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Saturday, August 18, 2018

On To Shingle Springs

Little House on the very-nearly-a Prairie
Saturday was adventure day. It was off for the scenic drive over hill and dale, from Denver to Shingle Springs Colorado.

We stopped in a cute little town to get some fresh peaches at a roadside stand. Gooood peaches!

Showing off fresh peaches
The scenery was pretty and fun for us, but as in California, bits of Colorado were aflame with wildfire. We were reminded when we passed a camping area where fire fighters spent down time.
Fire Fighters Camp
The fire fighter's camp was an omen of things to come - we hit a snag in our route -  blocked due to wildfire in the mountains. 
We were in two cars so there was a window to window chat by Dave & Tom. A different route was chosen, but what the heck - any route in Colorado is bound to be interesting and likely down right beautiful. 
 Tom pointed out Rabbit Ears Mountain which until recently featured two rabbity ears at its top. One ear toppled over of late, so now its sort of 1.3 ears sticking up.
Rabbit Ears Mountain (on the right side) One ear down, one to go
You know, along the way, I was drive by birding. I hoped to add more birds to my Colorado life list. The photo on the right here of a nice Black-billed Magpie.

And we'd already passed a couple of Sand Hill Cranes, far off in the distance that I couldn't get a shot of, but I was in for a pleasant surprise. We drove through on a quiet country road - it's all country out there really - and what did we all spy, but lounging Sand Hill Cranes. We stopped to admire the flock. There were a little over a dozen birds. Turn down the volume - it's mostly wind noise -  to watch a few of the grand birds strutting about.

 And then we arrived at the little house in the rangeland! David & Tom's 'country home' is a cute little (ok, not so little) red house nestled between chaparral covered hillsides. 
Tada! The beautiful little home on the rangeland
It was quite the 'homecoming' for us. 
Cousin Carol on her way in

We all claimed our beds & our rooms and made ourselves at home.

 By the by, in the photo below Cousin David is wearing the 2nd of the two tee-shirt designs he had made for two of our Pop-up reunions. He spoils us all rotten!
Better-than-a-sous-chef Cousin David at meal prep
It wasn't too long before we were outside on the front porch. I got in some birding and there was some wildlife on hand too. 
Little buck Mule Deer in the 'front yard' its antlers in velvet
While I was happy to lounge on the porch, Tom took eager Jonni across the road for a short hike up to a cliff that overlooks the property. I used telephoto to snag some shots of them.

Yet another fantastic day enjoyed in the company of our family. Life is sooo good. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Denver Pop-up Reunion

Enroute to Denver
 These days, there is nothing a Carter loves more than getting together for mini-reunion. Cousin David came up with the moniker 'Pop-Reunion' which is cool so that's what I call them now too.

As per usual, as always sad but necessary, several Carters that wanted to attend had to opt out. So in the end it was David & Cousin-in-lawTom, the San Diego reps, Charlaine and Jonni-ann, the NYC rep Carol and the Fair Oaks rep, 'moi'. We all arrived at the Denver Airport about the same time, greeted by David & Tom. They whisked us to their fantastic Denver home.
Humm I should have called out 'Say Cheese!'
We made ourselves comfortable. We were sorted into rooms because D&T's house has loads of bedrooms. Mine has become the big room off the bigger room in the downstairs basement. I have had lots of happy dreams down there.

When all our luggage & stuff was safely secured in our rooms, there was a cousin drive to a local grocery store so we could stock up on snacks - least we starve to death - and get a few ingredients for dinner.

Wow, grocery shopping can really be a v. fun group activity if you do it right!

 Later we all enjoyed a David/Tom prepared meal, tasty indeed. You may as well know - we Carters love our food! All of our meal, from the lobster Po'boys to the Avocado Cold Soup, it was all homemade & yummy.

We spent the remainder of the day looking over the family album photos that everyone brought, as well as archival items, such as the wedding licenses of our parents, birth and death certificates. We are getting our family history into the archives. Oh, and the blue bags below, are prezzie bags from the boy cuzzies for all of us girl cuzzies - squeee!  

A little sitting and reminiscing 
Posing with Snow Mastodon by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The next morning began with David & Tom ferrying us about for a spin around Denver to see some sights. We started off near the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Charlaine, Tom, David, Carol, myself and
with a dinosaur in the rear
The dinos by the elevators

Our next stop was at a favorite restaurant of D&T, where we filled a booth and enjoyed hearty breakfasts. Charlaine and I had the classic choice for a Denver breakfast, the Denver Omelette!
Voila! My Denver Omelette in Denver!
Our Denver Pop-up Reunion is off to a great start.