Category Archives: Vacation


I moped around for the first few weeks after returning from Colorado.  It’s just so beautiful there, and I could go from trail to trail to trail everyday, all day if I wanted.  (And I did wanted.) I SO didn’t want to come home.

Hubby, seeing how much I loved it, asked if I wanted to move there before moving to Florida.  I hadn’t really considered that, but YES!  Except they have winters there.  But I could deal with that.  Right?

I don’t know.  Seems like every time I go somewhere, Nashville, San Antonio, Florida, Colorado, I never want to come home.  Maybe what I really want is to NOT live here.

I’m tired of corn fields.  I’m tired of not having anything fun to do close by. I suppose that’s why I like working in downtown St. Louis.  Things are happening!  But’s it’s an hour away.  Sigh.

Mario is a senior this year.  When she graduates and moves away to college, we will likely move too.  Still not sure where to, but it’ll be far from Smalltown, USA.

In the meantime, I’m preparing for my big MS ride next weekend.  Having that to look forward to helps keep the moping at bay.  I love training for something and pushing myself physically.  175 miles in two days should do the trick.

Grace has been behaving nicely.  Just brought her in for a check-up, and she’ s feeling fine.  A little tweak here and a little tweak there.  We’ll be a great team come race day.

After that, well, I’m sure I’ll come up with something to look forward to.  Probably planning a trip to anywhere other than here.





Posted by on September 3, 2016 in Everyday Living, Vacation


To the Top!

Wednesday marked the day of my real reason for making the trip back to Colorado.  That was the day I planned to beat The Incline.

The months leading up to my trip, I worked diligently to strengthen my legs and my stamina, knowing I’d have to overcome the altitude and lack of oxygen.  I was also determined not to slow down Abby, who I know is an Incline expert, and who agreed to make the trek up with me.  Heck, she went just the week before to test it out for us and beat her best time.  So yeah, I was bound and determined to not look like a sloth.


The trail started out relatively flat, but got steep pretty quick.  I was breathin’ heavy right away, but soon fell into a groove.

There wasn’t much talking going on, as I was saving my breath, but I managed to sputter out a few words.  “What kind of time are we lookin’ at?”  And “Ugh, I thought THAT was the top.”

Every once in a while, I picked my head up to look around and admire the view, but mostly, my head was down and I trudged along.

At times, the people in front of me would “pull over” for a drink and a rest.  I just kept on going.  I basked in the glory of passing someone, even though it seemed to take a great deal more effort.  Abby would say good morning to each person we went by.  I barely managed a grunt.  Hopefully she was polite enough for the both of us.

As I took my last step, I turned to face Abby only a few steps behind me.  34:05 she stated with a smile and a high 5.

34:05!  WAY better than the 50 minutes I had set as a reasonable goal for a flat lander.  And only two minutes slower than her best time.  My chest swelled, and not just from trying to suck in the thin air.  I was proud of myself.

imageWe wandered around the top of the incline a while.  Abby pointed out the guys who were lifting a barbell over their heads.  We questioned how they got it up there, but then got our answer when they took it apart, split up the pieces, and ran down the mountain.  We just stood out of the way.  Best to let them go first.  They were making me look bad anyway.

We made our way down the 3 mile trail, occasionally having to get out of the way of runners.  I could barely keep from skidding while walking.  No way was I gonna run.  Besides, I remember how painful it is to run down a steep hill.   And I t was nice chattin’ with Abby.  I didn’t want to ruin it by panting through it all.

By the time we got down, I was starving.   We went to a place known for their big portions, and they didn’t disappoint.  I’m ashamed to admit I couldn’t finish it all, but I gave it a great effort.


We went our separate ways for a little while to shower and rest up for our next set of stairs at Seven Falls.


Here’s where I was proud of Abby.  She’s afraid of heights, and I know from watching my Hubby, that fear can be paralyzing.  But she pushed her fears aside and climbed up the steep “ladder” where we were awarded with beautiful views.












I went first on the way back down, hoping to block her view.  It’s really is a steep drop, and this is only from halfway up….


It was a great day.  Everything I dreamed it would be and more.  Abby, thanks for sharing the day with me.  And get ready!  I’ll be back for bigger and better things…..




Posted by on August 20, 2016 in Friendship, Health and Fitness, Vacation


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The Fun Just Got Funner

Our first day in Colorado merely whet our appetite for outdoors adventure.

After we caught our breath from the climb at Red Rocks Ampitheater, we grabbed some lunch at the Airplane Restaurant and headed off to Garden of the Gods.


Probably one of Amp’s favorite places.  Lots of rocks to climb.


The following morning, we met up with Abby for another tour of Red Rock Open Space.  She gave us the tour last time we were out, and. Amp was so impressed he wanted to go back.  This time there was water, which made it even more beautiful.





