Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I'm Back!

Actually, I've been back from vacation since Friday. Things have been a little hectic since then. but Vacation was awesome.

The only bad part was a slight freak-out that I had at the Big Texan in Amarillo, TX the first night when I realized the knitting bag DID NOT make it into the truck. I'm sure you guys appreciate the terror. I couldn't remember the last time I had it as I was packing and dragging stuff outside. Did I leave it in the driveway? Was it still in the yarn room? Or did I leave it in the living room totally unprotected from bored cats? Oh please, don't let it be the bored cats! Even though so far they have been unable to break into it while I am away for a few minutes and leave it unattended on the couch, if they had a whole week I'm sure they'd band together and figure out a way to open the thing. There is half a laceweight shawl in there that I've been working on for a month! If they ate the socks that would still be bad, but not as bad as if they chewed up the shawl. holy crap...breathe...eeeeeek!!
I went to bed uncertain as I'd only been able to leave a few frantic text messages on Julia's cell. (She was out of range at the drive-in movies.) I actually WOKE UP in the middle of the night worried about this. Steve totally laughed at me too. Julia called me in the morning to make sure she knew what to look for, then called me back as we were on the road to Alamosa to let me know she'd found the bag in the yarn room and all was safe. whew!

We visited Great Sand Dunes National Park, but didn't get to go out on the dunes because there was a ton of killer lightening going on. (The killer lightening followed us to every mountain we tried to walk around on too, so no hiking was accomplished.)After a visit to the local Wal-Mart so I could get something cheap to wear swimming, we checked into this cute little motel in Alamosa and had some really awesome food at a local Mexican place.

That town is so cute and had so many funny attractions (like the Aligator Farm thing which offered Gator Wrasslin' Lessons for a mere $50 and the UFO Observatory) that I could have probably stayed there another day or two easy. haha
In the morning I must have been subconsciously not wanting to go because I totally locked the keys in the truck while Steve was pumping gas. I swear I didn't lock it, but when I came back from inside the store it was locked up tight. Thank goodness for Chevy roadside assistance. They sent a cute guy with some rubber wedge things and a long long hook with a magnet to open the door. It is surprisingly easy to force open a car door without damaging the door or anything. CRAZY. We were back on the road in ten minutes from the time I placed the call. No shit. I was amazed.

FINALLY we got into the serious mountains. Before now it was mostly flatness all through Texas, New Mexico, and Southern Colorado. This pic was taken on the road to Breckenridge. We got stuck in a big traffic jam due to some road work being done there. I can't say that I minded much since the weather and the view were both awesome. Breckenridge was pretty OK. We spent some time walking around the downtown main street shopping area, had lunch there, had some ice cream, and got caught in the afternoon rain. Surprisingly, while standing around under a random awning waiting for the rain to stop, I found a yarn store. Haha...actually it was mostly a quilt store, but there in tiny letters on the sign it said they also had knitting yarn. whoo! I had to climb a million stairs to get to it, and once I got there they had a pretty bleak selection with no shorter sock needles so I ended up not buying anything. Still it was kind of neat how we just happened upon the place. I would never have found it if I'd been looking for it.
Later that day we made it to Rocky Mountain National Park. We came in the back way and took Trail Ridge Road into Estes Park.

It was pretty cloudy/rainy and the lightening was back. We did get out at one pull-out place to take some more pictures, and we stopped at the Alpine Visitors Center, but it was already closed for the day and we never made it back up there the rest of the week. Here I am at the closed Visitors Center.

That snow back there has some pink streaks in it that you can't really see so well in the pic. It's totally full of gross worms. Seriously. That lumpy windbreaker thing was not doing a very good job of keeping me warm, so it was back to the car in a hurry after this pic was taken.
I didn't take many more Vacation pictures after that. I kept forgetting the camera in the room etc. I suck at documenting trips, so this number of photos is actually pretty good for me. I had planned to take pictures at the Stanley Hotel, but the guard at the gate told us unless we were guests we couldn't come in. We couldn't even drive into the parking lot. That is just fucked up. geez. I was too bitter to even bother taking a pic of the building or to go to the museum.
We spent our three days there walking around downtown Estes park, where I stumbled upon another yarn store next to a coffee place. I got some awesome bulky alpaca/wool and some circular needles so I could make a hat. It turned out kind of big, but cute.
One day we drove from Estes to Ft. Collins, had lunch at Lambspun where I also bought a really spiffy batt of blue/green/sparkley stuff to spin, and then headed to Boulder where Steve got to do some shopping at outdoorsey stores and I got to poke through the stock at Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins. I didn't buy anything there, but we did pet the coolest giant fuzzy dog in the world and were followed by a super cute laughing baby. :)
When we left, we decided to just drive back as fast as possible in one big swoop. Steve said he could drive part of the way if I got tired, but I wanted to try to do the whole 13 hours myself. I'm weird like that. We went across the most boring, flat, nothingness filled area of Kansas then down into Oklahoma where we were hit by a huge thunderstorm complete with 60mph winds and no visibility. I had to pull over to the side of the highway and inch my way down to an offramp. Luckily there was a truckstop restaurant there so we had burgers and onion rings and coffee for a couple hours while listening to the weather radio to make sure there wasn't a tornado about to carry us off. Once the rain let up it was on to Tulsa, then two more hours to home.
The first thing I saw when we opened the garage door was the box with my new spinning wheel in it. YAY! too tired to haul it into the house...straight to bed. Steve stayed up and went through the mail and petted kitties etc. He's nutso.
Friday we found out that a friend of Steve's family that he used to stay with when he was in college had died. Saturday I had to drive to Dallas to pick Ian up by myself because Steve was totally sick on the couch with sinus crud and had to do laundry/pack to drive to Kilgore, TX for the funeral on Sunday. Sunday I opened the wheel box, took out the niddy noddy, and tested a stain out on it. I'll probably unpack the rest of the wheel and stain it/put it together this weekend.
It's over 100 degrees here every day this week. I had a migraine today that I'm sure was brought on from getting overheated Monday and Tuesday, and I have to go back to (unairconditioned) work tomorrow. I need more vacation.

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