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Glorious Mountain Time…

Glorious Mountain Time…

So. This is what beautiful means. Another kind of beautiful. A not enough oxygen for the Every-Day-Joe kind of beautiful. A Travel-Here-At-Your-Own-Risk kind of beautiful.

Worth it.

We arrived here at the tail end of a thunderstorm. The wrong end of the thunderstorm, I clarify. Actually, we started at one end of the thunderstorm, traveled up the mountain in growing darkness through the middle of the thunderstorm, hydro-planed around semi rigs and a Volkswagen bus on wings of guardian angels, and sluiced to a stop at the resort, clean air and slightly dripping aspens all around.  End of thunderstorm. No big deal.

There is a reason this resort is here. In Vail. It had to be here. Vail had to be the backdrop for twinkle lights drenching the pines, and customer service draping over us the second we pulled up. The temperature, the crispness of the air, the sincere pride the staff took as they welcomed us… All of the elements had to work together to create the ambiance that is this place. And I love it.

Even now, it is raining, and it is enchanting. Wait. It “rains” in other places. Here, it RAINS. The raindrops frolic as they reach the resort. Then some dance on the surface of the infinity pool, bringing steam up invitingly. Other drops lazily make their way down aspen leaves, pitter-pattering to the stone, and gurgling down the gutters. All the rain forms together to make a filmy, misty sheet that flutters down the mountain, across the pines, and onto the property.  That’s what the rain looks like here.

I get to witness it from a plushly padded lounge chair, just under the eaves of the outdoor rooms. Talk about bringing the outdoors in. And the resort does do that. Three beautiful fireplaces ring the saline infinity pool, one for the hot tub and two for gathering spots. They are inviting, with their rocking chairs and outdoor heaters. They just beg guests to enjoy hot chocolate out in the rain, snow, or chill of the air.

As the days and nights progress, I truly experience the consideration that is seeped in this place. From the sights of the outdoor property, to the scents of the on-property restaurant. A hamburger is NOT just a hamburger here, by the way. It is a culinary delight. Onion ring, pesto aioli, and beef or buffalo cooked to specification (mine was beef, cooked medium), set off bells of pleasure on my taste buds. Even something as mundane as french fries took a ride to happy town with chives, garlic, and mushroom wreathing the steak cut morsels.

As rain came down on the beautiful village of Vail, people took the time to come together over drinks and food. Or a game of chess or cards. People read in the lobby, or library, sure, but the stories flowed from the mouths of people wanting to make connections with others, right there in the conservatory.

In that room, with huge windows showing the beauty that was nature on one side, and a roaring fire on the other, people would gather in twos, or fours, or more, and talk about their lives and what brought them to this spot at this particular time.

Many came for a conference. “Hello, how are you? Are you here for CIMA? Do you know…” And simple as that, they are off and running on system security management for the here and now.

Others, however, are here for weddings and family gatherings and such. I met some interesting girls this way. They flitted here and there popping around walls and bouncing wherever they went, happy as clams. They flopped down next to me and asked me why I was here? I told them my husband was speaking at a conference here, and they sensed it was their turn to speak, so they did.

A lot.

They let me know they had flown in with their family, from New Jersey, for a cousin’s wedding. They were also a bit sad that their grandpa couldn’t come because he was so funny. I asked why he couldn’t be there, and they said, finishing each other’s sentences, that he was 89, was in a home, but had just needed to go to a hospital for something. He was very funny, they said, and the nurses laughed a lot around him. I said it must be nice to have a funny grandpa, and they said yes, grandpa Yogi was the best.

Yogi is not a common name, and I thought it was also the name of a bear, and then some other guys name, maybe a football or baseball player from long ago. That’s as far as my line of thinking went, as these young ladies, vivacious and glad to chat, kept up a history of their lives as they knew it. Staying with their grandpa Yogi. “He reminds us of a gorilla!” The younger girl, maybe 7, said. “His ears, you know… They are preeety big.” The elder sister, around 9, chimed in. “He kind of walks funny, too.”  I learned that he was indeed named Lawrence, but that no one called him that since he was a catcher in baseball long ago. His team mates, then just people, called him Yogi and his last name was Berra, and wasn’t that funny?

