Michele, Mid-point and Cancer Week

Trip Start Jul 26, 2007
Trip End Sep 26, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Colorado
Sunday, August 26, 2007

I'm not sure if the last few days could have been better.  My friend Michele flew into Denver, CO on Wednesday evening, stayed overnight and took the Alpine Express out to Steamboat Springs.  She arrived shortly after 2:30, which was exactly at the beginning of my 3 hour break before dinner.  We headed to the Vino store to pick-up a bottle of wine to drink with dinner.  Stopped by City Market to get me some chapstick.  It's getting cold up here and my lips were in so much pain, but I hadn't been able to get to the village till then.  After all our errands, we headed to the ranch.  I got ready for the dinner hour, while Michele spoke to her mom on the phone, took a shower and a nap. 

I brought home a plate that the Chef put together for us - Osso Bucco and Drunken wine noodles.  I've never tasted either of them.  Drunken wine noodles is what you'd expected - noodles boiled in wine, specifically Merlot for these noodles.  We opened our bottle and enjoyed a delicious dinner, wine and chocolate covered strawberries and truffles for dessert.  We had probably one of the best bonding, sincere, hilarious conversations I think Michele and I have ever had.  That's saying a lot since I've known her since 1994.  Hard to believe, but it's true. Such a good time.

We packed up my car to camp out (guests of staff are not allowed to stay over in the staff houses).  It was late after talking and eating that we decided not to put up the tent and to just sleep in the car.  We laid down my back seat and made a little bedding for us.  We fit perfectly!  It was COLD the next morning - 39 degrees!

I went on to work, while Michele got ready and took my car back into the village to do a little shopping.  She came home during my break and we hiked the nature trail the ranch has to Hinman Lake.  As you'll see, the hike was up a small mountain that overlooked the ranch.  What a great workout!  I am going to "try" to do it every afternoon during my break.  We'll see if it helps shed a few pounds (smile). 

After the hike, I had to take two families into town for dinner, so Michele followed me in my car.  I dropped them off at the Tap House and we headed to Mahogany Grill for dinner with Corbett (another staffer from the ranch).  Picked up the guests and headed back.  Corbett was in the car in front of me, so I tried to follow him closely because there are no street lights on the mountains and it gets rather dark.  Almost halfway home, a small baby deer sprinted in front of me.  I stopped and the deer continued running and ran right into my back end.  I swear I didn't hit it!!  At least Michele said I didn't and she was right behind me and saw what happened.  I hope it's o.k.... ;o( 

We were EXHAUSTED, so we pretty much packed up our sleeping gear and headed back to our campsite.  I tried finding another place to park for aesthetics in the a.m., but ended up just going back to the other place.  We slept a good 7 hours, which was good since we didn't sleep too long the night before.  Took a shower, headed out to Breckenridge to do a little sightseeing and meet Cran for lunch and a beer.  Michele was going to head back with Cran since his flight headed out of Denver at the same time Michele's was.  Everything just seemed to flow perfectly!  I'm so HAPPY that I was able to spend time with her and see Cran!  Neither of us wanted the time to end.  Just way too much fun!  You'll have to check out the video of Michele and I singing a Pat Benatar song in honor of our girlfriends in Atlanta that went to her concert last night in Mableton.  :O)  THANKS TO THE WONDERFUL LADIES THAT CALLED FROM THE CONCERT!  I LOVE YOU GALS!

Her visit couldn't have come at a better time - today marks the mid-point of my time out in Colorado.  In 29 days I will head out from the ranch and be back in good ole Atlanta, Georgia in 33 days.  It's almost unbelievable how much time has passed.  

I think the next 4 weeks will be a bit different than the last.  This week is the last week the ranch will have children (September is adults only).  It not only is the last week with kids, but it's also the week that sold me on coming out here.  For an entire week, the ranch gifts all lodging, activities and food to families with children that have cancer.  I'm not sure how it'll affect me, but I'm sure it will.  I was asked to be the one staffer to drive out to help pick up the families in a bus.  We'll drive about 2 1/2 hours to Silverthorne, have dinner with them and load them up in the bus to head back.  Stephanie is actually going to drive the bus back, so I'll be able to stick around and have a little shopping time to myself at the outlets. 

We are leaving the ranch around 1:30, so I have the entire morning off!  It's been such a great weekend as far as activities and time off!  Though, I will be working my butt off for the next 6 days.  Well worth it!  I'm going to hike the nature trail after I sign off. 

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Giddy up,


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