liralen: (Road)
There was very intermittent internet in Winnemucca, NV. So I'm catching up today.

It's funny sitting nearly halfway across the country, still thinking about the water from Crater Lake...

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liralen: (Road)
From Alturas we went north and west and wandered about until we got to Lava Beds National Monument, another of our National Parks stops. There we did some extensive exploring of the lava tubes underground, and then headed to Ashland. There we found our cottage for the next few days, and met up with family and friends for dinner and some time together before heading back to our little home away from home, and there to bed.

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liralen: (Road)
We ate breakfast in our room. John was the early riser, and walked a few feet to the gas station/grocery shop and bought us a half a gallon of milk. So we had cereal, yogurt, fruit, and some of my granola with dried blueberries as well. It was a great breakfast. Jet started up the boiler for his morning tea while John and I walked two blocks up the road to The Roost to get some coffee.

The coffee we found was far better than what we'd gotten the previous morning, and actually better than I've had from various coffee shops.

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liralen: On the road (road)
It's about 1500 miles from Longmont to Ashland, so most of today was just spent getting as far as we could.

We started in Vernal, UT, and headed west across Utah on 40. 191 went south through a canyon, and then 6 got us to I-15, which took us South and got off on 6 further south to Delta. There we picked up US 50, the loneliest highway in the US, and that took us to Eureka, Nevada.

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liralen: On the road (road)
We took off at 8:30 am, after finishing the very last of our packing and the last dregs of the refrigerator. That's always one of those traditions of travel that I've both loathed and taken an odd sort of delight in. The usage of the leftovers in creative ways has always been kind of fun, but the last few meals are always something of a hodgepodge of odd bits and ends. And given that all the Memorial Day weekend and graduation party goodies were being advertised everywhere, it was insult on top of injury.

It was good to finally get out and going. )
liralen: (crane)
We've been in San Diego for our annual visit for Thanksgiving. It's been a little crazy thinking it's been a whole 'nother year. I've also been very absent from these pages.

I think it was mostly because of the habit of keeping private the happenings at UCC Longmont, and it went even further now that I am friends with dozens of very Internet-active men in their teens and twenties. They're all great people, but are very private about their private names, they keep very strictly to their gaming labels, and they've seen what fame can do both bad and good. So they're careful about not giving out private information, and I respect that.

Plus, nearly all of them are in the tldr camp, it seems. So I just don't. Or haven't. *laughs* Don't like being boring, in some ways, but it does seem like I've left the places I used to frequent all the time.

But sometimes I feel like I left my old loyal audience behind... )
liralen: Finch Painting (dandelion)
We woke up when we wanted to wake up, on June 28th, as there wasn't really anything we had to get to, and after the last two early mornings, it was nice to laze in and sleep.

But I did get up eventually, and we'd done a little research the night before about the various breakfast places in town. One seemed a little too posh, relying on "Best Breakfast in Radium" advertising along with lots of types of Eggs Benedict and fancier dishes. There was one that was just around the corner from our hotel, so we went there, instead, and were very glad of our decision.

For the usual pictures... kind of... )
liralen: Finch Painting (teacups)
One June 27th, we came up with a great plan and it worked out really well, and it was a lot like the one that we used to get to the top of the tramway in Jasper. We basically got up early, left the campsite before nearly anyone else had even gotten up out of their tents, and we hit the local bakery before heading up to the parking lot at Lake Louise.

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liralen: Finch Painting (superglue_flake)
... you really can see forever.

If you get high enough.

And we took the fun way up... )
liralen: Finch Painting (sunset)
When we were in Banff, we'd found out that the next two days were going to be cloudy and rainy, so we decided not to be that ambitious on the 25th. Besides, it had be cold enough during the night, that I actually put my stocking cap on for sleeping so that I'd be warm enough. John let me sleep in while he built a fire and made coffee and had his breakfast. So I didn't get up until nearly 10 am, to a beautifully overcast day. *grins*

Cut for pictures... )
liralen: Finch Painting (trees over Jet)
So after our night in Banff, we headed north along the diagonal highway that goes through Banff and Jasper National parks. When we arrived at the park last night, John bought a pass for five nights, and the lady at the booth said that we could add on a night any time we wanted if we needed to do so. The hotel had a hot tub, which we happily used, and then served us a full pancake, bacon, sausage, scrambled egg, and toast breakfast, so we ate our fill.

For pictures and a lot more text.... )
liralen: Finch Painting (David)
So for the last couple of weeks, we've been prepping Jet for his Colorado Music Ambassador's to Europe trip. He's going with Voyager's, a group that solely sets up high school bands, orchestras, and choirs for trips to Europe. Yesterday, we managed to get Jet checked in and off through security with 500 other kids. It was pretty crazy, and took four hours to get through the whole thing....

