Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Haloween, Ski Season and the Asian Tour

This time last year, we were still enjoying lovely warm fall weather, waiting with abated breath for the first snow fall.

This year, we had our first heavy dump of snow just days before Halloween, causing everyone to bundle up for "Trick or Treating".

Melissa, Art, little Hanna and Kyle joined us for Haloween this year. This neighbourhood is perfect for Trick or Treating, and we joined all the other little kiddies for Trick or Treat. Most of the homes were all made up with Halloween decorations. Kyle and Hanna collected a big bag of sweeties and were loving every moment. Chris and I dressed up, I was a scary purple, Frankenstien lady. Chris wore a ugly, scary mask.

Lot's of wine, feast of burgers and great company, what a grea Halloween, our first in our new home.

My "Scary" Hallween decorations.

Madam Frankenstien

With Chris finishing up at Wells fargo, we decided to get away for the weekend before he started his new job at Integer.

We drove up to Winter Park Ski resort, and stayed in a amazing place, Fraser Crossing, a brand new Condo building in Winter Park Village.

Amazing Denver Sunset

Leaving the city skyline of Denver behind.

Chris and I decided to go on a long hike in the Arapahoe Reserve. The trail was snowy and icy, but really beautiful. I was really enjoying it, until I started getting paranoid about getting lost, not having seeing a human being with two hours of our hike. What is we get lost, in the forest overnight, wild bears, mountain lions, and hypothermia. Of course Chris thought this was very funny.

We finally made it back to our car, very grateful for a warm car and knowing I would not spend the night freezing to death!

The view from our balcony of the village and ski slopes

Snow blowers working hard for opening ski day

My brother Mark, who's a pro golfer for those of you who do not know, got invited to play in the HSBC tournament on the Asian Tour.

He had a great time and even got to practice next to some of the golfing greats, Tiger Woods and the likes. Ahhh, what a hard life (-:

Pssst, notice Tiger just 3 behind Mark

Well done Murl!

I have started my job at SAP this week. I accepted an amazing offer to join the SAP Sustainability and Clean Tech Team. I will be looking after the West Coast, so I guess I'm back to travelling. It is exciting and it's great to be part of such a wonderful initiative, working hard to keep the planet clean and healthy.

Chris is enjoying his job at Integer, and has spoiled himself with a new car, a silver Toyota FJ Cruiser. This is a amazing car and can handle any terrain, it especially came in hand this weekend, with all the icy and snowy conditions.

Well, that's a short and sweet update from me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Denver Winter Storm - Day 2

So, we are in day 2 of the Winter Snow Storm which hit Colorado on Tuesday night, 2 days ago.

As I write this, the snow is still falling, and I am amazed that so much snow could fall so quickly, and still continues to fall. Temp's have been sitting around -3C, but I must be getting used to the cold, not as bad as I used to feel.

I braved the outside world, for a quick trip to the store. The roads are an absolute mess and most people have stayed home, as the roads are very quiet.
A messy, sludgy Bowles road

View of Clement Park

The snow ploughs which were actively working in the neighbourhood yesterday, have not been around today. Too much snow, too few snow ploughs.

Road in front of our house

Our kind neighbour used his snow plough (looks like a lawn mower) to clear our drive way, so it gave me extra time to build a snow man. I pulled out our snow man kit, and just loved playing in the snow to build my little snow man.

Frosty my snow man

We have had 20" of snow, approx 1.8ft, which now takes me up to my knees.

Knee deep at 20"

Pathway to our front door

Hopefully the storm should start clearing tomorrow, but I must say, it is fun to play in, beautiful to watch, but I'm not so keen to drive in it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Where did fall go?

As I'm sitting her, updating my blog, a snow plough drives past. What's wrong with this picture, surely it's still supposed to be fall? This time last year, we just bought our new house, the fall colours were stunning, and Halloween was a lovely "warm" evening.

So where did fall disappear to so early this year. Denver is seeing a early Winter Storm this winter. Schools have been closed and our ToastMasters meeting was cancelled this morning.

"Major Storm hits Colorado" abc news -

Winter Storm warning issued:

The temp's have not moved out of the high 20'sF (approx -2C), and the snow keeps falling. Chris took my car this morning, as his car would get stuck in this level of snow. So I'm pretty much stuck at home today. I have just finished shovelling the drive way, but as fast as I shovel the snow away, just as quickly does it pile up with fresh snow. Lucy from across the road came over to help, and then as good neighbours do, I helped Christina clear their drive.

Lucy helping me shovel snow

Everyone is in shock with how early this came, and with the amount of snow....and it's still going to get worse.

Our snowy backyard

The question is, am I ready for this snowy, icy cold weather yet? I'm not so sure. But it is stunning, everything white and looking so serene.

Other than being snowed in, life in Denver is great. We have being having lots of dinners with friends, enjoying the lovely fall colours and enjoying life. Chris also got offered a position with a Ad Agency here in Denver called Integer, so he embarks on a new adventure and some really exciting challenges.

I have decided to put Real Estate on hold for a while and am looking at a few position with SAP again, some really exciting new opportunities so will have to see what happens in the next few weeks.

