Ouray, Colorado

Last week, the family took a road trip to Ouray, Colorado. It was a six hour drive through winding roads and beautiful mountain views so it didn’t feel very long at all.  The photo below shows us at just shy of three hours from our destination.

Here are some views on our way there.

We stayed at an RV and cabin campsite where we rented a tiny home cabin. It was homey and well cared for.

We stayed in the middle cabin. They called these deluxe cabins because there’s enough room to sleep seven people. There were four of us total so we wouldn’t fit in the smaller cabins, which were a few yards down from ours.

Inside our cabin. The kids slept in the loft. Down past the kitchen is the main bedroom.

This is the living room. We watched a couple of movies on our stay. It wasn’t really mountain living, as you can see.

The backside walks out toward the river which was pretty swollen from the snowfall last month. The black cover thingy with the rock on top is a gas grill. We didn’t get a chance to use it but hope to next time. I enjoyed waking up early and sitting on a chair listening to the rush of the river and birds chirping. It was relaxing and peaceful.

When we first arrived, we ate dinner at a restaurant and then went for a walk along the river. Our oldest was too tired so she stayed in the cabin. The rain sprinkled a bit but didn’t last. That’s my husband and youngest in her rain poncho.

We only went for two nights and three days so we didn’t get to do too much. We spent our day mainly at the hot springs pool. The same evening, there was a music festival in the park next to the pool so we hung out there for a couple of hours. Before the pool and the festival, we had breakfast at the Cafe next to the cabins and RVs. We learned that the owner of the cafe, when he was a kid in the 80’s, got to sit with John Wayne for breakfast every morning while they were filming the original True Grit (yes! it was filmed in Ouray). His mother opened the cafe and ran it until she wasn’t able to and he took over. I had ordered a huervos rancheros and had just started eating when he came by and told us this story. He said the huervos rancheros was John Wayne’s favorite. He was a lucky kid. I’m glad he shared this piece of his life with us.

Last Nationals

My oldest daughter went to the high school nationals a week ago in Florida. She was excited and had a good time but she was ready to be done. She enjoyed the competitions and the rigorousness of the training but there were things she didn’t enjoy, and thus, after two years of POM, she’s moving on.  It’s bitter sweet as always with anything one puts their heart and soul into. Going forward, she might return to studio dance. Her heart is still in lyrical.

These photos were taken by a pro.

kpnationalsFeb2019_1600

kpnationalsFeb2019_2600

Winter Snow

Yesterday, we were hit with a sort of blizzard. But, like most winters here, they never last. School was delayed for the kids this morning due to the icy roads. Just before noon, most the snow and ice had melted.

Teddy gets excited when she sees snow. She only comes inside after she’s had her fun. Oh, and also because she knows there’s a treat waiting for her.

 

Winter Park, Colorado

Happy New Year!

It’s been 11 years since I first started blogging with WordPress. I can’t believe it’s been over a decade. I remember when I first found WordPress and wasn’t sure if this would be a good platform to move my blog to. Initially, I was paying another hosting site for a website and blog but I didn’t need the website anymore. I just wanted to blog. I’ve been happy with WordPress all these years.

Last Saturday, the family took the train to a town in the mountains called Winter Park. The train we took only goes to Winter Park in January, February, and March. Winter Park is known for their skiing and snowboarding. We didn’t ski or snowboard because the only person who really knows how to ski and snowboard is my husband. I’ve tried skiing and snowboarding when I was younger but just never got into it. We didn’t want to do any strenous activities because our oldest daughter has national competitions next week and can’t do anything that could cause an injury. We thought we’d walk around, check out some shops, try a couple of restaurants, and then return home.

Things changed when our oldest daughter saw the tubing slides when we took the lift to the side where the tubing was. The lift went over the slides and we could see people coming down. It looked really fun. I was nervous for her because I was afraid she’d injure herself and then we’d be in big trouble for nationals. But, all went well. The slides were monitored very well. There were four lanes and they went from fastest to slowest. We spent an hour tubing, then went to have lunch in the town of Winter Park (the skiing/snowboard, tubing, ice skating, etc. were in the Resort). We wanted to go to Fraser which is the town just north but mistakenly got off early. It was all good though. We had a good lunch. It started to snow and looked beautiful.

Here are some photos from the trip.