Chip, seeing Colorado for the first time.

Amp, begrudgingly allowing a selfie for the sake of the blog.





Shadow and Abby.


We said so long to Abby, and then moved on to Palmer Trail and Helen Hunt Falls.  The longer we went, the more we realized we were flat landers trying to keep up with the natives.



But boy was it beautiful.


We wanted to hit one more trail, but storms were brewing.  We got to see first hand the hail and flash floods Abby often describes on her blog.  Luckily we were safe in a car and not stranded on a mountain.

Our day may have ended abruptly, but to me the best was yet to come…….


Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Family, Friendship, Vacation


The Guys’ Turn

I thought it only fair for the boys to have quality time with their mom since Mario had some a couple of weeks ago.  So I rounded ’em up for a trip to Colorado.  What better way to bond than a 13 hour car ride.

We piled into the car with all our Colorado necessities, and off we went.  We weren’t even out of the driveway, and the boys had their headphones on and their eyes glued to their screens.  My dreams of deep conversations and brotherly bonding flew out the window.  ***sigh***   This was gonna be a long trip.

Hours into it I began to appreciate Mario’s non-stop chatter.  To get them talking, I brought up “No Man’s Sky”, the game Abby’s son Meego had just downloaded.  They discussed the pros and cons of this game, which led into reviews of other games, and seemed to break the silence for the rest of the trip.  Still not the chatter Mario and I had, but better than complete silence.

After a short layover in Colby, Kansas, we made our way to the mountains.  As we got closer to our first destination, Red Rocks Ampitheater, I realized how great a navigator Mario was.  She was spot on, telling me how to get there, giving me plenty of advance notice, balancing the real world against what she saw on her phone.  The boys waited till it was time to turn and told me to turn.  It was like pulling teeth to get them to paint the picture for me of what I needed to do.  After many u-turns, and a lot of gas, we found our way.

My frustration ended quickly.  I’d forgotten how beautiful and breathtaking (literally) the Ampitheater is.




Amp, much more comfortable here than in a cramped car, even allowed a selfie.










And Chip, who was seeing things for the first time, humored me as well.





We realized just how high up we were, when we were completely out of breath climbing back up the stairs.


Practice for what’s to come?



Posted by on August 17, 2016 in Family, Vacation


Let the Summer Begin!

It’s been a weird summer.  Seems that June and August have switched places.  June was extremely hot and dry.  The grass died, the weeds died, we even had a tree die.  When the rains came, though, they really came.  So these past few weeks when we’d normally be seeing things die off, they’re thriving!  Even our little tree is sprouting again.  Makes me feel like we’re starting summer over.  Which is fine by me.

See, the first part of summer was all work no play, but our girls’ trip to Indiana changed that, and got the ball rolling for future fun.  Last night, Hubby and I played tourist while Mario and her friend attended a concert in downtown St. Louis.  We toured the Old Courthouse, watched the sun set on the Arch grounds and walked the city with a waffle cone full of ice cream.  (I haven’t given it up completely.)




Not my pic of The Old Courthouse, but if you look to the right, the dark brick building is my old hotel, where we happened to stay the night of the concert.








Again, not my pic, but this is what the Arch grounds are looking like these days.  They’ve been redoing the interstates and ramps to make the pedestrian commute much easier, safer, and nicer.  The dark brick building to the right is my old hotel.  In fact, you can see the room we stayed in last night.  Fantastic view.




Tomorrow is the first of 9 working days in a row, which will likely suck, but there’s a pot of gold waiting for me at the end.  Amp, Chip and I will leave next Sunday for an adventure of a lifetime.  Ok, maybe not.  But I get all giddy inside whenever I think about it.

I get to climb The Incline in Colorado.  Something I’ve been dying to do ever since I learned about it from Abby.  I love having a physical challenge to look forward to, and have been gearing up for it for months now.  I can’t stand the excitement!

The boys are NOT ready for a physical challenge, but are excited about visiting Colorado.  If the prospect of moving there can get them through one more year of school, then I’m all for it. And heck, I could visit them all. the. time.

After Colorado, the physical challenges ain’t over yet.  In September I’ll be biking 175 miles in two days.  My new bike is up for the challenge.  I just hope I am.  I’ve had some good training rides though, and have never felt better, so I’m feeling pretty good about it.

Fingers are crossed for some good weather for both.  These days, you just can’t be sure what Mother Nature is going to do.


Posted by on August 3, 2016 in Health and Fitness, Vacation


Check, Check, Check

The week of our 25th wedding anniversary proved we really could check a few items off our bucket list.


We rented a car and began making our way south.  Greenville, SC has been on my mind for a few years now, so it was our first stop.  10 hours and two snow storms later we arrived.  As usual when we travel south, we bring the cold weather with us.  “You just missed a week in the 80’s” the front desk agent said when she greeted us.  Figures.