It's also Halloween time again. Everyone seems to have Halloween fever, and many people in the neighbourhood have their decorations up, incl. me. Art, Melissa, little Kyle and Hanna are spending Halloween with us on Saturday. We will take Kyle and Hanna trick or treating and then have a great dinner.

Watch out for my next post for a scary Halloween update (-:

A cute pic of a squirrel right next to the window eating berries.

Dinner with Iwan, Liezl, Steve and Tracie. What a great evening, thanks guys.

Well, keep watching this blog for updates on our winter storm!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Season and Dear Friends Visits

Beer festivals, friends visiting from SA and neighborhood progressive parties have been keeping us busy these past few weeks. So, apologies for not updating the blog for a while.

Scott and Christina invited us to the "Brew at the Zoo" evening. Scott, brewmaster for RockBottom Brewery, was hosting a stand at the function. We arrived early and got first choice of food testers and all sorts of beer. It was such a lovely warm evening, walking in between all the various animals drinking beer and eating food. We even all went on a ride on the Caroussel, just like kids. It was an amazing evening, lots of fun.

Christina and I

The Carousel - for "Big" kids

On Sunday, Stewart and Madeline and Anna arrived for a visit. We were lucky with the weather, and got to show our visitors some great sights around Denver. We drove up to Mt Evans, had a pic-nic at Echo Lake and saw some great views of the changing fall colours. We all took a train trip through the Royal Gorge, the drive was a little long, and Anna had a long day, but it was a lovely experience. Little Anna also got to play with little Lucy across the street, and they had great fun. Most evenings were spent on the patio, drinking wine and catching up.

Stew and Chris

The amazing Echo Lake

Anna playing with the ducks

The fall colors

The Royal Gorge

Anna and Chris on the train

Anna and Lucy

Stew, Mads and Anna left on the Friday and on Sunday evening we picked Terry up at the airport. The ppor guy was a little tired, after his flight from Costa Rica to Atlanta, and then onto Denver. Terry had the most amazing time in Costa Rica, fishing up a storm (-:

A cold front swept in on Monday, and we had our first snow on the mountains. Terry and I took a drive to Breckenridge, to see the snow and little ski town. It was stunning and Terry enjoyed the snow fall. Unfortunately our furnace decided to break at the smae time, after a chilly evening, a $1000 check, we got it fixed. We took a drive to the famous Bass Pro Shop, where I think Terry thought h was in heaven and hopped up a storm. I also tried to take Terry fishing, we tried Liar of the Bear, and Evergreen Lake, but clearly I'm not meant to be a fishing guide.

Terry fishing at Liar of the Bear

Evergreen Lake

Sylvia arrived on Thursday, also very tired after a exhausting 17 hour flight to Washington, then onto Chicago where she has a Law debate with her students and then to Denver. Her first words were "Geez, you live on the other side of the world". Terry was so excited about showing Sylv's Bass Pro Shop, that we had to pop in on the way home, where Terry finished his shopping spree.

Terry's favorite place, Bass Pro Shop.

Sylv's soon recovered, and we took a drive to Evergreen on Friday for Terry's last fishing attempt. Friday night Chris got us all tickets to the Rockies Baseball game. Sylvia, terry and I caught the light-rail into the City and met up with Chris at the Hard Rock Cafe. We had great seats and Te and Sylv's enjoyed their first Baseball game....and the Rockies won!

Terry and Sylvia at Coors Stadium

The next day was the Coventry Neighborhood progressive party. I was hosting a South African appetizer stage. Thank goodness for terry and Sylvia, who helped BIG TIME with the food. We made Bobotie, Pap Tert, Pumpkin Fritters and Ostrich Capacchio. It was a great success, and even though we were expecting 35 people, we had close to 50 people pop in. Terry and Sylvia made friends with all the neighbors, and Terry even swapped his Springbok T-Shirt with our Neighbor Rob.

Cooking away

Sylvia and I took Terry to the airport at 4am the next morning, and then chilled the rest of the day. Sylv's and I took a road-trip the next day, and drove up to Silverthorne to see what the factory stores had to offer. Sylvia found lots of great offers and shopped up a storm. We stayed in Frisco and had a lovely dinner in Breck. The next morning we drove over Independence Pass, which is amazing this time of year with the changing of fall colors. We had so much fun, taking lots of pics and eventually reached Aspen. We both fell in love with aspen, I now know why it's so famous. After some lunch and some sight-seeing, we headed back home.

Love the hat doll

Oh, and the sun glasses

At Twin lakes on the drive over Independence Pass

Little town of Twin Lakes

At the Chilly Continental Divide

Helicopter right above us

Sadly, Sylvia flew back to Chicago the next morning. It was so amazing seeing my friends again, and loved spending time with them and showing them my new home.

Chris and I also celebrated our 3rd Anniversary. We treated ourselves to a lovely dinner at the Chophouse, in Downtown Denver, and had a lovely time. I can not believe it's 3 years, we have done so much together, I can not wait to see what the next 3 years will bring.

So now we are back to the grindstone. Chris is working hard and I am looking at a few opportunities, always sometime happening, life is all about change.