The first 3 days we spent in Denver visiting 2 of my aunts and their husbands (my dad's twin sister Diane, and their baby sister Denise plus Jack and Bill)
They greeted us at the airport with a sign, and immediately fed us and took us to downtown Denver to see 16th Street Mall. It was a lovely place. Plus there was a bar on the 37th floor of this fancy hotel we went to for a couple of drinks, dip your own strawberries, and a panoramic view of downtown Denver.
Sunday we had a wonderful breakfast at my Aunt Diane's house. Believe it or not, her kitchen was stocked with the EXACT same things we keep in ours! Then we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park. I picked a couple of day hike trails I wanted to go on there. The first was .6 miles to Alberta Falls and then that trail fed into a 2.5 mile hike to Mills Lake. Aunt Diane came with us the entire way! And we were pretty proud of Aunt Denise and Uncle Bill making it to Alberta Falls. Uncle Jack hiked to both Alberta falls and Bear Lake which is pretty dang impressive given his asthma and the altitude.
Monday we headed to Garden of the Gods which is the beautiful park with giant red rock formations. Although it never rains in Denver, it did decide to rain on us that day in Colorado Springs. The sides of the road flooded with a torrent of bright red water all over the park and in the downtown area too. It was still beautiful to see the huge red rocks, I'm just glad that I was vetoed on the horseback riding idea. The family saved me on that one.
After lunch we visited the Air Force Academy campus and then headed back to Aunt Denise and Uncle Bill's house for Mongolian hot pot. This is sort of like fondue in that you cook your own meat in broth at the table; however at the end of the meal Uncle Bill threw in all these yummy vegetables and noodles to create a delicious soup. There were 5 dipping sauces and rice to accompany the meal, but I do have to say that the soup at the end was my favorite part.
On our return to the airport we got a little tour of the schools and homes my cousin Travis grew up in. It was some good story telling time too. After we checked our bags we hung out for a little while before going through security. Talk of planning a family reunion came back up again, and I really think Aunt Denise will be the one to get us all together. My vote is for Williamsburg, VA!
Thank you Aunt Diane, Uncle Jack, Aunt Denise, and Uncle Bill for a wonderful trip. You all treated us so well, and we are so glad that we were able to spend time with you and see where you live. I look forward to coming back again.
More on the second part of the trip to Oregon later...