We didn’t let the cooler temps slow us down though.  We bundled up in layers of “Florida clothing” and headed out to explore the town.


The sunshine helped, and the great barbecue restaurant did too.  We ambled along the Reedy River, peeked into a few shops, and enjoyed the non-hustle and bustle I’ve become accustomed to at the hotel.

Next on the list was Charleston, SC.  Once again, the temps were only in the 60s, but the sun was out, and the town was alive!   As soon as we drove into the narrow streets of downtown I was hooked.  The history there is incredible and much of the town remains the same.

We walked through the streets, listening to the horse tours as they clopped by, trying to catch a bit of history here and there.


As we strolled past the historic houses, we imagined the lives of the people who lived there, and dreamed of living there ourselves.






But neither of us felt like we were far enough south.  So back in the car we got and continued our trip down the coast.



Halfway down, we stopped at Flagler Beach for ice cream and a stroll down the beach while the sun set.  Still bundled up, but beautiful (and tasty) just the same.

On the day of our anniversary we finally got the warm weather and sun we had been craving.  Our gift to each other was to attend a Cardinal baseball spring training game – something that had been on both of our bucket lists for a long time – and it proved to be well worth the wait.


Maybe not a typical way to spend a 25th wedding anniversary, but it fit us perfectly.  We topped it off with a burger and fries in West Palm Beach, and a fancy hotel.  Ok, that part didn’t fit us perfectly, but it was a nice splurge just the same.

We ended our week long road trip at my dad’s place.  We felt more spoiled there than we did in the hotel.  He cooked us breakfast each morning and didn’t charge us $4 for a bitter tasting cup of hotel coffee (that I threw away for a 99 cent cup of gas station coffee).

We took walks on the beach, ate lunch in outdoor restaurants, and soaked up the sun and warmth of Florida.

Seven days and 2000 miles later, we dropped of the rental car and boarded a plane to come home.

I’m looking forward to having a deli cooked Easter meal with the kids, but it was tough leaving Florida.

Really tough.

I already miss my flip flops.



Posted by on March 27, 2016 in Family, Vacation


Part Two

Sheesh.  I get back from a long weekend, and haven’t had a break since.

I’ll say it again.  It’s a good thing I love my job ’cause I sure spend a whole lot of time doing it.

Now that I have a moment, I gotta share the rest of the story.  If only to relive it myself.

After an awesome day of visiting Link and his friends, we drove down to Cincinnati to watch the Cardinals play against the Reds.  It was a gorgeous day – sunny, mid 70s – absolutely beautiful.  Before entering the stadium, we walked down to the river to take in the sights.  St. Louis would do good to visit Cincinnati.  Their riverfront is fabulous!

When we were ready, we headed to the stadium gates.

“Uh oh,” the guy replied once he scanned our tickets.  My heart dropped. I thought for sure someone had printed our tickets and already used them

“These are for yesterday’s game.”


Yesterday?  But we were coming today!  How could I have bought them for yesterday?!

He advised us to go to the ticket window and plead our case.  He mentioned they would be able to see they weren’t used yesterday and maybe they would honor them for today.

Hopeful, we headed to the ticket window.  “Do you know how many people try to say they didn’t come to the game?” she started out.

“Yes,” I replied meekly.  “But we really didn’t.  And we came all the way from St. Louis.  And can’t you just check and see that we really didn’t use them?”  I quickly rambled.

Ten minutes later she returned, with a smile on her face, tickets in her hand, and a warning to be more careful the next time I purchase tickets.

“Yes ma’am!”  I felt like skipping to the gates.

From then on, it was an absolute perfect day.  We had terrific seats, and we were there early enough for us to walk down to the field and watch our catcher and pitcher warm up.




I coulda taken the guy in red, but I restrained myself from running onto the field.



I took lotsa pics and shouted encouragement and giddily walked back to our seats after a nod from the pitcher.

It was fun cheering in a section filled with mostly Reds fans.  At one point, a loud enough guy started chanting, “Let’s go Cardinals, Let’s go!”  And we would all clap.  I was surprised how many Cards fans were in the stadium, and we continued until a Reds fan yelled, “You know you’re in OUR stadium!”.

Yep.  But we were winning.  And we witnessed some great plays.  And even had a few homerun balls hit in our direction.  I wish now that I’da dove for one that landed in our section.  It woulda been worth some broken bones or scratched up knees and elbows.  Or both.

I didn’t want the day to end.  We walked around downtown Cincinnati after our win, proudly sporting our Cardinals gear.  We walked the bridge, had drinks on the patio of a bar, and listened to some good jazz music.



Hard to believe that was a whole week ago.  It’ll certainly go down as one of my favorite weekends in a long time.




Posted by on September 21, 2015 in Family, Vacation