Wednesday, September 11, 2013

VACATION Pics 2 (New Mexico/Colarado)

"Princess" reaching for her food! What a BIG Bear!
Mountain Lion
Beautiful Colorado

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Mexico/Colorado Vaca Pics 1

On the train heading to New Mexico
Well one of us slept
Beautiful New Mexico
Visitor Center on way to Pagosa Springs
A resort in Pagosa Springs/River we went tubing in
Fireside Inn Cabins
Inside the Cabin

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Mexico w/ a side of Colorado Part 3

We woke up the next morning, ready to get our adventure on....but first breakfast! Grandma Pat & Emily made pancakes & bacon. I should say really really good bacon (from the local Santa Fe farmers market) & fluffy yummy pancakes. After breakfast and with our bellies nice & full we decided that we would leave around 10:30/11:00 to start tubing. Aunt Barbara had already gotten the tubes for us(while breakfast was cooking). She rented 3, one for herself, and two others for Emily & I. Nic was happy to have the cabin to himself & sleep late. (a favorite thing for anyone who knows Nic)and although Grandma Pat would have absolutely loved to have been able to actually do the tubing with us, she unfortunately couldn't because she has a bad back. Which is just starting to feel better, (thanks to Physical therapy) so she didn't want to risk hurting it any further. We were disappointed she couldn't do it with us but completely agreed it was for the best. Also this way, she could be our personal river "photographer" a job she was more than happy & qualified to do, see Pat is kind of a non-professional "professional" photographer. Meaning she takes incredible pictures, & has for years, some of which have even been published in a friend of hers book but never did it as a "profession" per say, but she's still very talented. I love so many of her photographs. Anyway, we set off to the really long walk from the cabin to the San Juan river, which took all of 2 minutes! LOL! Barb who had driven down to the river bank w/ the tubes, was just putting the last tubes down on the water's edge when we arrived. Two men who were fishing & just leaving had just asked her, "You're not really going to do that, are you?" She was like, "yeah, why?" If I know Barb she might have been thinking, "why CAN'T I?" LOL! :) Like Pat, she's got a bit of spunk! But then they say, "That water is FREEZING!" Oh ok. She tells us what they were saying, & I'm thinking, just great something to look forward too! lol I can attest the men weren't lying... Our butts were freezing!!! But freezing butt or not we took off, The water was VERY VERY LOW! Which was good and bad. The water being low, meant for the most part "speed" wasn't going to be a factor, which for first timers & being we had a child in tow was probably a good thing but because it was very low, all the rocks were exposed. SO there was a lot of "Bum bumping" as Aunt Barbara called it, where the rocks would hit you in your hiney. (if you weren't paying attention & leaning back a little on the tube, it could be painful!) It was a "little" like those lazy rivers at resorts except a lot more dangerous with rocks & falls & every thing. For the most part the current would take you where you needed to go & actually aside from one major "oh shit" moment, I can honestly say Emily & I did really really well for our first time. I was a bit nervous about Emily, I think any mother would be, & add in the fact that Emily sometimes needs a little extra help with things, I might have been a little more anxious when we first started than I tried to let on, Thankfully as luck would have it, the tubes had little hooks on the side so I had pretty much a "death grip" on Emily's. Emily was very brave about the whole thing, & she did really really good but I could tell was a little scared at the 2-3 ft water falls/drops whenever we reached them. I am proud to say that we never tipped over once! I can't say the same for Aunt Barbara, to her credit though it was because she was watching/directed us where to go & perhaps not paying all that much attention to where she was going at the time.. LOL! She only tipped once though. So what was Emily & I's "OH Shit!" moment??? Well at one point while the water was just finishing being rocky , Emily & I got stuck on two separate rocks (the current pushing us in different directions) I held on to Emily's tube for as long as I could & finally had to tell Emily, "I have to let go, it'll be fine but just try not to move too much & I'll catch up to you!" So I let go & Emily floats down, at this point thankfully, a relatively calm section of the water, which was good, but now knowing how the river runs... there's always calm before a "fall" or rocky section so I was a bit anxious to catch up quickly before she came across anything too bumpy, which is a lot easier said than done. You see the water was relatively low but in the middle part of the river, it was about 4 ft. deep & the ROCKS are very very slippery so every time you tried to get a grip on them, you'd slip. I was yelling down the river to Em... "I'm coming Em, just try not to move a lot!" A little more panic in my voice