Colorado Postcards

We’ve just returned from a beautiful, restful and enjoyable trip to the state of Colorado. Our friend Claire remarried in a lovely outdoor ceremony 70 miles north of Denver in a place called Fraser (population 1,200) near Winter Park. Winter Park is a major destination for skiers during the winter months, but at this time of year the area is sparsely populated and peaceful. The population nearly triples during the winter. I’m not a skier, but I can appreciate the adventure and beauty that Winter Park has to offer.

We spent the morning of the wedding in the village at Winter Park, riding the gondola and enjoying the vistas before driving to nearby Fraser.

Winter Park Village, Winter Park, Colorado

Winter Park Village, Winter Park, Colorado

What a unique wedding! The ceremony took place outside with cool weather and a few thunderclaps but no rain. We sat on long wooden benches, covered with beautiful sections of old quilts.  Claire’s daughters walked her down the aisle.  I’ve known them since they were young girls and have enjoyed watching them grow into bright and warm young women.

The groom and several guests wore kilts in honor of Jame’s Scottish heritage. After the ceremony we enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres in a wonderful old barn, outfitted with more quilts and artifacts from the old west.  The reception followed in a nearby canopied field.

Fraser Wedding

Fraser Wedding

The drive to and from Winter Park took us through the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. We stopped mid-drive at the Continental Divide. The Divide extends along the Rocky Mountains. According to Wiki, “Drainage water west of the Continental Divide flows to the southwest via the Colorado River and the Green River into the Gulf of California.”

Colorado Rocky Mountains, Berthoud Pass Arapaho

Colorado Rocky Mountains, Berthoud Pass Arapaho

It was a treat getting out of San Jose’s hot, dry summer for several days. We enjoyed cooler temperatures, a few unexpected thunder claps, a light rain and warm sun. Perfection.

The day after the wedding we headed to Boulder, Colorado, a two hour’s drive away. Mike booked the most amazing room at a vintage hotel built in 1909. What a nice surprise! The hotel is full of old-world charm, with carved wooden banisters, original tile floors and a few artifacts from the day. Even better, it’s in the heart of downtown Boulder, walking distance to fun shops and unique restaurants.

Boulderado Hotel, Boulder, Colorado

Boulderado Hotel (with Mike)

Alys and Carmen collage

With my friend Carmen. Our high school yearbook photos, 1977 and in Boulder, Colorado, 2017

One of the highlights of our time in Boulder was the chance to see my friend Carmen. I haven’t seen her in 40 years! I posted about our trip on Facebook and she mentioned that she lived close by. She drove from Colorado Springs to meet us for brunch, followed by lots of catching up.  We had a wonderful time.

On our last day in Colorado, we drove to Denver and spent hours at the Denver Botanical Gardens. I’ve been to many botanical gardens over the years, and this is by far my favorite. If I lived locally, I would visit again and again. I took over 225 photos while we were there, and I barely scratched the surface.  We enjoyed cooler weather for most of the day and a bit of rain which I loved. We lunched outside under a tree while it rained, enjoying a hearty, vegetarian soup.

Denver Botanical Gardens

Denver Botanical Gardens

While it’s always great to travel, it’s good to be home.  The boys took care of the house and the kitties while we were away, a first for the two of them together.  It made traveling a breeze.

My youngest son starts his senior year next week, so we’re happy to have had this time before the onslaught of college applications and the like.

Wish you were here!

