Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hungry Bear

Hello from Colorado Springs & Pikes Peak! (Yes, that is Pike's Peak in the background of this picture below.)

We decided to take our first Colorado camping trip together to Colorado Springs last weekend. We pulled up to the campground, found our campsite, set up, and decided to drive to get some wood. On our way out, I needed to stop and drop something off at the trash and discovered that the dumpster doors weighed more than I did! With frustrations of almost loosing my fingers in the door I got back in the truck and said, "Those doors are heavy!" Scott's response was, "Well they are bear doors... to keep the bears out." From that point, all of my concentration went to what my reaction would be if I came face to face with a bear. Thinking, hoping and praying we wouldn't see one...

Still having the bear in the back of my mind, we settled in, cracked open a beer and sat by the fireside for the rest of the evening.

After our fireside chat ended, we climbed in our little house for the weekend and went to sleep. Hours later I was awoken with a nudge from Scott asking if I was cold and within seconds we both be became silent! We realized something outside of the camper was making more noise than we were. We heard a bunch of banging around...wrappers opening...the sound of what seemed like someone slurping an ice cream cone... and then saw a bright flashlight being shined our way from the campers next door. Laying completely still and freaking out all at the same time Scott hit the alarm button for his truck in all hopes that whatever was outside our camper would be frightened enough to run. He thought wrong!

Turns out a hungry bear stopped by our camper that evening, found his way to our cooler sitting in the back of Scott's truck and helped himself to everything inside. He ate chip dip, butter, chocolate chips, lunch meat, cheese, milk, half a dozen eggs, and my orange juice. Oh and did i mention he broke the cooler too. They may be childproof, but certainly not bear proof.

All he left were the wrappers! If anything, I hope left with a belly ache! Our neighbors told us later that the bear stopped by their tent first, but when he didn't find food there, he walked towards ours. Since the bear didn't jump at the sound of Scott's car alarm, our nice neighbor got in his car and drove around the campground three times until the bear got spooked enough to run away. Let me just tell you, I will be taking bear spray and an air horn on my next camping trip!

This Colorado camping a little different than camping in Pennsylvania. A chipmunk was the most intimidating animal we come across there, and here... well it's a whole new experience.

In my next blog, I will share with you the rest of our journeys in Colorado Springs (Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods and the United States Air Force Academy). Come back soon! Until then, be good and smile. OJ!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Green Day vs. Lake Day

Rock on...From a stage in Denver!

This is a picture of Green Day performing at the Pepsi Center in Denver two weeks ago. If you know Scott or if you have ever been to the Belmar on a Friday night during Karaoke, then you will understand the excitement level this kid had before the concert.

This was in the middle of the show... and of course Scott was rockin' out! Singing Basketcase, I am sure :)

Did I mention how much I actually enjoyed this show too?! It probably makes my top 3 list of concerts that I have ever been too. They had a set list of over 2 hours and for their encore they sang 6 songs! That's one hell of a concert and probably the longest encore I have ever heard. Plus hanging out with proud idiotic punk kid-grownups can be an entertaining evening in itself.

Prior to the concert we hung out in downtown Denver and found ourselves sipping on some Starbucks and walking around Confluence Park.

Pretty little place, huh?!

So after all this Green Day fun, we had made arrangements with Scott's Brother and Arica to head to Barr Lake the following day and do a little fishing. Well the fishing part didn't work out so well, but we still enjoyed the day. Number one we couldn't find a spot for all of us to fish without casting our lines on top of each other. Number two when we did find a place... weeds and lake plants were surrounding our shoreline! (which we later found out, our bait seemed to love those weeds!)

This is where we set up shop, but as you will see in the following picture, I think Scott spent more time in the water untangling our lines, than he did casting his own. Arica's brother, I don't think, could have put it any better. When I asked him, why he didn't seem to be tangling his line or catching weeds, like Arica and I were. He responded, "Well I was smart and didn't bring a girl!" Let's just say Arica and i didn't have the best of luck with fishing that day.

This was Arica... catching Scott!

