Steamboat Springs Weekend Trip

Last weekend, our oldest daughter was celebrating her two-year anniversary with her boyfriend in Steamboat Springs and we needed to get some Christmas photos for the year so we decided to join them up there. They had gone up before we did and stayed in a B&B. We stayed at a La Quinta about five minutes from them.

The drive to Steamboat was about four hours. There was a bit of snow as we approached the Eisenhower Tunnel.

Down the other side of the tunnel is steep and curvy. I’ve been down this road many times but each time, I’m always so nervous.

When we got closer to Steamboat, it snowed.

A few minutes before reaching Steamboat, the snow stopped and disappeared.

Where we stayed.

The view from the back window of our hotel room.

We didn’t have time to do too many things. Our one full day there, we had breakfast with our daughter and her boyfriend, and took photos. Then, they went their way, and we went ours. Husband, our youngest daughter, and I went to a hot springs which husband and I loved, but daughter didn’t so much. The sulfur was too strong for her. The sulfur started to burn my eyes eventually so we left. We had lunch and then went to watch Eternals at a really small theater (it’s really small compared to the AMC near our home, but not nearly as small as the one in Craig when I went with our daughters some years ago). Daughter and I liked Eternals. Husband thought it was too long.

It was a nice little getaway to a small ski town. Everyone was friendly and the view was beautiful and peaceful.

Chasing the Northern Lights

The day before Halloween, husband, our youngest, and I went on a road trip to Wyoming to see if we could get a good view of the Northern Lights. From what we learned, the massive solar flare would glow far enough to reach parts of Colorado. We thought we’d go further north for a better chance at seeing it.

It was a four hour drive, which wasn’t bad. The main road was straight and flat, which made the trip easy. A few years ago, it took us at least five hours to get to Ouray, Colorado, but we went through twisty roads and mountains which made the ride longer. Husband and I have been to Wyoming before. We went to Jackson Hole in Teton National Park to see Dr. Wayne Dyer at a speaking event. That was so long ago, and we didn’t stay very long either. It was also on the west side of Wyoming. This time we went straight north.

We stayed at a Holiday Inn in Casper where our daughter did homework while husband and I watched some T.V., and stepped out a few times to see if we could see the northern lights.

Unfortunately, we were not able to see the Northern Lights. We checked between 8pm and 10:30pm with no luck. It was just way too cloudy.

The next morning, we headed home. The car was slightly iced over. It was pretty cold. The roads were wet but not icy, although smaller roads might have been icy. It snowed part way while we were on the road.

The view above was in front of the hotel. There was nothing in Casper. I’m not sure if it’s all farm land, but there was a lot of empty land for miles and miles.

Even though we didn’t get to see the Northern Lights, this short road trip was well-needed. For some reason, I felt as though I could breathe better in Wyoming. I was also extremely relaxed. We stopped in Cheyenne on our way home for lunch and I fell in love with that city. I’d visit it again and stay a little longer. It’s not quite a small town. It’s a city, but a tiny cute one.

Candlelight: A Haunted Evening

A week and a half ago (can you believe we’re already in week two of November?), during the week of Halloween, husband, our youngest daughter, and I went to a strings performance called Candlelight: A Haunted Evening. They played spooky songs as well as some classics like The Adam’s Family theme song and Ghost Busters theme song. They even played the famous tune from the movie Psycho. It was a great evening.

The event took place at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. We were allowed to go a little early and tour the museum before the performance started. Our daughter has been to the museum before for a choir performance so she was really happy to see that we were going there again. This was my first time there as well as husband’s. It was really awesome to see these retired military airplanes.

The candlelight setup was very intimate and really enjoyable. I was surprised our daughter enjoyed it as much as we did.

For Halloween, husband and I dressed up as bumble bees and handed out treats. Our oldest daughter worked so didn’t get to enjoy this year’s Halloween. Our youngest was the mad hatter. She went trick-or-treating with her friend for about an hour or so. They came back and chilled out and played some video games. We had a really nice Halloween this year. Last year, because of COVID, we didn’t do anything.

Hope you all had a great Halloween. I had wanted to post sooner but I was just super busy with home life and health-life. I’m behind on my reading as well. I hope the authors I’m reading for can be patient with me. Speaking of reading, I’m not sure what’s going on with Goodreads, but they put two books under currently reading list, so now I show having four books I’m currently reading. I have no idea why those two extra books are there because they were not even under my “to read” list. They suddenly just popped up under my currently reading list. The first time this happened (with just one book), I deleted the book and didn’t think anything of it. But now, it was obvious. I only realized it because I had a couple of friends/followers “liked” those books which triggered me to take a closer look. Really strange.

Book Review: Dust of the Earth

Title: Dust of the Earth         
Author: Mark Lages
Genre: Science Fiction, Literary
Year Published: September 27, 2021

Date Started: October 12, 2021

Date finished: November 1, 2021

Dust of the Earth by Mark Lages is a science fiction literary story about an AI named Martin who was created by MIT drop-out, Jim. Martin is very sentient-like. He’s nearly human, however, he’s a computer and doesn’t have any human shape to him. He’s very curious about the human psyche and wants to learn everything he can about why humans do the things they do. His learning leads him to want to be an actual human, which then leads to a depression and then eventually to where he wonders what his purpose is.

 I really enjoyed this story. It’s thought provoking. The angle of the AI is unique and making him human-like without a physical body was a nice twist. This isn’t your ordinary sci-fi story. The mix of both sci-fi and literary themes really makes this story worthwhile. I liked the quotes and poems throughout the book as well.

Who should read this book: Anyone who enjoys sci-fi with a mix of literary messages.

October 2021 Playlist and NaNoWriMo

Anyone doing NaNoWriMo? I try to finish a manuscript every year, and this year is the same. I’m writing the second book to a published novella. I’m hoping to make this book a full novel. The novella had one main character with a primary secondary character. The novel will have at least three main characters and one main secondary character. That’s the plan, but as you know, things will change as usual.

The setting in the novella was on a starship and a planet called Stromnair. The novel will be set on a future earth as well as the alien planet, Pfore. The image above depicts what earth looks like in that future. A couple of wars and a deadly virus has destroyed earth and its people. These instances have lead humans to go above and beyond to build a secured earth and to use genetic engineering to continue the human race.

Anyway, in the novella, there is a scene that I just love. It’s when the main character falls in love with the secondary character as he observes her taking in the first sight of snow. This is the music that I listened to as I described their relationship in that moment.

“Last Light” by Atis Freivalds

I have had to revisit the novella quite a few times with the “soundtrack” I made for the story, just so I remain within the style and mood of the story. However, I’ve also started a new “soundtrack” for the second book. So far, I’ve only got one song (that I found a couple of days ago), which I will share on my writing blog.

If you are doing NaNoWriMo, what are you writing about? What’s your genre? What “soundtrack” do you have for it?

Credit: concept art by Alex Ichim on Deviantart.