a really yummy meal!


Todd and Ashton thought it would be funny to turn the candles upside down.


It was a chocolate silk pie with butterscotch pudding on top


Then Reilly had to have story time before we left


Yesterday Rod and I decided to head out and see what there was to do in the area.  Apparently, Colorado is known for their breweries.  They are everywhere!  We went to the Visitor Center to get an idea of where they were in this area.

The first place we went to doesn’t bottle their own beer and they have a very small brewery downstairs from their restaurant.  We decided to have lunch there before going on to the next one.

Coopersmith Brewery


Their small brewery downstairs


From there we headed to the New Belgium brewery which is a much larger brewery.  I had researched it online and found out you had to make reservations in order to go on the tour.  That was fine with me.  I made our reservations for 2:30 in the afternoon since that would give us plenty of time for lunch beforehand and plenty of time afterwards to get home and make dinner.  You can read about how the brewery started by clicking here.  It really is an interesting story


Airstream trailer that was in the parking lot used to travel the country showing people the philosophy behind New Belgium beers.  They call it the “Beerstream”


Inside the Airstream, this was ALL hand painted and tells the history of the company from the very beginning.


We even got to pour our own beer after careful instruction.  Seth (our tour director) said mine was perfect!



Rod’s looks pretty good too


They take their work seriously here but they have a lot of fun doing it.  All employees can have a few glasses of beer at the end of their shift and if they happen to be doing the tour they get to have beer then as well.  They gave us a beer when we started the tour, then they gave us beer after showing us how to correctly pour one, then they gave us beer when we went to see the bottling plant and then they gave us more beer at the end of the tour not to mention the two tokens they gave us when we walked in the door.  You don’t even have to take the tour to get a couple of free beers.  LOL

Fat Tire is their most well known beer and here it is being bottled.


This is what the bottle looks like


Here is Seth pouring us even more beer!!


Two more beers at the end of the tour and candy!!


All employees at the end of one year’s service get part ownership in the brewery and a bicycle


Looks like a lot of the employees make good use of them


This brewery was so fun to visit and I found a dark beer that I liked that I would have never tried.  Can’t wait to visit the next brewery.  That will have to wait a few days because today JB & Brenda are stopping by on their way down south.  These are our friends that we visited in Canada a few months ago.  The great migration has officially begun.