39 thoughts on “Colorado Postcards

  1. What a wonderful panacea for your August blues Alys – it looks lovely and so different to San Jose – RAIN 😀 And what a memorable place to hold a wedding! I love that the bride’s daughters walked her down the aisle. Mike is such a lovely romantic husband isn’t he! And boys (young men) and kitties all did well without you – another plus 🙂 Throw in old friends, a special old friend, a Botanic Garden = Good times ❤ You sure deserve it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pauline, you are so right. It really felt like a “get-away” as the climate, the mountains, the air, everything is so different from here. The Rockies extend all the way up to Canada, so I’ve enjoyed them twice in recent years, in Colorado and in Canada with J. and Kelly. By the way, my friend Claire was born in New Zealand and still has her citizenship. Mike is a romantic. I’m so lucky, Pauline. Thank you for your always-warm, good wishes. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved your postcards, Alys. The Rockies must be amazing to see, and I hope that I will one day! Winter Park would be very cute covered in snow, but I am not sure that I could cope with the cold. It must have been lovely to catch up with so many old friends, important people in your life. There is something very satisfying about being with people who have know you for such a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Anne. It was fun turning some of my photos into postcards. Colorado is breathtakingly beautiful. I spotted a few Winter Park photos of all the action during the winter, and we could see the ski runs, currently just grass, as well. You’re so right about connecting with friends when you have a lot of history. It’s wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! It was so much fun reconnecting and catching up on the details of our lives post-high school. I remember when I was young, and people would say “oh, I’ve known so-and-so” for over twenty years.” I would think, wow, that’s a long time. Now to realize I’ve known friends for twice that long really makes me aware of the passage of time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was a wonderful time away, and yes, a good way to lift my spirits. I really appreciated that full sense of a change of scenery, too, not to mention a break from the mundane of day to day. Thanks for your kind words on the Alys/Carmen postcard. I think it’s my favorite too.

      Like

  3. Glad you had such a fun get away – it’s always nice to have a change of scenery when you are feeling low. I haven’t been to the Rockies for over 30 years, but I know they are beautiful. And, how fun to catch up with your friend – FB is good for that. I’ve had that happen a couple of times that I posted where I was and someone from my past wanted to meet up. Home is great too, lovely postcards!

    Like

    • Thank you, Karen. I’m glad to read that you’ve had similar experiences connecting with friends as you travel. It’s pretty special. Facebook certainly has its foibles, but there are a lot of positives too. You would love the hiking opportunities in Colorado, but that altitude sure took some getting used to.

      Like

  4. What an enchanting place and what looks like a lovely relaxed Wedding day. It is always nice to meet people again from your past for a catch up. I love the picture of you in 1977 – you have hardly changed – just shorter hair. x

    Like

    • Enchanting is a lovely way to say it. The fresh air, open spaces, majestic mountains and clear skies all make for a relaxing time. The rain was such a treat for me, too, as we’re dry for months in the summer in San Jose, and the smog settles into the valley as well. Thank you for saying that I’ve hardly changed. It feels like a lifetime ago.

      Like

    • Oh my gosh, yes! You are correct. It’s such a charming little place. I love all the wood detailing from hotels of old. It would probably cost a fortune to do that now. I think I remember a sushi place, too. My goodness. I love our small world.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like a wonderful trip Alys! The Rocky Mountains must be beautiful, and a visit to a botanic garden is always a nice way to spend a day. Cooler weather was no doubt refreshing too! Have a great weekend. 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you, Cathy. I have no doubt that you would love the Denver Botanic Garden. I think it may be my favorite, if not in the top three. (A friend reminded me of Butchart Gardens and admittedly that is hard to beat). Still. The cooler weather was a treat. We even borrowed an umbrella from the hotel lobby for several of our jaunts, a welcome refreshing rain for this San Jose gal.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There’s nothing like a wedding to raise the spirits, especially in surroundings like that. I’m so glad you had a great trip and that all was well when you got home. Travel is very refreshing to the spirit, but coming home is the best 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great time, Alys! I have pictures of a friend sitting on one of those wall by the roadside overlook being over-run with chipmunks! She was laughing, but not happy! I loved the Denver Botanical gardens. They were fabulous. When I was there, there was a Chihuly installation. It was amazing and then we ate there, too and it was nice. So glad you had some respite from heat, a good time, and came home to a well-kept house!

    Like

    • Lisa, I’m delighted to read that you’ve also been to the gardens. They’re spectacular, and invite a return visit for sure. The Chihuly installation is still there. Was it going in on your visit? All of his work is spectacular. It was my favorite piece of art there. Ironically, there are several art pieces in bright blue near the ponds and they seemed to take away from, rather then enhance the gardens. The stone sculptures were more to my liking.

