The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.


Closing Out on a High Note

June 12, 2015 - 8:46 AM

Travel Log: August 31 - Sept 1, 2012


Our time in Boulder was over and I said goodbye by enjoying my final cup of coffee on the most picturesque alcove porch ever made. (Oh, yes, some day, I will design a space like this into our home. Oh, yes.) We had to be out of our beautiful / surreal rental home at 6am on the 31st. We orginally planned to drive home to IC that day but changed plans last minute to stay a night up in Estes because Josh planned a big adventure for himself - to ride his bike up Trail Ridge Road to the Alpine Visitor Center for the first time ever - 25 miles from EP to the AVC with 6,000+ feet of elevation gain.

Now, writing this story three years later, considering how many dozens of times he has done it since (Goodness, even I've done it multiple times since!), it seems crazy to think about Josh riding this for THE first time. The day before, his dad told him he thought it was too dangerous and Josh was putting his life in too much risk. It is true, road cycling can be dangerous, the number of fatalities in this last month alone by cyclists from cars is heartbreaking and scary. However, Josh and I knew that it was a beautiful day with no rainstorms or intense wind predicted, the kids and I would be driving up to the Alpine Visitor Center, too, in case altitude became an issue, and really, barring the freak car run-in, the risks were nil and there was no need for worry. I knew Josh would be completely safe and he was excited for the challenge of his first high altitude bike ride.


The three and I did drive up to the Alpine Visitor Center to make certain Josh didn't need us. He didn't. He was having an amazing ride. Look at his smiling face! He even rode back down. No worries! While at the AVC, M&M happily completed the RMNP Junior Ranger booklet and recieved another badge for their collection. We also did one of the typical touristy Estes things and went mini-golfing, rode cars, and such. They had a blast (doing something we consider cheesy, ha!) and it made time go by until we could get into our hotel room, swim a bit, wait for Josh, have dinner with our EP friends, then go to bed early in preparation for our long drive home the next day. 




Maybe it was summer's charm, maybe it was the surroundings, maybe it was the similarities, but our time in Boulder was more calm and relaxed than our trip to San Francisco and when we left CO we were all sad to say goodbye. In Boulder, Josh had experienced great business opportunities, met people while using a co-working space, went on hiking meet-ups with like-minded professionals, and got to know clients better. The three and I loved how much everything felt like home but was fresh and exciting. It was also wonderful to know that we had good friends nearby in Estes and we were closer for family and friends to come visit us. Not to mention, it was absolutely beautiful, everywhere we went it was absolutely beautiful. So, so beautiful.

It was wonderful to go back home to IC, see our old friends, live in our old house, experience our old city, but we all agreed that we wanted to go back to CO as soon as possible. It was after our time in Boulder that a second part to our traveling lifestyle was starting to take shape. When we traveled to CA, I was so convinced we'd never return to IA that I had told our friends that we may just up and buy a house along the way. Here we were a year later and that idea of buying a home, a second home, was still out there. Boulder seemed like a good location for our family, our business, and as an investment property, etc. Our Estes friends, however, thought we should buy a home there. "But you live IN the mountains!" I exclaimed. "It's colder and snowier and winter-i-er in the mountains! And! I am not a fan of cold!" To which our friend Amos would reply, "No, it's not! Winters are WAY better here than Iowa. In January, I am climbing in a t-shirt. You just need to come out during the winter and see."

Soon enough, we were trying to find a time when we could go back and experience winter in the mountains. Thanksgiving seemed like a perfect time and because we love having our family with us on our adventures, we decided to try and convince my family to come out to CO with us. My dad ride in a plane?! Oh, yes, it was going to happen and it would be amazing!


Climbing a Classic

June 11, 2015 - 9:27 AM

Travel Log: August 29, 2012


If you aren't from Colorado, when you think of Boulder you think of Pearl Street and the Flatirons. The Flatirons make up the east slope of the Green Mountains and are located just west and a smidge south of the city. The conglomeratic sandstone was lifted and tilted to form the iconic shapes that some say looks like a turn-of-the-century flatiron. While all of the flatirons have names today, the first five, from north to south, are simply called First Flatiron, Second..., and so forth.

Today, we climbed the Third Flatiron.