Those silly waders came in handy. You're always thinking Scooter!

The day turned out to be rather fun, with a small cookout, a few games of washers and ending it with chocolate cake at Buffalo Wild Wings! Yummy. We are going Boyd Lake next time, DAVE... where there's actually fish.

Until next time, be good and smile. Come back soon though, I have to fill you in on our weekend to Colorado Springs and our late night bear attack :) oJ.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Land of Punks

Well hello there... from the home of the Bronco's (Invesco Field at Mile High- Denver, CO).

Since Scott suffered through Taylor Swift with me, I decided I could "play punk" for a day and attend Warped Tour with him. For those of you who don't know what Warped Tour's a touring music festival that started out as a showcase for punk rock music, but in its more recent line-ups have featured a diversity of genres. Also a place where you can find skinny jeans, converse shoes, pink hair, Mohawks, black eye liner on both sexes, shutter shades, and florescent colors. I don't judge, I'm just jealous :)

This event took place in the parking lot of Invesco field, where there were 7 stages; vendors selling sunglasses, clothing, and shoes; Miller Lite booths; and hundreds of people - of all ages - dressed in their best punk outfit. Think we fit in?

Our drinking began at 12 noon and continued on throughout the day. We were close to mosh pits, got pushed around in circles, lost flip-flops, jumped around like we were crazy, jammed to songs we had never heard, and in the end found a few good bands. One of the bands we discovered that day is called Valencia. They are a pop-punk band out of Philadelphia, PA! After the show we went to their booth to buy a CD and found out one of the band member's is actually from little ol' Altoona, PA. After a few "No-Way's" and "Nu-uh's" were shared, I had to have a picture with him. He may be famous one day kids! So here he is...

Overall, Warped Tour was a fun, but very long day. Singing, dancing, standing around, and drinking in the sun all day can wear the body out. Although, for anyone who is interested in playing punk for a day (aside from Halloween), that's the place to go!

Warped Tour 2009

Random Thought of the Day:

So you know that saying, "You learn something new everyday." Well do you want to hear what i learned today? I'm going to share it with you whether you want to listen or not. For my mid-morning snack today I decided to eat the cucumber that Scott's dad gave me from his garden. So as I am slicing, I decided I would share my snack with Scott's fish. (He claims fish enjoy eating cucumbers?!) I walk to the tank, dropped three slices in and then stepped back to look for the pieces I had just dropped. Well they were no where in site! Thinking to myself, there is NO way they ate them already...I bent down to look at the top of the tank and sure enough they were floating at the top! CUCUMBERS float! Who would have thought. Guess I never had a reason to wonder if they did or not, but now I know (and so do you).

Oh and I also learned something else. I don't think Scott's fish like me. I put my pretty face up to the tank and smiled and them, but they swam away and didn't smile back. Last time they get cucumbers from me!

Talk to you soon. Until then be good and smile. OJuice*

Monday, August 17, 2009

He's a Big Boy

Hello people.

Scott is not only learning to put the seat down, but he is also growing up in other ways too. It was time to trade his one true love...the Ford Explorer and upgrade to a Ford F150! What a big boy.

Although, I've learned it's like driving a bus, so I am going to stick to my little matchbox car, that could probably fit in the bed of his truck. This truck now gets all of Scott's attention. One of the other reasons I need to find friends.

And while he was signing the next few years of his life away on his truck, a great big storm headed our way.

My first Colorado, possibly ever, hail storm. Check out those white things under the tree... they are either miniture golf balls or really really big Dippin Dots! Here is a better picture up close...

Nuts huh, well at least I thought so. Scott's mom, I think, thought I was crazy. She was more concerned about the amount of hail entering through the sunroof of her car (that she accidently left open)... and I was more concerned with taking pictures of it.

Just thought I'd share. Until next time be good and smile. Oh and I promise to have a random thought next time too.

