Why Colorado … Pro Cycling & Chihuly

We got just enough moved into the house to enjoy Leah and Matt’s visit.  We had mostly sunny days, but also some afternoon storms.  Leah captured the above double rainbow over our neighborhood!  Can you spot our house?

Leah likes to visit us in August to be able to see some stages of the USA Pro Challenge bike race.  We started watching the Tour de France together about a decade ago and it’s really inspired her since.  Going from hardly riding her bike at all, to riding from Austin to Anchorage with the Texas 4000 team in 2012.  Then recently returning from their belated honeymoon trip where they watched a couple stages of the Tour and actually cycled some of the same mountains routes as the pros!

So back to Colorado – this year we watched the Time Trial in Vail and the finish of the last stage in Denver.  Vail was beautiful, but cold and rainy.  We got there early enough to find a spot along the barricade right at starting ramp.  That’s us circled in yellow!  In the leader’s yellow jersey is Tejay van Garderen, who would win the time trial and the whole race on Sunday.TJ at startBut the real highlight for Leah was when she got to say hello again to our favorite rider, Jens Voigt (aka Jensie).  Leah and Matt coincidentally sat next to Jens on the airport shuttle in Paris at the end of the Tour de France.  She told him we’d be in Vail and it was great to be able to get a picture with him.jensieYou see our Trek Factory Racing passes.  We were part of a fan club party that in addition to providing food and drinks at a restaurant next to the start, provided a great place to occasionally get out of the rain and warm up.  All in all, it was a great day!  Even the sun came out at the end of the day!

Sunday was the last stage of the race. It started in Boulder, went up Lookout Mountain in Golden, and then ended in Denver. They did four laps of a circuit in downtown, so we got to watch them multiple times. From last year we remembered a great spot where you can see them at one corner and then have time to walk to the next corner to see them coming in the other direction.  So we actually got to see them eight times.  We screamed like crazy as Jensie stayed in a breakaway for all four laps and was caught right before the end.  If you’ve never been to a professional bike race, you’ll be surprised how close they pass by you!

Matt had to take the red-eye back to go to work on Monday, so we decided to stay in Denver for the rest of the day after the race.  We went to the Denver Botanic Gardens as they had a Dale Chihuly glass exhibit.  The glass sculptures were placed throughout the gardens as if they were part of the plantings.  It was truly spectacular!

We had dinner at Moontower Tacos which was inspired by Torchy’s Tacos from Austin.  It was good, but no Torchy’s!  Earlier in the week Matt and Leah taught me how to make Chuy’s Deluxe Tomatillo sauce from scratch so we can make our own Tex-Mex meals.  Good BBQ is still a struggle too.  But a small price to pay for the gorgeous scenery and cool temperatures of Colorado.  Our A/C has only turned on a few times since we moved in.  It’s so nice to sleep with the windows open and feel the cool breeze in the morning!

Well, now that Leah and Matt are gone there’s no avoiding unpacking boxes!

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Why Colorado … Small Town Living

First, you’ll notice that I’ve changed the look of the blog.  I’m trying a new theme that allows for a wider text and picture area, and it should also work better on mobile devices.  The new header picture was taken from our backyard on May 18th.  There’s already a lot less snow on the peaks.

Last Saturday our little town celebrated its Diamond Jubilee with some festivities, including a parade.  While we were waiting for the parade, we walked around and took pictures of some of the landmarks.  I thought you might enjoy some of the sights.  Click on the first picture to click through a slideshow with larger images.

In addition to horses, there were several tractors in the parade.

You’ll be happy to know we’re ready for next year’s parade!

tractor viewYep, that’s Mark cutting our yard for the first time.  With 2.65 acres, our old electric mower just wasn’t going to do the job.  So soon after we moved here we started looking out for a used lawn tractor.  This one was shipped all the way from Vermont!  It certainly looked out of place being delivered in the middle of winter.

tractor arrivalBut that gave us plenty of time to work on getting it ready for spring.  We also have a shovel for the front to help us haul mulch and plants once we start landscaping.  And we’re on the lookout for a used snow blower attachment that will certainly be needed with our long driveway.

Don’t worry, we both will be using it to do our chores!

tractor gkHouse Update: Texture should be done in the next day or two.  I’ll then be able to take some good pictures of the inside once all the scaffolding is down.

Why Colorado … The Rockies and The Rockies

Last night we went to our first Colorado Rockies baseball game.

Rockies Baseball

Rockies Baseball

This morning I took this picture of the Colorado Rockies from the breakfast nook window.

Foothills and snowy peaks of the Rockies

Foothills and snowy peaks of the Rockies

So grateful to be able to enjoy both the Rockies!

Even though it snowed last weekend, it looks like spring is finally here, so we decided to take our bikes to the house this morning and took our first bike ride around the neighborhood!

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You may notice that the shingles are on the roof!  Another post soon with all the new changes at the house.

Why Colorado … Impromptu Ski Trips

We originally started this blog not just to share house progress, but to also chronicle our time in Colorado and why we moved here.  Of course, building a house takes A LOT of time and effort, so sometimes we don’t get a chance to take advantage of what this state has to offer.  However last week we decided we’d better try to get up to the slopes for a last day of skiing, since it looks like spring is here to stay and most ski areas are closing soon.

So, why Colorado … two hours from home to ski lift!!

On I-70 about half way to Copper Mountain.

On I-70 about half way to Copper Mountain.

 

The conditions in the morning were not too bad.  Short lift lines and sometimes we had runs all to ourselves!

Beautiful views and empty runs.

Beautiful views and empty runs.

We took an extra long lunch break because the sun just felt so good!

Sun bathing - slope style.

Sun bathing – slope style.

Unfortunately the sun was doing a number on the snow too.  It was getting harder and harder to ski through the slush, so we decided to call it a day early in the afternoon.  No biggie – we had already gotten our money’s worth out of our season passes, so we didn’t feel like like we had to stay even if the conditions weren’t great.

Best thing was, since we had to drive through Denver, we could take care of some errands on the way home.

Scored a clearance Expedit shelving unit for our master closet!

Scored a clearance Expedit shelving unit for our master closet!

So why Colorado … skiing and IKEA in the same day – CRAZY!