Our friend Amos, hosted Josh and I to simul climb this route while his wife Molly spent the morning with our kids. We did the Standard East Route, which is considered a great beginner trad route, ranked between 5.0 and 5.4. The route is so "easy" that someone has solo climbed (meaning climbed without ropes) the entire 1,200 foot face in an impressive 5 minutes and 59 seconds. There is about a mile hike to the a good starting point for the route and the route itself is normally done in 8 pitches. Amos thought it could be climbed with a longer rope and in 4 pitches, so we went for it!





As you can tell it was an absolutely gorgeous day to be out and climbing. Amos did a wonderful job lead climbing and because of how "easy" the route is, he had no trouble belaying both Josh and I coming up at the same time. It truly felt like scrambling up a steep incline, but I was thankful for the rope's protection, I'm cautious like that, :)!





Standing on the top of the flatiron was beautiful. If it wasn't for the fact that I could see the First and Second Flatirons behind me, knowing I was on top of a similar point, I wouldn't have been able to fully grasp the depth of the experience.

It was when we were restacking the rope in order to begin the 3 rappels down the backside of the flatiron when my bad ankle starting hurting terribly. I commented to Amos, "Man! Either I tweaked my ankle something fierce climbing up or it's going to rain!" But, look at those above pictures. With a 360 view of happy little clouds, it certainly didn't look like rain, so I must've hurt it climbing. 

Halfway down the first rappel, clouds rolled in speedily and covered the sky, and then the rains came pouring down. The beauty of a healed broken bone to detect pressure changes in weather! Once we were done rappeling, of course, and hiking down the boulder fields the rainstorm had moved on, though clouds remained. 




(View from the trail. The Third Flatiron is the point on the left.)

I feel incredibly fortunate to have a husband and friends who like adventurous sports, rock climbing, alpine skiing, mountain biking, etc, and they do so with the utmost skill and concern for safety. We wouldn't do these adventures, individually or as a family, if the risks were too extreme. You will never see us base jumping (or even sky diving) because the possibility of failure is too great from our perspective. I am thankful that while doing these adventurous sports, my husband and friends teach me how to be safer, look for warning signs, always double check, and make wise decisions when problems arise.

However, like last year I was in a situation where I made a dumb move while belaying someone. Thankfully, everyone was safe. It was a rookie mistake and I know I am smarter than that. Because of it though, I have strongly learned my lesson and am a safer belayer because of it. Or, I can look back at other moments, like Josh's close call on Porcupine Rim, and so forth, where once again, I am so thankful it was a redeemable reminder to be paying attention, to not take situations for granted and become complacent. This is also a lesson we have also learned from friends' experiences (like this story I just read that involved a friend of Josh's) and it is a lesson we have learned countless times since (Wait till I get to the story where we truly deserved a sarcastic "Parents of the Year" award.) and one we continue to learn to this day (Did you hear about me sliding to my death on Flattop a couple months ago?).

Hmmm... maybe I should learn how to knit again, :)!


*This photo was all over online and I am unsure who took it, but it wasn't me. Photo credit: Google Search: "bird's eye view flatirons" to find original photographer.

We LOVE Visits From Family!

June 10, 2015 - 7:17 PM

Travel Log: August 23 - 28, 2012

Goodness, do we love visits from family and friends! This time it was Josh's dad, Mark, who flew in from Minnesota for a long weekend. It was within moments of arriving in our rental home he commented about the same surreal, yet intimate, similarities with the owner and his late wife. It was also within moments we had him hiking up our favorite rocks and tackling altitude like a champ!


We took Grandpa on our favorite hikes near our house, walked around Pearl Street and went out to sushi, went fishing in the Boulder Creek, had burgers at a dive in the hippy mountain town of Nederland, drove up to Trail Ridge Road in Estes so he could see herds of elk and flocks of sheep, go out to Thai food with him and our Estes friends, had him babysit the kids by spending the day at the skatepark and having pizza in his hotel so Josh and I could go out to on a date. It was heaven. 


