It took us ages to actually even get out of Texas, the place is massive. The gruelling 23 hour journey from Houston to Denver was made bearable by the beautiful scenery we encountered as we got near to Colorado. After going through the flat pan handle region it was such a treat for the eyes to see foot hills and green trees. We made quite a few stops on the way, including Amarillo. Yes Greyhound showed us the way to Amarillo! We even came across an American woman we had met in Memphis. She had asked us to look after her elderly mother (82!!!! what a grand age to live till and still be quite active in mind and body) who was on her way to Lake Charles (which is half way between Baton Rouge and Houston) . It was such a random meeting, makes you realise just how small the world really is. But we were happy to hear that the sweet old woman had arrived safely and was enjoying her vacation in Lake Charles.
The Greyhound finally dropped us off just outside Denver, we were a bit worried at first because it did not look like a bus
stop, it was just a bookstore with a phone and a few picnic chairs outside. After a few tense tired minutes the cavalry (Thommo’s relatives - Joe, Melissa and Ava. Joe is one of Mary‘s son. Mary is the woman we stayed with in Fort Pierce) arrived to collect us. I just have to explain how cute and cheery this 9month old girl Ava was. She was such a laugh to play games with and she had a great smile and lovely large blue eyes. I forgot how much fun it is to be around young kids and just act like a total idiot, pulling silly faces and clapping hands. I was even crawling around on the floor with her in toe at one point. Thommo seemed to really enjoy playing games too, apart from on one trip when Ava was crying (unusual) and Thommo didn’t want her to chew up his sunnies which happened to be the only thing she was interested in playing with!
Anyway, back to what we got up too. The evening we arrived we were greeted with the offer of jumping in a hot tub to relax, of course we took them up on
the offer, and after a few drinks and some getting to know Joe and Melissa we called it a night and got some required shut eye in such a nice bed! Their house is amazing. Imagine a large open plan living area where the ceiling goes all the way to the top of the house and a office off to one side near the front door. Then upstairs is a balcony type hall-way leading to the bedrooms. On the main level there was a large balcony outside which had such a good view of the mountain range, and over looked their huge garden! The downstairs was like another apartment with a kitchen built for great summer time cooking and entertaining. Then out on the back patio was the hot tub.
The next day Melissa took us to Boulder for some lunch and window shopping. This place is so unique, it is mainly a University town with a large pedestrian shopping centre running through the middle. There was quite a few people sporting dreadlocks and hippy clothing. The atmosphere was great, everyone was doing their thing. We ate in the Cheesecake Factory, I had a lovely sandwich (although I would
They live just off this road
consider it to be three sandwiches!) and a massive thrust quenching fruit smoothie. Afterwards we looked around the shops, the sun was blazing and it was such a nice day. We happened upon a street performer known as the Zip code man. This man had a great talent for memory. People were telling him their zip codes and in return he would tell them where they lived (not just by state but by town and villages) and he would also know a restaurant in the local areas. Thommo volunteered his postcode, to our amazement he got the city right and even knew a restaurant there too!!! He was quite successful at holding the crowd and I would think he uses his talent to gain quite a lot of money. That afternoon we sat on the patio at the Boulder Café for happy hour drinks, was such fun to people watch, although we did witness some girl being sick on the green area where many people we sitting and chilling out! That evening we were treated to steak and ribs at a Texas style grill. This place had a massive barrel of monkey nuts and smaller pots of them on every
table. The thing to do is eat the nuts and throw the shells on the floor!
The next day we all venture to the Garden of the Gods. This is an area where lots of big red rocks are sticking out of the ground, sorry for the lame description but I do not remember the technical reasons for them being there or how they are formed! But it was a very impressive sight. After taking some photos we headed up to Pikes Peak. This is a 14,100ft high mountain which the top of can be accessed via car. Again the weather was amazing and you could see for miles and miles around. Both Thommo and I felt a bit dizzy at the top though, but that is a long way above sea level! The most impressive thing was that you could see the Continental Divide and lots of other mountains all with snow capped peaks. We stopped in the town at the base to have some late lunch and experience the atmosphere. At one point Joe went inside and on his return he told us that the locals were all debating whether or not the people out on the
View from the back balcony
patio where getting rained on or not! This was quite funny as the weather that day was very sunny and hot. I know that weather in the mountains can change fast but not that fast! Later that evening we were once again treated to food, BBQ Chicken cooked by Melissa, yum yum! The meal was really nice and we sat out on the balcony with candles and a wood burner to ensure we did not get chilly. However, just as we had finished we heard something in the back garden. Luckily it was a police officer that was enquiring if we had seen anyone out in the gardens or back fields, a window of a neighbour two doors down had been broken. We had not seen anyone and Joe and Melissa were quite surprised that this had happened. The area they live in appeared to be very safe, apart from that recent event.
The next day we all went to see the Red Rocks. This is a massive outdoor natural amphitheatre with two enormous red rocks on either side. That afternoon we chilled out in the hot tub and played with Ava for a while. In the evening we
What can i say, beautiful!
all had take away and shared our photos from the weekends activities.
The morning of the last day we played with Ava then in the afternoon Melissa took us to downtown Denver to see some of the buildings. We also had a nice lunch in the Paramount café, had some really nice food whilst in Denver. I even managed to send a parcel of cd’s (with photos on) and ticket stubs home, made my heavy bag a tad bit lighter! Melissa drove us to the airport afterwards, yes that is correct we flew out of Denver!
I would like to say a big thank you to Joe, Melissa and Ava for making our stay so good. We have been to so many cities and seen so many museums and buildings that to get out into the country side was personally such a big relief. It was a shame we could not have stayed longer to experience the rafting and other adventurous things were heard of, but our time in the USA is running away from us.
Onwards to Seattle….
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