Day 3: Colorado Springs

July 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

There were extensive wildfires when we drove through Colorado.  The smoke was so heavy, there were several times that I worried that we probably should have chosen a different route.


Nevertheless we prevailed, and pulled in to the Colorado Springs KOA campgrounds before sundown.  Here’s the cabin that was waiting for us when we arrived:

GPP 7_29_2013a

Our KOA cabin was so cute, I could hardly stand it.  We had a cute little front porch with a porch swing, and a front “yard” with a picnic table.  In the back, there was a cute little sitting area where we grilled our dinner.  The cuteness outside was not to be surpassed by the inside of the cabin, where we had a bunkroom, main bedroom, and a bathroom.  The cabins had actual beds, which was a welcome treat after sleeping in a tent (not to knock tent-camping, which was so totally great).

I cracked open a teeny-tiny bottle of wine (more cuteness…who knew you could buy an 8-ounce bottle of wine?) while Dave cooked dinner.   We had filet mignon steaks and instant mashed potatoes.  The “Idahoan” brand of instant mashed potatoes is so delicious, it’ll knock your socks off, and is perfect for camping…especially the “Loaded baked potato,” which we are now addicted to.

After dinner, we slept wonderfully (who wouldn’t sleep wonderfully in all of that KOA cabin cuteness?).  There was one little glitch, which commenced when Dave announced that the back bedroom should be for people, and the front bunkroom would be designated for the animals (I like how Dave makes pronouncements like this…as if by virtue of making a rule, everything will just fall into place).  I knew immediately that Dave’s rule would require some sort of wrestling on my part to keep the door closed between the two rooms, since Addie is pretty good at opening doors.  At bedtime, Dave closed the door between the two rooms, and then went to sleep.  Addie waited a respectable period of time (8 minutes), and then deftly opened the door between the two rooms, and made a place for herself on my side of the bed.


Meanwhile, Otis, Doodle, and Alexander were completely happy sleeping in the bunkroom.

So, the three of us (me, Dave, and Addie) slept somewhat wonderfully in the KOA cabin cuteness, even though Addie managed to completely hog half of the bed, squishing me into about 8-inches of space.  I’d just like to say right now that Addie is about 5 pounds heavier than I am, and when it comes down to nighttime wrestling, she usually wins.

After waking up in the morning, I urged Dave to go and avail himself of the KOA pancake breakfast.  Meanwhile, I stayed behind and made sure that the animals did their business, and the cars were packed (don’t get any ideas that I’m the one who does all the tough work around here…later, in Day 4, my true laziness is revealed).

Day 3 loading the cars

Dave came back from the KOA pancake singalong (or whatever it was), bringing me a big plate of eggs and bacon.  After eating, I supervised the final loading of the vehicles.  This step consisted of me bossing Dave around and acting like I’m the only one who knows how to load Otis into the car (which may actually be true).

Finally, at about 9am, we pulled out of the campgrounds, with Dave leading the way.  Dave drove 30 feet, and then skidded to a stop right outside of the campgrounds.  His wheels had locked, rendering his vehicle completely useless (thanks Mercedes).  While Dave called Mercedes, I headed back into KOA, and registered for “another few days” until Dave’s SUV could be repaired.

The rest of the day consisted of me and Dave overseeing the transfer of the Mercedes and its attached trailer, to the KOA campground, and waiting for Mercedes to come out to “figure out” what possibly could have gone wrong.  The Colorado Springs KOA staff were the BEST.  Not only did they easily accommodate us for an additional (and unscheduled) few days of stay, but they hooked the trailer up to a tractor and hauled it back to the KOA campground (something that Mercedes couldn’t be bothered to do, since their warranty coverage only covers the vehicle and not things that are attached to the vehicle).

The KOA staff placed us in a cabin next to their dog park (how cool and nice was that, since they knew we had three large dogs?), and then we settled in to await Mercedes’ analysis of Dave’s wheel-locking problem.  When it became apparent that Mercedes was feeling no sense of urgency whatsoever, Dave headed to the local car rental place, and made arrangements for renting a large passenger van to help us get to Oregon.  Meanwhile, sometime in the afternoon, Mercedes rolled in to the KOA and collected Dave’s car and hauled it back to the dealership (where supposedly they were going to expeditiously make everything good, but it turns out that they actually didn’t do that at all…however, we’ll save that part of the story for later).

Late in the afternoon, Dave returned with a huge passenger van.  He and his friend Robert (who conveniently lives in Colorado Springs), removed the van’s seats, and then with only a tiny amount of help from me, managed to transfer about half of our belongings from the trailer to the van.