It just so happened that during Mark's visit that Stage 6 of the week long USA Pro Cycling Challenge 2012 was riding through Boulder twice. The stage started south in Golden, came to Boulder and looped through downtown, scooped a mountain loop to Nederland then Lyons, then finished back in Boulder at the top of an intense hill climb on Flagstaff Mountain. Flagstaff Mountain is located just north of the Flatirons and the road, Flagstaff Road, is a narrow two lane road with intense switchback. The finish was partway up the mountain at the Sunrise Amphitheater, 3.5 miles with 2000+ feet of climbing, having an average 11% grade. (And this is after they rode 100 miles and climbing thousands upon thousands of feet already, oy!)

I'll admit, when we first waited to watch the riders come through the straight, flat downtown streets, it was fairly ho-hum. It was exciting for the 10 seconds that the riders zipped past and exciting when their support cars brought up the rear, handing out swag, but then it was over. Leaving you to think, "That was it?"

Then we walked over to Flagstaff Road.

If you look at a map of Boulder, you will notice there is green space around most edges of the city, making it so that no other city touches Boulder. From reservoirs to parks to wildlife habitats to greenways, this area is part of the Open Space and Mountain Parks Department (OSMP) and has been created and maintained as a nature buffer of protected lands around the city that prevents development from taking over these open spaces. (It is also the reason why land is so expensive in the city of Boulder.)

The City of Boulder wanted to make certain that the Boulder Mountain Park, part of the OSMP where Flagstaff Mountain is located, was not damaged during the Pro Challenge. Wristbands were issued at the ride festivities in downtown to control the number of people who were allowed into the area. They shut down Flagstaff Road to all car traffic and shut down all the nature trails to foot traffic. There was no choice for those wanting to see the finish but to go through a checkpoint and then walk/ride up Flagstaff Road. From base of the road, you could tell a party was starting...




Mark and the kids had walked from home to downtown then to the base of Flagstaff Road and started climbing up the road when they found a nice shady spot and called 4 miles of intense heat good enough for them. Josh and I continued up the road since he knew that hill climbs were the most exciting part of a bike race for spectators and he wanted to get up to one of the more challenging inclines by the switchbacks. Once we got there, the party was in full force...




And it wasn't just the outfits. Once we got to the switchbacks, we saw that someone had pulled up an enormous sound system with generator (on their bikes!) and started this huge dance party in the middle of the street. 

When the first cars and motorcycles started driving up the road, signifying that the riders were coming soon, they were barely able to squeeze between the spectators, and the crazy crowd banged on car hoods and high-fived the motorcycle riders. Thankfully, the crowds parted a little more for the riders. Part of the reason why hill climbs are exciting for spectators is that the riders are no longer in a pack / peloton. Hills are every man for himself, riders and teammates get separated, breakaways from unknowns are made, strong hill climbers take over the sprinters, and everyone is struggling to make it up this intense climb. 

When we finally stopped to watch the riders we had some extra space, so another fun thing to do on hill cimbs is to race the cyclists up the climb. It's goofy, but come on, when else do you get to race Jens Voigt up a mountain?!



Our time with Grandpa was a full of fun and surprises, but it was especially memorable for the kids. Their time with old friends at the beginning of our stay was great, and their new neighbor friends were great, but having family who love them just as they are, makes all the difference. It warms my heart to know that even though distance separates them and they do not get to spend large amounts of time with their grandparents, aunts & uncles, and cousins, the significance of them in their lives is crucial to their well-being and stability. The connection is surreal, yet intimate, and much better than fiction


PS! I hear the videos work, hooray! I also fixed my comments, hooray! :)!

Troopers. Three Little Troopers.

June 7, 2015 - 7:58 AM

Travel Log: August 21, 2012

In rare form for a Tuesday, Josh had the day off, so we decided to go on a family adventure. One of Josh's favorite road bike rides (this was before the 2013 floods) was going up Lefthand Canyon Drive from Boulder to Ward. From there we had planned to go to Brainard Lake Recreation Area for hiking and fishing. Driving up the canyon, we saw our first bear in the wild. It was exciting, but truth be told, it was so close to the car it scared our little girl to the point of tears and screams even while he was walking away.


Once we arrived at the entrance, we were happy to learn that our National Parks Pass worked for entrance into the Brainard Lake Recreation Area because it is an access to the Roosevelt National Forest. (Score!) And, what a beautiful area it was... 


