Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Mexico w/ a side of Colorado Part 2

Well on Sunday we got up relatively early, having packed the night before we were pretty much ready to go in the morning.   Pat had made arrangements to take us all to Pagosa Springs Colorado!! Emily & I have never been to Colorado, so we were SUPER EXCITED!  Especially because we were going to be going tubing on a river! (This would be a first for both of us!)  So after a quick breakfast of bagels, coffee & chocolate milk for Emily we were ready to head out.  Pat is a wonderful host & always plans the neatest things for you to do when you visit,  I had a feeling this one was sure not to disappoint.  It's funny during the drive there & back because of the beautiful scenery & breathtaking views, not to mention Pat's narrative I couldn't tell you how long it took, it wasn't too long, maybe two & 1/2 hours. We stopped at  "The Village of Chama Visitor Information Center" at about the 1/2 way point to wait for Aunt Barb & Uncle Nic who would be joining us... Extra YAY!   We looked around & used the restroom & while waiting for them,  we signed the visitors ledger & announced we were from New Jersey! After a short while longer Aunt Barb & Uncle Nic joined us.  We arrived in Pagosa Springs around lunch time & ate at this quaint bakery that had sandwiches & salads & stuff.  We ate outside, I got a Chicken Panini w. a side salad.  really good.  Emily got a grilled cheese. & of course we all drank WATER!  I'm unfortunately not much of a water drinker normally so that's why I keep mentioning how much water I drank! We were not without our water bottles ever!  After lunch we headed to the cabins where we would be staying, a cool place called Fireside Inn Cabins,  Being it was Colorado,  I expected to be deep in the mountains but apparently there is a major highway that is like the only one to get you from point A to Point B right in the middle of the town of Pagosa Springs, so the Cabins & river were right off this major road,  BUT it still managed to feel homey, because when you were down at the river bank which was within a small walk from the cabin you still felt secluded because you couldn't see the road from there.  The Cabins were really nice, We were in cabin 101 which had a big room that included a living room with a futon bed & a full kitchen w/ a big refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot & even a full stove (which for some reason had only two of the burners that worked,  we managed though) & there was a table for four people.  There was also a master bedroom & a bedroom w/ three twin beds. *bunk beds & then a third pull out bed under the lower bunk. (really roomy)  Pat took the futon, Emily & I took the bunk beds & Barb & Nic were in the master bedroom. Plenty of room for all!  We even had a deer head on the wall to let us know we weren't in NJ anymore... lol! Around 4pm we went to a place called "The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park" a short drive from the cabins & they had a 4pm feeding time tour.  We saw bears, mountain lions, a gigantic elk, porcupines, wolves, coyotes, goats, emu,  all ready & some impatiently (calling) for their dinners.  The guide was a young woman who was really nice, after her little speech & feedings she asked if there where any questions,  Emily almost always shot her hand up in the air, (even if she didn't have a question ready... LOL!)  The bear was the coolest for me, her name was, "Princess"  she was a really funny bear,  the guide would throw up grapes on top of the enclosure surrounding her & she would get up on her back legs to get them off the top! We could definitely see how BIG she was.... She apparently liked sweets & fruits the best & would carefully pick thru the other foods to get to her favorites, "grapes".  The guide said her absolute favorite thing to eat is "starburst" candies but she only gets them once in a while.  As luck would have it, another guest had some on her & asked the guide if "princess" could have them.  She said sure, & put a few in the bucket of food, don't you know that the bear used it's giant paws to sort thru til she found that tiny candy & ate them up first.  It was so funny! After the tour, & a visit to the "gift" shop- Emily's all time favorite thing to do on any vacation, we headed back to the cabins.  After having seen all those animals eating, I think it made us all hungry! We were ready to eat!  We packed a dinner of "hamburgers & hot dogs" that we were able to grill on the gas grill that the management let you use & even had the entire picnic area to ourselves...there was a cabana that had a fancy wood table w/ wooden bench complete with butt cheek imprints curved out on the wood benches for each member of the party.. we all got a kick out of that! Now let's talk about the "meat"  I knew something was up when I saw it.... these were the biggest hot dogs & darkest hamburgers I ever saw.  I'm not dumb... I knew something was up, they were feeding us BISON!!! :) LOL! But I was good,  I've gotten better at trying things in my old age.   I must admit,  they really didn't taste much different, & Pat/Barb are all about eating "HEALTHY" apparently bison meat has less fat than "traditional" hamburger.  The hot dogs were a mix of bison/ yak! WHAT! haha... It was good though, & along w/ corn on the cob, & baked beans,  we all managed to get quite full!  Emily didn't even notice the hot dog was a little different than usual. LOL! Back at the cabin we played RACKO,  a family favorite of ours.  After teaching Barb the ropes,  we had a nice time playing BONUS I actually won, which doesn't usually happen.  Emily is really good at RackO & usually kicks butt, but not tonight... (cue evil Muauahhhahhh Laugh) I was the big winner!  We all headed to bed, because the next day was the day of "TUBING"  Anyone who knows Emily & I knows we aren't big dare-devils so for us this was huge! We couldn't wait,  see this is on the ground, this we could do, we aren't big "heights" people. But this looked fun!! So we were excited...  


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