Monday, July 28, 2008

First Day of School

Is it too early to start talking about the first day of school? Let's see, I haven't made Matt's 8 year checkup yet (and August is always the busiest time of the year), I will of course put-off shopping for his new school clothes until it's late because...well, because that's what I do! And thankfully I ordered his supplies through the PTA again this year, so that's one thing OFF my list (wow, it's like Christmas shopping early!).
Well, the real reason for my post, is one of my new fav blogs is having a contest & you can view it HERE. I hope I win something....because it's for a really cool backpack...which is one of the things I'll put off shopping for until it's too late...again!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Race to Mac - 100th race!

It was the 100th Race to Mackinac Island this year and we all raced up there (My Man on Cancan Duex & my mom, the kids & me in our car). It was a race for us because we got a late start, hit some awful storms & only just made the last ferry to the island (at 8:30 PM ET).
We caravan'd with fellow sailor/wife-to-sailor Jolly Roger. We drove up the Wisconsin side as we are fairly north of Chicago and driving around the city is SUCH a pain. Technically it's like the exact same time/distance - but Garmin wouldn't switch the route via IN/MI until we hit the Wisconsin border! What a trip! Like I would drive from Gurnee thru the city and around the south side of the lake to get to the island! Yah right!
At any rate, we arrived LATE Sunday, drove the thru the pouring rain, then decided to hoof it to the hotel and got caught in the rain & had to walk half the trip in a downpour that reminded me of Texas (where the sky opens up & it just pours). We were drenched to the bone when we got there, started to strip out of wet clothes when we realized, our luggage hadn't arrived yet! So we were in towels when the guy brought the stuff. Too funny.
So Monday rolls around and they guys still aren't in - looking at midnight so we make plans to go to the movies in the Mission Point theatre. Then My Man calls - they're getting in at 10, bring the kids to the beach to watch the finish. Not easy to talk them into it - but they gave up the movie to watch Dad cross the finish line. Hmm, looks like rain? Well, it's not in the forecast so we leave the umbrellas behind. Guess what happened? You betcha! it RAINED...make that POURED, again. So we're huddled under someone else's umbrella at the finish line, hoping to get a picture in the pouring rain. Note for future reference, when the kids mess with your camera, check your settings before using it. All set up for night time shot, lovely shot of rain as the flash goes off & reflects off the rain drops and boat can't be seen (jeez!).
The rain continues, the boat can only do touch & go & then go to the mainland (did I mention it was the 100th anniversary? Too many boats for the island, Cancan Duex had to moor at St Igance). This means we DO NOT get to see My Man so we catch a cab (horse drawn carriage) back to the hotels. Kids proceed to tell me that it was NOT better than going to the movies. Oh well.
So My Man joins us at breakfast (last ferry was at 11:30 so he didn't make it and had to catch the morning ferry). We spend a few hours dialed into the office (after all, we'd been gone a WHOLE day at this point! [insert sarcasm]) and then rented bikes for a short ride before the rum party.
We arrive at the rum party late, but it was still packed & they weren't out of rum! The kids had a great time sliding down the hill (hello grass stains) and then we walked back to the hotel to leave the kids with a babysitter so we could have a "grown up" dinner.
The plan was to get up on Wednesday, have breakfast & do some shopping...but work had other plans. We spent the ENTIRE morning dialed into work (grrr) and didn't get to have breakfast until noon (and yes, all of us, except My Man, did eat breakfast as soon as we got the chance). Then we did finish up our shopping before hopping on a 2PM ferry to the mainland. Since we had such a late start, we didn't get home until 10:30. It was a long day and a short vacation. But we did have a blast! And yes, we did buy fudge! LOL

Monday, July 14, 2008

and the vacation continues

So the next day we had a leisurely breakfast and a walk around Rich's neighborhood (did I already say I could TOTALLY live here?).
After breakfast we started our journey to the other side of Denver to visit our friends Simon & Donna in Highlands Ranch. Finally got to see their house & meet their kids in person (TOO cute they are!) and meet Si's parents who were visiting. Then the four of us (2 couple out without our kids, woo hoo!) went to an amusement park in downtown Denver. It used to be a Six Flags once upon a time so that means they had a wooden rollar coaster (which of course I will NOT go on) and some other fun rides. Just as we were ready to take pix of the guys riding the wooden coaster, bad weather forced them to cancel the ride (bummer too because I had the perfect spot to catch them on film...well digital pixels that is). After that Donna & I went on a crazy ride that spins you around & around upside down. It was too much fun.
We also rode some rollercoasters and then went out to dinner.
After parting ways with the Facers, we made our way back to Longmont. After a fun filled day, we settled down with drinks & a movie at Rich's home. We watched Walk The Line about the life of Johnny Cash - what a great movie! I can't believe Joaquin & Reese did all their own singing!
Our last day in Colorado started with breakfast at an outdoor cafe, without a view of the mountains. Then Rich took us to a park so we could walk and see the mountains (yes, I whined during breakfast that I couldn't see them). Then he gave us a little tour of the surrounding area, a cute little town called Niwot and some of the really expensive homes in the area (some of which he built).
Upon arriving at the airport we discovered the flight before ours still had not left. By the time we got to our gate, our flight was delayed too. Nasty storms over the mountains (which we sat in the airport bar & looked out the window to watch). 3 hours later, we were on our way!
Tired & slightly cranky, we pick up our kids from my Aunt's house & head home.
I still want to move there...what a great place to visit!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

No Kids Vacation!