The girls went with their parents to Florida every spring break, and… Their dad used to play sports as a job, and … Then the two blonde haired, talkative gems were hustled out of the conversation by a 50-something year old man, fit and trim, that wasn’t too keen on my friendly smile. He seemed in a hurry, and that was that.

I had just had a fun discussion about and with the great Yogi Berra’s grandchildren.  I think so, anyway.  Maybe not. I confirmed some things with my husband later, and with Wikipedia. Yessirree Bob, I had been brushed off by a retired ball player/dad, had a chat with a legend’s grand kids, and enjoyed the weather while doing it.

Nice place.

My last night found me down at the hot tub with my husband. We enjoyed the stars hanging in the sky, the trees swaying in the cool, crisp air, and the steam rising off the stone hot tub water. A fire blazed just a few feet away, beautifully corralled by stone and wrought iron fancy.  We soaked for a bit, marveling at the adventure we had experienced, and caught up on our day. He nailed his presentation, had been productive at the socializing that went on at these things, and now he was ready to relax and go home. I shared with him my time and observations, and we both laughed. Then sighed.

It was good to soak.

After a quick dip in the pool, and a spell by the fireplace, we retired to our room.

Our room. Our room! Big, beautifully well-appointed… Our room was a vacation in and of itself. On the top floor, we got a beautiful view of the pool and mountains. The room housed a plush king size bed with a suede headboard. All soft and inviting, I spent a few hours curled up in it, I’ll tell you. Large closets, well stocked mini fridge area, big bathroom. All done in woods and stone and glass. An office area for hubby to do his conference calls and business. Nothing was an afterthought. Everything was warm, yet elegant.

Our morning was spent packing and smiling because we knew that we had loved this place.  The sun was out. Our trip would be dry. And it was the perfect end to our adventure in a truly breathtaking spot in this world.

 

 

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PHO…


I love Pho. What is Pho?  I think that if you live in Colorado, you would have seen Pho places around every corner.  On every corner, and sometimes 3 places on that corner.  But if you don’t live here, I will tell you, it is a delicious soup and rice noodle dish that you customize.  You choose which meat to put in (I am not at the point where I ask for tripe. I simply go with P1. That’s the sliced rare steak.  It cooks in the broth. Yum!). You also choose what spices to put in, and you have the option of putting in Thai basil, squeezes of lime, bean sprouts, and Jalapenos.  I highly recommend them, by the way.

I had pronounced it “fo” each time I would look at the signs around town. It was always intriguing, so when we finally decided to try a place, that was when I learned it’s really pronounced “fuh”.  Fuh, do you see? Not pho. Fuh. Lovely! I phound this out the 1st time I went to a little hole in the wall joint called Pho Mai. It had phat phish in the tank, and beautiphul lights wrapped in thin paper. Lots of bamboo, and beautiphul pictures on the wall lent a bit to the ambience. Also, a TV screen that had “The Price Is Right” played silently.  Somehow it phit.

We were led to a booth, given a menu, and asked if we needed anything. I asked the nice Vietnamese guy for some “fo” and he smiled, professionally, but just a bit condescendingly.  It was obvious I had gotten it wrong.  So I asked iph I was pronouncing Pho correctly and he smiled and shook his head slightly. ( I phind that he hates correcting anyone.  And that his name is Muay.  That’s “May”. And I now call him Steven, at his request.)

So Steven told me it was pronounced “fuh”, and phrom that time on, I had the correct spelling of what I have now come to think of as my own personal ambrosia.  I also now have a new phriend. (He recognizes myself and my husband anytime we come in.  Which is about 2-3 times a week.  True.)

That phirst time, my husband and I took a look at the menu, and immediately got overwhelmed. Until we realized that the menu had subtitles.  Whew! I did NOT want to learn another language just to order phood. We didn’t have to.  We ordered our Pho and it came out pretty speedily. They laid everything out with phlair, by the way. Beautiphully done.

