brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

the adventure begins

River Trip (Day 1)

After a bit of dilly-dallying we left for the launch. So many things to sort out before the adventure could really begin.

Important things such as gas and drivers for the shuttles, and determining the proper way to load the boats or the amount of beer that would fit in the drag bag.

Finally we were set. We asked the unsuspecting drunk guy just getting off the upper part of the river to take our picture. Then we climbed in our respective boats and launched.

Within minutes of paddling, I ended up in the river. I had been too busy arranging things in my duckie and too worried about opening my beer to pay too much attention to the first rapid.

Despite my swimming, I managed to hold onto both my boat and paddle and climb back in. The others thought it was hilarious that I had already swam!

The place we had planned to camp the first night already had it's fair share of campers, so we headed down river a bit. Our final spot was great. There were blooming cacti, running lizards, and great views.

We settled in to camp, enjoying tortellini and lemon pepper chicken for dinner. The first night was an early one. We were all still tired from the road trip and packing and unpacking.

Before getting back on the river, we hiked part of the trail to the canyon rim. The steepness of the canyon walls can be appreciated a little more when you're looking straight down.

After the first day back on the river, I was reminded of why I always say that my first river trip several years ago was the best vacation of my life. The peace and relaxation are not easily matched.


You can see larger versions of the images by clicking on them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


The adventure started early. I grabbed my coffee, dropped something for work at a friend's house and was on my way. I was halfway to the dinosaur lots when I realized I'd forgotten the permit.

I quickly ran home, grabbed it and headed back towards the meeting place. I was a little late, but nobody was going anywhere without the permit.

The drive was long, but relatively unremarkable. A stop here for lunch, there for gas and a cooler, another for gear.

We unpacked and repacked the shuttle vehicles. Inflated boats. Ate a late dinner at the cafe, and headed to bed. The next day the real adventure would begin.

Monday, May 28, 2007


The night before we left I went to see Tim Finn. The show was great, but hanging out with friends I hadn’t seen in far too long was even better. I even ran into S in the parking lot before the show.

Great friends whose lives have diverged from mine, only because of life’s circumstances. We see each other less frequently than we’d like. But when we do it’s definitely quality time.

The Boy came with me, but only because he’d bailed on the trip and was finally feeling a little bad about that. He didn’t enjoy the show. And he didn’t really enjoy the conversation with my friends afterward.

I’ve decided not to worry about his strange behavior in groups. He knows my friends. He could find ways to join the conversation if he really wanted.

Regardless, the night ended early. I still had to pack. And meet everyone at the dinosaur lots. Early.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

another one

Yes, I do realize that I just barely finished chronicling my last excursion. But it's now time for the next.

I'll be back in a while. Until then, there are a few gems in the archives and in the links you could check out. Or you can just check back in a week or so.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I won

My parents got to town just after I did. Since the others were not to arrive for a while, I got to impress them with my choices of dining establishments. And I got to eat for free at a few favorite spots.

After my sister arrived, but before the wedding festivities began, my mom, sister and I spent a blissful afternoon at the spa. Massages and manicures and pedicures. Feeling like princesses for an afternoon.

The wedding festivities swirled together. Catching up with family and my brother's friends. Dancing and drinking and more eating.

The wedding and reception were beautiful. Fun. Entertaining. TheBoy even joined me for the day. Even attempted to dance with me once he saw how much my entire family enjoys dancing.

My favorite time of the weekend, though, was brunch before everyone flew home. It was just my family, my brother and his new wife. We laughed and talked and I was reminded of the reason we were all there.

My brother and his wife have started their own family. A part of ours. A part of hers. But their own, as well.

As we said our goodbyes, my brother looked at me with his mischievous grin and said they each owed me a dollar. They being my brothers and sister. When TheBoy looked puzzled, my brother laughed. Then explained that I won the bet.

I'm the last one standing. And may be for quite some time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

raining cats and dogs... and babies

As it poured, I ran a quick errand for my mom. Yes, even a thousand miles from home, I have to run errands for my mom. Then I headed north.

I stayed with Creative, one of the girls who had made it down for the mini-reunion. And who is working in Denver quite a bit now. We enjoyed relaxed at her house with her dog and chatted.

Of course the topic turned to TheBoy. Again. She believes he's not my one. Despite her best efforts, I remained unconvinced.

The next day I grabbed coffee with another friend from college and met her beautiful daughter. After a quick stop in the book store another friend used to work in after college, I headed over to LZ's house to meet her also very beautiful daughter. And of course say hi to the husband, the cat and the dog, before just us girls went to dinner.

On the way out the door, our friend M called. She still wasn't feeling well and couldn't join us for dinner, which made me sad. She had also had to cancel on the mini-reunion at the last minute.

Despite my slight melancholy at not being able to visit with M while I was in town, LZ, Creative and I enjoyed our conversation. Our wine. And our dinner. Yes, in that order.

Some people don't understand my choice of vacations. Why I would drive around a state and visit friends. They just don't get how much I love my friends. And how much I enjoy visiting them and their kids, whether they are furry or not.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

and there were two

As great as a big group of friends getting together can be, sometimes quality one-on-one friend time is just what you need.