That evening, we cooked dinner at the campfire, opened another tiny bottle of wine, and toasted our good fortune that the wheel problem happened right outside of the KOA campground, and not on some desolate highway in the middle of nowhere.   We also toasted KOA Colorado Springs, who’d kindly offered up a few days of trailer space in their park, and who so eagerly lent their tractor to remove our vehicles from the road in front of the campground.

We can’t say it enough…KOA campgrounds are fabulous, but the Colorado Springs KOA is the best.


Taking a break

March 7, 2013 § 4 Comments

Hello all.  We had some sad news in our family this week, and are taking a break.  We’ll be back on Monday.

The case of the missing eyebrow

November 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve been away from home for over 2 1/2 weeks now.  I keep in touch with Dave via Skype.  I always make him show me the dogs, and he always makes me show him the view out my patio window.  When we talk, it’s usually the beginning of my day, and the end of Dave’s.  I look like I just rolled out of bed (because I did), and Dave always looks tired because he’s been working all day.  Yesterday morning, Dave was worried that one of my eyebrows might have fallen off while I was sleeping.

Dave:  You look kind of messy.

Libby:  I just woke up.

Dave:  Is your eyebrow missing?  It looks like it fell off or something.

Libby:  No, it did not fall off.  My hair is messy, and it’s just hanging over my eye.

Dave:  Are you sure?  You look weird.

Libby:  Thanks.  You look weird too when you just wake up.

Dave:  Maybe you should look in the mirror or something…there’s something seriously wrong with your eyebrow.

Libby:  (sigh).  Ok, whatever.

Someone should invent a little mask that you can put over your face when you just wake up, so when you’re skyping you don’t freak people out.

Being thankful for family and hamburgers for Thanksgiving

November 21, 2012 § 13 Comments

As I sit here in Australia, in a hospital room with my ailing uncle, I’m grateful for my family.  My uncle is very sick, and this will likely be his last Thanksgiving.  We were planning a big celebration, with friends coming in from the surrounding communities to celebrate an American Thanksgiving in Australia.

My uncle has been looking forward to seeing old friends, but we had to cancel the event.  We’re going to reschedule for next week, when my uncle is a little stronger.  Even though things are a little sad here, my aunt and are…

– grateful that my uncle is still here with us;

– grateful that I can be here to help. even though Dave and the rest of the family cannot be here;

– grateful that SKYPE works from a hospital bed, so Dave, Mike, and Lars can say hello to our uncle;

– grateful that I can be here to take care of my aunt when my uncle is so sick;

– grateful that people actually read this blog, and send us supportive messages;

– and lastly, grateful that maybe my uncle <might> get to come home on Thursday.  His doctor tells us that he is working hard to stabilize my uncle so he can come home and rest comfortably in his own bed, in the place that he loves.   So, keep your fingers crossed for us.

I asked my uncle what he would like to eat for his first dinner at home, after over a week in the hospital.  He said “hamburgers!”, so that is what we are having for Thanksgiving dinner.  I might try to make the hamburgers in the shape of little turkeys, and I’m definitely going to make us some sweet potato fries to go alongside.

In the meantime, what are you grateful for this year?  Maybe you aren’t American, and so don’t celebrate an American Thanksgiving.  But, what are you grateful for in your lives?  Is it family and friends, healthy and happy children, your own health?  Is there someone in your life that is special, who might not be here much longer?

Coffee at sunrise

October 17, 2012 § 3 Comments

In the mornings, I let the dogs outside, and then sit on the porch swing and watch the sunrise while I drink my coffee.  Usually our little cat Pixel joins me, sitting next to me and kneading her paws on my leg.  This morning, I thought you might like to see some of the pictures I’ve been taking lately.

Today’s sunrise wasn’t that fabulous, but yesterday’s colors were brilliant.

Here’s a picture from today’s sunrise…the colors aren’t as brilliant as yesterday, but it’s still a nice shot.  That bright star is Venus.  Many thanks to my blogging friend Viveka over at My Guilty Pleasures.  A chef, photographer, and world traveller, she’s always willing to listen to my questions, and give me helpful advice.   She’s been helping me to understand composition in photography, and I’ve had a fun time experimenting with my camera as a result.  My friend Olga has given me some lessons as well, helping me to understand the technical aspects of the camera.

Recipe for apple cake

October 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

We posted an easy recipe for apple cake, over at Grit magazine.


Grit magazine blog posting: West Nile virus

September 27, 2012 § 5 Comments

In addition to today’s GreenPocketProtector blog posting, Dave and I are also posting today over at Grit magazine.  Check in over there for some pictures of our little farm as we discuss West Nile Virus.

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