Off in the distance you can see countless beautiful, rocky mountain peaks, ranging between 12,500 and 13,223 feet, marking the Continental Divide, and making up a portion of the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. Our attempted destination of the day would be the 13,223 ft peak of Mt. Audubon (on the right) because it had the clearest marked trail to the summit, 7.9 miles RT.

The trail starts at 10,508 ft. After about a mile and a half of walking up through beautiful tall spruce, we made it above tree line. Once above tree-line, we could look back with views down into the valley and see the breathtaking, haze covered "hills". It was here, while the ground was still green, that we sat down and had the most picturesque picnic lunch on top of the world.



Looking forward, toward the rocky peaks and our attempted destination, we could see snow. We knew there were small glaciers in the area, lying between the peaks, and we wondered if this snowy area was one of those glaciers. Actually, we honestly thought that the one closest to us was a glacier and told the kids it was, too. A day later someone made certain I knew we were definitely wrong and it was only a snow field. Tomato, tomato, it was exciting thinking it was a glacier at the time and I'm happy for our mistake, :)!

Since we do have non-hiking fans in our midst, we could tell spirits were starting to fall as exhaustion from the extreme hike was setting in. Since we do have non-hiking fans in our midst, the idea that there was snow to see in August, all of us thinking it was a glacier, we were able to convince everyone to make the patch of snow our end goal. Once we touched the snow, we could turn around. This worked well for all of us, because even though it seemed like the snow was only a 5 minute walk away from where we were, it ended up being a looooonnnnnggggg way away. We had blaze our own trail to reach the snow but it was worth it. We wouldn't touch the summit of Mt. Audubon, but we "ended" our hike on a high note for everyone. Haters included. All thanks to being wrong, :)!



It took us a while to find the actual trail to get back down the mountain, making our hike longer than expected had we reached the summit, but the excitement of playing on snow that we (still wrongly) thought was a glacier, kept everyone chatting excitedly the 4 miles back to the car.  

The other exciting subject for the hike back was the fact that we were going fishing next. There are countless lakes in this area and although the majority of them are a hike to get to, we were able to find one with easy access from the car, as we could tell there would be no more hiking today, :)!




They didn't catch any fish, but we stopped by the grocery store and caught some on the way home. I couldn't be more thankful for an absolutely amazing day with my family.


A Do Run Run Run, A Do Run Run

June 5, 2015 - 9:36 AM

Travel Log: August 19, 2012

While the three and I filled our lazy summer days with hiking and downtown adventures, I still had to carve out time for keeping up with the running plan for my (first ever) upcoming half marathon


Again, I am not a runner. To this day, I am a person who "runs", but not well, and not with skill, and definitely not fast. I have no natural ability for running like my husband and middle child. If you watch them run, they look like gazelles, barely touching the ground, as they effortlessly move past you at speeds of under 8 minute miles. (And that's at high altitude! Oy!) For me, running is a physically hard challenge and has never come easy. I think I summed up running and me best when I said years ago, " my mind, running is by far the most painful experience/exercise known to my body and henceforth, s-u-c-k-s." No joke. Well, actually, it is a funny joke between dear, old friends and me, :)!

If my fading memory can recall 15ish years ago... It was a foggy, early morning when a group of girlfriends wanted to go for a run around the college's cross country track and for some crazy reason that I can't remember, I opted to join them. I don't think I ran longer than a handfull of minutes, but I do think I complained a lot, and I also think I may have said something to the effect of running being straight from hell. Well, maybe not those strong of words, but I definitely gave the strong impression that running and I were not friends. To this day it makes my friends and I laugh about the fact that I "run" now. No really. I just received an email from one of those sweet girls the other day and she mentioned it and I totally laughed out loud becuase she is so right. Hahahahaha, :)! Silly Dana.

Another joke about me and "running" is what I listen to while I run. Back when I started, I listened to Josh's iPod. Because our music library was so small back then, I primarily listened to various NPR station podcasts, like This American Life or Radio Lab. Then somehow I happened upon the Insight for Living podcast. Timed with me spiraling in despair, the Insight for Living podcasts addressed some of the issues I had been struggling through - forgiving, loneliness, taking responsibility for hurts, leaving a church, parenting struggles, finding truth, loving people, marriage, depression, etc. During every run, something said would cut so deep I would be in tears while running along the road. After every run, I had learned something, it changed me for the better, and, truly, I had grown as a human, a wife, a parent, a friend.