... and then we packed the Eurovan, got our stuff together, and this morning we headed dead North along I-25. We've just driven from 9am until about 9pm with stops for lunch and dinner, and a few bathroom breaks and gas stops, and we're now in Harlowton, MT at the Country Inn Motel, which is superbly clean and comfortable for only $55 a night for the two of us.

For pictures and pre-run detailing... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
Welcome to my journal. I'm putting this at the top so folks can find things easily. There's so many years worth of stuff on this journal that it's not that easy to find things. I started out just journaling, but then got into writing fiction as well.

The complete list of my stories and a few old adventures as I can index them... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Christmas Me)
It's taken a while, mostly from circumstances beyond my control, which is all right. I only have seven more weeks of being moderator, and I am actually counting the weeks. It's not a pretty reality, but it's what I've got.

Thanksgiving went well. Our trip down to San Diego started in a horizontal snow storm on the way to DIA, 90 degree weather in La Jolla, lots of wonderful food adventures, and then a cooler end to the week there and a trip home to a winter wonderland of snow.

Of San Diego, Advent insanity, and a good movie and a good book... )
liralen: Finch Painting (trees over Jet)
Here's the link list for our 2015 trip to Hood River and the Columbia River Gorge in order to celebrate Isabel Rostykus' 90th birthday. All four brothers did the planning for the whole thing, and the Filley cousins showed up to help celebrate as did several other family friends.

Much of this was written after I got back, as the wireless connection at the rental house wasn't very good for my laptop and the pictures I wanted to upload.

1. May 22: Hood River -- Getting There
2. May 23: Biscuits, Old Highways, and Birthday Shortcake
3. May 24: Maryhill, Trains, Shopping, and Ice Cream
4. May 25: Memorial Day and a Mountain Climb

We went home far too early on the 26th, and it was a great trip and a wonderful way to get together with family.
liralen: Finch Painting (trees over Jet)
Just to have all the links in one place.

This whole trip was because Jet's Jazz band teacher, Dana Clanin, and the teacher of the performance choir, Beth Miller wanted to give their kids the opportunity to go to New York city. Both of them had some contacts there, and they both wanted to introduce the city in the light of the performance arts, to give the kids a taste of what it would be like to be performers in the Big Apple.

They worked with EA Educational Tours to get it all organized, as EA has a lot of experience with developing educational tours for kids, including how to manage them for the whole trip. And John and I got to go as ourselves, not as chaperones, so we could wander as we would and see some of the things we wanted to see, too. And we ended up with one Mr Dick Swarn, Mr. New York City, who was an amazing guide simply because he loved the city so much.

It was a blast.

May 28 -- Getting There
May 29 -- Midtown Manhattan and the Empire State Building
May 30 -- Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts, Hell's Kitchen, the Met, and An American in Paris
May 31 -- Lady Liberty, Wall Street, the Hudson River, 911 Memorial, the Subway, and Dylan's
June 1 -- Radio City Music Hall, Grand Central Station, Strawberry Fields, and The Phantom
June 2 -- Greenwich Village and Getting Home
liralen: Finch Painting (teacups)
It started out rainy, with the fog still visible from the night before, though, in a way, since we were up past midnight the day really 'began' while we were still coming home from Phantom...

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liralen: Finch Painting (flying snow)
Sadly, that night, the fire alarm went off. Three times.

The first time was a good hour long build up of the alarm getting louder and louder and... finally we actually got up and went out into the hallways, and there were firemen in gear, going to find something. There were also people in their pajamas going back to their rooms, as they'd found out, already, that there was no fire. Some of them had been standing outside for most of that time, in the rain.

Then it went off again. This time it was relatively short, and everyone got to find out that it was being caused by a wiring short that was happening because of the rain getting in through one of the fire alarm throw switches on the outside of the building. Nearly everyone had assumed that it was one of the kids, because we were also sharing the entire floor with a summer camp as well as our own. When it went off again at 4am, I just put my pillow over my head, rolled over and went back to sleep. I was so tired, it was easy.

It did make the day a little harder, but I slept like a log for the first week and a half back home, too. I did, however, in the morning, manage to upload the picture of my painting for the challenge, and people highly approved the fact that I was using what I could while traveling.

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liralen: Finch Painting (fire)
The next morning, the bus didn't leave New Jersey.

Instead, Luke took us through Jersey City to the waterfront, and ended up in the huge, mostly empty parking lot, by the State Cruises pier. It was really early Sunday morning, when most normal people sleep in, but the tourists were out and out early. Including, of course, us.

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liralen: Finch Painting (Finch)
This day was an amazingly long day, but worth every bit of it.

It started in Columbus Circle, which is at the southwest corner of Central Park. It's where all distances from New York City are measured by New Yorkers. Right off the plaza was a beautiful mall, also called Columbus Circle and within it was the first of several performance arenas all connected with the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, including the Fredrick P Rose Hall for Jazz. It's a beautiful little venue.

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