Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Family fun times

Dear all,

I know I've been slack on the blog front for too long, so I will endeavour to fill you in on all the fun and excitement of late June.

It has been an exciting couple of months for the Apperley family in Denver. This has been topped off with visits from the family on the first year anniversary of our departure from the wonderful land of Oz.

Earlier this week Jessica came to visit. It was so exciting as it was the first family member from home to meet little Zac. As this was just a stop on the way of her amazing American adventure, she told me that she was just happy to fit in with our normal family schedule. So during her first few days, we did just that. I showed her all the big places we do our usual shopping, what the run around normal grocery shopping is like here (three shops instead of just Woolies), how cheap and easy it was to fill your cupboard full of brand name clothes, and importantly what life is like with a little boy filling up all your hours. I’m not sure that I could say she had fun but she got the idea of what life is like at Mansion a la Apperley.

On Friday, Tristan finished work and with the two of us to watch baby Apperley, we could finally take Jessica on a Colorado adventure. But not until after Zac's swimming lesson (which daddy got wet for this week). First we drove up into the mountains, and she got her first peek of the left over snow in the distance. Gasps of wonder continued and the sheer cliffs of the rugged mountains passed us by (really fast because Tristan was driving). We drove up over a 12,000 ft pass - her first experience of thin air and Tristan's driving along a precipitous ridge without guard rails. The view was spectacular and the air was a little frigid. Next we drove through a few little snow towns, packed full of RVs for the summer, past the snow fields that are now rugged mountains with purposely placed trees undispersed with rocky crags that are covered by snow for the majority of the year.

We then went to Brekenridge. During the winter this is a town/ resort/ party haven. It's a quaint little town full of snow shops, bars, boutiques, and restaurants. It reminds me a bit of Halndolf in the Adleaide hills, and a little of Kiama on the coast. It's a picturque place as my photo on FB showed. We wondered the street, in and out of little shops, had a wine and cheese experience as an appetizer, then ate dinner at the world's highest floating restaurant. It was so nice to spend some quality time together in a grown up setting. We got home LATE and surprise surprise Roger was here after an epic drive from Mississipi. More family to spend precious time with.

The next morning we all jumped back into the big blue car and headed for the Rocky Mountains National Park. Again we climbed up up up, but this time we followed a narrow dirt road up the side of the towering mountain. We made 12,000 ft, seeing glorious mountain lakes full of snow melt in the distance, passing waterfalls drizzling freshly thawed ice from the mountain, above the tree line to where on scraggly bushes grow. It was magical. At the top the view was spectacular, seemingly going forever. It reminded me of the cartoon 'the land before time' when the dinosaurs found paradise: it was that type of breathtaking moment. Following the dizzing heights, we descended back to a reasonable altitude. We stopped along the way so Jessica could run across the tunanda and play in the snow (she was like a little girl at Christmas - glowing cheeks and you couldn't wipe the smile off her face!!). We stopped by a lake and took a leisurely stroll - Roger had to check to see if there were any trout. We saw an elk, deer, squirrel, (and trout). It was post card perfect, and all the more special because of the company we got to share it with. And we watched the sunset between the mountains, over one of the lakes, cuddled up for a photo opportunity.

After two big days out and about, Zac and I spent the day at home while the other Apperleys went the baseball for a true American experience. I wasn't there, but I hear it was a poor game, the Rockies lost, the hot dogs were yummy, and the beer flowed freely into Tristan's cup. Sadly the next day, Jessica left us to continue her American adventure. But many hugs were had between Zac and Jess, and true family bonds were solidified. We are so grateful that she came so far for a visit. It meant a great deal. But we have another couple of weeks with Roger, so I have no doubt more family adventures are in our near future.

Lots of love

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