Wednesday, August 15, 2018

2017 big year, Big changes

2017 was a big year for us.

Our first child was born on September 19th. Marlow is an unbelievably happy and healthy baby. I cannot wait to show her the world.

I got a new job with the Community College I work for. I am really enjoying it.

Chelsea is enjoying her 6th graders this year and enjoying being a mother.

Even with Chelsea being pregnant this last summer we did get to go on some awesome trips.

We flew out to California for Chelsea's cousin’s high school graduation in June.

Went with Chelsea's family, so it was busy. We rented an incredible condo right next to the ocean in Pismo, it had 4 porches to hang out on.

Two of her cousins came down to Pismo one day we walked along the beach and we went boogie boarding, it was my first time. I really enjoyed it, caught a few great waves, and was quite tired after.

Took a short trip down to Kansas City for a weekend in June to see Boston play Kansas City on Chelsea's Birthday. Between the classic Gates, my longtime favorite Arthur Byant's, and my new love Q39 we had the best BBQ in the country. We got to go to a traveling exhibit for mummies at grand central station, just happen to see a billboard and changed our plans for the afternoon. I am super happy we did, the exhibit had some of the best examples of mummies I have seen. We also got to go to Crane brewing's tap room, it had been on my short list of breweries I needed to hit for some time now. We got to have a beer with one of the brewers and talk about beer, always a good time.

Then in just a week later we hit the road for what we knew would be the last trip we take just us two. Started the trip by heading down to Taos, New Mexico to see our friends.  Had a chance to hit up some breweries while out too. One of the most interesting ones I have ever been to was Comanche Creek Brewing Company. It is in the middle of a farm field, and the size of a 1.5 car garage. No indoor seating, just a covered patio on dirt. Deer even came out of the forest nearby. I loved that place and all of its oddities, along with the really good beer.

We then departed Taos and headed to Florissant Fossil Beds. We slept in the back of the Grand Cherokee on an air mattress at Eleven Mile State Park.

We then headed up to Denver to see my Aunt and Uncle.  Hit up a few breweries and

We then saw Chelsea’s Favorite band at our favorite concert venue, AFI at Red Rocks Amphitheater.

I got a chance to see my favorite band at our favorite concert venue. My friend and I spent a long weekend to see Incubus at Red Rocks Amphitheater, we even got to meet the whole band. We spent the weekend with my aunt and uncle again, they are so nice to let me and who ever I bring with me stay with them. We had a very cool Kia Minivan to take us everywhere, including the 13 breweries in just 3 days. The hike we took at Lair O' the Bear Park was a great way to give our livers a break.

Now I need to look into how to get a passport for a baby.

This next year is going to be amazing and I just can’t wait to take my little explorer with us for it all.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Seattle and Denver 2016

Time for a bit of a catch up.

We flew to Seattle for a dear friends wedding in July 2016. Spent the time in an amazing Airbnb in the heart of a super hip district.  Breweries, and coffee, and brunches, what more could you ask for?
We took the bus everywhere. We got to see some of what Seattle offered, but I know we did not even scratch the surface. We definitely need to go back.

We then rented a black dodge minivan and headed to a Walmart. With the seats folded down flat, a full size air mattress fits perfectly. When we hit the road and headed south around the bay, we got to drive though Tacoma and some beautiful country.

We then spent a full week in Olympic National Park. I got to drive on a ferry, one of the things I always wanted to do, being a kid from Nebraska, we don't have those.  It was a truly amazing park with so many wonderful hikes. I am still amazed at the distinctly different ecosystems, including the glacier-capped mountains, rain forests, and over 70 miles of wild coastline.

But unfortunately most of my photos from this trip all have a gray line and ruined them. So here are few that made it.

In October we went to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. Our now Married friends from Seattle were actually in town for unrelated reasons. Bryan asked be randomly if we would be in Denver at the time, and actually we would be so I suggested they get tickets and go to the festival. things worked out they even stayed with us at my aunt and uncles house. The festival is absolutely crazy and as long as you don't mind the crowds you can get some amazing beers you could never get back home. Also the people watching is great. 

2016 was a great year, and although we were not able to go on a big trip like years before, we still made some memories I would not exchange for anything.

---- Brad

Monday, February 1, 2016

Finish of the trip 2015

We had an amazing rest of the trip.
We went up into Wyoming to Vedawoo for the Fourth of July have a great downpoured  on us on the way. Luckily we found a great spot, I was worried about it because of it being the fourth, but it worked out well. Chelseas leg was still sore so we did not push it, just a quick hike.
The next morning we did a small hike and ran into a moose with her two small calfes. We hung out for awhile and watched them eat and walk around. 

