Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas in California

This year, for Christmas break, Erin and I decided to drive to California (rather than flying).  We wanted to introduce Naga to the beach and to my parents new puppy, Trixie.

We split the driving up over two and a half days, avoiding a snow storm in the Rockies by leaving earlier than planned on Saturday.  We stayed in Grand Junction, CO, St. George, UT, and Bakersfield, CA on our way out.  While in Bakersfield we were able to have breakfast with my friend Joe.

Before heading out to the beach we stopped in Paso Robles to do some wine tasting and have some lunch.  Naga really enjoyed splashing around in the surf once she got used to the waves.  We also got a chance to have lunch on the harbor at Morro Bay and go for a hike at Irish Hills National Reserve.

In Tulare it was great to spend Christmas with my family.  It would have been nice to spend more time with them, but we had to get back on the road to head back to Colorado.  It ended up being a lot of time on the road.  It was a scenic drive, but maybe next time we'll just fly.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


For Fall Break we went out to see Erin's brother Andrew and his wife Sara in Chicago.  It was nice to see some of the less-touristy parts of the city which we had already seen.

It was especially fun going to nice restaurants (Eagle, Eagle von Eagle) and tasting whiskey at the Koval distillery.  We also rode bicycles along the lake front and did some shopping.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Concert in the Park

In August we went to Concert in the Park at the Denver Botanical Gardens.  The gardens were beautiful with these Chihuly glass sculptures.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Hikes

One of my favorite hikes of the year was up to Rogers Peak Lake and Heart Lake.  At 8.7 miles round-trip it was one of the longest hikes we did.  The views were stunning.  We started at Moffat tunnel near Rollinsville and had a picnic near the lakes.

Another great hike was one we did in July down in Pike's Peak National Forest.  This one took us up to a beaver pond.  Maybe next year we'll go camping up here and get even farther.

In autumn we went to see the leaves on the aspens change colors.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Crested Butte

At the end of July we went with Erin's family up to Crested Butte where her parents had rented a place to stay for several days.  It was the height of wildflower season and the hills were blooming with a large variety of flowers.

We took several hikes through the mountains, enjoyed a jeep tour with a guide that pointed out different varieties of flowers, and had a lot of great food and drink.

It was really nice of Erin's parents to treat us to such a wonderful experience.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


In July we went camping with Naga for the first time.  We went to Golden Gate State Park where we had a reservation.  We were worried about the rain when we first arrived, but while setting up camp the rain cleared, rainbows came out, and it was a nice night.

Naga wasn't quite sure what to make of camping.  After having played fetch in dog parks she seemed to think we were in another dog park and we should continue to play fetch as long as we were there.  This proved a little difficult even on the long leash we had her on.  As it got dark and we got a fire going she finally settled down.

Sleeping in the tent was another unusual experience for her.  She wasn't thrilled with the idea, but when we went to bed she curled up at the foot of our blow-up mattress and went to sleep.  It was a cold night, but she helped us stay warm.

The next morning we got up, had breakfast, and went on a hike.  It was a beautiful morning and the park looked spectacular.  By noon we were packing up and had a picnic on our way out.  We could see the storm clouds gathering and knew that it was going to start raining again.

When we got home we all took a long nap because we were exhausted.

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July

For the 4th of July this year my parents came out to Colorado and joined us at Mike and Susie's for barbecue.  We then set off a few fireworks and played with sparklers.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Vancouver, BC

For our first night in Vancouver we had dinner at Chambar.  I believe it was the best dinner we had in town and was a great way to celebrate our anniversary.  The next day, we started our tour of Vancouver riding up to the top of the Vancouver Lookout Tower which gave us a 360 degree view of the city.  We then dug into the history of Gastown with a mystery tour of the area.  We had clues to follow throughout the old area of Vancouver.  It was very fun and we solved the mystery, though we didn't win because we missed a bonus question.

We then went out to the Capilano Suspension bridge.  The view from the bridge and the surrounding forest was beautiful.

