Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Highlights of a Colorado Thanksgiving

Deep in the backwoods of Colorado, somewhere.
Whitney took this....isn't it beautiful?

Before I get to the highlights of our Colorado Thanksgiving, can anyone guess what today is? It is my one year Blog-a-versary. That's right, one year ago today I posted my first blog. You can read it here, if you like. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year of blogging. I've made new friends that I otherwise would have never met. It's truly amazing how small our world is and it's evident by the scores of different countries that read my blog. In one short year, I have had nearly 13,000 people to view it. That blows me away. Thank you doesn't seem appropriate for all the readers of my blog, but I do thank you so much for following. I hope you continue to enjoy reading about what's happening down on LaLa Lane as much as I love bringing it to you.  Again, Thank You times infinity plus one!

Now on to the highlights of our Colorado Thanksgiving. It was amazing!

We've been planning this trip for some time. Whitney and Jason can't come home for Christmas this year and Whitney and I both were having separation anxiety issues so she asked if we could come to Colorado for Thanksgiving. Well, yeah! What did you expect? I have to get a Whitney fix every few months. Although, I beg her to move home all the time. It just ain't least right now. So, if Whitney can't come home, then let's go see Whitney.

We've been talking this up for some time. Planning our days, packing, coordinating airlines and flight times. Lidia and Sawyer have been all ears. Oh yeah, Emily, Lidia and Sawyer went with us. So, anyway, after listening to all the planning, Sawyer started to get concerned. It was raining when we left for the airport and Sawyer was worried that we might not make it to the airport on time. Then he was worried about going through security and the metal detector. He was afraid that the metal buttons on his coat would set off the alarms. LOL!

As Murphy would have it, our plane was late taking off. Apparently, all the rain the Southeast was experiencing had a direct impact on flights coming in to and leaving from Atlanta. Arriving late to Atlanta, we had only minutes to catch our connecting flight to in, they were already boarding. We had to go from Terminal A to Terminal B via train, but we made it. Phew! We have the "find a friend" app on our phones and Whitney was able to track us. She saw us as we passed over Oklahoma. How cool is that? We finally arrived to Denver...Whitney waiting on us at the gate.....and that beautiful blue sky of the mile high city. We were so excited that we had packed as lightly as possible....each of us had only a backpack full of clothes to last us 5 days. We would be using Whitney's washer and dryer, a lot. But, we didn't have to go through baggage claims....we went straight to the parking lot. Now, since living in Denver, Whitney has acquired some mad driving skills. She was doing 80 on the freeway. Yikes!!! We arrived safely to Whitney's apartment and since she had to go back to work for a couple of hours, we decided to get out and walk to Chili's just down the street. We started out in coats and ended up peeling everything off and pushing up sleeves, by the time we got there. I was OK. I run, so the mile walk, albeit hilly, was no biggie....except for the fact that we were a mile high and the oxygen was just not as plentiful up there. My breathing lulled. Cliff was OK too, but Emily and the kids struggled just a little bit. Enough that we requested a pick-up by Jason on his way home from work. LOL!

Thanksgiving! My favorite time of year. And, I love to cook for my family. Whitney and I came up with a menu, I sent her a grocery list and she went shopping. She had everything we needed to make a feast, when we got there. So, Thursday morning was spent cooking, for us girls. Cliff and Jason took the kids out to play in the left over snow that was hiding in the shadows. After Thanksgiving dinner, we rested for a bit and decided to go see a movie that evening. We saw "Catching Fire". It was really good, but a bit violent in parts. In retrospection, we should not have taken the kids. I feel bad about that. We talked to them about what was real and what was not and how movies are make believe. It was the best we could do at that point.

Lidia and Sawyer's sole purpose was to play in the snow and rock climb. So we took off Friday in search of both. We didn't want to drive too far. We decided on the Arapaho National Forest near Mt. Evans. I started to feel bad on the way. I get car sick, but I don't know if it was that or a mild case of altitude sickness or both. So, we stopped at Starbucks and I just got water. What? Can you believe it? It helped! Next, we stopped at a place called "Echo Lake Park". It was a beautiful place.

Echo Lake Park

That's Cliff in the back. Front from left to right....
Lidia, Emily, Sawyer, Whitney and Jason.

It was very cold and there was plenty of snow for the kids to get their snow fix. Not many rocks, though. So, we needed to find another spot for them to do that.

Sawyer and Lidia - Echo Lake

Driving back down, we stopped at another spot with lots of snow, a stream and rocks. Score! This happened to be the same spot Whitney and Jason took me to last February for my snow fix. Jason had even carved my name in one of the trees. Lots of people had done it and it didn't seem to harm the tree. It was nice finding it again after nearly nine months. I collect rocks from streams or rivers from my, Jason fished out a few for me to choose from on this trip. He was so sweet to do that. His poor hands were red from fishing around in that severely cold stream.

Arapaho National Forest

Lunch Friday was at a place in the small, once mining town of Idaho Springs, called Beau Joe's. It was a neat place with mining paraphernalia everywhere. The talk was that Lidia and Sawyer didn't get enough rock climbing, so we decided to stop at a place called Red Rock. Major rocks here! And oh so breathtaking! Rock climbing done, left overs for dinner and I was in bed by 7:30.