We went to chimney rock and Scott's bluff national monument. Went on short hikes at both stops, but the Rangers told us because of the amount of rattle snakes we should keep it short. So we did, but that left us done with those spots way early. So we decided to head up to Agate fossil beds. The heat was over 100 degrees and the van was not happy. We had to pull of for a little bit. But luckily it started right back up and we made it to the beds. We went to the visitors center and saw some really cool stuff. Hat night we went up to fort Robinson for some camping. This place was really cool and we had the whole campsite to ourselves. It was right next to the cemetery. We made some amazing hamburgers and let the rain come. Had a nice night reading with the sound of rain on the top of the van.

Then went into South Dakota for some amazing caving at Jewel Cave and Wind Cave. Both were amazing.  When we got to wind cave we quickly picked out a really nice campsite, away from all the other campers. We then went to sign up for some caving! They were very surprised when I got to the counter and said I want to sign up for all of them. Each tour was on average a hour long and we could just barely make it from the end of one to the start of the next. But we made it work and only required a few hundred yards of running. But we made it to all of them. Some of the tours stared with an elevator ride, 20 stories underground! By the end of the day we had learned so much from the amazing tour guides that we could have given the tours ourselves. I personally had a great time when they turned off the lights completely, you have never seen true black until you have seen cave black. I did realize that I had been on that tour when we got to the spot to turn the lights  off, I must have been 7 or younger, but I still remembered the lights off experience. It's that memorable. We finished that day off with a nice fire, and dinner at the campsite. 

The next day we went to Jewel Cave. It's amazing how different theses caves are from each other, being so close to each other. 

Had a nice trip up to Devils Tower. A wonderful drive, even had some subway for lunch. Chelsea fell asleep and missed out on some really nice scenery. When we got to the tower we got our stickers first then started hiking up to the base of the tower. Where we saw people climbing up the side. We also hung out with the prairie dogs and got some really nice photos of them. Chelsea loved when they scream at each other.

Then finished up our trip in the Badlands. We did a quick drive though and short hike, but Chelsea and I were not feeling well so we decided to head home a day early.  

We then drove home from the badlands. The van ran great at 80mph downhills and loved it for the the rest of the trip.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Getting Caught Up Part II

That first post seemed pretty crappy, but the crap had just started.
July 4th-  We left the Estes Park hotel and we were making our way to Vedauwoo.  We were driving along and I looked at Brad and said something along the lines of "You know, yesterday sucked but at least we are healthy, happy and continuing on our journey!  Karma will come around for those people that stole our site."  I shouldn't have said anything.  We pulled into a gas station right outside Loveland, CO to fill up.  We filled up and then the van would start.  The fuel pump had bit the dust.  We were about 6 miles away from anything, so Brad called O'Rielly's and found a fuel pump and called AAA for a tow.  It would not be a trip without a tow.  Luckily, the tow truck came quick and we headed to O'Rielly's.  We were at the parts store for about 2 hours and Brad had fixed the van!  My hero!  We left the store, got some lunch and then finally made it to Vedauwoo.  We snagged a great spot and spent a little bit of time just unwinding after the past few days.

The next morning, we went on a nice 1/2 mile hike around Vedauwoo.  It was a really cool place.  Upon finishing the trail, we spotted a mama moose with her two babies.   This was so cool!  I had never seen a moose before.  We watched them for quite awhile and snapped a lot of photos.   What a great start to the day!

After leaving Vedauwoo, we stopped by Chimney Rock, Scotts Bluff and Agate Fossil Beds.  Neat, quick stops.  One of the rangers suggested we stop by Fort Robinson on our way out to Wind Cave.  This was a great suggestion that saved us some time.  We ended up getting a great campsite at the Fort all by ourselves.  Well, kind of all by ourselves.  It was right next to the cemetery of the fort :)
It rained all night, but we had a nice spot in a cool place.
No ghosts found  


Getting Caught Up Part I

Wow!  We have had a crazy week!  I will try and sum it up as quickly as I can.

We had a few days in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The first day we hiked like Brad had mentioned in the previous post and I somehow pulled my groin muscle.  Super painful and I have no clue how I did it.  We were hiking at a pretty steep incline, but nothing too crazy.  Anyways, we hiked back down and returned to our campsite for the night inside the park.  The next morning, we drove to the Long's Peak campground and found an amazing spot!  We were very surprised by this because we were convinced we would not find a spot there.  The campsite was also free, so that was cool!  We claimed our spot and then headed back to the park.  Brad went and did the Bear Lake hike and I sat in the van trying not to move my leg too much.  This sucked!  Brad enjoyed his hike though, so that was great.  When leaving the park, we saw the Stanley Hotel and drove up there to take our chances on getting a tour.  We lucked out and got the last two spots on one of the last tours for the day.  Awesome tour!  We enjoyed hearing about the history, the Steven King of it and the ghost stories.  The beautiful stairs in the place were a little difficult, but well worth it.  After that we headed back to our Long's Peak site and hung out for the night.