For the first time in 8 years, my husband and I ventured out, on our own, sans kids, for more than one evening! We had airline tickets/vouchers we needed to use so we waited around for a year to do something with them...and then scrambled in April to turn them into a vacation. The vacation we used them for was a trip to Colorado for the 4th of July. Woo hoo!

So we handed over our offspring to family around noon on Thursday...finished working out the day...ate a leisure dinner of veggie & steaks on the grill (no complaints about "no burgers? no french fries? I want the [insert special description] glass!!!")...then we went to bed early because we had to get up at 3AM to pack & catch a 6AM flight (I know, I know, why didn't we pack on Thursday night? well, cuz we didn't wanna!).

Damn 3:30AM comes around fast! (I know, I said 3AM, but at my house, we always hit the snooze button for at least a half hour before rising).

Okay, pack all the weekend essentials & out the door....oops, feed the cat and out the door.....oops, check that all the windows & doors are locked and then out the door....oops, left the bedroom light on, damn it, back into the house, turn off the light, lock the door & on our way!

Drive to long term parking. Missed the tram by 1 minute (damn bedroom light). Monitors say Gate problem, plenty of time to go to the FAR AWAY gate. Read all advertising in tram station waiting for train. 20 minutes later.... .... board tram for Terminal 2.

Leisurely walk to gate C23. Hey, where is everyone? Jeez, always check the monitors AFTER you get off the tram as well, gate's been moved to B6 (oh for pity's sake, back to the other concourse). On the plane...and on our way! Well, not quite...apparently the maintenance crew "forgot" to load the new software into the airplane flight system. "Sorry folks, that will take 30 to 45 minutes to load..then we'll be on our way." hour later...and we're off! (for real this time.)

Colorado is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L (that is not easy to type let me tell ya, but its a perfect description).

We rent a car & head for the mountains (literally). We decide to first go West to Breckenridge - want to see what the ski hills look like without snow. Boy has it changed! We got stuck driving sloooowly through town (4th of July parade) and got to really see how much it had changed. We saw the old brew pub that was brand spanking new when we were there about 10 years was built way out of town and was a bit of a hike...and now it's completely surrounded by shops. We barely recognized the place!

Next stop - Keystone and A Basin. Turns out if we had come 3 weeks earlier - we might have been able to go skiing at A Basin - but they're closed now. At Keystone we parked and walked around. I don't remember it looking like a little town so I'm guessing everything we saw was new there too. They were having a street fest kind of thing which was cool...we had just missed the bike parade. We walked over to the ski hill and saw all the crazy extreme mountain bikers riding the lift up to go biking down the ski runs. Looks like fun (but not the kind of fun I'm interested in - looks way to dangerous for me!). We took a few photos and hopefully can return again sometime to ski and take photos in those same places...but with snow.

After the ski hills we decided to take the scenic route OVER the mountain to get to our friend Rich's place in Longmont. And when I say scenic, I mean scenic! Thank goodness for Garmin - we couldn't have done it w/out a GPS (only because I would've chickened out & made My Man turn around & go on the highway). We were barely out of town (don't remember what town it was, some old mining town) and the pavement ended. And then there were signs to let us know that there is no maintenance beyond this point (oh fun!). So a bouncing we did go up a dirt road. Then another dirt road. Then a very rocky dirt road...okay, we turned around to find a better dirt road - no need getting a flat tire just for the sake of an adventure! Next time we'll rent a Hummer and take the rocky scenic route!

I don't take too kindly to scary heights..and these scenic back roads definitely had them. Mountain on one side...tree tops on the other. But we got some great views!

Once we were on the other side, the pavement started again and we began our descent. More beautiful views of snowy mountain peaks, motorcyclers, lots of bicyclers and the occasional hiker (or rather, the car they left behind on the side of the road). As we got closer to Boulder we followed the fast moving water coming down the mountain along the side of the road. Brrr, it looked cold! And when we got to Boulder, we actually saw people swimming in it! yikes!

Boulder is beautiful and had I known about it years ago...I would've planned to go to college there instead of po-dunk Texas! LOL

Not long after we found our way to Longmont and our friend Rich's house. After a nap, a few drinks (and some really good North New Mexican food) and some fireworks (it was the 4th of July still), we called it a night.

More still to come...on another post.