Red Rock Park

Red Rock Park

Red Rock Park

Jason and Whitney....rock climbing is one of their favorite activities.

Sawyer and Lidia loves it, too.
Whitney, Emily and I went shopping for a bit, while Cliff and Jason took the kids in search of a park and more snow. Left over snow, but that's ok. All they needed was a handful. You know...for snowballs and such. Next, we were to meet downtown at a place called "Biker Jim's" for lunch.

Biker Jim's

I have never! This place had exotic hot dogs of all kinds. And Cliff wanted to try them all. So, he and Jason made a plan to order one of everything and divided them so that everyone could get a bite. I, of course, ordered the vegan dog and a side salad. Zoom in on the picture of the receipt. $93 dollars worth of hot dogs and accompaniments. This lunch will be talked about for ages!

$93 worth of hot dogs!

There were Alaskan Reindeer Coneys, Rattlesnake Pheasant Dogs, Wild Boar and Elk Jalapeno Cheddar Dogs. I was fully expecting for someone to get sick. They scarfed those things down like no body's business. Lidia, one of the most finicky eaters in the family, and Sawyer even loved the choices. Lidia liked the Alaskan Reindeer best. And, Cliff, who thinks cilantro takes like kerosene and wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole, ate a little of them all. He was keen on trying the rattlesnake one, but I think his favorite was the Alaskan Reindeer, too. I have to say though, he will try anything once. And likes most, but will gag excessively over eating a nice green herb called cilantro. Go figure! 

The Family at Biker Jim's

After lunch, we did a little more shopping and then headed back to Whitney's so the kids could go swimming in the heated, outdoor pool. We spent Saturday evening watching Whitney's Alma Matter, the USC Gamecocks play the Clemson Tigers. What an exciting game, for us Gamecock fans, anyway. Five In A Row.....y'all! The final score was 31 to 17.

OMG!!!! We have to go home, today!!! I don't want to....well actually, I do. I just don't like the whole flying experience. Lines, security, taking off shoes, emptying bags, waiting, the rush to get on the plane, overhead baggage, CRAMPED quarters, 950 passengers trying to squeeze into one small aisle to exit, etc. Sawyer was adamant about sitting in the "right", assigned seat. We took up a whole row and if his ticket said Seat 16F, then by George, he wanted to sit in Seat 16F. LOL!!

In short order, we were back home in SC.  I miss Whitney and Jason already. What I really, really want is for Whitney and Jason to move home. And then I'm reminded....good things comes to those who wait...patience is a virtue. OK, OK I can wait a little longer. But Whitney, can up?  Christmas won't be the same without them. This will be the first Christmas that I don't have both my children with me. It will be sad, but I guess it could be worse. Being with them this week was such a blessing. We had a fabulous Colorado Thanksgiving!

Talk soon,

P.S. In case you were wondering.....Kitter is doing very well. She had her Kitter Shanty repaired and even has a Pent House now. She was amazed that her family came to visit. There was all sorts of extra attention. Although, when her grandaddy Cliff called her out in a loud, scratchy and gruff voice, "Kitty Kitty, come on Kitty", over and over scared the bejeebies out of her. She'll be fine. She'll recover. She'll only shook for a little while.


  1. This looks great. Great places. Great food. Great family times.

  2. Laurie,

    First, let me congratulate you on the first anniversary of your blog. Yours was one of the first I started following after I started my humble little piece of the web and I always enjoy reading about what is going on with you.

    What a wonderful place to spend this Thanksgiving with your beautiful daughters and their families! Your photos are gorgeous and I can almost feel and smell that cool, pristine snow. Red Rock Park is awesome looking and Biker Jim's looks like a ton of fun. The menu sounds very intriguing.
    It is great that you were able to take the grands with you on this trip and they look so happy. Your girls are beautiful. As the mother of two girls, I have been so very blessed to have them both nearby. It must be terribly hard being so far apart from Whitney, especially during the holidays.

    We had our daughters and their husbands and children over. Glenn's youngest sister, Janet, and my son-in-law's grandmother, Maurine, who will be 90 in January, also joined us. There were 13 of us altogether and everyone brought food and we had a good time. Over the years, it has become somewhat of a tradition for my sister-in-law, who has been single for some 25 years, my girls, sons-in-law and grandchildren to take in a movie after dinner, so they went to see "Frozen." I wanted to go, but my husband, the shopper, wanted to catch the early sales that evening, so I went with him.

    Glenn and I watched the game the other night, too. It is good to see Carolina still doing well, especially since Glenn and both of our girls are graduates, but to use a pun, we try not to get too "cocky" about it, because the tables can turn way too fast.

    Thanks for sharing your sweet Thanksgiving trip with us. It is a beautiful post!

    1. Thank you, Lynn! It was good to hear from you. It's been a while. Sounds like your Thanksgiving was as good as ours. I love it when the family can all get together.Our traditions seem to be similiar. Have a great evening!

  3. congrats on your blog-a-versary! your Thanksgiving was loads of fun. sorry they can't be home for Christmas.

  4. It looks like you had a great time with family!