we’re back

I bet you didn’t even know we were gone, did you?

We took off for Colorado last week for a mini vaca from Thursday to Tuesday. We first flew to Denver and spent the first night there in a little Airbnb relatively close to downtown. We landed insanely early in the morning and had to stash our bags at the place before heading out to walk around. We walked for -it seemed- forever until we finally made it to Colfax Avenue. It seemed this wasn’t the “in” part of Colfax either but we walked past a few “interesting” stores we wanted to check out and finally ended up at Illegal Petes – drinking a beer at 10:15 in the morning – Denver time – since we’re from the ATL and it was after noon THERE we felt it appropriate. Plus, as I noticed several fellow alcoholics  others were drinking before noon as well.  After that, we were done walking for awhile and decided to take Lyfts around town to look at stuff and check out a few other breweries. We met up with a fellow blogger, Aussa Lorens at Great Divide Brewing Company who I’d not met before, and, I might add is just as hilarious as her blog.

Afterwards, we went to Epic Brewing Company where the atmosphere was nice and the beers very hoppy. (I honestly thought at one point there was something herbaceous in my beer it was so hoppy.)

The next day we packed up and headed west towards Breckenridge. I heard a lot of good things about the town and the slopes – mind you we weren’t skiing unless we took a temporarily leave of our senses which was all possible while on vacation but I just wanted to check out the town. On the way we passed a small town (when I say small I mean like population 20) that was situated around this lake where everyone was fishing and catching trout. I kicked myself majorly for not hauling all my fly fishing junk out there to fish.

We reluctantly got on the road after watching some people catch one trout after another and headed towards the town of Dillon. It was a quaint little town – maybe a bit bigger than population 20 but you could certainly walk from one end of it to another in about 20 minutes. We had a beer at the Dillon Dam Brewery and then headed out.

We pulled into Breckenridge and parked on the street and walked around for a bit. I was trying to find us a place to stay on my phone but everything I pulled up was well over $100. We wandered into a realty agency to see if they had any affordable rentals and the cheapest they could come up with was over $200. They said we’d better book fast because there were going to be a lot of people in town that weekend and that we should even make a dinner reservation because the places would be crowded. I was like, Next, and suggested we head on down the road to the town of Frisco and check that out. It seemed quaint and cute. Maybe we could stay there.

In Frisco we drove up to this motel that had a fan in every window. I got out and went into the office and asked this dude who looked like he’d partaken in too much of the local weed. He showed me a room that the bedspread looked like it hadn’t been changed since the early 70’s. Next. I got back into the van and told Charlie to drive me to the next inn. Which was a bed and breakfast.

Ok, for any of you that have read my blog and former blogs YOU KNOW how I feel about BnB’s. There’s always some weird people that run those places that love to get into your business and the whole eating breakfast together with strangers I can’t really do. I don’t do well socially in the mornings before I’ve had my coffee. In fact, it is coffee that has kept me out of JAIL a lot of trouble. But, for the sake of our trip and needing a place to stay I was willing to forgo my personal feelings. I went inside and rang the bell. (This was the third place I had to ring a bell – I guess no one sits at a front desk anymore?) and this lady came out and I asked her if she had any vacancies. She said she did and could show me a lovely (she said) room with two double beds.

Ok, I let it go that she just assumed that I wasn’t there with my wife and maybe I would have wanted a king sized bed because, yes, it is the 21st century. The lady took me up a very steep stairway explaining that it was the original stairs from the……then, it all sounded like blah, blah, blah in my head. I don’t want a history lesson when I’m looking at a place to lay my head. She showed me a room with steel beds covered in old quilts, dark curtains and little house on the prairie-ish pictures on the walls. Then, as we went back downstairs she pointed to the dinning room and said that they would be having pancakes in the morning and I thought about that for one second and Goodnight John-boy sounded in my head and then thought, Next. 

