exploring the west

a weekend in colorado is really not enough. the day and a half jake and i were there was crammed full of everything estes park, we were active every minute. the above photos were from day one. read after the jump for day 2 and a synopsis of the weekend.

pictures from day 2

day 1:: jake and i arrived at my cousin claire's house in some suburb of denver at 2:30 am (central time) saturday morning. i couldn't leave lincoln until i had finished teaching my last student friday night at 6:30, so we didn't really leave til about 7:30. i think we made pretty good time though, i may have had a heavy foot. i was finally able to meet cute miriam, claire's baby [aka baby girl] and claire's husband brad, the next morning at breakfast. she's probably the most well-tempered baby i've ever seen! and incredibly independent...i think she would have liked to  hike by herself rather than have us as company. after breakfast we came up with several plans but decided that hiking in estes park would be best. even though claire is eight months pregnant, she could have fooled anyone with the amount of energy she had. i think she had more than i did, which i'm embarrassed to admit. after hiking, we all hit up the town for pizza followed up by ice cream. two of my favorite foods. (i like food in general though so i don't know what that means..) afterwards, we said our goodbyes with promises of visiting soon. 

day 2:: i didn't get a good night's sleep like i had thought i would. an unwanted alarm went off at 4:30 am, my dad and i had to fish around for the cell phone vibrating non-stop in my mom's purse. not only that, dad wanted to be up at the crack of dawn to get inside the park so everyone had to be up at 5:30 am. i wasn't too happy of a camper at that point. however, after a mcfrappe (so much cheaper than starbucks) i was ready to hike some mountains. and we did. after our hike we headed to the top of trail ridge which led us right into the rockies, looked around, and headed back down to a lower elevation level. we went back into town for lunch at that point. my mom had heard from a coworker that Deleo's was a good place. turns out it wasn't. i don't want to bore you with a long rant about how terrible it was. just don't go there if you're ever in estes park, totally not worth the money (or the 30 minute wait for a sandwich). not long after eating less than half of my sandwich, jake and i decided to hit the road and head back to lincoln. 

why does driving home take so much longer than getting there??

animal stories
-- saw a mama and baby bear (last picture before the jump) on day 1 after we had finished hiking right as we were leaving the park. i was pretty amazed by all the people getting out of their cars to take pictures...especially after the recent reports of bear attacks! (claire got out of the car...maybe that helps explain more of how energetic and adventurous she is even at 8 months pregnant)
-- my obsession with animals led me to talking to every single chipmunk encountered, as documented in above pictures. they're so darn cute and not at all afraid to come up to your hand if you hold it out.

thankful for the time i have to be able to take quick little trips like these. 

any fun stories? i hate to be the only one talking...
(don't be afraid to comment!)

2 little notes:

  1. Wow colorado is gorgeous. I love the last photo (we don't have chipmunks in Australia!)

  2. Colorado is amazing! If you are ever in the US, you should definitely go. If not for the scenery, then at least for the chipmunks! ;)