My parents and "baby" brother came to town a few weeks ago! Their first time in Denver and to see our place and our life! I must say...I was a little surprised to find they didn't fall in love with Denver right away and announce that they are moving up immediately (there might have been tears in a conversation with Grant regarding this right after my parents left) As silly as that sounds, I was hoping it would happen. It would make our life perfect here if I could get some family to move up. BUT - I'm still hopeful that this announcement could still occur at some point regarding Vail. The mountains and river can be pretty addicting and they loved the time there!
It's sometimes hard to appreciate the hippieness/artsy/eclectic group of people that surround downtown Denver. We showed the fam around our neighborhood - took them to our favorite breakfast spot on Tennyson Street and walked the shops nearby. What did us in in the first impression department was HiLo and Downtown. I think the trip to Little Man ice cream was appreciated, but the man walking around with a giant live snake around his neck and an American Flag on his shirt may have been a bit much. Downtown is full of cool stores, buildings and architecture, all appreciated by the folks. But, the homeless people frequenting the area may have dampered the atmosphere somewhat, as well as the live music everywhere on street corners and the multiple types of people seen in either dreadlocks, with multiple piercings, hippy clothing, or what have you. Probably somewhat of a culture shock from the south. What's funny is, it's an environment I'm growing to love. An open mission field full of tons of people searching for something and finding all sorts of ways to fill the void. A city full of authenticity. Whether that be an authentic dreadlocked, pot smoker, an authentic emo styled artist, an authentic family who might not do family like the south does. These people are real. And proud of it. No climbing the corporate ladder, no designer clothes, no stiletto heels in the grocery store, no materialism. People work so they can play and play hard. Although writing this blog about time with my family makes me miss being home, I also am more confident every time I think about Denver that Denver is where Grant and I are supposed to be.
OK - got off on a soap box tangent there. So Denver proper may not have been my mother's favorite place, but there's still hope in them moving here if you ask me! Cuz we had a blast in the mountains! On Friday we headed up to Vail for the weekend. Dad of course immediately headed off to fish. We stayed at a Marriot resort in West Vail right on the river, which was gorgeous and the weather was perfect for just sitting out and enjoying the mountain air. Saturday, Jonathan, mom and I headed over to Lionhead and Vail Village to explore while Grant and Dad hit up the fly fishing again! Those boys could fish for days....and did! In Lionhead, we stumbled upon Octoberfest! So we got to hit up all the vendor tents, enjoy live polka music and dancers, and snack on German delicacies. We then decided to go on a hike. If you know my mother, you know she's not exactly a hiker. It was hilarious and fun! We decided that heading back to the car to put up our purses and shopping bag was a hike of it's own so on we went, up cherry picker trail (a nice easy hike per the man at the directory, who is still laughing to this day about the fact that we believed him on that).
If you weren't aware, Vail's hiking trails are the ski hills converted. This means we were hiking up steep inclines at 11,000 feet. Altitude can be a shocker compared to Texas air. It still gets to me and I've been here 8 months! So about an hour in of still hiking the "short little incline" per the little man who advised us to take this trail, we were slightly delirious from altitude and very tired of climbing only up. After looking at the map, Jonathan and I decided we would take a shortcut by walking part of the mountain biking trail to cut across and catch back up on Cherry Picker. That was a joke! We ended up lost, hiking our own little trail and probably walking farther than we would have originally. But they were troopers and we made it down one way or another! It was definitely one of my favorite hikes in Colorado yet. Laughing all the way!
Time in Vail was so fun and too short. The guys fished like crazy on Gold medal waters and had a great time, and I so loved being outdoorsy with my not so outdoorsy fam. Makes it so much more fun than hard core outdoorsmen. :) I can't wait for them to come again in November and bring Meme and hopefully Jay and Danita too! Maybe we can snow shoe hike that trip....now that will be a sight to see!
First day in Vail.
Cherry Picker Trail here we come!
Up high already and looking good!
We were oblivious at this point at how far up we still had to go!
This is about the point we decided to find a shortcut!
Not exactly on the trail anymore....
And...we are definitely lost in the mountains.
We made it back down back to Octoberfest!
Polka dancers. Who knew we'd see that in Vail?!
The river by our hotel. We were killing time before dinner because Grant and dad were STILL fishing!
Love my fam and miss them tons.