30 October, 2010

Vacation - Cousin Krystal in Colorado

I haven't seen my cousin Krystal for *ages* - at least not to really spend time with, since we've been to family gatherings together over the years.  When Greg & I were planning this vacation, I decided that I really wanted to see her.  Since Colorado isn't that far from New Mexico, it worked into our trip nicely.  If you ask almost anyone what they like about Krystal, they'll always come back with something about her smile, or her laugh, or her positive outlook on life.  I love ALL those things about her.  And I just love being with her.  Somehow, it feels like I'm more complete, more at peace, more... me (in all ways that are good) when we're together.  I don't know that it makes any sense, but that's how I feel.
We arrived in Longmont late Wednesday night, so spent the night at some seedy motel.  That wasn't the intention (the seedy part), we just wanted a bed to sleep in since we'd be in late.  Not much rest happening when Greg's checking the covers for bed bugs and under the bed for bodies.  I don't think it was quite that bad - definitely outdated fixtures and decor, a cinderblock mattress, paper-thin walls and questionable clientele, but clean overall and a place to rest after driving all day.  For some reason, we were up and ready to go early.  Before we were even checked out, I got a message from Krystal: Are you up yet?  Breakfast's ready, come hungry!  YAY!
(For the remainder of our stay, Jay kindly opened his home to us so we didn't have to endure more of the seedy motel scene.  Thanks again, Jay!!!)  We had breakfast together, then sent Greg on his way.  He was heading south again to visit Garden of the Gods, while I spent the day with Krystal and her family.  Turns out, there's yet another place we need to go back and visit.  While I wouldn't trade my visiting for anything, I would like to see the Garden in person.  Greg's pictures are beautiful, and I can only imagine it would be more spectacular in person.  Side note: I really like the geography and climate of the southwest.  I could totally live here!
Krystal and I spent the day just catching up on the intervening years and running errands.  Nothing overly exciting, but deeply satisfying.  Friday, being Greg's birthday, had to be special!  We started the day by attending the honor roll award ceremony for Topher - way to go!! - then headed to Boulder for some shopping.  Did I mention that this area is bee-yoooh-teeee-fulll?  The weather was gorgeously sunny and warm; it couldn't've been a better day!  We had the best breakfast burrito EVER at Illegal Pete's, then spent some time in the cool (as in nifty or neat-o) stores shopping.  I think this is the first actual souvenir shopping we've done on this vacation - and it was very fruitful!
From there, we stopped in for lunch at brewery #5: Mountain Sun Brewery.  Got some free fries (a house mistake that we benefited from), and Greg had the sampler.  I must say, they make some mighty tasty beer in Colorado!
By then, Jay was done working for a bit, so we headed back to the house to collect him and continue our tour of breweries.  Brewery #6: Lefthand Brewery.  Greg and I were both interested in this stop - me, because my work briefly investigated using a product offered by Lefthand SAN, who supposedly got their name because they had lots of business meetings at the brewery.  Another sampler for Greg and I had the Haystack Wheat, which I really like!  It's got hints of banana, clove, and nutmeg - my favorite so far! - although I also tried the Milk Stout.  For a dark beer, it wasn't half bad...

By the time we were done at Lefthand, school was out so we headed back to pick up Topher.  For some reason, Greg decided that he wanted to run home.  Now, it's only about three miles back to Jay's house, so one would think this endeavor would go smoothly.  We passed Greg on the way home and pulled over to offer a ride - instead Topher hopped out to run with him.  We got home, and then we waited... and waited... and waited some more.  Just as I was considering what I should do if they didn't get home soon, the boys came bounding in the door... in need of medical supplies for Greg.
According to Topher: It was *obvious* to anyone you shouldn't run through those leaves!  So now we know that piles of leaves in Colorado can be lethal.  We also know that Greg should not imbibe and then try ANY type of running.  Backwards (last year at our Halloween party) or forwards, it seems that this is not a good idea.  And he ruined his good pair of jeans.  Oh well.  Some lessons are learned the hard way.  =)
To finish the day, we picked up Dal from his field trip and the whole clan headed to brewery #7: Oskar Blues in Lyons, CO for dinner and dessert.  In addition to their own beer, they had some items that Greg just couldn't pass up.  Hot sauce.  One of them is made with ghost chilies, which is one of the hottest peppers in the world.  Apparently to work with the stuff you have to wear protective clothing and a face mask, otherwise you could do serious bodily injury.  Who would eat something like that?!?  Oh, right.  Greg.  Now we own a bottle of TenFidy Imperial Stout Beer Infused Ghost Chile Hot Sauce.  You can bet that's ALL for Greg.  Not gonna even touch that bottle once it's opened...
And then it's suddenly Saturday, and we have to hit the road soon so we can make it back to Utah to catch our flight.  For lunch, we stopped at one more brewery (#8): the Pumphouse.  I actually ate here with Krystal and Jay on Thursday night, but Greg was still sightseeing in Colorado Springs, so he missed out.  A sampler for Greg (I'm driving) and because of another fortuitous house mistake, he gets two for the price of one.  Yay!  It was here I found my all-time favorite beer of the trip.  I don't remember the name - it's a seasonal one - but it was infused with chai flavors.  OhMyGoodnessYummy!!!!  (We did clarify with Krystal and Jay that we're not normally lushes or sots.  We just don't have these types of opportunities - or beers - back home, so we have to take advantage when we can...)
Once again, time to say our goodbyes.  This was such a lovely visit!!  I'm so glad we were able to spend time with Krystal, to get to know Topher and Dal again, and to meet and spend time with Jay.  (Jay won second place in the chili contest on Saturday evening - way to go, Jay!!)  They're wonderful, wonderful people.

1 comment:

The White Family said...

Missed you at jay's by a month. Glad you enjoyed your time with k and the boys.