If anything, this podcast keeps me running to this day. It still cuts deep, it still makes me cry, and I'd like to hope it still makes me a better human. People have tried to get me to listen to other podcasts or books on tape, some so strongly and often, my simple response of, "I just like this one," doesn't do it for them. While I'd like to believe they are simply trying to give new suggestions thinking I may be bored with it, I struggle with feeling like they are criticizing my choice. But even listening to it the other day on my run, it inspired a desire in me to pursue more art in my life and to get back into writing this memoir. Once again, I am thankful for this simple podcast.  

But back to running! :)!

I couldn't run if it wasn't for Josh and the three's HUGE encouragement. The time required each week for the weekday short runs and weekend long runs, adds up. Back then, if they didn't join me on runs or Josh didn't carve out his schedule to watch the kids while I ran alone, none of this could have ever happened. Though the majority of my training was done in IA at 700 ft elevation, the half marathon I had signed up for was at 5300 ft elevation. Yes, I ran much slower at elevation and yes, I did vomit once or twice along my training runs, possibly due to the elevation. Thankfully, overall, I feel like I benefited from having 2 weeks of training time at elevation before the race.


My sweet friend Molly came down from Estes to run with me and complete her second half marathon of the summer. The day of the race was beautiful and we chatted it up the whole course, with her husband and my family cheering us on at different points. When I finally reached the end, it was so fitting that my sweet girl ran out and grabbed my hand to cross the finish line with me. They were such a huge part of this accomplishment. My run wasn't speedy and it wasn't in perfect form, but I have to admit, I was in awe of what an infamous running-hater like me had just done.



While because of this, that, and the other, I did take a break from "running" for a time after my first half marathon, Molly and I were schemeing. Since she had run a very fun Estes Park Half Marathon, she wanted to try the Estes Park Marathon for the next year and I, for some crazy reason, wanted to join her. I found this in my Photos, dated a few days after the half marathon. Obviously, I had solidified that decision fairly quick, :)!



The Regulars and Out of the Ordinaries

June 4, 2015 - 9:54 AM

Travel Log: August 10 - 13, 2012

Because of the fact that our employees live anywhere in the country, we can live anywhere in the country. This is what makes our lifestyle of travel work. However, there is something to be said for face-to-face interactions with co-workers, so whenever it is possible, we fly in all our employees and everyone gets together for an extended weekend. Our trip to Boulder was aligned with this in mind and over our first week/weekend there, they had one of those gatherings in Breckenridge. Josh took the car with him to help transport people, leaving the kids and I to our feet and public transportation.



An out-of-the-ordinary thing the kids and I did our first week in Boulder was that the boys got to participate in an Apple Camp. Apple Camp is a 3-day camp organized by the Apple Store, with the fourth day being presentation day with family and friends in attendance. Designed for kids aged 8 - 12, there are two camps to choose from, a book camp or a film camp and our boys participated in the film camp. They learned how to storyboard a film, film it, then, of course, they put together a completed film using iMovie, being taught all the tricks during the camp.


The Apple Store was on the far other side of town from us, so in order to get to our classes we had to travel by bus. Back when I had broken my foot, my right foot, I couldn't drive, so for months the kids and I took the bus everywhere, swim lessons, the mall, grocery store, doctor's appointments, etc. (All while on crutches with a 4, 6, and 8 year old, oh my!) When we visited Prague, we took buses and subways everywhere. When we lived in downtown San Francisco, we took buses and cable cars everywhere. Needless to say, our three are public transportation champs.

The boys made a trailer for a film about being skateboarding bros and it was perfectly them.

A regular things the kids and I did was visit the skatepark OFTEN since it had become their favorite sport. And not just the Boulder skatepark, every city around us, Lafayette, Louisville, Lyons, Estes, etc, had a skatepark - each one unique. Once Josh returned the kids and I visited the outlying cities' skateparks, but while he was gone we'd simply hop the bus and make it work. The boys' skills grew with each visit and Miriam had a blast on her scooter. 


