Monday, November 30, 2015

there and back again

Saturday morning we all set out, Nick headed South and the six of us back north.
Well, north for Sam and then a lot further south the following day. 
She spent 8 hours total in flight and 12 hours total on the road this weekend.

Nick hopped in at the gas station for one last photo before the road

The road:

going up Raton Pass on the New Mexico Side

5 minutes later, going down on the Colorado side.

Sam wanted a big breakfast at Toast before she had to return to Florida.

Toast is a little spot in downtown Littleton that features different artists' styles on Toast shaped canvases.

Then we headed back to the house to hang up Christmas ornaments.

Since this is Jason's second Christmas with us, he's got two ornaments for the tree.

And this is the first time Sam and I decided this year's ornament was "the" one was one and the same. So now we'll have two Wall-Es on the tree, until Sam gets her own.

Packing, Katy was not a happy camper. Neither was Sam.

I'd told Sam to text me when she landed and as she got to the shuttle and to her car. She'd landed at midnight, had to wait on her bag at baggage claim, and get the shuttle out to the economy lot.

All good. 

Then the phone rang. 

The car wouldn't start. She was slightly freaked but held it together, shocked the crap out of herself using the box I'd bought her to keep in the glovebox to jump the car herself (left the keys in the ignition...) at which point the box went dead. Crap. 

Luckily, someone patrols the garages round the clock and about the time we'd looked up the assistance line and called to get her help, he'd shown up and called in the same. The guy was there in about 15 minutes and said he guessed her dome light had been clicked on which drained the battery. He got her jumped and on her way. An hour later, after 2 a.m. her time, I got the text "Made it back. Going to bed."

And then I could sleep.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The 6th Dumas Thanksgiving

Had a bit of fun recreating a few Thanksgiving photos from the recent past, since the first year we traveled to Dumas in 2010 (also Evan's first with us) for Thanksgiving to now. 

2010 to 2015

2011, 2013, 2015

This is just 2014 to 2015, but I think I'll keep the bangs. 
And Snoopy was MUCH later in the parade!

 Man Versus Bird

 Of course, each year, a few new traditions are just starting, too. 

For 2015, Jason joined us. As did Scrappy (Matt and Melissa's new dog). 



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Eve

Managed to sort of get everyone into a photo at dinner this evening, which is good because I won't have the chance tomorrow.

After years of good weather, 2015 broke the streak and Mom and Dad will be back in Colorado tomorrow to stay ahead of the storm that threatens to close down Raton Pass by tomorrow night.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Denver Aquarium

Amber and I squeezed in a November adventure today, despite the lovely discovery that sometime during the night, my phone decided to go nuts. 

When I woke up this morning, there were no bars and the "No Mobile Network Available" error kept popping up. Couldn't get or make calls or texts, but by golly, I could still surf the internet! Exactly NOT what I needed right before Thanksgiving. And everyone else's phone was fine, so it's not like it was an account issue.

Amber was on her way over, but Bob generously took my phone to the Verizon store while I was gone. You always love to hear, "The guy said he'd never seen anything like it." And, despite the Verizon store being packed with phones, do you think I got mine replaced today? Of course not. It's arriving via mail on Monday. So until then, I'm phoneless. Weird how quickly it becomes such a habit. I've reached for it countless times and while I was shopping at Target, said, "Lemme pull up the recipe... Oh. wait."


The Aquarium was fun and even better, free, thanks to mooching off Amber's membership!

This was the first tank and this guy just looked so forlorn. Alligator Snapping Turtles can stay underwater nearly an hour, but the way he was just hanging off the log with his head down...

Then I got close and he decided to show off.

The otters weren't doing much swimming, but I did catch one guy going in for a scratch in their den.

The big Grouper was hanging out, butt first as you approached. His little yellow friend there posed for size comparison:

Once you turned the corner, though, he was much more photogenic:

The rays were all hovering along the sandy floor until we walked up, then this one popped up and gave me the big "CHEESE" pose:

These purple and blues are some of my favorite colors, so I love the challenge of trying to capture them in motion.

Every piranha tank I've seen has been tall but open topped. I assume something about their habitat requires it. But this necessitates the big sign telling stupid (tall) people not to put their hand (or their kid's hand) in the water. 

never seen a black and white ray!
The Leopoldi Black Diamond Ray is a freshwater fish.

But why oh why must the Aquarium have a tiger exhibit? There's no way these big cats (there are apparently several that get rotated) are happy in this tiny environment. Sigh. Yes, they can get in the water, but it's just a really odd choice and the habitat looks really small.

I think I was getting the finger here.

the contrast on these little guys was so intense, the digital camera really struggled to keep up