Friday, July 25, 2008

Telling Stories

Meredith is living in story land lately, and it's one populated by monsters. Most of them are friendly, but obnoxious, and we must tell them to go away in very bossy voices. The most frequent visitor is one J-I-P-I-Poke. That's how you say it: each individual letter, followed by the word poke. Who are we to question the way monsters name their young?

Anyway, I picked Mer up from school today and decided we needed a Friday afternoon trip to the Cafe for a sprinkle donut. We got in the car and shortly thereafter, Meredith announced that J-I-P-I-Poke was following us. A one-sided shouting match ensued. After a few minutes, I asked what Mr. Poke wanted. "A donut," was the answer. I should have known.

Here's the face Mer makes when she's showing us what monsters are like. Obviously, this is one of the more mellow monsters.

Here's how she glows when she's telling a story.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Filters and Flashes and Fuzzies - Oh My

Got new filters and a flash for my bday and haven't taken any good pictures yet, but I just thought I'd post some stuff cause otherwise I get abuse from my mom. I'll try to make a more concerted effort in the immediate future.

Mer, fuzzy. On the bike.

Marshall Mulherin -- one of the twins we love.

Parker Mulherin -- the other twin we love.

Neighbor Rick's peaches. We have permission to steal.

Ode to flip flops. Either Marshall or Parker took this with the new flash.

Sunset on my bday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Farewell to CO

We've been home 3 days now, so I guess it's time to wrap up the vaca.

Meredith and Chris and I had an incredible hike one morning up to a waterfall that Chris had spotted on an earlier jog. It was cold enough for long sleeves, which was good, because we had to run in order to get up to the waterfall and still be back in time for breakfast. So run we did. We made it to the beautiful falls and then scrambled back down on what started as an elk trail and ended as...nothing. Just us trying to make our way down a fairly steep foothill, with Meredith on Chris' shoulders and me sliding like there was ice underfoot because the wildflowers were SLIPPERY. Yes, it's lovely for there to be so many wildflowers, but it's not good for traction. At all.

We made it back just in time for huevos rancheros. It's nice to be rewarded for your efforts.

This picture is to show how high we were, which is hard to do properly. And I don't do this to torture my acrophobic mother, but rather to let her know that I'm showing symptoms of the disease and I think it must, therefore, be related to having a child. Cause I was NOT comfortable with the bambino being on this precipice.

So she and I sat further back on the precipice, and she pretended to be a mountain lion. Honestly, she was a bit nutso that morning. Cool, fresh air and exercise bring out the best in all of us.

A couple days later, we squeezed in a bit of fly-fishing up at 11-mile reservoir. The Sugg fam will remember that as the site of the infamous windstorm that made us all question the sanity of tent camping.

So here are Chris and his dad, ready to see what's waiting for them in the canyon.

Meredith, Marme and I looked for adventure while the menfolk fished.

Chris found a fishy with his name on it, and the battle ensued.

Mer and Marme cheer on Chris.

After a long battle, Chris discovered that his nemesis was a supremely ugly suckerfish. Neither of them was happy about it.

Chris was comforted by Mer's admiration of his angling skills. But look at her toes. She knows that water is cold.

Want to feel good about life? Eat Ben and Jerry's by the rugby field in Aspen as the sun goes down. (Okay, maybe it's a little obnoxious that Aspen has a RUGBY field in the center of town, but work with me.) Anyway, we ate the ice cream too quickly for it to be captured by photographers. Vacation is good, but this one is over. Time to go clean the kitchen...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Marble, CO

Just up the road from Redstone is Marble, CO. Guess that's why they call 'em the Rockies. Tee hee.

Anyhoo, this strange place contains a marble quarry that produced the marble for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Lincoln Memorial, and various early skyscrapers and Gatsby-esque homes. The quarry was abandoned (I'm guessing that had something to do with the Depression), but is now back in service. The old quarry facilities are a sort of ghost town, and there are still big pieces of marble sitting around for the taking. The Lareaus have some cool new bookends. The Marble Carving Symposium is held here every year, so if you were wondering where you can go to develop those skills, now you know.

