Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One last night at the cabin

Friday night of our visit home Joel and I were able to escape with our friends Kevin and Melissa for one last anderliss (what we call each other) night at the cabin before we had to leave CO again.  Kevin was able to leave work early so he came and picked Joel and I up and we went to Coors factory for the "short tour" (skipping the tour for the free beer).  After our three free beers we picked up the dogs and Melissa and hit the road.  We decided to just relax for the night at the family cabin.  We played games (of course I taught everyone mahjong!), drank beer and just caught up.  We stayed up waaayyy too late, as usual, but had a great time.
The next morning when we woke up my Colorado dream had come true.  It was a blizzard in October.  I was so excited, Joel and I took the dogs for a long hike to enjoy it.  It was really hard leaving the mountains with the beautiful snow and great company but we had to head down to enjoy the beginning of some wedding activities for my good friend Anne!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Visiting with family...

The week following our cabin weekend Joel and I spent some time at my parents house in Denver catching up with friends and family.  We had lots of fun dinners with friends and family.  Joel's mom flew into town and we were able to spend time with her.  Joel was able to play golf twice!  Once with his mom and once with his dad which he was very excited about.  We ate at our favorite restaurant, Sushi Den, with Joel's dad and a few friends.  Saw our old house and reminisced about our time there.
Although a lot felt the same after being gone for 6 months a lot had changed.  We were able to visit a friends new house that she just bought and heard some wonderful news from a friend about a baby on the way (woohoo!).  Here are a few pics from our week of catching up!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The mountains are calling and I must go...

If you had asked me 9 months ago when I was packing my bags (and 20 pairs of jeans) to move across the world to China what I would miss most, I would have said a few things.  My list would have been; family and friends, my fur babies and Mexican food.  Never would I have ever said, the mountains, clean air and nature because they were always things that I took for granted that everyone had and could enjoy.  It wasn't a privilege it was just a fact of life that any weekend we had available Joel and I could escape and be in the woods in an hour.  Crazy that now it is one of the things that I miss the most.  So when I was home I took advantage of the fact that I could be outside all day and at the family cabin in an hour.
When Joel arrived in the states I had already been there for almost 3 weeks.  It was so exciting to see him (that may be the longest we have ever been apart).  It was even more exciting because we had missed our 3 year anniversary together.  So when he arrived I picked him up at the airport late at night and we drove straight to the cabin to meet my parents.  Another really exciting thing was that my brother and his girlfriend Lizzy were able to meet Joel on his connection in LA and get the same flight in to Denver to spend the weekend with us.

It was such a fun weekend that really flew by.  We hit the outlets for some shopping, explored Dillon CO and my parents took us to an amazing dinner to celebrate Joel and my anniversary and to celebrate Colin and Liz being in town.   I also was able to teach everyone Mahjong! It was a great weekend that went way too fast.  

Spending time with my fur baby by the fire.

My dad on a hike to the lake! 
Lizzy and Colin hiking to the lake.

Dinner at Ski Tip Lodge.

Showing off the beautiful food!
A little blurry, but Joel and I with his anniversary gift!

Anniversary night!

Teaching everyone to play mahjong.


Saturday, November 12, 2011


After the girl's trip to Santa Fe my mom and I made the long road trip to Oklahoma to visit family... through Texas with a stop at Sonic and we were there!  The first night we had dinner with the whole fam at my Aunt and Uncle's house, including both my cousins who were in from college.  It was good timing to get to see everyone and hang out.  Most of our time spent in Oklahoma was shopping and eating and just catching up.
My mom and I went with my grandparents to their weekly dinner group, which was age 80 and up.  It was really fun, cocktail hour and then dinner at this old Oklahoma restaurant where they specialize in everything fried, especially the catfish.  One of my grandparents friends ordered the Chicken Fried Steak and it was enough for a family of 5 (see the pics!).  I had regular chicken fingers and they were so good, but also enough to feed a small country.
While we were there it was also my Aunt's birthday so we got a bunch of friends and family together for a dinner to celebrate.  Like I said, lots of eating and catching up on this trip. : )
Our last night in Ok my mom and her friend Laynie and I headed to Norman, where the University of Oklahoma is located, to visit my cousin Sarah who is in school there.  She is in the same sorority that my grandmother, my mom and I were all in.  (Go Kappa!).  It was so fun to get to shop and hang out and have dinner in Norman.  We went to the Mont which has been there forever for some swirls (margs mixed with sangria) and their famous queso, which is worth the trip to OK alone!
Before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye and we were off.  Back on the road for the long trip home to Colorado.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Santa Fe trip with the girls...

My first weekend back in the USA was a road trip down to Santa Fe with some of the girls and my mom.  We had a blast, eating and drinking and wandering around Santa Fe.
My mom and I headed down a few nights early to get the house ready and so I could relax and get over my jet lag, which was really not fun this time.  By the time the girls got to the house though I was feeling good so we headed out on the town.  We went to the La Fonda for dinner and drinks (margaritas!) and then out to hit the bars of Santa Fe!  Santa Fe  doesn't not have a huge night life and things definitely close down early there.  The bar Del Charros that we went to closed at 12, so the waiter told us of a bar that everyone likes to go to that was open until 2am.  Well we never found that bar so we ended up walking around for a while and then decided to head back to the house.  We did find an open bar close to the house that we decided to stop for a drink in before actually going home.  The next morning was the quote of the weekend.  When we were skyping with Joel he asked us if we were all hung over, and I told him "we would be if we could have found the bar that we were trying to go to!".  Lol, so maybe it is for the best that we never found it.
The next day we hit the farmer's market so I could get some chili powder to bring back to China with me.  Then we did a little shopping and went to the Shed for dinner.  The shed is my favorite restaurant in Santa Fe, they have the best red chili!  We went back to the house after that and just hung out and talked and went to bed a little early.
The last day that the girl's were there we went out for breakfast, a must in Santa Fe (huevos rancheros!) and then the girl's hit the road back to Denver.  My mom and I stayed one more night and then hit the road to Oklahoma, but more about that in another post!