We had also taken a simulated flight over Canada complete with dangling feet and blowing wind.

 We later took a bike ride along the waterfront of the city and around Stanley Park.  While it did rain for a little bit we were able to find a dry place to wait for it to pass.

The next day we rented a small boat to see Vancouver and the surrounding area from the water.  We got far back into Vancouver Harbor and deep into the Indian Arm fjord before stopping for a picnic lunch and turning back to return the boat.

We had also taken some time at the Granville Island Public Market to do some shopping.  That night we went to the Blue Water Cafe and Raw Bar.

With the sun shining, we spent the next morning with one last visit to Stanley Park.  We then went into town for a Gastronomic tour.  Our tour guide took us to many delicious restaurants starting with dim sum and ending with gelato.  We were stuffed and all the food was really good.  That night was Canada Day so we listened as people shot off fireworks over the harbor.  We were exhausted though and ready to go to bed.  We had a flight to catch the next day.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Victoria, BC

At the end of June we went to British Columbia to see Victoria and Vancouver.  We started our trip by heading out to Victoria.  We had been planning on taking a bus to get to the ferry, but as we were talking to the information desk a local from one of the islands suggested we split a cab as he was heading out there as well and it would get us to the ferry before it left.  It turned out well and it was interesting to hear about his most recent trip during the taxi ride.
After getting settled in our room we went to happy hour at the bar in our hotel.  The bartender talked to us about the history of bar tending how they were bringing back the classical style of bar tending with in-house bitters and cocktails made to suit the patron.

We then went out to dinner at a nice Italian place.  After a nice dinner out we walked around town.  It was beautiful and the weather was nice.
 The next morning we went out to the Butchart Gardens.  The manicured gardens were the most beautiful I can remember.  Everything was so green.

After the gardens we went to a cider farm where they had tastings and we had lunch.  It was fun to sample the different ciders from very dry to sweet.  Our favorite was the one right in the middle.

That evening we got some fish and chips by the fisherman's wharf and then suited up to head out on the water.  We were taking a speed boat out to spot some killer whales.  It was an amazing experience as the whales breached and played around us at times coming close to the boat.

The next morning, before taking the ferry back to Vancouver we went to Beacon Hill Park in the South of Victoria.  The park included a variety of wildlife such as deer and peacocks.  They also had a petting zoo with baby goats that Erin insisted on petting even though she had to wait for the little kids to finish playing with them.

We finally got our luggage and made the trek to Vancouver.  It was a long haul as we took a bus to the ferry and then a bus from the ferry to the train which took us downtown.  It didn't help that I had forgotten to get tickets or exact change for the second bus and we had to wait at the ferry terminal for the next bus.  We were glad to get to our hotel at the end of the day.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Tyrolean Traverse

In May, Eric and I started climbing outdoors again.  After work one night we went up into Boulder Canyon, crossed the creek on a tyrolean traverse, and climbed part of Tonnere Tower.  There was still a little light when we got back down to the tyrolean, so we took off our shoes and played on it a little above the rushing water.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Manitou Springs

In March we went to Manitou Springs, CO to enjoy a weekend away together.  We had arranged for my friend Andrew to come over to dog-sit Naga.  Unfortunately, when he got there Naga was not having any of it.  We had to change our plans quickly and fortunately Erin's sister, Amy (who Naga got along with), was willing to look after Naga for the weekend.

By the time we got down to Colorado Springs it was getting dark and we stopped at Edelweiss German Restaurant for dinner.  It was delicious.

We then went to Manitou Springs.  We were staying in the Buffalo Bill room at The Cliff House.  We were hoping it would be warm, but it had just snowed so it was rather cold.  We ended up watching a movie in our room.

Since it was so cold out we decided not to head up Pikes Peak.  Instead we had some breakfast and walked around town.  After checking out we went over to Garden of the Gods where we took this photo.  The snow on the red rocks was very beautiful and it was good to hike around.