We didn’t know how to eat it, initially, but luckily, Steven took time to aid us.  He conveyed that we put the various ingredients into the bowl, according to our tastes.  There are little bowls that we can experiment with, putting different sauces together, etc… He let me know that he shreds the basil bephore putting it in the soup, etc…

Then, he said, you take your chop sticks (or fork, if you are a newbie to the Asian phood culture) and mix it up. So we did.  He left to take care of others, and we dug in.  The first bite was flavorful and surprising.  As I raised the noodles up to my mouth, I could smell the complex phlavors of the broth mixing with the bits that I added.  I loved it even bephore I brought it to my lips.  I was not disappointed at all.  Savory and fresh mixed together as the broth and basil/lime duo blended. The noodles and beeph strips satisfied my need for texture.  All in all, ambrosia.

Oh, by the way, the portions are enormous.  These bowls come in small, medium, and large.  So they say.  I will tell you the truth here.  They are large, enormous, and immense.  I usually get the enormous one.  I have a healthy appetite, and I have a very hard time phinishing this dish.  But I did phinish with a smile.  It was soooooo good!! It always is.

Our check came, and I smiled again, because the Pho is so inexpensive.  From $6.95 to $8.95.  That’s it. What’s not phantastic about that???

I am a phan.  I love it, and I highly recommend it.  Phind a Pho place a.s.a.p. and let me know how you like it. And go see Steven at Pho Mai in Broomfield. Just don’t tap on the phish tank glass. He works hard to make it beautiphul there!

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in family, fish, gratitude, Life, love, passion, Uncatagorized

 

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And the mist made my eyelashes all shiny…

And the mist made my eyelashes all shiny…

I went to the Oregon Coast.  I didn’t just go to the oregon coast.  The capitals on the letters are there for good reason. Oregon Coast.  That is short for: I HAD AN AMAZING TIME IN THIS AREA.  or a more formal way of saying WOW.  And I went with my childhood friend, Jen.

Here’s what I found…

Moments at the coast can last for hours. They are breathtaking and moving and memorable because they can last a lengthy amount of time. For instance, Whales  breaching and spouting and … mating.  We got to see only glimpses, but it was a life changing experience.

Apparently, this is really rare. “A Treat”.

Such a great shot!

Now these moments didn’t have anything to do with Cap’n Jack navigating the choppy waters just so, even with the 2 pm waves pulling against his boat.  They didn’t have anything to do with the blue sky and light breeze that whipped my jacket to and fro around my torso.

But they had everything to do with the fact that I was out on a boat at all, enjoying the bumping and dipping and spraying and sun-shining that happened at just the moment when the whales decided to let us in on their intimate chaos.   I loved that spot on earth, and found that I had a rare shot at being there. My heart raced and I couldn’t stop smiling.  Ask Jen. She thought I looked a bit like an idiot.  But I kept clicking pics, and yelling, “look over there!” and “See that?”, knowing that everyone on the boat was looking in the exact spot I was pointing out anyway.

I was experiencing being a tourist in its purest form.

I didn’t care one whit that I was jostled and jostling around with perfect strangers. It didn’t bother me that Cap’n Jack asked us all to move back from the stairs and be safe. I kept clicking away and being part of the crowd, all the way until he threatened that he would go away from the whales if we didn’t listen to him. …

oh! what a sight. The smell of the ocean, and the sound of the birds cacophony just added to the experience. I loved it all.  All of that was one moment.

Another moment happened when we were land-side, on Hug Point.

The mist found me, clear up on these lovely rocks. It kissed my eyelashes, and curled my hair, and made the tiny hairs on my hands sparkle.  I could feel the BOOM! that the surf made as it crashed into the sand, making swirling, eddying, sucking places all over our stretch of beach. I saw the whitecaps form, relentlessly daring any souls to come play in its reach. And again, I smelled the scent that was The Coast. The clean, brisk, crisp scent that carried anything from seaweed and seagulls, to the contents of a family picnic basket down the shore.  It was … open… to any bit of brightness that caught its fancy.  And I got to be a part of it.

I love a good moment in time. I have lots, but these happened recently, and I still smile when I think of them.

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in family, fish, gratitude, Life, love, Mom, Peace

 

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My perma-grin is shiny…


I have seen tonight:English: Close-up picture of billiard balls

A shimmy.

A coin slot.

3 coins in a fountain.

A lot of billiards.

