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Anniversary Getaway

Anniversary Getaway

Although our 10th anniversary was back in June, we celebrated again this weekend with a delightful weekend away.  Thanks to the gift of a condo from my parents and babysitting from Than’s parents, we enjoyed…

…a tour and tea tasting at Celestial Seasonings

…the majestic landscapes of Bill Hughes at the Leaning Tree art gallery

…four bull elk stopping traffic

…veal saltimbocca with cannoli for dessert

…window shopping in nearly every store in downtown Estes

…three visits to a great papercrafting store (including a husband who not only gave me permission to buy things, but helped me pick them out!)

…chai tea by the side of a lake while watching the moon and stars

…dashing barefoot through the cold to warm up in a deserted hot tub

…late night card games

…discovering a lovely little Anglican chapel hidden away on a dirt road

…the beauty of golden aspens mixed with dark pines

…tequila lime tacos and spicy queso

…taking photos of each other just outside our room by a rushing stream

…beignets with raspberry sauce and an avocado-turkey eggs Benedict

…peeking in rooms at the beautiful and historic Stanley Hotel

…waking up to the first snow of the season

…the freedom to keep our own schedule–go whenever, eat whenever, wake and sleep whenever

…lots of uninterrupted conversation, perhaps one of the best treats of all

We are so grateful for the time away together, and look forward to the next ten years!

Breckenridge

Breckenridge

We enjoyed a mini-vacation in Breckenridge last weekend–just in time for fall colors!  We shared a condo with Than’s parents and his brother’s family–11 of us in all.

The cousins really enjoyed being together, and there was lots of running around inside and out, sharing snacks, and playing Go Fish and Uno.

The hot tub on the back porch was another popular place.

We managed to haul up bikes for all, so the 11 of us went out on a bike ride all at once!  Our parade consisted of two mountain bikes, a bike with a trailer, a recumbent bike, a bike with a tagalong, and a tandem bike with a trailer.  We must have been a sight!

We also enjoyed playing in a park, window shopping, checking out the river, and taking a nature walk.  The weather was super and the mountains beautiful.

Our vacation was prompted by the wedding of Than’s cousin, and I wish I had pictures of it–a beautiful ceremony performed right by the river running through town.  Katya was especially thrilled to go to a wedding and we are excited to see Stephanie and Adam journey together through life.

On the way home, we drove up Boreas pass.

Yes, we actually even switched into 4 wheel drive and crossed a stream (OK, so it was only a few hundred feet before our “roughin’ it” trail curved back to the main road, but that counts, right?!!)

I’ll share some of Than’s autumn mountain photos in future posts, since there are more than enough pictures in this one.

It was very nice to spend time together with various family combinations, and to get away in such beautiful surroundings with people we love.  What a gift, to live in Colorado and have family to share it with.

Camping That Wasn’t

Camping That Wasn’t

While our friends were here, we had planned to go camping for a few nights.  Hooray for getting away from it all, escaping the heat and heading for the mountains.  Unfortunately, the best laid plans don’t always happen!  Due to heavy rain showers every afternoon and many in the evening, a ban on having fires, and various other factors we decided to forgo the camping expedition.  However, we did get to change it into urban camping, which meant a day in the mountains, cooking around the fire at home, and sleeping in comfy beds with indoor plumbing and showers!

Here’s Katya, waiting for the hikers to assemble…

While we were getting ready, some friends from church happened to arrive for a trail ride.  Nathan got to sit on a horse for the first time ever!  Katya had the best intentions, but got scared at the last minute.

Finally we were off.  (We were at the Three Sisters Open Space Park and hiked up the Evergreen Mountain trail).

And a while later, with Nathan hiking the whole way by himself (unless you count the help of the imaginary Thomas the Tank Engine Steam Team that came along), we made it to the top of the mountain.

Back down again, and barely in our cars before we were deluged with rain and heavy hail–wow!  We skipped our picnic lunch in favor of pizza at Beau Jo’s (a good choice, as we watched the water pour off their roof and even leak under the door).

An afternoon walk around Evergreen Lake, with the added excitement of watching a bridal party assemble.  Katya really wanted to go to the wedding to see the pretty lady dance!

A little nap on the ride home…

…and then hot dogs and S’mores around the backyard fire.

Thanks to the rain showers off and on, we were rewarded at the end of the evening with one of the most brilliant rainbows I ever remember seeing.  There were two sets of color right next to each other, and a third rainbow faintly above.  Thanks, God!!  Our “camping” trip was just right!