Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blogging Break - Off to Sunny SA

I'll be taking a blogging break for 3 weeks, as I'm off to South Africa for 3 weeks.

I have a jam packed agenda, visiting Chris's folks in Durban for a few days, catching up with Adele,Jules, Sylvia Terry and the old gang, preparation for the big day, Adele and Marc's wedding and then a few days in Pilansberg. Oh, and of course my birthday in between.

The only sad part is I'm leaving my amazing husband home alone. I will miss you babe, REALLY wish you could be there with me. I will make sure I stop by Cape Union and get some pressies for you.

I will be back in 3 weeks and will have lot's to share with you all.

Get those G&T's ready!

Coyote in the neighbourhood

I woke up this morning keen for a run. However, there has been a Coyote spotted in our little neighbourhood over the past 3 days, and I'm not sure if I'm up to an encounter with this guy just yet.

Generally Coyotes should be scared of people, but more and more, they are forced into residential areas as they have no place else to go. Most attacks are on pets and small children.

Last month a woman and her dog were attached by Coyotes - read the following article on the attack -

So, no run this morning.

Our first hike and last skiing of the season

You just have to love Colorado!

There is always something to do and look forward to, whether it's winter, spring,summer or fall.
The weather has been unseasonably warm the past few weeks.
Chris and I decided to take advantage of the stunning weather, and headed out to Evergreen for a hike. It was so amazing to be out in the forest, birds chirping, rivers trickling as the snow melts. Even the sign board warning you of bears and mountain lions could not deter my happy mood ....

We decided to take one route, and then got a little lost and started navigating our way to the top on our own. Eventually we reached the trial end at the top, which had the most amazing views. After resting and having a snack it was time to head back down. I am really looking forward to many more hikes, as well as attempting a few 14'ners. These are mountain peaks in Colorado which peak at 14,000 feet and above. Some are doable in a day, the others require a night's stop in a tent.

Yeah, made it to the top

The amazing scenery

With the snow melt happening much faster than normal, there are not many good skiing days left. Most ski lodges close mid April, which means that I will miss the last few weeks of skiing as I will be in South Africa for 3 weeks.

We decided to do a last ski trip up to Breck, well for me anyway. Mel and Jen came with us and we met Art and Melissa there. We had such a great time. The weather was perfect! Blue,blue sky's, sunny and actually damn hot. After lunch out on the deck chairs, in the sun, we decided to tackle a blue slope which we had not done before. My gosh! I'm sure they incorrectly signed the slope, should have been black. After much stressing and thank goodness no falls, we reached mid-point where it became much better.

Sunshine and snow - what more do you want!

Me, Jen and Mel
B and I

Art and Melissa
Art and Chris

Chris Jen and MelAhhh, those damn ski boots, killer on the feet.

It was a great day, and Mel and Jen gave me this amazing camping book for Colorado, which I'm really looking forward to in summer.

So much to do, so little time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A 50th Birthday Bash

Our friend Steve Rawlings is turning 50. He and his wife Tracie decided to throw him a 50th birthday bash before they leave for Jamaica later this week.

After flying in from Wyoming, Chris and I headed off to the Rawlings place. They are in the midst of re-modelling their kitchen and living room, so they ended up having a party in the middle of a construction zone.

We had an amazing evening with Steve and Trace, and all their friends and neighbours. There were lots of shots and drinks, oh and yummy food, and more shots. I was the designated driver, so my hubby could throw caution to the wind and let his hair down, which believe me, he did.

Steve, the birthday boy
Me and Tracie

The boys, really letting their hair down!

Happy Birthday Steve for Thursday, and to you Tracie for Saturday, have fun in Jamaica!

Quality time with my friend in Wyoming

Finally, the time arrived, and I was on my way to Jackson Hole to meet up with my old amazing friend, Toni!

Toni and John, are in the USA, joining John's parents for a holiday in Jackson Hole. We had arranged to meet up there, as we have not seen each other in a year and a half.

I flew into Jackson Hole from Denver on Thursday afternoon. You could not see the runway as we landed with all the snow and mist. When I got my car, I wondered if I would actually be able to drive anywhere, the place looked like Siberia, a white waste land, no sign of anything else. With the heater full blast, and map and my sense of adventure, I pushed forward to find Toni, somewhere in Teton Village.

Jackson Hole in Wyoming is an amazing little town in Wyoming, where many people come to ski. Teton Village is about 10 miles from Jackson Hole. As I drove into the Condo resort where we were staying, I saw Toni waiting for me outside the store. It was amazing to see her and we screamed and hugged, people thought we were crazy.
John and his parents were skiing, so Toni and I got to spend some quality time catching up.