A regular thing we did was walk to Saturday's downtown farmer's market, something we loved doing in IC. Boulder's Farmer's Market had a system where you could buy Market Bucks. If you were like me and rarely carried cash, you could "buy" money coupons with your card and then once you bought something from a vendor they would give you cash in return. It cut out the middle man of ATM fees as this was before Square made its way onto the market vendor scene.  



An out-of-the-ordinary thing that happened because of the Farmer's Market was Max watched a balloon artist and was mesmerized. Not only by his skill but by how much money the guy was making. Thankfully, the downtown toy store sold an intro to balloon animals kit and Max bought one and got to work. He used the book until he mastered them all, then went to YouTube and learned more. Our house was covered in balloon animals.


An out-of-the-ordinary thing that happened because Max got a balloon kit was Zeke got a trick kite. We never thought kite flying could be so exciting for an 11 year old who thrives on action. Since we had this awesome kite to fly, we went to a big open space north of our home. Since we went to this big open space north of our home and since this was Boulder, we had another out-of-the-ordinary thing happen by seeing a Hula Hoop Meet-Up taking place at the park that all the kids participated in.



Finally, a regular thing we did was Sunday church and breakfast. During our time in Boulder, we checked out a new church each Sunday. They were all incredibly different from each other, but we always find it fun to see what is going on in different churches. One church served real wine for communion, to the children even, whoa! It was also a nice way to meet people in the community. Since it is normally Josh's regular thing to take the three out to breakfast on the weekend, this time I took them out and we ventured to Lucile's Creole Cafe for brunch that first Sunday. We all loved their creole seasoning so much we bought a jar of it. But, boy was it hot.


Being without Josh is always hard for the kids and I because we miss his presence dearly and here we were without him while in a new city, without any friends nearby, and without a car to use. However, because of planning ahead we were close to downtown, the creek, the library, and various parks for playing and skateboarding. Because of previous travels, we were comfortable with bus routes and walking on foot. And, because the kids and I gel well with each other, we had survived over a week in our new home and truly it was that - home.


We LOVE Visits From Friends!

June 3, 2015 - 7:28 PM

Travel Log: August 7 & 8, 2012

Another thing that always makes a new place feel like home is friends and family. This time, it was friends from Iowa visiting Estes Park and, in turns, they visited us down in Boulder and we visited them up in Estes. From going to The Spot Bouldering Gym in Boulder to hiking up Mt. Chapin in Rocky Mountain National Park, we spent two days living summer to its fullest! (After the work day was done, that is.)

The first day we visited The Spot. Though it is large, I'd call it a hole-in-the-wall climbing gym, but in a wonderful, good way. It is an amazing place for those who love bouldering, though it does offer some sport climbing routes and a slackline. Our three and their two friends had a blast bouldering as it is quick and easy to move around routes by yourself and you don't always need to have a spotter thanks to all the thick pads (and them never getting up too high). 




The next day, our group of friends decided to hike up Mt. Chapin. Mt. Chapin is located in Rocky Mountain Naitonal Park, which you can access through Estes Park. Once you get into RMNP, you need to take Old Fall River Road to get to the Mt. Chapin trailhead. 

Old Fall River Road was simply Fall River Road when the road was first started in 1913 and was the only connection between Estes Park and Grand Lake, the city located opposite Estes on the other side of the Continental Divide. The dirt paved road was narrow, notoriously steep with sharp hairpin turns, but was used primarily until 1932 when the beginning section from Estes to the top was replaced by the current, nicely paved, more gradual, Trail Ridge Road.

Even though they paved the western side of Fall River into Trail Ridge Road, thankfully they left the first nine dirt miles of those wonderful yet incredibly steep, twisting hairpins (some of which legitimately require 3 point turns for larger vehicles) to use today as the one-way Old Fall River Road. The dirt road ends at the top of RMNP at the Alpine Visitor Center but offers a slower pace up the mountains due to the lack of traffic and the ability to stop often, enjoying the beautiful views along the river. (Though, it was temporaily closed due to the 2013 floods, it is set to open this Fourth of July, 2015. Wahoo!)

