Sunday, 18 September 2011

Colorado whirlwind.

It's been exactly 10 years since I moved back to the NW from ColoRADo. So, when we were given the opportunity to attend the International Association of Firefighters, Fallen FF Memorial in Colorado Springs - we packed up the fam & headed to the Rockies.  There were a handful of things I had to do/see with my family by my side:

  Red Rocks Amphitheater
  Colorado Christian University
  eat at Beau Jo's
  Drive up I-70 into the foothills
  cruise through downtown

  a stroll on Pearl Street

Colorado Springs:
  Garden of the God's
  Drive up Pike's Peak
  Manitou Springs

The kids were AMAZING travelers.  We were able to see everything plus squeeze in a full day at the Denver Zoo, hang out with the Tiemann family, & see Lo Lo, (on top of everything related to the Memorial).  Whirlwind indeed.


Taking a stroll through campus (my apt my first yr is across pond...)
Relaxing in the shade of an aspen.  
Red Rocks:

That's J, Lai & A on the stage... (a stage I once came & studied on at midnight with some candles & friends in college).  Little do they know the amazing artists that have stood there...
Playing after such a long day of travel.  The elevation didn't effect them at all... 
We then snuck in Beau Jo's & quality time with Holly's fam before hitting the zoo the next day.  (Check out the Beau Jo's link to see how to honey your pizza crust.)

Holly & Axel, 2 of my fav's... 
Aaaaaaaaaand, crossed another Diner's, Drive-In's & Dives hot spot off our list:  Foolish Craig's.  Amaaaazing crepes (singing "amazing")!  
Good 'ol Pearl Street - sadly we didn't see Zip Code Man.  

We arrived in the Springs along with a huge rain storm.  But, that didn't stop us from visiting the site of Saturday's memorial.  

Jeffery Allen Birt   WA 27
Some Seattle Honor Guard with J & Lai 

The 343 on the 9/11 wall. 

Laurel drove up to see us for a super quick visit.  It was so great of you, Lo to come all that way!!!
We love you & miss you!  

On Friday night Jack Quinn's was the place to be.  Great conversation, drinks, T-shirts
& the Seattle Pipes & Drums played for a packed house.  Here are some of Jeff's crew that RV'd down.  

Up next?  Garden of the God's:

I've been here many, many times & I still can't get over the beauty of this national treasure.  

The snow/cloud covered peak in the back is Pike's.
Kissing camels.

The Ceremony:

Air Force Choir

Tom with Jeff's flag (center)
Melissa being presented the flag.  

Jesse Youngs' widow being presented a flag.  Next to her (seated) is another Seattle widow from last year.
It was an honor getting to meet both of these amazing ladies.  
Jeff's crew.  

3, 000 seats & still standing room only.

Seattle families with SFD Honor Guard & Chiefs

Pipe's & Drums with the 3.
My kids & I with an United Airlines pilot super handsome guy.  
We ended the evening with a fabulous dinner  (at which time Axel may or may not have wandered off without me even knowing & was returned by strangers) & watching Pipes & Drums play the streets of COS.   
Pike's Peak:

I've summited a handful of Colorado's fourteener's (14,000 ft mts) in my day by foot & have driven up one (Evan's).  On a whim, we drove up Pike's before heading for the airport.  We obviously were not prepared for snow but, threw caution to the wind & had a great time.

View on the drive up to "America's Mountain"

Dream come true - family by my side on a 14er!!! 
View from the top

Drive down - many scenic stops... How's your aspen?  

Farewell Colorado.  Thank you for the memories!