J had flown away early, before either of us awoke. So M and I were left, and since severe thunderstorms kept her plane from taking off on time, we got a little bonus time to hangout.

The storms kept us close to the airport for lunch. We ended up at a Whataburger, catching up on life and where it had taken each of us since last we'd seen each other in October.

We talked about work. Parents and kids. TheDog. And of course boys (and husbands).

The group had a consensus on what I should do about TheBoy. M had a slightly different take. And one I valued more than some of the voices in the chorus.

Ultimately, she assured me, the decision was mine and mine alone. Only I know what's best for me, and only I can decide what I want. Now if only I could figure that all out.

I was very sad to say goodbye as I dropped her at the airport. But she had her life and her husband to get back to. And I had to drive north. I had a few more friends to visit before I celebrated with my brother as he got hitched.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

memories in a leaning bar

We walked along the river, past the special place we would come once a year for cheesecake. It made me a little sad, as it is now a bastion of inexpensive trinkets to remind visitors of their trip.

Even though we didn't come to this area of town that often, the occasions that brought us there were always entertaining. We wandered past the staircase I fell down once upon a bachelorette party. And past other memory-sparking locales.

Memories of weddings. Date parties. Singing along with dueling pianos. Letting much older gentlemen buy us drinks. Dancing in scary 80s day-glo painted rooms.

After our river walk, we wandered around the gardens near campus. I never really wandered there in college. It didn't seem as safe. Maybe it's just I was more scared. Of the world, of everything. With the help of my friends, I've become less timid, more self-assured than I was in college. We we all helped each other to grow in many ways.

After dropping one more at the airport, we went to a favorite place for dinner. The building looks as if it might topple over at any time, yet it houses a beautiful bar and fantastic restaurant. My friend Jen used to take the other Jen and I there for lunch or a beer when we'd get stressed about classes. The one bar I chose to take my brothers to when they were in town for my graduation.

It amazes me how seeing a place, hearing a song, or smelling a distinctive smell can spark a memory. I'm sure this wasn't the case, since we all actually graduated, but thinking back to my college days, it seems like all we did was have fun and begin amazing, life-long friendships.

Monday, May 07, 2007

returning to the scene

The next morning we decided to return to where our friendships started. Our wanderings took us past old hangouts and meeting places. Dorms and places to play. The library, where we rarely went, and classrooms, where many of us actually did frequent.

We tried to continue the birthday tradition of a toss in the fountain, but J was uncooperative. So the rest of us cooled our feet instead.

Things have changed, yet stayed the same. The buildings have been updated, and moved locations even. Yet the feeling of campus is still the same. Just as our friendships have changed, they have remained the same, allowing each of us to grow, yet remain friends.

As cliche as it may be, but as a large group of women often do, we decided to go shopping. A short trip before going out for more fantastic Mexican food and margaritas, followed by a few beers at another favorite bar, our cat's namesake .

Another late night of remember when's in our pjs was followed by goodbyes. Many of the girls were leaving the next morning. It seemed our reunion had just begun, yet it was already ending.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

back when

I headed to the hotel to pick up the two girls who had arrived the night before. We headed out to meet another and her family. Her entire family.

The first old haunt we visited is still what I refer to as my favorite restaurant. Even after (mumble, whisper, mumble) years have passed since I first discovered it in college.

A chicken chalupa, tortilla soup and iced tea, please. So simple, yet so extraordinarily delicious. And yes, I dream about them. And yes, maybe I do need help.

Over the course of the next several hours others arrived by planes and automobiles. (The trains we'll save for the next trip).

We had quite the dinner group. Telling "remember when" tales over margaritas swirled with frozen sangria.

The humorous, nostalgic stories continued at one of the three bars we frequented back when. We sat on the patio, laughing about climbing over the wall to get in as we enjoyed more margaritas, this time black cherry.

The other two bars have changed and closed, but this will always be the same. At least I hope it will. A trip to the land of college nostalgia would not be the same without a margarita on their patio, or relaxing on one of the couches inside.

We gathered one last delayed friend at the airport, and headed back to the dorm, er, hotel. For a few more late night tales of the good old days before drifting off to sleep.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

just made the plane

The shuttle was late. The shuttle driver was slow and offered to grab yet another late passenger. The security line was ridiculous.

But fate or something like it knew just how much I needed to catch that flight. How much I needed to get the heck out of Dodge, er, Denver. And I rushed up to the gate just as they were finishing boarding.

The flight was nearly empty, and I got to lay across all three seats to try and catch up on some desperately needed sleep.

I'd gone to dinner with friends the night before, including two college friends who happened to be in town for work. We'd stayed out far too late for a girl with a crack-of-dawn flight who had done none of her packing. Or thinking about packing, for that matter.

By the time I'd grabbed the rental car and headed south, the memories came flooding back.

As I drove past the location of my first college date party, past the Snake Farm, past TC's. Memories of friends and boys flashed. I grinned and laughed to myself.

I was extremely excited for the weekend. It had been nine long months in the making. What hatched on a lazy Sunday sitting in a river was coming to fruition.

A full weekend of my best college friends, drinks and good food. What more could an over-worked, over-stressed girl ask for.