I'm Back!

I've finally returned to Blogland. I certainly didn't intend to be away so long, but my work life gets hectic this time of year.

I had a wonderful (and much needed) break the week before Easter. My husband and I had tossed around ideas for a short trip to various warm locations, but nothing seemed right. I had myself geared up to stay at home and tackle a couple of projects around the house and do some stitching/quilting. Then, about a month before the break, my 92-year old aunt was moved from assisted living to the nursing home in the retirement center she lives in. She's the only remaining link to my mother's family and she has no children of her own. My husband and I decided a trip to Colorado was in order. Our plan was to make visits to the nursing home in the morning and afternoon and then re-visit some favorite spots during the day. (My parents also lived in Colorado after my mother retired and we took many vacations there.)

Our first stop was Jamako Joes', west of Loveland. The first time we spotted this place, we were very amused by it--not only was it a drive-up espresso bar, but a pick-up truck was in the order lane. We were on our way to the airport so we didn't stop that time, but we vowed to try it the next time we were in Loveland, and it's become a regular stop on each subsequent trip. After all, it's the last place to a get a latte before Estes Park. Note the black car in the picture. That was our rental. The agent told us to pick anything in a particular section and my husband chose a Crown Vic. Channeling his inner Broderick Crawford, I guess. We got more than one extra glance out on the highway.

Fueled with an Almond Joy latte, we headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park where we spotted a large herd of elk. Then it was back down to Estes Park for a stop at the Estes Park Brewery for a local brew and some nachos. Guess the "locals" also know that the nachos there are great!

We went up to Cheyenne one day since we had never been there. My sister gave great reviews of the trolley tour she took there with my aunt last fall, but the trolley doesn't start running until May 1st. We enjoyed the Union Pacific station, the state capitol building and some of these "talking boots" on our own. The boots were decorated by various organizations to depict the history or culture of Cheyenne. You can use your cell phone to get a recorded message about the boot. This one is about the Wyoming govenors. I thought you would enjoy the quilt patterns on it.

I'm so glad that we went as my aunt's mental condition has continued to decline. In her working life, she lived in two Asian countries, headed up the social services division of a state institutiton and also for a national adoption agency, and traveled the world. Last week, when I talked to her, she said she was trying to get back to Iowa where she lives. That was the place she had one of her first jobs 60 years ago and I find it interesting and a little sad that that is the place she remembers most.

On a happier note, we were also able to see one of my father's sisters and two of my cousins in Denver. I hadn't seen one of my cousins since his sister's wedding 37 years ago! We had a great time together and shared lots of family news.

I promise to be back again soon to update you on my sewing progress, such as it is. Thanks to all of you for reading and making comments!


  1. Love the boot! the design on the toe would make a great paper-pieced block design.

  2. Welcome home, Susan! It sounds like a terrific trip and what a blessing you must have been to your aunt. You were missed. You brought back memories of OUR trip to Colorado and Estes Park some years back when Joe's aunt had begun to fail and since we'd never been out there, we went. Have always been glad we did. Now get sewing, girl. Any chance you'd make me a cow block?

  3. Glad you had a good trip out to Colorado. Your aunt sounds like such an interesting person. It's good you got to see her.

  4. Oh susan - it sounds like your trip to CO was somewhat bittersweet - I regret when we took our trip in the early 90's to that area that we did not venture into Wyoming - our friend who moved out there said "oh there is nothing to see there - why waste your time" AACCKK - So that is one state i will probably never get a chance to see again. the scariest I have ever been in my life was riding back from Estes park with the "friends" who had been drinking at dinner and the higher we went the more it was snowing - It was like whiteout and to these two florida born and bred kids - we thought we were going to die for sure - thankfully he pulled over at let the wife drive and we lived to tell the story another day. Hope to see some stitchy things soon - take care Mel

  5. I'm sorry to hear about your aunt. It sounds like a very bittersweet trip. Estes Park is one of my most favorite places in the world. If I had my choice (and the money to do it, of course!), I'd have a house in Estes Park and live there for part of the year. I loved the pics of Wyoming, too. I'd love to go there.

  6. I am happy you got to see your aunt. I believe it must have bittersweet for you. I hope you enjoyed the local food and so on.


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