Colorado Adventures!

We flew out to Colorado this week to visit my family. Because I worked both Christmas and New Year’s, there was really no good time to make the trip west… and of course now school is starting and work is ramping up. But we’ve had a WONDERFUL time. First, we had a great visit with my grandparents – a real holiday-style ham dinner! I don’t feel so bad about missing the Christmas and New Years’ feasts after enjoying some home-cooked green bean casserole.

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Please note the girls’ side ponytails!!! 

 

Then we took off to Glenwood Springs and the best ski resort ever, Ski Sunlight. “What is this Ski Sunlight?” you may ask. “I have heard of Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge… but Ski Sunlight?” You haven’t heard of it because it’s Colorado’s best kept secret (and, unfortunately, no one is paying me to say that!) The lower slopes are gradual and perfect for beginners, but there are also some great intermediate and expert slopes higher up. And at night, when you drag yourself home, you can head to Glenwood Springs hot springs for a soak in the medicinal waters. (Note: we never actually hit the hot spring this time…. but we did hit the hot tub!)

I decided to be adventurous. I have skiied for over 20 years of my life and I can get down the mountain without much trouble. So I decided to branch out, push myself:

 

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Yes, I learned how to snowboard!! In perfect powder conditions which were great for spending lots of time on my behind (fallboarding)! I actually found snowboarding pretty fun because it is so much about core and balance. The not so fun part: you can’t hike easily with a snowboard. The second day I did a pretty flat green run with my family and ended up hiking up hills 4 times because I either fell or ran out of speed (hikeboarding). 

Except for the first time, I also fell every single time I got off the lift. Every. Single. Time. Let me know if you have any tips!

But all that time spent sprawled in the snow was worth it for the feeling of drifting like a falling leaf down the hillside. No poles. No crossed skis. No baggage. Just me, my board, and the mountain. 

After two days in the hills, we had to head back to real life.  Chris, my brother and I headed to Golden for a day and met my grandmother at Ali Baba for lunch – delish! Then we visited some friends from medical school and their baby in the Stapleton area.

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Those babies grow up so fast!

Yesterday my mom brought me along to observe her work as a school nurse. She works at a school for kids with past attendance or disciplinary issues, and I was so impressed at how their school works to accommodate the kids and families. They are working hard to help people and making a difference at a critical time in these kids’ lives. 

Today we went to the Denver Art Museum and saw the Passport to Paris exhibit. It was great to see such a variety of styles and times – my new favorite is British artist Sisley. They had a great Pissaro section with paintings from each decade of his art and it was cool to see how his style evolved and mellowed, from sharp geometrical shapes and “wild-urban interface” pieces to more abstract nature scenes. They also had some cool juxtapositions – a scene of Montmartre when it was all country, and a couple scenes of the wild nightlife there a few decades later. While we were at DAM, we also admired some of Thomas Moran’s watercolors and chromolithographs from Yellowstone. We finished our time downtown with some wine and cheese across the street. 

Lest you think that all we do is travel fun places and eat, Chris also made Mario Batalli’s baked ziti last night and in the process discovered that the pipes around the garbage disposal were clogged. Dirty dishwater was pouring everywhere; buckets, towels, flashlights were produced. But nothing could faze the Bugoshes! My dad ran some diagnostics, my mom snaked the pipes and upon discovering that it was beyond our level of expertise, we turned to Music Man to help Anna practice for the school play.  The new Music Man (2003) is pretty good, I must say, especially since we live so close to Iowa.  And the plumber is on the case right now. 

So it’s not ALL fun and games… but we usually end up having fun anyway!

 

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Visit to Omaha

Last week I drove down to Omaha to visit my brother and sister-in-law, Mic and Morgan. I had a FANTASTIC time. The ride there and back was enlivened by listening to my Kindle read me a great fluff YA book, Tempest Revealed.  It’s the third in a series about a girl named Tempest who discovers she’s a mermaid and is torn between her human boyfriend and a handsome selkie prince.

Of course listening to it brought out different things than reading it would have. After the first few hours I wanted to take the narrator by the shoulders, shake her, and yell “Stop feeling guilty for everything! Own your decisions!”

But I digress. When I arrived in Omaha, it was in the forties!! It hasn’t been that warm here for weeks!! Mic took me to a few of the places he’s picked up work over the past few months (doing prescribed burns and now ski instructing) and then we checked out some local shops downtown. The most beautiful was Mangelsen Photography; he has some stunning images from around the West, and Mic used his panoramas of the Tetons to show me which mountain was which! Afterwards, Morgan joined us at Blue Sushi for supper.

Aren’t they cute?!! That’s our giant selection of tasty sushi in the foreground!

Then Mic made us some super-tasty “special” hot chocolate for dessert, and I captured this Christmas-card worthy shot of the family, including their kitty Otto.

Mic also regaled me with exciting tales from his fire season adventures. 

The next morning, Mic and I had a delicious breakfast (wildberry stuffed French toast, yum!) at Lisa’s Radial Cafe. Crispy bacon, scrumptious French bread, hashbrowns, and bottomless coffee…  Then Mic and I hit up the mall, the Memorial, and the Joslyn Art Museum. Here we are in front of a eye-boggling sculpture.

The Joslyn has several stunning works by Thomas Moran, a painter who worked up in the Tetons (actually one of the mountains is named after him!). Between Mic, Moran and Mangelsen, I think God is encouraging me to visit Wyoming. 

We had tasty burgers at a local pub and then I took off back to Rochester. I finished listening to my book on the way. Thank goodness, I was getting tired of Tempest! That’s the danger of listening to a first person narrated book I guess, it was like a 5 hour monologue by a whiny teenager… albeit one with a really good story…

I can’t believe there’s only 4 days til Christmas. This month has flown by. I will miss being with family this year but I am so thankful for them. I am so glad I got to visit Mic and Morgan and saw Chris’s side of the family in November, and I am looking forward to seeing my family in Colorado in January.

To close on a serious yet joyful note… my grand-grandmother passed away recently. Although I will miss her, I am glad she is with Jesus. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:4).

Here is a picture of us together 4 years ago.

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Godspeed, Gram!!