Clare and Rob on the million dollar highway
Clare and Rob on the million dollar highway

Clare and I spent a romantic weekend in Ridgway, Colorado a couple weeks ago, as a combined birthday present for me and Christmas present for Clare. It was very relaxing. It was our first journey to southwest Colorado; we liked it so much we want to go back. We really lucked out with the weather. The mountains were covered with snow, but the roads were clear, and the sky was bright blue. It was about a 5-6 hour drive. We checked out Ouray, drove along the million dollar highway, and enjoyed the thermal pools at the Chipeta Sun Spa. The Chipeta resort was really beautiful. We really enjoyed the large logs in the ceilings, and the solarium. The breakfast was very nice, and the service was great. The only downside is that the bed was not very comfortable.

Visiting Phil and Tim

One of the highlights of going to Indiana was getting to see Phil and Tim. Tim took the kids on tractor rides. We went to dinner at Uptown Brewery (yum!). Kyle joined us. The kids played after dinner at Bryant Park. It was fun to see everyone and catch up.


The Fenders are friends and neighbors in Indiana. Angie gave me a tour of some of the projects they had been working on. We could smell honeysuckle as we checked out the ways they have worked to make their property naturally beautiful and useful. I forgot to take pictures of the garden and the wood carving picture didn’t come out. However, between the hand built canoes, the shelter from locally grown and milled wood, the pond with dueling zip lines, the mason jar chandeliers, the bark they pressed for a year to use as decorative finishes on the bar and the bed frame I can see both creativity, time and care they put into their projects. Thanks for sharing <3

David and Ellen Dibble’s 40th Anniversary Party

Dibble-40thLots of old friends stopped by on Sunday to congratulate them on 40 years together. There was a¬†lot of food and a lot of love. And my parents wound up with a lot of wine. Apparently, what people think you need after 40 years of marriage is a drink ūüėČ In all seriousness, though, thank you to everyone who helped celebrate.

Spencer Arrival and Party Prep

We arrived in Spencer late Tuesday night. On Wednesday, we woke up to find the grass was over Spencer’s head and there was no hot water. Other than that, the place was in pretty good shape (probably because of Ellen’s March visit). So we gave the kids old fashioned sink baths with water heated on the stove and got to work. ¬†We set up beds and Spencer helped vacuum. Friends and neighbors helped us prepare for company.

Rob and Dave joined us late Friday night. Drew and Geebi got in on Saturday afternoon. The Felty’s and Sadie drove in Saturday evening. We grilled out and enjoyed each other’s company. Family time included the cousins playing where Drew and I used to play with the toys we used to play with. Part of the joy of generations is seeing these patterns play out.

Cross country RV trip

Heading east from Lake Scott, we took I-70 all the way to Terre Haute. We made stops in Columbia, Missouri, St. Louis, and several playgrounds along the way. In St. Louis, we went to the top of the Arch and took a river boat ride.

Memorial Day at Lake Scott Park in Kansas

To begin our epic journey from Arvada, Colorado to Spencer, Indiana, we drove the RV from our House to Lake Scott Park in Kansas. Clare drove the Mazda to Lake Scott and Rob drove the RV, so Rob could get some RV¬†experience¬†and still have a vehicle to get back home. We drove through Kit Carson, Colorado, and Sharon Springs, Kansas because Ellen has gotten very interested in¬†genealogy¬†and Ellen’s dad was born in Kit Carson and his¬†ancestors¬†came from Sharon Springs. They were both pleasant wide spots in the road.

We all camped and played together on Friday night and Saturday night. We swam in the (still pretty chilly) lake, played on the playground, had a camp fire, and checked out how cool the RV is (especially on sunny afternoons). On Sunday afternoon, Rob drove the Mazda back home to Colorado so that he could work on the house and garden as well as his job. Ellen, Clare, Spencer and Meg loaded up in the RV to head east.

Kauai, part 4

Clare and Rob at the Kalalau lookout

Rob checking out Waimea canyon
Rob checking out Waimea canyon

Friday was our last day on Kauai. Our flight didn’t leave until 9:30 p.m., so we had all day to explore. In the morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the room, packed up our things and then took off for Waimea canyon. We enjoyed the gorgeous mix of red rock, blue sky, white clouds, and green plants there. Then we continued on to the Kalalau lookout on the Northwestern corner of the island. We enjoyed some food and beer at the westernmost brewpub in the world, then caught the sunset near the Salt Ponds.

Kauai, part two

Clare and Rob by Opaekaa falls
Clare and Rob by Opaekaa falls

Tuesday we had entire day to ourselves. We had a leisurely breakfast, enjoyed swimming in the pools, then we went on our first excursion, which was a 4×4 van ride and rainforest hike. Our guide, Paul, was quite a character, but also very knowledgeable about the fauna in the rainforest. The van ride was bumpier than I expected, but wasn’t too bad. We hiked for about an hour or so up to Mount Waialeale, about 5,000 feet. There is actually a pretty big crater there from where the volcano erupted many years ago. There are no active volcanoes on Kauai now. The crater has filled into a swamp – the world’s highest swamp. It is also the wettest place in the world, with an average rainfall of 450-500 inches. That’s about 1.5 inches per day! It rained a little bit while we were there, but not really heavily, which was nice.

Wednesday morning there was another employee meeting, which included a brief talk by Paul Ricci and also David Plouffe, which was very interesting. Then we went on our second excursion, which was snorkeling on the beach at Wailau. It was some pretty nice snorkeling, though after honeymooning in the Galapagos, everything else sort of pales in comparison. Wednesday evening there was a luau at the old plantation.

Kauai – part one

The terrace at the Hyatt

The terrace at the Hyatt
The terrace at the Hyatt

Last week we were very fortunate to be on a trip to Kauai, Hawaii. Rob got a reward trip from Nuance. We were also lucky in that Fran and Harold volunteered to fly out to Denver to watch Meg and Spencer while we were gone. It sounds like they had a great time while we were off having a great time of our own. We left about 8 a.m. on Sunday, and after a brief change of planes in Phoenix, landed in Lihue, Kauai around 3:30 p.m. There was a shuttle to our hotel, the Grand Hyatt, and we had a little time for a nap before the first evening reception.

Monday morning Rob had a team-building event at 7:30 a.m., which consisted of building surf boards out of cardboard, which was a lot of fun. Clare went to the spa for a bodywrap while I was doing that. Then there was a group lunch. We had the afternoon to ourselves to explore, and then we had dinner just the two of us. Then there was a night club reception after that.

Tuesday we had the entire day to ourselves. We had a leisurely breakfast, then explored the beautiful pools. After a quick lunch we went on our first excursion, which was a 4×4 van ride to Mt. Waialeale and a hike.