Round 'em Up

Heehaw, from the Larimer County Fair & Rodeo!
Woo and do you see who one of the proud sponsors are... Bud Light! That's right, for all you Miller Lite drinkers. Anyways, this was my FIRST ever rodeo. Arica (Dave's Girlfriend) was nice enough to surprise Dave with tickets and also invite Scott and I. What a surprise, having us tag along!
Arica couldn't believe this was my first Rodeo. However, while she grew up watching -LIVE- Rodeos from the stands in Colorado... I grew up watching from the television at my grandparents house in Pennsylvania. So seeing one live, brought back memories of watching the cowboys getting bucked from the bulls and having my grandfather cheering loudly in the background. Therefore i had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into.

Let's just say when you walk in it smells like you're at the Circus, but have no fear, after a few beers, that smell basically becomes like perfume to you.
So here's the start of it... getting ready to open the gate and unleash the horses and cowboys for 8 seconds at a time. Considering my senses were heightened with excitement, I had several questions about the event. What is considered a good score? What are the cowboys who ride called? How often do they have to perform at a County Fair, before they can go to the big shows? Do these people make money? ...oh and so much more. And of course, Scott looked at me and was like, "You really think I know this stuff, you need to ask the expert, Arica!"

So this is some of what I learned:

1. A good score is anything above 80.

2. The cowboys are called "Bull Riders" (DUH! Should have guessed, it just seemed to easy)

3. The objective is to accumulate points. Each rider and each bull are given a certain amount of points and you have to have so many points in order to qualify for the "big shows." Once you qualify, then you have an opportunity of being selected. (Did i get that right, Arica?)

4. The only way you make money is if you place in your event. In most cases, you need to place first and the only bill they give you is one with President Grant's beautiful face ($50). Now let me ask, is that worth every one of the 8 seconds of getting bucked around on a bull, possibly falling off, the chance of getting trampled on in addition to that, AND having that death-like feeling the next day?! I think.......NOT! Although, it is quite entertaining!

This may be hard to see, considering the size, but this is a picture of the "One Arm Bandit" and his other participating "characters." The "one arm bandit" is standing on his horse, and behind him are two buffalo. Now, looking from the outside, this may not be that fascinating; however, these buffalo were trained to jump from the center of the arena, to the bed of that truck, up the path on top of the trailer, and walk the length of it as if they were super models. Actually they are a little more super than any model I have ever seen. I'll tell you, that was pretty impressive!Guess buffalo's have bigger brains than we thought.

Here is the three of us (and my double chin) sitting in the stands watching the various events... bull riding, barrel races, roping the steer... oh and how could I forget the calf scramble. Just wait until you hear what this is! They unleash 7 calves and 14 kids to run around and chase them. Whoever catches a calf gets to keep it and raise it! Don't worry I'm signing up next year. That pet dog Scott's been wanting, well his dreams are coming true, only with a baby cow instead. Com'on Scott, I know how much you love cows! :) Just imagine all the milk we'd have. Really though, you should have seen these kids running around trying to rope these calves. Just imagine an ATM spitting out free money and everyone racing to grab the money... it was the same idea, just replace the money with calves and the people with children. That's better than any Saturday night entertainment I've seen... and I got to see it live.

Now you can't have a rodeo without meeting the stars afterwards. So we went to the buildings that house all of the livestock during the weeks of the fair. The first picture is the crew looking at the sheep, the second is me petting the sheep, and the last is Scott with his girlfriend... oops i mean cow. I see a resemblance, do you?

For all you city folks back in central PA, I figured I'd share some of the animals you don't get to see everyday. Can't find them at the circus or the zoo, but I figured you would enjoy them. My first friend is an Alpaca, strange looking, huh. My second and favorite pal, is a duck! I sure do love ducks and the third is my boyfriend... Scott ate too much bacon and look what he turned into! A PIG!
Until next time, be good and smile. I'm going to kiss the pig and see what he turns into... maybe a ham... or if I'm lucky a Loveland Prince. OJ.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Idaho Springs is Not in Idaho

In continuation from my blog below... our day didn't end with the adventure of sled riding. While driving home, we had to drive through a city named, Idaho Springs, and as my title states, it's not in Idaho ;) Scott didn't seem to have enough adventure for the day, so he figured it would be a good idea to tour an old gold mine.

