28 November, 2009

Happy Giving of Tanks Y'all (i.e. eating no riding)

Mount Sopris' perspective from their deck, nice to see everyday no?

Team M, plus Grandma went to visit Melissa's cousin (Grandma's niece) in Glenwood Springs for Thanksgiving. We headed out Wednesday and nary was there any traffic to speak off. On the flat spots out near Vail and Copper we were rolling pretty good, as good as a loaded 4runner with six people and cargo case up top could roll. Tanya and her husband's property consists of 6000 acres overlooking Mount Sopris. Very beautiful scenery for two cool people to raise their two very cool boys. It was quite an excellent time hanging out with them.
Their oldest son Chase is quite tall for a 7th grader so instead of riding/working out (like I could do that anyways), I played basketball with the kids each morning or played two hand, touch football with an all weather nerf football. Playing basketball at my advanced years is kinda hard on the knees with all the zig-zagging involved but it was still fun playing with the kids. I'd lift Mason over my head so he could "slam-dunk" too.
One time I got to ride Chase's 80cc motocross on the property with the kids hanging tightly to my ever-increasing waistline during eat-fest 2009 (aka Thanksgiving). Maricel particularly dug it, I would open up the little 80cc motor out here and she would say, "go faster Daddy!" Kids are cool. So now I have to work on Melissa in order to get our Team M motorcycle...
Any calories spent playing football or basketball with the kids were negated by the quality of food I'm stuffing down my gullet.
This was my first "Black Friday" experience too. The Glenwood Springs Wal-Mart was advertising a sweet, bundled deal on the Wii and another sweet deal on the iPod touch, 8 gig including a $50 iTunes gift card (for Chase from his Mama). I volunteered for this mission in unfriendly territory when they opened at 5 in the a.m. Of course they didn't have the bundled Wii as advertised so I got the regular sports Wii at the regular price but at least they had the iPod touch. Jeez! Y'all should've seen all the hominids out there just grabbing shizzle or lining up to get shizzle. I bought a three pack of underwear for myself because naturally, I forgot to pack it when I did my last minute packing and batteries for the digital camera with all the pictures I would be taking this weekend. As (bad) luck would have it, I found the trainee cash register person's queue. It was painful watching him struggling to find the UPC code on the boxes to be checked out. Painful y'all. Painful. 1 hour and 15 minutes later I was outta there! Seemed like I accomplished a lot though standing like a lemming in this line and that in order to show the true meaning of westernized Christmas-consumerism! Ooo-weee, but that's another blog entry y'all...
Saturday was spent on top of Glenwood Caverns. Absolutely fun family time. Firstly we did the Cavern walking tour (as opposed to crawling or adventure tours they have there).
Bacteria caused these reddish hues on the cavern's wall.

The stairs we hiked up and down

Cool stalactites...

Here's what we did after the cave tour: 2 rounds of laser tag, 2 rides on the alpine slide, and two 4D movies (where the seats move, I got kinda sea-sick on one show).
The line for the gondola ride down was long so we spent some time drinking the adventure park's eponymous brew-on-tap...

and taking pictures of the town from up top, 'round twilight...

...and the girls (in sepia tones)...

The absolute highlight of the evening after spending 4 hours playing with family and friends was soaking up the hot springs pool at night while watching the lighting and fireworks show of the historic Hotel Colorado. Parking was a beeyatch! There was this surreal moment when we were all hanging out in the deep end of the pool near the diving board. Maura climbed out of the pool to walk over to the diving board, tolerating the sub-freezing air temperatures with steam coming off her body in waves and as she ran to jump in the deep end, the fireworks exploded behind her. A sub-freezing, phantasmagorical episode y'all.
This results in some very tired kids (and adults).

Dreading the ride (and facing the reality of Monday morning) back Saturday after spending such a fantastic time with (extended)family.

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