The next morning we woke up, had some breakfast and then headed out for a hike down in the Wild Basin Area.  We left a sign on our site post and both of our chairs out in the parking spot to make sure everyone knew that our spot was taken.  REMEMBER THIS!  We headed back into the park and I was anxious to see how the 1/2 mile hike was going to feel on my healing muscle.  I was hoping that it was better and I could get back to it.  We made our way to Wild Basin and the parking lots were full!  Every single spot was taken except for the spots that were 2.5 miles away from the trail head.  For my first day out hiking again, Brad did not want to push it, so we headed out of the park.  We decided to hit up a couple of breweries.  We first went to Left Hand Brewery which we were both very excited about.  We enjoyed a few beers and the awesome atmosphere and then headed to Oskar Blues.  We were not too impressed with this place or the beer.  Meh. Last stop was Boulder Brewing Company.  On the way to Boulder, I was not feeling too great, but we headed in and got some beers and lunch.  About 15 mins into our lovely lunch, I had such a bad head ache that I could not keep my eyes open.  I had to leave and lay down in the van.  Brad was very sweet and got the tab and drove me back to the campsite while I tried not to puke in the van.  I awoke to Brad slamming on the breaks and jumping out of the van.  We had made it back to our campsite to find a large family camping there.  Brad lost it.  They had ripped down our sign and threw our chairs into the trees.   I was so dazed that it took me a min to figure out what was going on.  Brad got back in the van and we went around the loop again.  No sites in sight.  We pulled back up and my anger then took over and I had to give them a piece of my mind.  Let's just say that the lady I was "talking"to was very lucky that she had small children present...
Brad was fuming, I was ready to hurl.  Brad admitted defeat and took me to a hotel.  It was Fourth of July weekend and he knew better than to think that we would ever find a campsite.  Thank goodness he made this choice.  Arriving at the hotel in Estes Park, I got extremely sick and was grateful for a bathroom of my own.  The rest of the night was terrible with a pounding headache, chills and bad cable shows.

The next morning, Brad had calmed down, I was holding down food and we were ready to hit the road.  Our next stop was Vedauwoo on the Fourth of July.
Dream lake
found a friend 
Stanley Hotel
Had to get a drink at the hotel.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Rocky Mountain National Park

We had a reservation in the park at the moraine campground for two days. With it being the week of the Fourth of July camping was hard to find. So we were happy to have half of our stay here be reserved and in a great spot. 
The first day we went on a really nice hike. Followed a river up a canyon to a wroaring waterfall.  It was a really nice hike. But unfortunately chelsea pulled her groin muscle somehow, so she had to walk the whole way back in pain.
The next day I went up to the bear lake area. I had to take the shuttle from a huge parking lot. I personally love when parks do this. Zion has it so you have to use the shuttle, after seeing how many people were in Rocky Mountain I think they should do the same. 
The shuttle took only 15 minutes to get to the trailhead. I walked up to bear lake and took some photos of the huge mountain lake. I then headed up on another trail. I decided to go up to dream lake. This is a really accurate name. It was a bit of a hike to get there but it was one of the most beautiful lakes I've been to. 

I will upload some photos when I get a chance.
The last 3 days we had some issues and we will cover them soon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


We continued to be spoiled for two more days after leaving Colorado Springs. We headed to Denver to stay with our Uncle Tim and Aunt Marylee.  It was a decent two hour drive. When we arrived in mid morning Tim and Marylee decided to take us on a little brewery tour!  We stopped by 38 State Brewing, Grist Brewing, and Lacavore BeerWorks. We enjoyed several great beers with our great hosts. We concluded the evening at the new Farm House Brekenridge.  There we had a few more beers and a delicious dinner.  After our long tour, we all went home and crashed. 
The next morning, we woke up and went to Toast for breakfast. What a yummy place!  Tim and Marylee had to do some work so Brad and I watched car shows on the couch. This was actually quite enjoyable. Nice and relaxing. 
Later that night, we enjoyed steaks and some great laughs while playing cards against humanity.
What a nice visit we had. Brad and I are very lucky to have such great families in one of our favorite states.