than maybe I wanted to show. But after what felt like 10 minutes struggling to get out of my tube & into a calmer perhaps swimmable section of river, once I managed to get there, I swam as fast as I could to Emily's tube, all the while dragging my tube behind me. I finally reach her & again death gripped her tube's hook, and together safely manage the next set of rocks. I don't think there was a water fall right there but fairly soon after there was. I didn't care what happened, I was holding on to her, cause I definitely felt better when I was holding her hand/tube, especially cause Emily would say, "Oh NO!" every few moments thinking there was a drop coming & I could tell her, "Em... we are fine, this is really FUN, it's going to be fine!" I meant it, it was blast!! I honestly think Emily had fun too, but she get's very nervous over things like this. WE had all talked beforehand that depending on how the first leg of the river went we could get off at this one section, before the last two drops & while Emily kinda said she wanted to stop, I thought it was important to show her we could do it & plus I didn't want to stop, it was way too much fun and I knew we could totally do it no problem. I think it was a good thing to teach her not to give up! SO we did the entire thing, and when it came to the last two water falls we had no problems at all, we came through them right side up & smiling! It wasn't until we re-connected w/ Pat at the end that I realized how tiring it was! Several different times I had to really use my arms to negotiate where our tubes were going. One time we did get too close to the wrong side of the bank & we ended up having our tubes go right into a bunch of low lying tree branches" I went first so I was able to raise up the branches so Emily got through them just fine, I probably was hit by a branch or two but in the rush to control the branches for Emily, honestly couldn't tell you. Even so, the whole thing was so much fun! I would definitely do river tubing again! :) Brian's all for it, so we might just have to try finding something like this in NJ! After having successfully gotten out of the river, Emily & I found a bench to sit on & wait while Pat/Barb took the tubes back to the shop since we all couldn't fit in Barb's car w/ them! It was nice to sit & just watch the river, without having to pay attention to it! Pat came back to pick us up & we headed to do a little "shopping" first at the place we rented the tubes from, Barb had noticed they were having a t-shirt sale & later at this really nice souvenir gift shop in town. As I stated before this is Emily's favorite thing to do, & since she had $44 to spend, all of which was burning a hole in her pocket, she was happy to go, I think this is the only time she likes shopping. The girl normally hates shopping for necessities like clothes, & groceries, but this is fun shopping! Anyway I was all for it as well, cause I wanted to get Brian a t-shirt & get a postcard from the trip. We spent a while in the store & then headed to the "Pagosa Brewing Co." which is both a local micro brewery & a cool place to eat. We were able to get a table outside, Pat, Barb & Nic had all been there before. So they knew all the different beers & had even brought back empty bottles to get 4 more quart sizes of the "Kayaker" Cream Ale beer to go. Apparently this is one of their most popular beers, & has won a lot of awards! Our waiter Chris could easily tell that Barb was a fan of theirs, as she was wearing one of their "Pagosa Brewing Co" T-shirts. Chris was nice & before he could even ask what we wanted to drink. Emily says, "Chris? what else do you have to drink BESIDES beer?" LOL! funny girl! After he goes through the list of drink options for her, she says, "I'll take a "ROOOOOOOT" beer! We then all order our own drinks, & food. I had a BBQ chicken sandwich which was served with their homemade potato salad! YUMMY! & I believe Emily had a cheese quesadilla & Barb and Pat both had the Salmon fish and Chips. The beer battered fries that came with this dish were so good, luckily for all of us it was a very generous portion & we all got to enjoy them. Definitely a favorite for this group! Barb & Pat both also raved about the Salmon! Nic had a burger. Everything was really good! If you are ever in Pagosa Springs CO, I highly recommend this cool funky place, especially if you like beers! We ended the night by going back to the cabin & us ladies soaking in the hot tub which was right there at the Fireside Inn Cabins! They designated a cabin for their guest that was open & had an outdoorsy feel to it, & the only thing in that particular cabin was a hot tub. We had the whole thing to ourselves, as no one else was there. While Barb, Pat & I went in the hot tub, Emily & Uncle Nic played a game of "LOGO Challenge" on my tablet. A game that test peoples knowledge of all kinds of different company "logo's", the fun thing about the game is, anyone can play, & the more people the easier it is, cause everyone knows different ones. Emily really likes it, & I think Nic enjoyed playing it with her. We all had such a nice busy day, & I know, Emily & I went to bed happy & very tired! :)