Also, knees being scraped, hysterical laughter, a small fish flopping around like, well a fish, and 7 children in a scu-fuffle..

The simplest situation that put me here is: FAMILY REUNION

English: Hot tubbing in Keystone, Colorado.

English: Hot tubbing in Keystone, Colorado. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It encompasses 1 patriarch, 5 children, 5 spouses, and a gaggle of teens/kids/infants. And, lots of caffeine. Also, large amounts of laughter, cards, pool, hot tub, tv, and food. This equals chaos to many of the people here, but not me. Nope. My kids are grown enough that they can go away on their own. They are out of diapers, drool, and Disney Jr. channels. So when a child is whining, crying, screaming or begging for something, it isn’t up to me to fix it.

Woot.

This explains the slight smile that I have worn all day. It means, “I love your little darlings, but I can walk away at any time. And. You. Can’t. Neenerr-Neenerr-Neenerr.”   Or something like that.

Fight!

Fight! (Photo credit: Aislinn Ritchie)

I call it my perma-grin smile, and it is getting better and better as the day goes on. And this is only day 1. Tomorrow holds hiking and fishing. Also some shopping. None of which includes me worrying if my child is wearing the right clothing, or eating enough, or if it is time for a nap. I don’t have to wonder if my child will be bullied or be the bully. Or if they are not interacting with their cousins enough at all.

Ba-hah.

I do love the memories of when I had small children. And I love the small children around me. I just don’t have to herd them. And that makes my perma-grin shine right up. Who knows what fantastic-ness will come with this chaos? I’m looking forward to it. 🙂

 

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So a trout walks into a bar, and orders some Spam….


INFATUATION. Yark. Not because it isn’t fun. Yark because, well, infatuation is the limbo of the harsh reality of love. There is a start. There is a middle, and sometimes, there is an end. Infatuation comes in like, ummm, like…like the spam on a hook to bait the unsuspecting river trout.

Trout: Just floating along, maybe looking for a bug, or a bit of Flotsom to chow on. Maybe just feeling out the current. Then WHAM!!!!! A bit of Spam is just dangling along in the current with him/her. “What kind of goodness is this?” He thinks….And takes the bite of apparent goodness.

Only, after he takes that first blissful bite, with maybe a bit of perma-grin as he looks around at his trout-posse, knowing THEY don’t have Spam in THEIR mouths…. does he realize that this goodness comes with some commitment. And that’s what I’m talking about. The hook. Now this hook is just there, shoring up the Spam of love, at first. We may even call it fun, a tool, or no strings attached….Spam. But there is, each time, a leee-eetle bit of e-ouch!-what-was-that?…ness….

It may even be that as long as it does not start to pull too much ,too hard, or too many times, that we can get used to that Spam flavored hook. Ok enough with the fish stories. All hooked fish end up getting pulled out of the river of comfort to be dashed against the rocks of reality at some point. Depressing? YOU try having a spam covered hook in your mouth, with all your friends laughing at you…..

I guess what i think about infatuation is this: It HAS to be that alluring, because if we knew or thought about what happened AFTER the infatuation, we may just pass on it and go back to the safety of our ho hum lives. OH YEAH…, our lives seemed so ho hum, before infatuation came sniffing around. All of a sudden, it doesn’t matter how late we stay up, how little sleep we get, how many dollars we may spend, or how many daydreams float by at work, as long as we can get just a LITTLE bit more of the elixir of love. DANG IT!!!!!

And while we are at it….Have you ever wondered about how stupid we look to others when we are infatuated? like the fish with a hook in his mouth swimming around looking smug. What his friends see is a fish that’s going to get it in the end. But the hook guy is happy about it!!!!!! Ok well , the same thing happens on dry land. Our friends look over our heads at each other and roll their eyes. Or when we are texting with that stupid perma-grin look on our face?….. Yeah, they roll their eyes then too.

Now why do they roll their eyes??? BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE DIFFERENCE between love and infatuation, apparently. The only ones that don’t get it are the ones going ga ga in stupid meeting places, like across a crowded KFC to get together for 1/2 hr of what-if-ness. Like i said before, Yark.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2009 in fish, humor, infatuation, love

 
 
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