I got back into the rental van and Charlie asked if that place was ok and I said, If we’re playing Laura and Mary on Little House on the freaking-Prairie it is. Let’s go over there, I said, pointing across the street to the Frisco Hotel. It had a lodge feel with a great room and a fireplace. Subdued lighting and Kurt Cobain’s younger son manning the front desk. I made him show me a room and he took me upstairs to another great room that had leather couches and a bookshelf next to a room with hardwood floors, a mini bar and deck. Ah, we were home for the next two days. I handed him my credit card and said that would do. Aside from our Airbnb this place was the bomb!

After checking in and walking around town we settled on a place for dinner that had a jazz band playing. The food and music turned out to be an excellent choice for the evening. The next day we woke up to snow on the ground and the place was just beautiful. After coffee and finding breakfast at a cafe’ across the street we decided to go on a snowy hike on a trail just at the edge of the little town. The trail took us to a lake named Rainbow lake (of all places).

We talked to several people on the trails – especially, those who had dogs. It seemed that everyone had a dog there and it was fun. We saw one lab actually get into the lake and swim out to get a stick and wondered if he would get hypothermia. His owners didn’t seem to be concerned. I thought about our dogs and they would probably have had on fleece lined jackets with booties on their paws. After Frisco we headed south making our way to Colorado Springs. On the way we stopped off and played at the Garden of the Gods.

It seemed like we went from a winter wonderland to the desert in one day. The climate was really messing with us. When we first arrived in Denver it was actually warmer there than Atlanta. The first day in Frisco we were walking around with just long sleeved shirts on, then snow and coats, then long sleeved shirts and then even just t-shirts. After the G of the G we pulled into Colorado Springs. We left the van parked on a street downtown and headed for this brewery named Phantom Canyon Brewery  which turned out to be fun and we were just in time to watch some football. It was happy hour and all their house brews were $3 and free pool and darts. We shot pool and watched a few games and then decided that since an old college buddy of mine wasn’t going to meet up with us we’d ditch town. Honestly, it was our least favorite part of Colorado. Aside from the brewery there didn’t seem to be one thing to hold our interest long enough to stay there. It even seemed like a depressing little town. We decided to get back in the van and drive straight through Denver to Boulder where neither of us had been before.

Once in Boulder we went though the whole hotel thing again. We finally found a decent room overlooking the college and decided to go out and get something to eat and watch the Falcons. We ended up at  Dark Horse Bar and Grill and what a blast that place was. We ended up sitting at the end of the bar next to four other people who worked at the bar and had just gotten off work. It was two guys and a male and female couple. One of the guys was doing an Irish car bomb with pumpkin beer and we commented on that and the other guy said he was going to go get us a real Irish car bomb with Stout because they didn’t have any on draft behind the bar. He hopped up and later came back with just that. We had already done a shot of Jameson by then and the car bombs went down nicely. Later, we went to order food and the guys talked us into trying a burger that apparently the place is famous for – the Jiffy Burger which had a layer of peanut butter. They talked us into it and it was pretty good. I knew I would like it because there was a bar near Purdue that had the same type of burger that I always had.

The next day we decided to go on a hike before heading back to Denver for our last night. We drove out to a trail on the edge of town and easily found a trail that led to the top of this mountain. We could have done more hiking in Boulder and explored it more but I don’t regret anything we did on the trip.

     

By the time we got back to Denver about all we were up for was some warm Pho and bed at the Airbnb. We were both ready to come home despite loving Frisco and Boulder. Here is a pic of our lovely Airbnb host, Chloe.

 

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Friday chex mix

Music

Monday evening Charlie and I met Benji out to hear our friend, LB play in an open mic contest at Edie’s. LB’s girl was in town visiting from Virginia and she had already texted me to see if we were coming. So, it was an interesting evening. Not as interesting as the previous Saturday but interesting. Aside from LB and about two others who were fabulous the rest I could take or leave, but, hey what do I know? I’m sure it takes guts to get up there and play. The people working the show didn’t seem on it, though. There was a problem with a cord and several, Can you turn this microphone on? No, not that one. Test, test, test…….

I was like what if the next John Mayer is up here and it’s all messed up? (Seriously, he was one of their past shootout winners) Every Monday they have this open mic contest and the winners all get into the main competition called a Shootout. I think they only have shootouts once a year and it’s considered a big deal. The shootout happens to be this Saturday night but we won’t be there as we have tickets to a concert series at Oakland Cemetery called Tunes in the Tombs. This is the first time they’ve put something like this on and I’m looking forward to it.   Benji, Emil, Charlie and I are going and hopefully it won’t be too hot that we will burn up.