We got up at 4:30am to give us enough time to get everything together. The train station is downtown in the heart of the city so we wanted to make sure we got a parking space and also we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss the train, which left the station at exactly 7am.

trainwinterpark2019-01-19_840

trainwinterpark2019-01-19_840_2

The girls fell asleep most the way and missed the sunrise (above). The train was a two hour ride and went through about 30 mountains. I tried to count the tunnels but lost track. The final mountain took 10 minutes to get through.

trainwinterpark2019-01-19_3

Here’s a view of the cars behind us. We sat on the second level of car number three. There were seven cars total, not including the engine.

trainwinterpark2019-01-19_4

Arriving in Winter Park Resort. It was very cold.

trainwinterpark2019-01-19_5

We ate breakfast and watched people go down the hills. There were lots of people skiing and snowboarding.

winterpark2019-01-19

We took the lift to the other side where the tubing was. We wanted to see if there were other activites to do besides tubing on the tubing side.

winterparktubing2019-01-19_2

winterparktubing2019-01-19_3

On the right, you could see two of the tubing lanes and someone coming down the first lane.

winterparktubing2019-01-19_4

Skiiers and snowboarders from the parking area making their way to the lift to take them to the side we came from. But, check out that mountainside with the low hanging clouds.

winterparktubing2019-01-19_5

Me with our two girls waiting in line to go down the fastest lane.

winterparktubing2019-01-19_6

Our youngest pulling the tube up the conveyor belt. That tube is heavy! We eventually switched to single ones when she felt confident enough to go without me. She was scared at first so we went on the second slowest lane, then made our way to the fastest lane.

winterparktubing2019-01-19_600

Here she is getting ready to go alone and in the fastest lane too!

winterparktubing2019-01-19_7

winterparktubing2019-01-19_8.jpg

It was so much fun tubing. We enjoyed our short day in Winter Park and hope to do it again next year.

A Quick Hike at Castlewood Canyon State Park

Last Friday, husband’s planned hike to a 14-er didn’t work out, so instead, he and I went to Castlewood Canyon to do a simple hike, something I could handle. It was beautiful with the changing colors of the leaves. Where I’m looking toward in the photo was once a damn built in 1890. The dam broke in 1933 causing a disastrous flood. Now it’s land for homes and pasture for cows. Last time we visited we saw the broken dam, but this time we took a different route, a more scenic route, to appreciate the beauty and peacefulness of the land.

LB10122018_600

Graduation

Over the weekend I graduated with my Master’s degree. I never thought I’d ever get here so I’m pretty thrilled. I started my program in the fall of 2009 and then took a hiatus in the summer of 2010. I had wanted to return but family life was more of a priority at the time. Last summer, the university called me to tell me that if I wasn’t planning on continuing my degree, they would purge my file and I would have to reapply if I wanted to continue later. This would mean I would need to retake some classes. I had put so much time and effort into getting into the university that I didn’t know if I could do that again so I told them I’d continue now. The other thing was that I had wanted to continue a few years back but when I had looked at my program, I thought it had been discontinued. I told them my concern and they said it wasn’t discontinued. It was just under a different name.

At graduation, I learned that I was graduating with honors. I was surprised. I thought I had a B in one of my earlier classes in 2009, but it turns out, I didn’t. I had one A- but the rest were A’s. I know, this is such a small thing but it feels great for me because it was my goal to ace all my classes. In my undergraduate degree, I had so much going on that as hard as I tried to bring my grades up, it just wasn’t possible. So, I am very proud of myself that given the time and opportunity, I’m able to do exactly what I set out to accomplish.

GLB_MARegis2018_600LKKMay2018Graduation0017_600LShadowMay2018Graduatin0012_800

Below, I tried to mimic a photo taken in May 2009 when my husband graduated with his Doctorate. The little girl (who’s not so little anymore, but still is) is my youngest.

LKMay2018Graduation0014_800JKMay2009Graduation2239_800

Our Trip to Florida

Happy New Year! Time is flying by. I can’t believe it’s already the middle of February. Husband and I have been watching the Olympics and I couldn’t believe that four years ago was the winter Olympics in Sochi. It felt like it was just yesterday when that happened.

My oldest daughter competed at a national competiton in Florida last week. We went as a family to cheer the team. This was her first time with her school team so she was nervous. She flew in with her team and stayed with the team at a hotel near Disney World.  Husband, our 10-year-old, and I stayed at a different hotel. After competition was over, oldest daughter went with her team to the theme parks in Disney World.  The three of us went to Sea World since we’ve already gone to Disney World a few years back and wanted to try something different.

First two photos were taken by pros.

natctki022018_3_600natctki022018_7_850

They placed 11th nationally out of 15 teams that made finals. There were over 14K high schools nationwide that participated. I saw a team from Korea, but didn’t know what that was all about. I’m guessing there was an international competition going on at the same time.

natctki022018_8_600natctki022018_12_600

A couple of views of the main stage. It was a live event on the ESPN channel. The group performing in the photo below isn’t my daughter’s school but is a school just a few miles from where we live. That was the angle of the stage from where we sat when we watched the competition. When our daughter’s team performed, we got to go up front by the pro-photographers. I only recorded because we were purchasing the pro photos already.

natctki022018_9_850natctki022018_10_850

The competition took place at the ESPN Center in Disney World. I was amazed at how big this area was. In the photo below, the shadow in the bottom left is my 10-year-old’s. She took our photo. 🙂

natctki022018_11_600