Thursday, April 21, 2011

Moab Safari

I didn’t know there was such a thing as the “Easter Jeep Safari” in Moab.  Well, turns out there is and it kicked off last weekend, which coincided with a trip to Moab to celebrate Hillary’s birthday.

Friday: Driving and Drinking (not together)

Hillary’s sister, Shaina, and I traveled about six hours from Denver and Hillary drove down with her dog, Driggs, from Salt Lake City.  We converged in Moab on Friday .  The intent was to camp, but all camp sites within about 45 min of Moab (even disbursed camping) were taken.  There were, however, a few hotel rooms left.  So Friday night we stayed at the Apache Inn and managed to snag the “John Wayne Suite.” It turns out that Mr. Wayne actually stayed in this hotel and frequented this particular room.

Staying in a hotel in town offered the possibility of nightlife! We started with margaritas and dinner at Juan’s.  There was a wait for a table and because it’s Utah and ridiculously strict when it comes to alcohol, it is not permitted to have drinks while waiting.  Whatever. We were seated pretty quickly. 

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After dinner we ended up at Woody’s (a bar).  Inside we found a good amount of people our age as well as a pretty good live band and a solitary Jagermeister girl.  She was dressed like a stripper and sprinkling Jagermeister lanyards, hats, blinky lights, and so on.  We had way too good of a time…there was dancing, chatting with local river guides, and receipt of Jagermeister schwag.  All three of us received Jagermeister hats:

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The night ended about an hour after the bar closed with the three of us walking around the hotel trying to get Driggs to pee.  That dog never pees, but when he does (especially at two in the morning) Hillary get’s pretty excited:

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Saturday: Canoeing and not canoeing

We were supposed to be at the canoeing place (we rented canoes) at 9:30.  At 8:30 I woke up in a state of confusion since I was in a king-sized bed with Shaina and Hillary was on the floor with Driggs.  We scrambled to get ourselves and our stuff together in time to get caffeine before canoeing.

Canoeing was an adventure.  With Shaina and I in a tandem canoe and Hillary with Driggs in a single canoe, we launched the first time around 10:45 am.  We had 11 miles to cover and were being picked up at 3:00 pm.  Below is Hillary (top) and Shaina (bottom) pre-first launch.

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Driggs immediately jumped out of the canoe and took off in a sprint towards the road.  Not a good sign.  This was the first time Driggs was in a canoe…Hillary did get him back in the canoe and we set off again around 11:00 am. 

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Driggs looks ok in the photo above but he was extremely difficult to control and we made the executive decision to bail on the trip.  We pulled off on a small strip of eroding shore closed in by thickets of tamarisk. We called the canoe rental place to come and get us and they were out to lunch!  We hemmed and hawed for about an hour then we decided that Hillary would pull her canoe up to the road and Shaina and I would continue with the trip to the pick up site.

Here is Hillary making her way through the tamarisk thicket:

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Shaina and Hillary pulling the canoe from the water:

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We got going at around 1:30 pm and had about 90 min to make it 10 miles. The canoe trip was hurried a bit but really quite lovely.  Here are some views from the canoe:

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We lounged around our hotel room at the Sleep Inn after all of this.  We were a bit pooped and even Driggs was relaxed:

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I’m a hotel artwork aficionado and here is what I saw at the Sleep Inn:

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Saturday night was a full moon.  Here is a shot of that and some additional evidence that I was there:

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Sunday: Snake hike and the journey home

Sunday was pretty mellow.  We did a short hike on the way out of town and saw a snake!  Exciting. Below is the snake and a picture two awesome sisters.

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That was Moab last weekend.  It turns out there was another “redneck convention” (I’m quoting a Moab local) going on that weekend which kept the number of “jeepers” to a tolerable amount.  So, the Easter Jeep Safari didn’t really negatively impact the trip. 

For me the trip was therapeutic.  Not only did I get out of town and spend time with fun women, but I was reminded by Hillary that life isn’t about the destination but rather the journey.  I know this, but like anything else useful to remember, my impatient nature tends to take over and I get focused on the end game, whatever that is at the moment.  But Hillary is so right, I need to enjoy where I am more often.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Warning Signs

Warning signs are all around us, especially in America. We are reminded that the moving sidewalk is ending at airports. We have tags on appliances warning us not to stick our hands in the blender while it’s on. We have messages on cleaning products warning us not spray the product directly into our eyes…Of course, there are more meaningful but elusive warning signs that we all miss, sometimes until it’s too late.

Think about it, when you’re 40 pounds overweight you probably can think back to a time when the muffin top started to peek over the waistband and your pants got a little snug. That was the moment to seize and change course. I think about this more often these days, not because I’m overweight, but because my marriage is ending. I feel like it was in the mail for several years. Was there a moment that things started to tip this way? What was it? How do I recognize it if it appears in future relationships? Maybe there’s nothing to be done without over-examining everything, every strange look, every sigh.

If only there were some sign like the ones below that would pop up at that moment, but what would it look like?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Record 84 degrees

Yesterday in Denver it hit 84 degrees! I took full advantage.  I put on a sun dress, met a friend, and walked to lunch at a super cute and tasty sandwich shop in the Golden Triangle – Parsley.  This place should really be in Boulder – organic everything, vegetable juice, etc. – but I’m glad it’s here. 

On the way I got a shot of some street art around 1st Ave and Lincoln:

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After lunch it was time for going to the Botanic Gardens with another friend.  It is still early for the gardens but things are starting to bloom.  Here are some springtime shots for your viewing pleasure:

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At first I thought this was a snail on the plant below but on further inspection I decided it was not.  Not sure what it is though…

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This was one of those days where it’s just nice to sit on a bench and watch the budding trees sway in the wind.

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It was also the perfect night for a rooftop happy hour at Vita.  There was a slight breeze, we were in the shade, sitting at the bar, sipping on bubbly, and watching the light of the setting sun on the buildings of downtown Denver.  I tried to get a photo of me and the skyline in the background but my aim was a little off:

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All of these venues were reached via bike.  I had forgotten how incredibly fun it is to ride from one side of downtown Denver to another on a bike in sandals.  Can’t wait for summer after this teaser of a day.