Our previous post, from Western Colorado, actually happened two months ago. What have we been doing since then? Getting ready for our 3 month trip to Europe!
Anyone who knows me well will not be surprised to hear of our plans. Thinking about it and saving for it kept me going through the last decade of work before retirement. In its original conception, the trip was going to be 9 months, plus Hawaii tacked on at the beginning. Why spend a lot of money flying back and forth over the ocean for a few weeks when you can see more in one trip for several months?
Then, grandchildren started arriving. COVID happened, and the purchase of our truck and 5th wheel. We had our trip to Hawaii earlier this year, so now it’s time for the other part of the plan. The trip duration has been reduced to only three months, but three months is still a blessing, and I’m glad we can go.
I started planning for the trip last fall. And then stopped for awhile. COVID variants arrived, waned, came back around again. Ukraine was invaded by Russia. Optimistically, I reserved AirBnbs and purchased plane tickets. Cal was worried about Covid resurgence. And it is resurging again. We have been vaccinated and boosted twice, and have our masks, but who knows? Neither of us could have foreseen the airport debacle that is going on right now in Europe and here in the States. But all plans are made, and we will hope for the best.
What about our truck and 5er? Our RV is going into storage on an air base. What could be more secure than that? We have a nephew in Albuquerque who is graciously letting us keep the truck in his driveway. I suspect he will be enjoying a few drives in it. When we return to the United States, we will be back to our RV’ing life the same as before.
Meanwhile, besides trip preparation, our time in Denver has been filled with the mundane stuff of everyday life. We have been happily enjoying the company of our grandchildren – and their mothers, of course!
Two days after we arrived, we had a late May snowstorm.
One place I enjoyed returning to this summer was Denver City Park. There were a couple of walks with friends. I wish I could have joined them more often. This is the kind of weather I prefer!
This year, for the first time, I had opportunity to be in the park twice in the evening for concerts by the Mile High Freedom Band:
In Ferril Lake, the fountain changes colors, and swan boats paddle around it.
As we rose north from Arizona and Utah so did the gas prices, and they peaked during our stay in Denver. We limited excursions to those around town. We were curious about a couple of brown signs we’ve seen on streets we travel often, so we followed those signs. The first was 8 miles out from our summer spot at Cherry Creek State Park to Aurora Reservoir. Despite the cool and overcast weather, people were out fishing and SUP’ing.
We discovered a great trail through the rolling prairie around the lake, and some blooms that looked a little like thistles.
Another brown sign we see on our way to City Park in Denver is for Four Mile Park. I was hoping for a hiking/biking trail until I did some research on it: it is a historical park.
Four Mile Historical Park is four miles from the heart of downtown Denver and was a last stop on the Cherokee Trail in the pioneer days. This house is the oldest house in Denver. A cabin was built to supply travelers, and then it became an inn and stage coach stop. Women slept in the parlor and the men upstairs, and the upstairs loft was also used for dances. It finally became a gentleman’s farm for a Denver lawyer and his family, and grew to 600 acres. Now there are only twelve acres and it is in the city with apartment buildings all around the outside.
Tim, the assistant site manager, walked us through the house. We could see its transformation over the years. The first room is the old cabin, then there is a walk through the parlor, and finally into the very genteel turn-of-the century home.
The interesting thing is that the dining room and kitchen are in the basement. It’s cool down there, perfect for hot days when the wood burning stove is always lit. The stove also warms the space in winter.
Outside, there are both replica and and original buildings, barns with animals, and a boardwalk for children to sweep when they are visiting.
One thing I like about Denver is that, even when just going about running errands, I can look up and see the mountains when driving westward.
Of course, the best thing of all is the time spent with our grandchildren. Merely gazing at that perfection of a truck is happiness in spades for our grandson.
As with our trip to Hawaii, I don’t know how often I will be blogging while in Europe. We do have some places that we will be settling in for over a week, so maybe I’ll be catching up then.
Do you follow Facebook? If so, Twosna Travels is there, and a search on the name will find me. I may be more likely to post random photos there.
First stop – Belfast, Ireland. Until then: goodbye, slán, tschüss, arrivederci, antio sas!