3rd May - I went swimming and made friends with a 5 year old...we are on the same level
Jon took an early lunch so he could drive to the airport to collect his friend Rico, who was visiting for the weekend, while on a trip to Vegas.
After getting very lost, we eventually found Rico and took him back to Jons apartment, where he promptly fell asleep for a few hours (while Jon went back to work).
When he woke, we had a few beers and chatted until Jon came home. Dinner at Ted's Montana Grill (awesome salmon)
We got up at 7.30am and were in the IHOP for a hearty breakfast by 8.15am. Food drives boys. We then drove to The Rocky Mountain National Park for a day of hiking and photography.
Jon took us to a gorgeous valley, where we walked around, (the boys taking photos of rocks and grass along the way) for about an hour and a half, and climbed a hill to get a view of the surrounding snow capped rocky mountains. We then went on to the 'chipmunk bit'. I call it this as it doesnt have an official name, but you can stop, get out of your car and hand feed the chipmunks. (We didnt have food so the boys threw stones at them instead.) We then drove on to another part of the park to see some lakes, which was a mile trek uphill. It was icy and there was still thick snow along the trail, which was weird as it was 82 degrees. I was struggling, as the boys were hiking quite fast and I am unfit, but I tried not to let it show. I wasnt far from a heart attack though. Nymph Lake was gorgeous. It was surrounded by tall pine trees and deep snow. It was well worth the trek.
We then started walking onto Dream Lake, but to get to it, we had to climb a steep, icy trail, which loads of people were abandoning, so I did too. The boys went up though and while they were up there, I ended up being some sort of trail guide. Everyone who came up asked me where to go to get up to Dream Lake.
Jon and Rico got back about 45 mins later and we hiked back down to the bottom and headed on to the Rocky Mountain Park Village (which was similar to Manitou Springs), after stopping off at various points for more pictures along the way. We wandered around the town, stopping in at a few shops, including a candy store where Jon bought the most amazing pecan butter maltshake... Then started the drive back to Greenwood Village - we were all exhausted, sun burnt and had soaking wet feet, as we had inadvertently walked through muddy bogs along the trail...but we stopped in a huge open field en route, as there was a really dramatic sunset ever naturally, the boys (being ex photography students) wanted to stop and spend three hours trying to get 'the money shot'. But as we were taking pictures, (out on a huge open field), a massive storm hit - it was the most dramatic storm I've ever seen. It was amazing and we got some amazing pictures, but it got a bit close for comfort and had to abandon the field when the lightning was directly above us. Then the rain started. It was so torrential that Jon couldnt see where his lane started and ended and there were several bad accidents along the way. Hail the size of golf balls then hit. We finally made it back to Jon's at 10.15pm and freshened up, before going to Jerusalems (a Lebanese restaurant, set in a kind of plastic wendy house). We had to walk through the kitchen to get to our table, which was weird. I was not impressed with the food or waitress (who managed to get our order of a Coke and Sprite wrong!) The only useful thing is that its open until 5am.
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