Sorry there are no people in these pictures. Quite frankly, I got lost.

There are massive pieces like this one (about 8ft x 5ft) all over the place in Marble, and in Redstone too. Sometimes they are carved, sometimes they're just marked by the devices used to extract them (drills? dynamite?). It was funny to see beautiful sculptures plopped unceremoniously on the side of the road. Apparently the folks that come to the Symposium every year are prolific, and there's plenty to go around!

Remnant of the marble mill.

Door in the firewall of the mill.

Tiny window in the firewall? Yall come back soon for pictures of people instead of rocks.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Redstone, CO

Okay, I know that we Southerners rarely make it to Colorado for anything other than a long ski weekend in February. And that's on a good year. But I got this place you gotta see.

It's called the Redstone Inn in Redstone, CO. It's reasonably priced and totally low key, even though it has all the makings of an incredibly posh boutique getaway. Apparently someone in the ownership has decided to resist the influence of Redstone's neighbor, Aspen, and to instead keep it real. The Inn was built as a home for miners back in the early 1900s -- the whole town was a little utopian experiment. I don't know if it worked then, but it's working now.

Near Independence Pass on the way there.

You are here. That's the roof of the Redstone Inn. In the background are the beehive coking ovens. Yeah, I don't know much about the coking process, so that's all you get on that.

The Fire Department in Redstone. We don't know if they were kidding or not.

Biggest pine ever.
Sunrise in the valley.
Plotting the capture of fishies.

Kayle and Mer share a tube.

The "heated" pool was a little cool for this TX girl. These two thought it was perfect. I know I'm lame.

I can never resist a red pickup.

There were so many wildflowers. More than I've ever seen in CO.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Manitou Springs Penny Arcade

Every once in awhile, I like to make my mother REALLY proud. I feel sure that this picture will accomplish that goal. Right ma? But hey, the important thing is that I'm happy. Obviously. Because how could you not be if you were consuming this funnel cake?

It was a family affair. Thank goodness. One person eating this would have equalled one heart attack.

So anyway, here's the scene of all this frivolity. Bingo Jack's, of course.

There can't be many places like this left in the country, and it's a shame. So much fun, so little money. Add the funnel cakes, and you've pretty much got shangri la.

Here, I kick Chris' rear at Skee Ball. As far as you know.


Mer took to it like a fish to water. Sort of. Well, she likes it, and she's as good at it as her mother. Which is really good. As far as you know.

There were plenty of prizes to choose from. As is usually the case, we spent about $473 dollars in order to play games, get tickets, and trade said tickets in for $1.25 worth of prices. But you gotta hand it to these folks. They do have quite the prize selection.

This charming young man set the whole family up for the horse races. He also tried to steal the change from the $20 we used so all 9 of us could play. But he was funny, so it was okay.

So as I said, there were 9 of us. And Aunt Beth decided it would be a good idea if we all got into the old school photo booth. Dear Aunt Beth. Dear dear Aunt Beth.

This was only the beginning of the madness. It's a wonder no one was seriously injured.

It was a great day. I love Manitou Springs and Bingo Jack's and Skee Ball and funnel cakes and summertime.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The 4th!

Life is good here in Colorado. Chris' grandmother knows how to live the good life, and she is gracious and generous. So it follows that our fourth of July was a good one. You don't need anything more than good friends, good family, and decent fireworks to have a good 4th, but it's nice to spend part of the day at the pool/lake.

And it's nice to spend part of the day in kid heaven. This place had the following: cotton candy, giant goody bags for all kids, every field day game you remember, a clown (a good one! hardly even creepy!), a train ride, a flag raising, and of course, a group picture (they've done this every year for the last 100 (seriously).

Check out the cutie third from the right on the bottom row. Or just believe us.

And for a little levity, we offer the following. Look closely at the gold sticker on the party favor necklace that Meredith received, below.

Happy 4th yall. And as always, most importantly, happy birthday Mamoo. The fireworks are all for you, buddy.