Despite traveling through two states with legalized marijuana, I did not partake. The scenery is breathtaking enough. It took me a LONG time (9 hours) to drive from Vegas to Grand Junction. I had to keep pulling over to get photos. Especially once the sun started to set…
I wasn’t too thrilled about the snow chasing me through the mountains. It was slushy. My little Georgia Peach BMW wasn’t too happy either, but we made it!
Greg has been a wonderful friend since high school. There aren’t very many people that I kept in touch with from my Lovett days, or my college days. Greg never disappeared and was always so thoughtful and kind towards me and Patrick. He and his wife, Jennifer, live in Aurora with their two daughters, Chloe (age 4) and Tessa (14 months). Jennifer is a teacher and has more patience than anyone. She has a kind heart and a soft voice. I can rarely say that it’s so peaceful and joyous being in a busy family home with tiny kids, but they have a wonderful family presence. They are all so happy and easygoing.
The pups really loved the backyard. Skyler didn’t escape! They had to take turns going out since Bandit and Skyler didn’t get along well. (Bandit is a blue heeler Australian cattle dog. He’s phenomenally smart and handsome. He tried to HERD me. LOL!)
Here is the insanely adorable, precious Chloe and her equally adorbs little sis, Tessa. We enjoyed breakfast at local fave, The Fresh Press. Chloe is a little shy and very quiet, but gave me the best hugs when I left! Tessa is more vocal and also gives great hugs!
Tessa and Jennifer (what a nice brunch!)
I don’t have photos of my dinner with Kyle (super volleyball buddy) and his awesome lady friend, Elizabeth at Rodizio, a Brazilian churrascaria, which is likely a good thing since I ate myself into hippo form.
Saturday, Kyle and Elizabeth took me up into the mountains to see elk and deer, and tour the sights.
I got this closeup out the window of his truck. It’s NOT a good idea to get this close on foot. The males will sometimes get ornery (during rutting season in October).
Me in front of Bear Lake. They took it easy on me with a short hike around the lake. You can’t see it here, but I was already getting nauseous from the altitude. Fun!
The lake is already freezing over…
Me in front of the elk, moments before the game warden shooed us away from the herd. We were a herd of camera-phone idiots chasing a herd of majestic elk. That huge buck is guarding his harem closely.
He can scratch his head with his foot. I wish I was so limber!
Jennifer kept the puppies all day long while I was exploring the mountains (did I mention she’s the kindest, most soft spoken, wonderful lady?). Chloe was tickled to walk them to the lake and the park. I could tell how happy the pups were because Skyler stopped going puppy kaboom. Biscuit is obsessed with Tessa. He kept sneaking into her room.
A lion guarding the Stanley entrance…
Elizabeth (she has the most gorgeous, vivid green eyes I’ve ever seen…and we dislike a lot of the same things! Like sandwiches and dangerous excursions.)
Me and Grandpa Brent…he has some fantastic stories about the Stanley and all of the factual stuff too. I definitely want to come back for a stay!
Me and my good buddy Kyle (I bought my house from him!)
This was not long before the altitude took its full effect on me. The curvy, dark mountain passes messed with my sense of balance and the bumpy roads jiggled me relentlessly. In response, I dislocated my jaw hurling into a Mexican restaurant bathroom. Elizabeth had an emergency stash of Pedialyte powder packets for just such an occasion, and grabbed me a mint. Thank goodness! I was green for the rest of the night. BLURGH.
Biscuit is in fleece HEAVEN!
Biscuit sleeps with the tennis ball that Chloe gave him. She baked chocolate dark cherry chocolate chip cookies for me (with her mom’s help)! They are the most delicious cookies EVER! I’m having to ration them…I only have four left.
Gotta give props to the Drury Inn and Suites Brentwood! Super nice, pet-friendly hotel! I’m very impressed with how beautiful and clean this place is! Amazing customer service too! The boys like the soft beds. Cute overload!
I cannot thank my friends, Greg, Jennifer, Chloe, Tessa, Bandit, Kyle and Elizabeth for making my Denver leg of this trip so phenomenal! I wish that I could have stayed much longer, but I truly appreciate taking time out of your days and nights for me. Your thoughtfulness and kindness are such a blessing! I promise to come back for a longer visit as soon as I can! (Hopefully I can adjust to the altitude better next time) And whenever you are in Atlanta, my doors and guest rooms are always available! (The pups would LOVE to see Chloe and Tessa again!)
I only have a couple of regrets so far on this incredible journey…not researching my hotel in Pasadena properly, not making it up to the Winchester Mansion, not making it up to Portland or Seattle to see the Gordon family or the West Coast Helmkes, not getting to visit Christian in Denver and not pondering the weather more extensively. I plan to remedy some of these regrets in the coming year. Goals!
Wish Dad and I luck in getting to Nashville before the storms roll through the Midwest. Did I mention that I’m a tornado-phobe? Yeah, this is not a good place for me to be.