Saturday, January 23, 2016

Oceanside- Prince of Peace Abby

Marla spent the weekend in Oceanside so we played tourist.
We went to Cicciotti's in Encinitas, they offered a 20$ menu for Restaurant Week.  Restaurant Week only happens a few times a year.  It is a way to try a restaurant at a reduced price.  
The food is really good.

We rode bikes on the San Luis Rey River Trail along the San Luis Rey River to the San Luis Rey Bakery.

The Mexican style bakery that has been in business for over 40 years. 

We must have rode over 15 miles today.

The Benedictine Monks at the Prince of Peace Abby are very welcoming.  They have been in Oceanside since 1958, focusing on worship, prayer, work, and community life.

They don't advertise this, but they have the coolest font.

The girls were not as happy about Marla being away from home as she was... 
How nice they didn't forget about her.

This note was waiting for her upon her return. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Denver- cows, trains and beer

Three days in Denver is just enough time to get a feel for what Denver is all about.
The National Western Stock Show, whose mission is to "serve producers and consumers throughout the world by being the premier Stock Show, Rodeo, Horse Show and center for year-round events" was in town for the weekend so we paid the 20$ entrance fee and had a looksy.  
It is a very popular event here.

Coors Banquet Beer is a staple in Colorado.  They have been brewing beer in the Rockies for 140 years.

Val and Damien and their adorable baby are the reason for Amy and my visit, not the snotty cow in the background.  

Jazzercise sheep.

Great Divide is an environmentally responsable CO brewery.  100% of their spent grain is used by local cattle farms and 80% of their barely is grown in CO.  While the average water to beer ratio is 8:1, theirs is 5.5:1.  Not bad!

Union Station has been at this location on Wyncoop for 150 years, although rebuilt since a fire destroyed much of the building in 1894.  The 1920s were its glory days, when 80 trains each day came through the station.

The 105th meridian (line of longitude) bisects the train station, and is the meridian that the Mountain Time Zone is based on.

The C.S. Morey Mercantile Building, built in 1896, is now the location of the Tattered Cover Bookstore, but there used to be a train that ran through its alley way, transporting the goods produced here (like snuff, cigars and writing tablets) to its customers.

Daniels Fisher Tower is an iconic Denver landmark.  Built in 1910, at 325 feet high, the old department store was the tallest building between Mississippi and California.

Wyncoop Brewing Company was Colorado's first brewpub, founded in 1988 by Denver's Mayor, and Colorado's governor, John Hickenlooper.  Hickenlooper and President Obama were here less than two years ago drinking beer (just missed it...).  
I went with the ginger cider.

Denver is full of brick buildings, history, great beer, and great friends.  I can't think of a better way to spend a three day weekend.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Snowshoeing the San Jacinto Wilderness

Eric and I have snowshoeing on our minds, rain in San Diego means snow in the mountains so that is exactly where we went.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is ideal for getting to the heart of the San Jacinto Wilderness.
The ride is just 10 minutes long, and the floor revolves so you don't miss any views on the way up as the tram covers 2.5 miles and gains 5,873 feet of elevation.  The earth itself has revolved 18 since I was last on the tramway, two years before the revolving floor tram cars were installed.  

We stopped at the Long Valley Ranger Station for a free permit and then set off for the 5 mile Round Valley Loop.

It was unbelievable how much snow there was!  They just got 18 more inches and fresh, fluffy, blue snow.
I would say that it wouldn't be possible to hike this area without snowshoes, but since we saw people on the trail in Vans and sweatpants I will just say that it wouldn't be practical. 

We can't wait to go back, in the snow.  We have our sights set on San Jacinto Peak, 11 miles round trip.  I am hoping for some snow camping.