Saturday, May 31, 2014

Memorial Day part 2 - Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde was really awesome.  For those who don't know what it is... google it! Kidding!
Mesa Verde is a national park/monument of Pueblo cliff dwellings.  Scientists date the dwellings back to the 1200's.  There are apparently over 600 dwellings in the cliffs around Mesa Verda and the smaller surrounding mesas within the park.  We were able to get into 3 of them and see just a couple more from lookout points on the road.

The first night, we headed up to the Spruce Tree House.  It was a self-guided tour, and was really neat.

looking down onto Spruce Tree House

the main plaza
 One of the cool highlights of Spruce Tree House is that there is a kiva (ceremonial spot) that you can actually climb down into.  In the picture above, that ladder in the middle leads down into the kiva.
Jay inside the kiva

looking back up the ladder

here comes Jay!!
 Being inside the kiva was pretty awesome, especially since in the other dwellings, you can't get into them and they are open on top.  After checking out the tree house, some hiking was in order.  We decided "Petroglyph Point Trail" sounded the best, so off we went.
following the leader...
tiny space to get through!
looking up at the wall
look! I found our next camp spot ;)
 Luckily we got to get our hike done before the storms rolled in, because it rained that night!  The next morning, we packed up our little campsite and headed back to the mesa to check out Balcony House and Cliff Palace!

On the way we got to see the House of Many Windows (thank goodness for zoom on the camera!)

 The Hemenay House
 Balcony House is listed as an adventurous tour.  Mostly because you have to climb quite a few ladders and crawl through an 18 inch wide tunnel. But it was was really cool!
ladder leading up to Balcony House

a small portion of Balcony House
 Next up was Cliff Palace.  This is the largest cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde, and it is literally a palace!
looking down on Cliff Palace

the round holes are uncovered kivas!

After that, we headed back to the truck and made our way into Utah!  We were lucky and had a gorgeous night that night.  Campfires, steak dinners, desserts and drinks around the campfire. 

Memorial Day trip, part 1

Last weekend was a ton of fun... so much so, that I will have to split my blog posts into parts in order to fit even a portion of the pictures I took with the stuff I want to write about.

So, here goes!  Part 1:

Friday morning, Jay and I headed out pretty early. We took highway 285 into the mountains.  Its a lovely drive.  Some of our favorite "normal" camping spots (quick weekend trips) are found off of 285.

This route took us over Wolf Creek pass and the continental divide.  We had to jump out of the truck to snap a few pictures.
Jay straddles the divide

Our next quick stop along the way to Mesa Verde was at a place called Treasure Falls.  It was surprising to see such a waterfall here in Colorado!
We will have to go back to that area again, because the whole part of the state was really pretty.  We also took a short lunch break in pretty Pagosa Springs, CO.  I have never been there, and its a really cute little town. We stopped at a local brewery for beers and food. And WOW, they were both AMAZING.... :)

After leaving Pagosa Springs, the weather turned a bit... icky. The clouds rolled in and we had some pretty stormy weather for the next few hours.

Luckily, we got to our campsite in Mesa Verde park and it was not raining! Hooray!!! Not to say it didn't rain a ton (and it did) the rest of the weekend.
camp site in Mesa Verde

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pettiness in the workforce

Do remember high school? The pettiness? The behind-your-back conversations? The snubbing of certain people "just because"? Boy - do I remember that. I hated high school. I couldn't wait to get out of there. Not to say I didn't have friends in high school, but man the overwhelming amount of little crap that went on drove me nuts.

And then I became an adult.

Somehow, I thought we had left all that petty, nit-picky, bullshit behind us. But, the longer I work in the the "real world" the more I realize that high school mentality still exists in the workforce. There are still cliques, snide looks, behind-your-back conversations and a lot of he-said/she-said.  Its unfortuate that as adults, the same mindset still exists.

Do you deal with pettiness at work? How do you deal with (or not deal with) the drama thats created?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Picture post 1 - testing out the new camera

I don't want to head out with a new camera and not have played around with settings, color, zoom, etc. So, what better subjects to shoot but my little family?

our baby, aka baby face - real name Lucy

my handsome stud! playing with black and white... love! gotta work on the focus though

midget face aka Willow. She's our vocal baby

Gus, king of the castle!

soaking up the sunshine
I am pleased with the pics so far, I need to get used to changing the settings to focus and picking up the light as I like it. Can't wait to keep taking more!

Its picture time!

I love taking pictures. All the time. Of people, places, lighting on trees and buildings, random objects, dance, everything!  I wish I had been able to take some photography classes at some point in my life, but I never have. Years ago, my dad bought me a lovely Nikon camera (film) that I took with me to Scotland and the Grand Canyon and many other places. Its still a great camera, but its just not feasible to shoot in film anymore. Years and years ago, I bought myself a little point and shoot digital camera. That thing was awesome. And it still works, but in this digital age, a 7 year old camera is ancient.
Over the last few years, I like to think that I've taken some pretty decent pictures. Whether it be with my own point and shoot or Stacey's lovely Nikon DSLR.
Examples are necessary of course:

So why am I talking about pictures and showing you ones I've taken? Because I got a NEW CAMERA!!!! Its not the fancy DSLR that I would love to get (1 day, maybe), but its new, its a nice middle step between a point and shoot and a DSLR and I can't wait to take pictures with it. Luckily camping this weekend will provide me with the perfect opportunity to test it out. Look for lots (and lots) of pictures to come!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weekends are for....

for whatever you want! This past weekend we were busy, busy.  We spent all day Saturday hanging out with the awesome Parkhurst family - selling off our excess clothing, shoes, random household objects in a garage sale. It was awesome that Rob and Court let us bring all our crap over. And honestly, that was a great way to spend a Saturday!  It was a gorgeous sunny day, and I surprisingly got a bit sunburned! Surprise, summer is here!

We managed to get rid of a lot of stuff and hopefully will be partaking in another garage sale in a few weeks to get rid of the rest. After that - whatever is left gets shipped off to the Goodwill.

Saturday late afternoon and evening was spent in the company of Jay's "crew" of friends. It was a so nice to catch up with everyone, fill them in on wedding details and listen to them tell us how excited they are for our upcoming wedding.  Even though I know we still have a lot of work to do, it makes me feel good knowing there is a lot of excitement.

Sunday morning was a girls morning. Anne, MM and I went on an "urban hike". Typically we head up to the mountains for a long hike, but Sunday, we spent wandering the neighborhoods of downtown and heading to Cheeseman Park (one of my faves!).  MM is getting ready to start her own new journey, so there was lots of planning and discussing for the future!

Sunday afternoon was spent with my lovely man as we prepped our camping gear to head off this weekend. SOOOOO EXCITED!!!!  Look for the post and pictures after next weekend!