to the rockies

Who's ready to see more mountain pictures?!

{slide carousel clicks}

{awkward silence}

Seriously, I think you'll want to see this...

It turned out that I was only home for a couple of weeks after my time spent in the desert before I had to hit the road again for work -- this time to Colorado Springs, as pictured above.  Fortunately, this was only a three-night trip with time to spare to take in the indescribable beauty of this area.  Did I even think for a minute that I'd be seeing Pikes Peak in my entire life, much less on this short trip?!  {Answer: not reeeeeally}  God's thoughtful provision is pretty cool and comes at the most-needed times.  {Duh.}

This trip was also great in the respect that I had a colleague traveling with me, which always makes exploring new territory more feasible... and enjoyable!

Case in point, we took in a Rockies game...

Cubs flag flying high from the cheap seats!

On our way to the game, there was a storm on the horizon...

As ominous as it looks, we never even drove through it on our hour-long trek.

This is a statue of William Palmer, founder of the town of Colorado Springs.  It might be hard to tell from my photo, but this monument is situated smack-dab in the middle of an intersection downtown.  {I highly recommend you do an image search on Google for "colorado springs william palmer statue" to see some much cooler photos that others have taken of this spot.}

View from my hotel room...

So, let's get back to those mountains.  We decided to check out The Garden of the Gods Park, which is a registered National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs.  The first photo in this post featuring Pikes Peak was taken from the Visitor Center.  All the photos below were taken when we drove through the actual park, which is what you are seeing in that first photo.  In plain speak, WE WENT UP IN THEM THERE MOUNTAINS.

This is hiking up the Siamese Twins Trail, which is what they call the rock formation you see just over the brush.  {side note: I use the term "hiking" very loosely here... it wasn't that big a deal}  :)

Here are the Twins from the peak:

As it's been pretty well-documented on this blog, I get pretty jazzed by even a colorful sunset seen from my living room window.  So, maybe you can imagine my speechless wonder amid The Creator's handiwork here.  How long have these rocks been here?  He knows the exact number of days, down to the second.

And this view was the ultimate for me...

I took this photo standing level with the Siamese Twins.  I don't know how far this view stretched, but it seemed endless.  My weak photography could never do it justice.  In awe.  He made this for us to enjoy, and it's merely a glimpse of what's to come.  

This is called Balanced Rock, another notable formation in the park.

And from another angle, to give you perspective on how large it actually is.

This is just a snippet from a visual guide at the Visitor Center to explain what you were looking at...

America the Beautiful... you can say that again.


so you're telling me there's a chance

This photo was taken in Atlanta recently...

...which means that it really is true:  'Dumb and Dumber 2' is currently filming!
Right now. 
Practically in my back yard.

You're a sharp one, Harry.

Happy Friday... indeed!


berry random

Well, my Tuesday morning started out blissfully, everyone...

And by "blissfully", I mean that a blueberry escaped from my breakfast bowl and made no haste in camping out in the fibers of my sofa!

My immediate reaction was to look around and see if my mom was anywhere in sight... then I remembered that I am an adult and this is my sofa.  {I guess since this was a very common occurrence when I was growing up -- you name it, I spilled it -- I automatically go back to that "uh-ohhhhhh" mentality when my klutzy self strikes!}

Yesterday was a turning point for me in that I realized that less-than-graceful individuals such as myself should only have slipcovered furniture.  This is going to save a lot of grief.

I took off the cover and began frantically dousing it with club soda, then Shout stain remover, then baking soda, then white vinegar... this concoction was working but the stain was still visible.  In a rational moment, I decided to Google how to remove blueberry stains from fabric, and I discovered some bizarre instructions to {after putting vinegar on the stain - winning!}, pour boiling water from at least a 2 to 3 foot distance over the stain.  I thought this was weird, but I did it... and, Y'ALL.  That stain virtually disappeared when the long stream of hot water hit the fabric.

You can still see traces of the stain above, but once I sent it through one cycle in the washing machine, I could not even tell where it had been:

So, crisis averted.  And I went back to {carefully} enjoying my bowl of mischief makers berries.

Now, on a random note - please enjoy these two commercials that I've found particularly funny lately.  However, I know this fondness will not last long since they'll likely be run into the ground.  

{hey, subscribers... 2 funny videos embedded here - click over!}

You don't see no shovels.  {Catchphrase of the year, perhaps?}

This little kid with the comb-over KILLS me.  Also, this commercial could double as a PSA to all children on the realities of adulthood.

Happy middle-of-the-week!



last call

So, how about one last post on my time out West?  Then, LET'S. MOVE. ON.

Sounds like a plan.

As I've mentioned Ad nauseam, you can either sit around the hotel room or get out and explore when traveling to these new places.  So on my last weekend in Tucson, I decided to check out one of the local attractions in the area:

Welcome to Biosphere 2, ladies and gents.  {Biosphere 1 is the planet Earth, for all you non-nerds.}

I know what you're thinking...

And, well... you'd be pretty spot on.  But if you want to really learn more about the real Biosphere 2, you can go to this link.

Before I get into the actual facility, let me share some photos of the beautiful surroundings.  This place is in a pretty remote location, nestled in the mountains...

I really don't even know where to begin in telling you about this tour.  I am way too right-brained to have truly appreciated the tour of this facility.  I should have known better.  If you're into science and environmental studies, this is your bag.  Honestly, I wanted to get out after the first 5 minutes, but that was impossible on a one-way tour.  

When I walked up to this entry door, I jokingly thought to myself that this looked an awful lot like one of the doors from the creepy Dharma stations in 'LOST', sans the armed guard.

Seriously... look!

Why did I walk in there?  'LOST' gave me nightmares for weeks.  {Probably due to the fact that I was binge-watching multiple episodes at a time in 2006... but, still!}

All right, let's go inside...

I wish I could say the 'LOST' comparisons died at the front door.  They did not.

Oh, hello Jack Shephard in the creepy underground station that looks JUST LIKE BIOSPHERE 2.  {Don't forget to type those numbers...}

The icing on the cake was the underground chamber that way too closely resembled the "hospital" as well as the water chamber on 'LOST' where Charlie Pace met his fate, aka - the NOT PENNY'S BOAT room.  {Commence tears.}

I promised myself if I saw these numbers anywhere that I would find a means to claw my way out...

{Sorry to all of you who did not watch 'LOST'.  May I use this post as a PSA to implore you to do so?  One of the most thought-provoking television series of our time...}

Good news, we finally made it to the outside world again... 

I quickly made my way down the road to more beautiful surroundings...

After that weekend, I fulfilled my last week on the job site.  It did often seem there was a black cloud over that project, as I wrote about here, but I will share with you a redeeming photo of blue skies from our building, overlooking metro Tucson...

This was a tough one, but there were rewards in my unexpected adventures in California... I'm truly thankful for that time away.

I purposely left my work shoes behind for disposal in Arizona.  They'd served me well for three summers... they were saying "Uncle!", and so was I.

Good bye, Arizona.

Onwards and upwards...


coming soon

So, I know college football started this week and that is very exciting.

HOWEVER... this preview of the new season of 'Downton Abbey' was released yesterday:

Equally exciting, you guys!

Looks like a lot of tears.  And fisticuffs.  {kind of like football...}

Is it January 5th yet?!