Memorial Day Estes Park, Colorado Trip

We went to Colorado for a good friend’s wedding and decided to stay a couple extra days. We were fortunate to have good weather while we were there, despite some very cold and rainy forecasts. We found ourselves hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park in a mixture of warm sunshine and light snow. For those familiar with the Park, we took the free shuttle to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead and hiked to Alberta Falls and then Mills Lake, which was worth the hike. We went back by way of Bear Lake.

While in Estes Park we also signed up for a 2 hour horseback ride at the Cowpoke Corral just southwest of Estes Park on the way to the YMCA. We had a great guide that took us up a trail in the mountains and back down. I had the slowest horse of the bunch named “Ace”. The group had to constantly stop and wait for us to catch up. It was a great time and a new kind of adventure for me.

We enjoyed being around Estes as we found a couple great places to eat (thanks to our friends Rob and Sarah) including the Dunraven Inn (order the lasagna; make reservations on the weekends) and Poppy’s Pizza and Grill (their single sized pizzas are a great deal!).

As is common on an Achenbach vacation, we treated ourselves to ice cream at least once on this trip. A thousand local snack joints and we end up here:

Finally, on the way back to KC we really lucked out since our hometown is right on the way home and my brother and sister were both in town from Chicago and Mississippi. The previous day was my dad’s birthday so we all went out for dinner at Tuscon’s in Salina. At Tuscon’s, I couldn’t resist the “Kansas City Combo”, which was choice of two meats. I went with brisket and pulled pork. There was some mix up and about half of our meals came out 10-15 minutes after the other half. Fortunately, one of the outcomes of the mix-up was an unexpected half slab of ribs on top of my already-full dinner plate:

After dinner, we went back to my parent’s house and played some cards, ate some snacks and played a great game of “name that tune” that will be remembered for a long time.

Life Playlist – May 2012

We were glad to welcome my parents to town for a couple days this month. We packed a lot into our two days including the Jersey Boys musical (good music and stage sets, decent acting) and the Titanic exhibit at Union Station. The Titanic exhibit was interesting, if a little pricey, but we got an even bigger kick out of the $15 deck of playing cards in the gift shop. I just don’t understand. Anyway, in the museum I was struck by the list of survivors- most of them were women, and most of those who perished were men. I wonder if that would happen today. The exhibit definitely made me want to learn more about the event.

We also went to our first Royals game of the season and had a great view thanks to our good friend Jim. Sadly, Kansas City ended up losing in 15 innings.

A bonus at the Royals game was a little concert preceding the game by Oriole Post, one of our favorite local bands. They even played a couple new tunes. It was a great night for music and baseball.

Other minor highlights include dodging a tornado at home (we could see it from our back deck) and inviting a pest control guy over to get rid of some stinking birds in our attic. They were taking over and it became a larger project than I wanted to tackle myself. Sunflower Pest Solutions came over and did a great job of quickly removing some birds from my attic and patching up the hole where we think they were getting in. It’s now MUCH quieter around our house so hopefully they went and found another home.

As promised, here are a couple pictures of the state of the basement. As of this writing I have finished framing and running wire. I have a bit of plumbing to do and then I will call for rough inspection. I think things will move more quickly after that.

I had to route the PVC from the sink drain the builders left to the vent pipe in the ceiling.
Vent for bathroom sink. Just like playing with legos...
Left from the previous homeowner. Generally mixing colors in a junction box is a BAD idea.
What NOT to do. Check out this gem I found from the previous homeowner. I figured how how it works but it still seems like a bad idea...

Finally, our big May event was our trip to Colorado. We went for the wedding of our good friend Ty and while there played golf (ha!) hiked, rode horses, and went on a zip line. We also got to see both of our families on the way out AND back. I’ll post separately about this trip.

Baseball triple play – I don’t know where I saw this or who is in it but it’s such a beautiful thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yqde2sPMLNw&feature=related
I love baseball.

John Mayer clinic at Berklee – If I had another shot or two at life I’ve always thought it would be fun to really pursue music as a career, whatever that would look like. I’m super fascinated with the thoughts and stories of artists who have “made it” so I was pretty ecstatic to run across this video series of John Mayer talking about music theory, songwriting and his music to students at Berklee college. I don’t tend to follow John Mayer outside of his music, but I found him surprisingly articulate and was impressed with his ability to stand up without a script and share thoughts for an hour or so.

Lost and Found kickstarter project – A band that played at a few youth conferences I attended years ago has launched a kickstarter project for their latest record and to help cover expenses due to not being able to tour due to cancer treatments. (If you’ve seen them live, you understand why touring is a most significant revenue source for them :-))

rainymood.com – I ran across a link to this website when I saw someone recommend listening to certain songs while this website is simultaneously loaded in the background. I got a kick out of it. It helps if you’re in certain moods. Try it!