Again, this is how you get to the Mt. Chapin trailhead.

The trail itself starts around 11,025 ft and tops out up at Mt. Chapin's 12,454 ft summit and is only 3.6 miles round trip, making it a great trail for kids. It's also great for kids because it starts near tree-line, so a lot of the trail is not buried in the tress and is visible, with an end/goal/summit in sight. Like I've always said, we do have some kids who do not enjoy hiking as much as others; however, having friends on the trail made it much more enjoyable! It was fun to watch the boys pair up and keep each other company, talking about this that and the other, while making the journey. It was also fun to have little Miss M (wearing a dress, of course) to go between hiking to getting a piggy-back ride. 

For an evening hike, the reward at the end was breathtaking.




We made it down and to the cars right at dusk. By the time we made the 24 mile drive back down to Estes, via Trail Ridge Road, of course, it was pitch black out. We grabbed a quick bite to eat before making the 45 minute drive back down to our home in Boulder. 

What beautiful days with beautiful friends.


Similiar, Yet Different, Home

June 3, 2015 - 9:19 AM

Travel Log: 6 August 2012

(Psssttt... if someone actually reads this blog, can you let me know if the video links work? Thanks!)

I'll admit it, traveling during the summer is considerably less complicated than during the school year. However, when you "can" work where ever you live, you "have" to work where ever you live. For Josh, this meant that during our time in Boulder he would be having to daily work 9-5, as well as, have his normal travels away from home for meet-ups and conferences. For me, our administrative assistant was still on maternity leave and I had to continue to take care of bookkeeping needs.

Thankfully, my work did not stop us from having amazing summer dayz.

As I mentioned, we chose our rental home because of its close vicinity (ie walking distance) to the downtown area, to a creek, and to the library - all things to remind us of home, bringing stability to an our otherwise unstable lifestyle. The city of Boulder itself has a feel quite similar to our home city. We often joked Boulder was a super-charged version of IC. As if you took IC, shot it full of Red Bull, and added 10 times as many people (when you count tourists). And, not to mention, Boulder's Pearl Street Mall is IC's Pedestrian Mall's crazy, big sister.

No, really.

Both the Pearl Street Mall and Pedestrian Mall were started during the later 70's, seeking to revitalize the urban centers of each city. The same firm that assisted in the design of the Pearl Street Mall, assisted the design of the Pedestrian Mall, Sasaki Associates. But like I said, Boulder is IC super-charged. Yes, they both have brick lined streets, sculptures, one-of-a-kind shops, delicious eateries, water features, street performers, flower beds and trees, but Pearl Street's size and energy is towering compared to IC. Not saying it is better, they are the same yet different. Similarly unique? Tantamount to each other? Akinly disparate? You choose. Either way, the three-quarter mile walk from our new home to Pearl Street was one we would happily make almost once a day for the entire month. 

In IC, we also had the beautiful, peaceful Hickory Hill Park just a couple blocks away. 185 acres, complete from open spaces to woods, trails, and, the kids' favorite, the meandering Ralston Creek. We knew there was a creek within walking distance of our new home in Boulder, yet once again, we did not fully grasp the size and energy of this creek compared to our old one.


Boulder Creek stretches west to east across, roughly, the middle of the city of Boulder. Additionally marked by a well paved 5.5 mile bike path, it is lined with lush trees, playgrounds and picnic tables as to be expected, and, what we did not know, was that it is also well known for its tubing and ropeswinging. Our first day's adventure, just the kids and I, was to find the creek and play in it on a muggy, summer day. Even for a Monday, mostly due to the intense heat, the park and creek were hopping with large groups of people and birthday parties and family reunions and squatters and hula hoopers and tubers, lots and lots of tubers. Once again, a super-charged version of home.

A group of people we met were kind enough to let the boys try their tubes, :)!

After a wonderfully full day of playing in the creek, the kids and I walked to home, stopping along the way at the local market, Lolita's, for candy and drinks. (Here, was the one similarity between the cities where IC towers in size and energy with its John's Grocery and its fabulous beer selection being unmatched by Boulder's counterpart, :)!)



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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
   Travels in Germany & Austria
   Travels in Czech & Poland


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