      I’m laughing at your chipmunk story. We were standing at the sign reading the literature when one popped its head over the wall. I followed one around with my camera for a bit, too. They’re so cute.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When I was there, at the ponds, there was a boat full of blue spheres in the pond, as well as some tall thin pieces that mimicked lotuses when they dry out. I did like a lot of the sculptures and I was surprised what they could nurture there. It’s always fascinating to me to see the flora of a different climate and recognize things that wouldn’t be there if someone hadn’t brought them. I think the Chihuly was new the year I was there. There are a lot of garden installations now, which fits well since his things are so organic.

        Like

        • I agree, Lisa, it is fun seeing the different flora and how good things can look with the perfect growing conditions, not to mention unerring attention from all the gardeners. I did spot two kinds of rabbits, though, a squirrel and some nasty beetles. It makes me realize that we can only do our best, and the rest is up to nature (and us trying NOT to mess with the natural balance of things).

          Liked by 1 person

  8. What a lovely break, Alys. And how fantastic that you could catch up with your friend Carmen as well!

    I do so love shots of inside hotels as much as flowers and people dresses in wedding attire. It’s great for getting perspectives.

    I’m glad you were able to appreciate time away from home while the boys looked after the house.

    Like

  9. There is nothing better than a little romantic getaway before going back to the real world. Weddings can inspire old married couples to keep the sparks alive. You two seem to know that so well. I lived in Colorado Springs as a small child and loved it and have been to Boulder and Denver in recent years. It is quite beautiful there. I have not seen the Botanical Gardens but your photos bring it to my door. Thank you for sharing them. Loved the kilted wedding too. How fun it must have been. Meeting friends from long ago must be so heartwarming. All great bonuses to a trip that ends coming home to find that all has gone well in your absence. 🙂 I’m behind too and will start catching up next week.

    Like

  10. Hi Alys, You were up in my stomping grounds whilst I was away in Hawaii, again!! This time I took my husband we met some dear friends we haven’t seen for a very long time. It was wonderful but it is soooo hard for me to leave my sweet beautiful daughter there and return to real life. I just keep her and her husband in my prayers and and try not to worry. I love the parts of CO you got to visit. I used to ski Winter Park when I was young. My sister and I would go there. It is lovely summer and winter. What a great wedding. So glad you got to the Botanic Garden. It is wonderful. Next time you must get in a visit to C. Springs. There is soooo much to see there. But I digress. Glad the boys held the fort down while you were away. We had a young man stay with our sweet doggie and take care of our house while we were away. He di a great job and except for the fact that the dog and plants were alive I could hardly tell he had been here. Hope you have a great end to your summer and your fall is cool and exciting with a senior and all that that entails. Thinking of you fondly.

    Like

    • Amy, what a treat to find this newsy comment from you. I’m glad your husband was able to travel with you this time. It’s hard to imagine anyone missing the chance to visit Hawaii, most especially with their lovely daughter on the island. I’m glad you had a good time away, and also sorry she lives so far away. My goodness that must be hard.

      Amy, I’m just tickled to hear that you skied at Winter Park. What a small world. That place is amazing. So my friend Carmen, mentioned in this post, lives in Colorado Springs! I’m sure we’ll go back as there is so much to explore. It’s beautiful. It’s good to know that your house sitter was aces in all categories. Having someone at home that can take good care of our animals makes all the difference in the world.

      Like

  11. There were so many heartwarming smiles as I read about your special trip, Alys! Claire and Jame’s wedding sounded just lovely! What a perfect setting to begin this happy, new chapter in life! I would love to visit the Botanic Garden. Mike chose a grand hotel in Boulder. It definitely looks like my kind of place, filled with charm around every corner! I’ve never been to Colorado, so I am grateful for your special travel memories, Alys! 💗
    P.S. Hope Senior year is off to a good start. It’s sure to be a busy one!

    Like

  12. Today is the day to escape the outside world and visit WordPress! I knew you’d gone to Colorado and I love getting more details. What a fabulous getaway! The beauty, the exploring, the reunion with friends, the time with Mike. Perfect! ❤

    Like

Please join the conversation by leaving a comment, below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s