Workout

I’m still going to OrangeTheory a couple of times a week and trying not to kill myself. In between, I’ve been running. I’m really on this weight-loss kick. All I want for my birthday is to wear the clothes that I’ve been missing – my ripped up Abercrombie camo cargos, faded and broken in chinos, my button fly jeans and all those cute little cowboy shirts that I still have hanging in my closet that I refuse to throw away because I still want them. I don’t dare weigh myself I want to just feel it in my waistline. I’ve been working out every day this week and haven’t taken one day off. I do maintenance on my knee every evening icing it and taking some ibuprophen but it feels better than ever doing this daily thing. In between, I’ve been trying to stay on the Paleo as much as possible and cutting down on the beer- I’ll only touch a Bud 55 now.

Travel

Southwest was having a sale on flights and I got Charlie and I tickets to Colorado for less than $400. I was alerted this by my sister who said I could book a flight to Indy for my birthday and she’d pay me back. I’m gonna tell her that I don’t want to go up there for my birthday. I don’t want to go up there period, birthday or not. For my birthday this year (which, is a big FIVE-OH) Charlie and I are going to Savannah and staying out on Tybee. The trip and pet sitter(s) are already booked. The week prior to that we’re driving up to Asheville to see our friends Liz and Lina who we haven’t seen in AGES! The last two times we were supposed to see them I caught on fire and we couldn’t get a pet sitter things came up where we couldn’t go.  We’re staying at an Airbnb owned by a friend of Benji’s.

Business

Remember that stone path that Charlie put in for a client that didn’t want to pay us? Well, a month later we had planned to plant some shrubs in the back and do a cleanup for her daughter’s wedding. We had this on the calendar to do after March. So, I had to chase this woman down to ask her what kind of Camellia she wanted planted in the back (there are literally thousands of varieties of these things). I sent her half a dozen pics and she finally chose the one that had the pinkest flower. Long story short, Charlie did all the work and afterwards the woman, again, blew us off for a couple of days before paying us and then said that Charlie needed to come over and trim these boxwoods (that she never said needed trimming). So, Charlie made and additional trip over there to trim them. Well, you know boxwoods have tiny, tiny leaves. So, after trimming those (with scissors) she blew off the back patio. Later, I get an email from this lady screaming about her leaving leaves all over her precious patio. We had already decided that this client was getting too abusive to deal with and that after the planting we were done with her. We were trying to find a way to disengage without her being all nasty about it. I sent her an email back apologizing for the mistake and pointing out ALL THE OTHER work we had done on the job. Two weeks later this lady emails wanting to know where Charlie is and when she’s coming to do maintenance. I wrote back and said Charlie was out of state taking care of her father who was very sick, didn’t know when she’d be back and suggested she find someone else to do maintenance over there. No reply of “I’m sorry Charlie’s Dad is ill…” nothing.

Weeks later it happens. She puts this nasty post on our neighborhood Nextdoor complaining about how we just disappeared after doing a terrible job on her walk, posting a picture. She accused us of doing the planting job (that we had to chase her down about) late and at the last minute. She called us unprofessional and even petulant. (We had to go look that word up) I got on there and wrote a very professional reply to her scathing comment but then flagged her comment as abusive to the manager of the site. Basically, he took it down saying she violated the Nextdoor rules calling us names. He told her to revise her post and take out the name calling and repost. Well, she tried to repost the SAME post calling us names and I flagged it again and wrote the administrator asking him if she could be kicked off this thing because this was TWICE she’d posted insults to us.

Meanwhile, despite taking her post down everyone who subscribes to Nextdoor got an email with her original comment and my reply. On the upside, we just got a new client this week because she looked at the photograph of that stone path that Charlie built and said, I want that path! So, on the upside her negative comment got us even more exposure and we got a new client out of the deal.

So, that’s my Friday chex mix in a nutshell. Everyone have a great weekend and cheers!

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