Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

For the second time this year, I actually got on one of them new-fangled aero-planes and took a trip out of California. Who'd a thunk it? I tell you, I am just SO adventurous! Especially since my usual destinations are Fontucky for NASCAR races (I'm SO done with THAT!) and the High Desert of California to watch TheManTheMyth and Thing 1 race motorcycles.

I flew out to Colorado for two reasons: to retrieve Thing 2 and to finally see my sister's house that she's lived in for, oh, 7 or 8 years now.

Highlights of my flight on Cattle-Car Airways: not being able to recline my seat, the woman in front of me reclining her seat so far back that I could have performed dental work on her, having my elbow smacked by everyone who walked by (at least I had the aisle seat), discovering that any refreshments other than a few spoonfuls of soda are NOT complimentary and the man in the seat next to me constantly tossing and turning while trying to find a comfortable position. I gave up trying to read because the woman in the seat in front of me got pissed when I rested my book on her nose so I spent the rest of the flight listening to my iPod and playing air-drums because there wasn't enough room to play air-guitar.

I arrive in beautiful Colorado and sister Jamie is right there to carry me off to her lovely home in Monument with so much storage space and closets that I'm positively GREEN with envy! My 1950's California Ranch has itty-bitty closets in each room plus 1 small linen closet and 1 small coat closet. I lost count of how many large walk-in closets are in Jamie's house.

The next day, Jamie, Thing 2 and I headed to Winter Park to spend the day and what a day we had! We took the ski lift up the mountain so we could go down the alpine slide. Everyone who knows me knows that I have a serious fear of heights. Climbing a 6 foot ladder causes my heart to pound so getting on this ski lift was An Ordeal for me. But I did it:

Because I'm a big chicken and only the lift would only seat 2 people, Jamie volunteered to ride by her ownself. You can see her in the chair behind me. This photo was taken not by me turning around (I was too skeered) but by me holding my camera up behind me. It's also a great shot of the alpine slide.

After a couple of runs down the alpine slide, where I kept to the "Beginner Level" slide, we decided to try the maze and then play a round of Miniature Golf, which was quite a hoot and a half. After 18 challenging holes, which Kaylyn won (of course), it was time for lunch. Lunch, sister Jamie informs us, will be enjoyed at the very top of the Mountain (10,700 feet above sea level) and to get to the top of the mountain, we would have to take the chair lift. Oh boy! says the terrified of heights Me. At least this time, the 3 of us could ride together because neither Kaylyn or I wanted to go solo.

So up we go:

My evil daughter kept demanding I turn around and look how high we've gotten but would only smack her in response. Going UP doesn't so much bother me; it's looking DOWN that causes my heart to flutter and not in a good way.

We finally get to the top and it IS gorgeous. There was a BBQ stand at the lodge where I had the best hamburger. There was a group of teenage mountain bikers sitting behind Kaylyn:

Jamie said they were checking out Kaylyn (who replied, "Ewwww") but I know they were actually giving my delicious, juicy hamburger the eye.

Me and Kaylyn:

We walked around the lodge, taking in the sights and getting light-headed before heading back to the chair lift for the steep, scary ride back down the mountain:

Which wasn't really all that bad. When we got back down, we decided to hit the alpine slide a few more times before calling it a day. I was feeling so brave by this time that I actually rode the chairlift to the top of the slide BY MYSELF. That's right, ALONE. Yay me! And for my last run down the alpine slide, I even went on the Expert slide. Yay me, again!

After stopping for pizza on the way home, our Girls Day was concluded and we were 3 very tired but happy gals. I spent the rest of the evening having a cocktail, watching the Rockies/Padres game and talking hockey with brother-in-law Charlie, who I am always excited to spend time with because he is the only family member I can talk hockey with.

Charlie, the day Jamie brought him home to meet the family. Poor guy was doomed from the moment we thrust newborn Thing 1 in his arms for a Kodak Moment, 17 years ago:

On Sunday, we went to the Larkspur Renaissance Festival but THAT deserves an entry all its own.

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