We dropped my bags off and headed into Teton Village (another ski lodge area). We landed up at the Mangy Moose, definitely the spot for Apres-ski. After catching up, John and his folks joined us for a few drinks. I was enjoying the margarita's while Toni, being Preggi enjoyed some fruit juice.

Toni and John, leaving the Mangy Moose

Toni and I got to spend the entire Friday together, before I had to leave on sat.
Having fun outside the Condo

Toni doing a fab job at cleaning the windscreen

We drove in Jackson Hole, and explored all the quaint little shops. This is definitely Moose and Bison territory. Every shop has either a stuffed moose or bison or both. After shopping up a storm, Toni and I headed off fort lunch. Unique arch made of antlers

Toni with a Bison

We found an amazing cafe with good coffee and chai-tea. After lunch, we headed out to explore some more. Driving along, we saw a sign saying" state line - 12 miles". Checking out the map, we discovered that only 12 miles away, was the Idaho State Line. So off we went, driving into some serious snowy weather, over the pass, in low gear, trying to now slip and slid on the icy roads, to Idaho. Eventually, we reached Idaho, jumped out the car, took a photo of us in Idaho, turned around, took a pic of the Wyoming state line sign, and the Sheriff, looking at the 2 gals, who are clearly mad.

The view from the pass to Idaho
Proof that we were in Idaho

After making sure we had the evidence that we were in Idaho, we turned around and headed back.
The gang at dinner at the Mangy Moose - love that name!

Unfortunately, Saturday arrived far too quickly, and it was time for me to say goodbye and head back home. It was amazing to see my friend, and I can not believe that the next time I see her, she and John will have a baby Woollam running around.
Mom and Dad to be

The Jackson Hole Airport - is this the same one I arrived at? No blizzard now....

Love you my friend, Thanks for a great time!

Until we meet again.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

From the ski slopes to the rock face

I can definitely say this past week have been very busy.

Chris and I headed up to Winter Park ski resort on Saturday. Chris had a Wells Fargo event which he needed to attend, which meant, while he was working, I got to go skiing.
Perfect Day for Skiing

After sorting out my new boots, and having them adjusted, I was keen to see if my feet would like the boots better this time round. After heading off on the ski-lifts on my own, I could not help but marvel at the amazing geography around me. The ski was a deep blue, with the sun shining, you would be forgiven to think it was a nice warm day. On the contrary, as we arrived at Winter Park, the temps reached -2 F, which equates to......wait for it, -20 C.

Yes I look ridiculous, but the -20F really gets to you.

The Gondola up to Winter Park VillageBut what better place to be, than high up in the Rocky Mountains, everything white with snow, ready for some good skiing.
The ski-race slope
Hows this weather???

After a few runs, I headed in for some lunch, and to see if Chris was done yet.

The event was supporting disabled sports, and I could not believe the number of disabled men and woman, sitting on a single ski, knees together, skiing faster than I ever will. There was also a blind lady, being led down the ski trail by her husband, Amazing what willpower can do.

After a hard day of skiing, Chris also managed to get some runs in, we were both exhausted and headed home. After all, it was just Saturday, and I had a big Sunday ahead of me.

Sunday Chris had to leave on a business trip, and Mel and Jenni invited me to rock climbing with them again, this time in Golden.

Heading out,the weather was chilly, but the hike up the mountain to the rock face soon changed that. This altitude issue is no joke, at some points I could have sworn I was climbing Everest, moving slowly, trying to get air. Anyway, soon we were at the top, and ready to conquer the rock face, which looked rather intimidating to me.
Mel and Jen, hiking up the mountain
Are we ever going to get to the top?Finally, the rock face we are about to tackle, yikes!

Mel and Jen set up the equipment, and brave Mel "lead" the first climb, which means that without any rope holding her should she fall, she climbed up the rock wall, to put the rope in place for Jen and I. She did so well, and soon she made it to the top, secured the rope in place, so it was now safe for the rest of us to climb....with support.
The equipment

Mel leading the first climb, note no rope above her!

Jen went next, and made it look easy. This as my second time climbing, but the rock was smoother than the lst time, and soon found my way to the top.
Me taking on the rock wall
Finally, the top

After some lunch, we found a new place to climb, and we all made it up that one too. I loved being outdoors, being able to see the mountains, breathing the THIN fresh air, and let's not forget to mention all the hotties climbing without their shirts on (sorry Chris). Single girls in CO, Rock Climbing is definitely a hot spot to find good looking guys.


Anyway, moving on..... I was exhausted when I got home, and literally crashed by 8pm. What a good workout as well, I discovered muscles which I thought had abandoned me.

Thanks Mel and Jen, it was great!