We hung around that day and just relaxed. Later that evening, Walbright took Jennifer and I to a Denver Bronco's game... Yeah, THE Denver Bronco's game... The one where Payton Manning started his career as a Bronco. Yeah, the season opener against the Steelers! Apparently, tickets were a pretty hot item and we were there! Walbright totally hooked us up! His buddy had season tickets and wasn't able to make the game, so he sold them to us at face value. Whoever you are, thanks man! We had a blast! It's a memory that we will have forever.
On Monday, Jennifer and Michelle did a little shopping while I worked at a local Starbucks. Around 5pm we got our rental car which we would have for the rest of the week: a Fiat 500 (aka: The JLo).
Jennifer and I have spent the last 9 years decorating our house to mimic a cabin in the woods. Here we were consumed in it. It was all around us. We were in our element. Every store we went into was filled with trinkets and decor just for us. We shopped til around 7pm, then made our way back toward Walbright's house in the rain. When we arrived back at the Walbrights, Jennifer went to bed and I hung out with Walbright, watching TV and hacking on my laptop til around 3am.
We arrived in Steamboat Springs around 1pm or so and immediately hit a Starbucks so I could check in my code and be done with work for the week. Upon upload, I rejoiced and began my stressless vacation with my wife. Jennifer and I did some shopping and dropped some money on some fun items. Later we met up with our friends at a local sports bar and had some drinks. We finally got to meet Joe and Debra (the couple who is opening their house to us for the next 3 days).
After our hike, we all met back up with Jess and Jennifer for some delicious Mexican in Vail. Around 7pm we headed back to Steamboat Springs (a 2+ hr drive) on a beautiful starlit night. On our way there, we stopped out in some remote area deep in the rocky mountains and turned off the cars. We could see every single star in the sky... Yes. Every. Single. Star. :) Ok, we saw a lot though... It was a moment I won't forget for a long time, I'd never seen so many stars at once in my whole life. Amazing.
After seeing them start their race, we all split up and did our separate things. Farley and I got some lunch and did some running around. Jennifer, Debra, and Jess went out for Margarita's, and Joe did "Joe things" somewhere (?). :) After lunch, Farley and I prepared our "race do's" for battle! I have this weird thing where I have to have a mohawk for my big races. It's weird, but it's my thing... and my girls like it too; they think their Daddy looks cool. :)
Later that night, two more of Joe and Debra's friends showed up to join us in this huge house party. Scott and Susan drove up from Boulder and were going to be working the aid station with the girls.
Saturday was race day (wait for the next blog post).
Best yet, it turned out that the day we were there was their Octoberfest and we got to enjoy some street partying in between shopping. We ate pork sandwiches and bavarian pretzels. The streets were alive with party people Couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. Just look at the views of our shopping day:
Monday was travel day. We got back into Ohio around 11pm after a full day of travel and just hanging out. This trip was supposed to be a huge race trip, but it really turned out to be a second honeymoon with Jennifer. We got to hang out with friends and enjoy beautiful Colorado with each other. Family vacations are one thing, but every now and then Mommy's and Daddy's need Mommy and Daddy time. This trip was long overdue for us. We vowed that we won't wait for another 12 years to do this again. Next time... maybe Vancouver? San Diego? Tahoe? :)
A HUGE thank you goes out to Jamie Walbright and the Gatton family for welcoming us into your homes. You were both amazing hosts and we learned quite a lot about what it means to be good hosts. If any of you ever venture to Newark, Ohio to fulfill your dreams of seeing a large basket building, you have an entire 1,100 sq ft basement all to yourselves! We'll never forget your hospitality and generosity during our stay in the beautiful state of Colorado.