Iced Daffodils

Our last snowfall was at the beginning of this month and I took photos of the daffodils in the front yard to share photos of but never got to it. I’m pretty sure we’re done with snow this month, but with Colorado weather, you never know.

Credits: I used actions (Snowball, Winegum, and Sweetie) by Sarah Gardner Photography.

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.


Thanksgiving Food and HNY Photos

Enjoy these photos of our Thanksgiving brunch and dinner, and the Hmong New Year festival from last week and the weekend.

{Brunch at FIL’s home}

{The feast at Mom & Dad C’s home}

{My bowl of Vietnamese grilled beef vermicelli salad…so delicious!}

{Sister’s BF carving the turkey}

{An older lady in a beautiful yellow-colored Hmong cultural outfit}

{Young girls chatting after their dance performance}

{This guy is one amazing guitarist!}

Mesa Verde National Park

The family went on a one day and two nights trip to Mesa Verde National Park this week.  We drove 7 hours to Durango, where we stayed,  then drove another 45 min to Mesa Verde through amazing beauty for a full day of viewing and touring.

Mesa Verde was extremely beautiful and took my breath away.  It was fascinating to learn about the Indians that lived there over 1400 years ago (from 550 A.D. to 1300), and seeing their dwelling places left behind like ghost towns, was awe.

Here are photos from that trip:

  ^ This is the view from our first hotel.  It was tucked off the side of the main road and was surrounded by this gorgeous golf course and cliff.

^ The furniture was a bit outdated but the view made up for it.

^Another view from the hotel.

^ Getting sunscreen on before heading out into the heat for the tours.

^ View before heading to the tour sites.

^ Everything was not all beautiful.  There was a stretch of land that looked like this.  It was a quiet, sad, and almost ominous drive through this area.  We learned from the tour guides that this was the result of a fire caused by lightning in 2002.  It will take at least 300 years to grow back to the what it originally looked like.

^ We visited the museum where we saw dioramas, displays, and watched a short video on the history of the Indians in Mesa Verde.  Kida had seen the video already at school so she rolled her eyes and complained for the 20 minutes I was watching with my mouth opened…LOL.

^ This was the first dwelling we saw called, Spruce Tree House.  It was a self-guided tour.

^ We went inside a Kiva, a large circular underground area made out of rock walls and clay and is used for ceremonial rituals/daily living.  In the photo, Kylie is climbing out.

^ View while waiting for our first tour: Balcony House.

^ On this tour, we climbed a 32 feet ladder to the dwelling.  We also went through doors which were just tiny crack or openings between rocks.  The spaces were so small I almost thought I wouldn’t make it across but there were people who were much bigger and they made it without a problem.  I did put a few scratches on my camera though.

^ An open Kiva.

^ There were quite a few people in this tour group.

On our exit, we climbed two 10-foot ladders and then the side of a 60-foot cliff with stone steps carved in.  It was pretty steep and I was scared for the girls but they enjoyed it.

^ The second tour: Cliff Palace.

^ Down in the dwellings looking up.  The top right corner of the photo is where we had waited for this tour.

^ On our exit from Mesa Verde.

^ This is what it should look like.

^ This view was during our drive back to Durango.  Words cannot describe how breathtaking this area was.

It was a wonderful trip full of history.  It warms my heart to have experienced this.

OSOM & a Booty Shakin’ Performance at the Dragon Boat Festival

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival was this past weekend.  The family went to see my sibling’s band, One Sun One Moon (OSOM), play and had wanted to stay longer to see the main stage performances but it was too hot for the girls.  I also had serious dehydration for a couple of weeks (with heart palpitations) and had to be careful since I’ve only gotten better within the last few days while taking prescription Potassium and tons of Gatorade (thank goodness for Costco) w/water.

OSOM had the stage for a full hour so it was great!  This year performances were separated to smaller stages all around the park with the main stage being the biggest for the dances.

Here is a clip of one of their songs called, SOLID.

We were only only able to watch one main stage performance, a booty-shakin’ dance, by the Pacific Pride and Island Hearts.

The food was delicious as usual.  These days I find myself forgetting to take photos of food.

Hiking Mt. Bierstadt

Husband has made it a goal to hike all 14ers in Colorado after having hiked Mt. Bierstadt over the weekend with a friend.  That’s a total of 53 mountain peaks.  He wants me to do this with him but I am out of shape and probably won’t make them.  I hope to at least hike up a few easier ones.

Husband used Sports Tracker App to track his hike.  The orange line shows start to finish and the camera icons are where he stopped to take a photo (the photos pop-up with touch on iPhone or Android, or mouse-over on the Sports Tracker website).  Just above the map are his stats.

The goal.  It doesn’t look too bad from this angle but from what husband has said, it’s pretty rigorous.  Btw, that’s husband’s friend in the photo.

This was the top (elevation: 14,060).  There were already others enjoying the view.

Panorama view.  Click on it to see it slightly larger.

When I go on one of these hikes, I’d like to go really early and be at the top to see the sunrise.

[All photos taken by husband with his Samsung G2]

Mountain Fire Photos

This evening, a pretty large fire broke out near Aspen Park and Keystone area.  We live pretty far from it, but from my neighborhood, we could see the smoke and the bright red sun.

These photos were taken from the backyard just a couple of hours ago.

The girls and I went out for dinner and on our way back, while waiting at the stop light, I was able to get this shot.

…and here’s Kylie looking at the smoke from inside the house.

To read more about this fire, go here.