Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Vacation Journal

For the past several years, Mike and I have gone to the mountains on Valentine's Day, usually Estes Park. This year we returned to the Y. Our cabin had great views of these peaks, except for the clouds that shrouded them most of the time. On Friday, I worked a half day, then we drove on up. We felt like relaxing, so I'm not ashamed to say that we raided the puzzles in the cabin and I did a Beauty and the Beast kids puzzle, while Mike did a Toy Story puzzle. I get great nerdy enjoyment out of puzzles. Then we went down to the lodge (where there's internet), and watched our Thursday night TV by the fire.

Restaurants in Estes are overpriced and mediocre, so Mike had gone to Garden of the Gods Gourmet and picked us up indulgent foods to gorge on all weekend. So we dined in and had chicken and vegetable rice casserole and lemon blueberry bread pudding. (Sorry, when you read my vacation journal, you have to read about everything I eat.)

Saturday, we slept in to a delicious and unheard of 8:45. Mike had bought a red pepper and sausage strata for breakfast (again with the eating!) that was delicious. Thus fueled, we hiked up to Gem Lake, one of my favorites. Mike slid on the ice like a crazy seal, sending a bystanding group of adolescent girls into giggling fits.

We then waltzed down the candy-lined streets of Estes with a fresh bag of taffy from the Taffy shop. In the afternoon, I started a crazy 1000 piece puzzle, which ultimately defeated me. We went to see Percy Jackson and the Olympians that night, which I'm reviewing. I liked it. It made me want to read the book, which I've had on hold at the library since the 3rd grade, I swear.

Today was glorious. A more perfect winter day never has been.
It had snowed and blustered like the usual Estes February, but it got it all out of its system last night in a snowstorm. By 9 on Sunday, the clouds had blown off, revealing the deepest blue sky against white snow and mountain crags.

We went into the park to snowshoe to Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lake. We were there early when few but the chickadees had touched the perfect white expanse of fresh powder. Oh, it was heavenly. Snowshoeing down fresh powder is like floating on a cloud, as Mike puts it.
That's Mike there on the mountain. Seriously, look at the blue of that sky!
Famished after our sojourn we gobbled cold leftovers in the Moraine Park parking lot before making our way back home (with an obligatory side trip to Glacier).


Aubergine said...

How inspiring and gorgeous. What a beautiful state we live in. And all so close to us. Mental note to me - open my eyes and get out more!

Anonymous said...

What a great Valentine's Day. The Y is so relaxing. I just wish we had a place for that great food. Where did you take that pic of Mike? Looks high. NV

Anonymous said...

Wow sounds like you had an amazing time! So glad you got to get away and do some hiking on vday! Estes always is very romantic and the weather looked perfect!

Cori said...

I agree with Nancy, Mike looks really high up! What a romantic getaway, friend! I love you two! I've never done any winter hiking in Estes, and I think snow shoeing would be a kick, we'll have to try it some time!

Michael Jonathan Van Schooneveld said...

It is pretty high up; you can't go any further without climbing up the snowfields. If you look at the second picture (the one with Amber), I'm standing on the lower part of the open white snowfield visible in the middle of the picture. So, right about at treeline.

Elizabeth Messer said...

Sorry, Amber..."Cori" was really Liz. Cori just visited. Ooh...crying baby, better go! Miss you two! Don't ever ever stop blogging. I love your pics, and you, and your writing.

Steph said...

Those three lakes are my favorite snow-shoe hike beautiful.