Saturday, January 14, 2017

Thanksgiving in St Louis

We went to St Louis to Nate and Dre's house for a big Lund Thanksgiving. Dave and I drove since airfare was ridiculously expensive. The drive from here to St. Louis is basically one loooong (13 hours), straight, flat line which is nice for a road trip in the sense that we didn't have to deal with sketchy mountain passes or the like but it sure was long.

On Thanksgiving Day we had a Lund Turkey Bowl!  The most memorable part of this was when Julia sideswiped Kristin.  Many didn't see the collision until after the fact and saw Kristin laying flat on her back.  Sadly, there were no pictures or videos documenting this event.

And then enjoyed a delicious dinner!  We were lucky to have Dave's Aunt, Mary Lee, and cousin, Rachelle (with her family) join us as well.  They left right after dinner since they had a 3 hour drive back home!






Of course there was lots of silliness!

And we played lots of games:

It was wonderful having so many Lunds together over the week.

 Nate & Lexi went with Dave and I to see the arch in St. Louis the last day we were there.

 This gives you a little perspective about the size of the arch:

We bought our tickets to ride to the top of the arch but didn't realize that we had a long wait until it was our turn so we walked around the grounds until it was time to get in line. (Lines seem to be a thing at the Arch. You stand in line to buy your tickets then stand in a line to wait for your time slot line, then you move to the line for your time slot, after that you move to a line inside the arch, then stand in one more line to ride the tram up.) Anyway, it's under construction right now and will be really pretty when it's all finished.

 It's also under construction *inside* the arch:

This is the view from the top of the arch - you can sure see a long way off. The Mississippi River is on one side.

And the city of St Louis is on the other. 

We should have taken a picture of the crazy little cars you ride in to the top - very tight! And then, of course, you're walking basically uphill or downhill all while you're in the top which takes some getting used to. I'm not keen on tight places so I didn't want to stay in there long. It was tight and crowded. I'm glad we went but I wouldn't do it again. In fact, they were fairly disorganized at the Arch and it wasn't even high tourist season and I would really say, if you're going then go see the arch but don't bother paying to ride to the top. We didn't feel it was really worth the money or time (the better part of the afternoon) it took.

We had a fun Lund Thanksgiving!! And a big thanks goes to Dre for all her hard work and planning!


Friday, January 13, 2017

History Camp

The unexpected takeover of 2016 was History Camp! In February I saw a tweet about History Camp Boston and I was intrigued. I went home and started looking into it and found that it was really inexpensive for a full day of history lovin' classes, lunch and a t-shirt. I sent Dave a text and said, "I've got a bee in my bonnet. We have to go to Boston. Next month." He said ok!  So that night we bought tickets for History Camp, bought airline tickets and booked a hotel.  I was going out there with the intention of seeing how it's done so that I could create the same thing in Denver. 
While I was there I spoke with Lee, the found of History Camp, and told him my story and he was amazed that I had come all that way for History Camp. He said he'd help me set one up in Denver and at first he kept saying things like "if this really happens" or "once you decide whether you want to do this or not..." I told Dave that Lee just doesn't realize that my mind was mostly made up before I even made it out there. ;)
So, we got home and I got to work. And didn't stop until November 12th. And it was so much fun. I loved the planning, the learning, the connecting, the growing, being part of something that's just beginning to take off. My mind has never felt so alive and engaged before! It was invigorating and energizing.

So, as I said, there was lots of planning - this is at a tour of the Tivoli where we were holding HCC (History Camp Colorado):

Lucky Dave got to go on this adventure with me. Whether he wanted to or not. He was such a good sport and great support! I couldn't have done it without him. And there were many times when I'm sure he felt like I'd forgotten him because HCC was basically all consuming. We did try to take breaks and make sure to reconnect - like going to see the symphony:

They even had an alp horn which was fun to see and listen to:

After all the months of planning, not sleeping, working and hoping, the big day was finally here. Here's the RAV - just a little full with all the stuff we had to bring. Good thing we have a bigger car than the old Sentra now. Hee hee!

We had delicious food for breakfast from Biscuits and Berries:

The crowd waiting for it to start: (Lee had me set a goal of 50 people in attendance. I knew that for me that would never suffice so that was my goal out load when people asked. My real goal was 100. We had 120 there - it sold out two weeks early and I had a wait list!)

On the left is Lee and I'm on the right. It sort of looks like I'm being impatient but that wasn't it at all. It seems I just put my hands on my hips often. I may have to work on that.

This is Dr. Richard who was one of my favorite professors at Metro. She sponsored the event through Phi Alpha Theta so that we could use the Tivoli at Metro for free which was a HUGE help.

We had 26 presenters and 26 sessions, running 3 or 4 concurrently. We had a great variety of topics and I really feel like there was something for everyone. People had to choose which session they wanted to hear and moved around from room to room as desired. Here are a few of the presenters:

This is Janet Kalstrom who was my event planning mentor and friend who helped me get this off the ground. I worked with her at the Molly Brown House where we did the Day in Old Denver event together. When I came back from Boston I knew just who to call to help me get started. She was fantastic!

The day was a huge success!! There were things that didn't go according to plan but that's always how events are and now I've learned lots for next time.

We were both so exhausted. In fact, we went to church as usual the next day and when we came home we realized that we had left our front door wide open. Neither of us noticed one bit. I had some wrap up to do over the next week or so and then I promised to take a break from all things HCC until January. I needed the time to recover and rejuvenate and Dave was really read to not hear about it every minute. ;)

Throughout the process I kept reminding Dave that he did the Single Adult conference with me so knows how I am. He says this was a whole new level and that was nothing compared to this. Isn't he lucky to have such a talented wife? 😏

I did pretty good and stayed away from HCC and guess what? It's January! And I'm right back in the swing of things. I feel rested and ready to go again. I'm working on a venue and tying down a date and I'm feeling just as excited as last year. 😄


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Steamboat Springs

We escaped to Steamboat Springs for a long weekend in July and it was a lovely getaway. We started with a nice walk to Fish Creek Falls which was really pretty! I do love me a waterfall. Or a river or a creek or mostly anything with water.

That night we went to the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo. Neither of us had been to a rodeo in a long time and it was fun! Those cowboys are crazy!! Man, watching their backs snap back as they try to ride a bull or bucking bronco I'm not sure how they come back to work over and over. One thing is sure - this is not work you do unless you love it!

The rodeo clown was fun, too.

We went to the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo early Saturday morning. It was really cool to see so many balloons together and up close and personal. They're HUGE!! There's quite a process to inflate one of those balloons and it really takes a whole crew. There were two hand painted balloons there and there are only about 4 in the world.

There were a couple guys flying balloons without baskets - they just had these chair things they sat in. I think they're pretty much crazy.

Loved seeing them fill up the sky!

We rode the gondola up to the ski area. Pretty up there but I'm not sure we'd pay for a gondola ride again.

And we walked around town - look who I ran into! Abe Lincoln and Ben Franklin and Dave found Mark Twain.

If you go to Steamboat you should eat at Winona's. Dave had pretty much the same reaction that Tiernan had to their cinnamon rolls.  (Thanks for the tip Hanlins!)

The last day we went and relaxed at Pearl Lake for a bit before we drove home.

It was a lovely trip. The town itself wasn't our favorite mountain town but we really enjoyed going to the rodeo and the balloon rodeo and it's just beautiful up there. I kept telling Dave that they need accountants in Steamboat too so we should probably move there. He didn't really buy it though... ;)