This Argo Gold Mill opened on April 1, 1913 as one of the largest and most modern custom mills in Colorado. It was designed to concentrate precious metals from the diverse ores of Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties. Most of this ore was brought to the Argo through the world famous NEWHOUSE TUNNEL. This tunnel is 4.16 miles long and goes all the way to Central City. Seriously, that's a long tunnel, when you consider the manual labor it took to dig out and blow through a mountain back then. Certainly, not how it would be today. I think, if i remember correctly... on average they only drilled through 8 feet a day...and it took them 17 years to complete!

Just as I am probably boring you with this blog, imagine the educational class that we had to sit through, before we could run around the Mill. Consider yourself lucky, that you are getting the short version :) Now take a look at those cool hard hats! This was taken in the Double Eagle Mine, and yes, they recommend you wear the hardhat, we didn't do it by choice.

Norfolk Southern at its finest, right here!!! Check out these old rail cars. Of course, Scott had to be better than me and actually sit inside. Too bad he didn't tip over, because they were not very sturdy!

Here is a picture of the main tunnel (the 4.16 mile long one I mentioned earlier). However, it has since been closed off since the disastrous flood of 1943. A powder blast released an underground body of water into the tunnel, and actually killed 4 miners that day. Although it was still interesting to see the entrance and the water that still flows from it.

And the last picture that I am going to share with you on this educational blog is the inside of the actual mill. Imagine working in there in the early 1900's with the deafening sounds of crushing and grinding machines, the continuous movement and spillage of liquids and solids conveyed overhead through chutes and troughs, and the excitement of the men working who were pursuing the earth's most eagerly sought treasure....GOLD! The tour guy actually said the machines in the mill could drown out the sound of Niagara Falls! That's freaking loud.

Well I apologize about the educational lesson, probably not as entertaining as some of my other blogs, but sometimes it's nice to learn something new everyday. Hope you enjoyed! I'll be back soon to write about my first time at a RODEO! Until then (which should be soon), be good and smile. oJ!

There is NO Top!

Hi there! For those of you who have facebook, possibly noticed my status that I was sled riding on the first day of August. True story, as you can see from the pictures above.

When we decided on Saturday morning that we wanted to go on a hike, Scott suggested St. Mary's Glacier. This is approximately a 1.5 mile hike to the top of a snowfield. It gets snowfall year round and although skiers and boarders can enjoy the fun, I enjoyed it just as much by sledding. Believe it or not we actually put a sled in the trunk before we left, but when I realized I would have to carry it to the top, I decided against it. My raincoat did the job just fine!

To be honest, I wasn't really too sure what to expect, but luckily Scott had brought his hiking poles, because there was no way I was making it to the top without sharing one pool. Walking on snow is hard enough, let alone walking up a glacier covered in snow. If you ask Scott, I technically didn't even make it to the top. I think I started whining half way, when I couldn't catch my breath due to the high altitude and when my legs had had enough. Scott was several steps ahead of me, when I yelled, "There is NO TOP!" ...and I was serious! I was about to give up and then I realized Scott didn't seem to care about my whiny attitude, so I carried on. I made it to where the snow ended, whereas Scott walked to the top of the hill. (The picture of him with the caption that says, "there is no top.")

We walked half way back down and noticed a few folks looking towards the top of the glacier. Considering Scott is usually the one with an "eye" for spotting wild life, he had to ask what they were looking at. Sure enough, they had spotted a Mountain Lion and her cubs. Seeing a Mountain Lion is a rare occurrence out here, so it can be a pretty amazing, or rather frightening experience (depending how you look at it), to see. Unfortunately, we missed them. Maybe next time!

Then, after watching two snowboarders build a jump before their run, I decided it was time to act like a kid again and slide on my butt the rest of the way down...and that is exactly what I did. I had snow in my shoes, down my pants, and all over my raincoat but it was worth every second of it! My underwear dried a few hours later, don't worry. Actually, it may have been sooner than that, considering the temperature that day, which was probably 70 degrees at least. How that snow doesn't melt up there, I'll never know.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

More of My Life

Hiya, from my little apartment many miles away.

I have a few things to catch you up on. Number one, the replay of the 4th of July fireworks was actually a pretty good show. Unfortunately, it rained again throughout the game, but we spent the second half at the indoor bar. Of course, that is our solution to everything... the BAR! Prior to going to the bar though, I noticed one of the several mascots, walking through the stands. Anyone who knows me, wouldn't be surprised that I ran to him hoping to get my picture taken. Well, I got more than my picture taken, he actually picked me up in his arms and craddled me like a baby.

This was after he realized he wasn't strong enough to hold me and had to sit in the bleachers before he dropped me. Franz the Fox... we had to take a normal photo after that unexpectedness!

Here is us awaiting the firework show at the end! I am kissing the air and Scott, well I think he is looking behind the camera at the beginning of the firework show.

Number two, this past weekend was the first full weekend we spent in Colorado together in a few weeks. Trying to figure out something to do on Friday night, we decided to check out the night-scene in downtown Loveland. We drove aimlessly around the block and decided to stop in at Scotty O'Brians (SOB's). According to their website they call themselves: "A little bit dive, a little bit neighborhood barfly rookery, and a little bit hipster helipad." If anyone can define that for me, be my guest! However, we walked to a bar full of people (not our age), and a narrow walkway full of tables that were already taken. We ordered a beer and I looked at Scott and said, "Want to try the next bar after this beer?" Hoping we could find some people our age.

Shortly after my comment, two gentlemen sitting at the table closest to us called us over, asking where we were from. They knew we were new to the place and since I am not a local, my recent move to Colorado quickly began conversation. Two hours later we were still at the bar doing shots of Polish Brandy with these guys. Turns out they have been in Northern Colorado for years and became locals at SOB's.

In my drunken stupor, I actually texted my dear friend Jenna and told her I was out drinking with locals and the next day she asked me if I was going to hang out with them again. Needless to say I forgot to tell her that they were in their late 50's early 60's! That's okay though, at least we found some friendly faces to talk to on a Friday night. Otherwise, we could have been bar- hopping all night trying to find friends. And yes, I asked them for a picture, just so I could add it to my blog. I figured you guys get tired of looking at pictures of only Scott and I.

Random Thought for the Day: Scott won a ping pong tournament today at work (they work hard, huh). The winner received a $20 gift card to the Home Depot. While still at work, he sends me an email and says, "I won you 20 bucks to the Home Depot." Should I let him keep the gift certificate or take it and buy myself more purple orchids? :)

Stay tuned for my next blog, it should be out soon. In it, I will tell you about my first experience sled riding in August! Until then, be good and smile. oJ.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fearless <3

Howdy! A grand welcome from Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Scott and I drove to Cheyenne last Thursday to stand in the rowdy stands, full of teenagers and their moms, for the Taylor Swift concert. Cheyenne is North of Ft. Collins and is only an hour drive from Loveland. Little did I know how flat and desolate the entrance into Wyoming would be, although, Scott said driving through Kansas is worse!

We arrived downtown and ate at an awesome little bar. I forgot to take a picture, but imagine everyone dressed in cowboy boots and hats! This is the normal dress for Wyomians (is that even a word?). It was a neat experience and reminded me of past times with my grandfather.

The concert took place at the Rodeo, where the Cheyenne Frontier Day’s (CFD) were going on. In case you east coast people don't know what that means... well it's the world-famous annual celebration of the American West.

At the park entrance we found tent after tent, wagon after wagon, tepee after tepee full of western goods… cowboy hats, belt buckles, boots… I felt like I was living the Oregon Trail! The first thing on our agenda was buying a beer, of course, and finding our gate entrance. We walked to the top of the bleachers, where our seats were and looked down upon the stage. See what we saw… below….
Tour buses, a small stage... and LOTS OF PEOPLE.

Kellie Pickler opened for Taylor and actually had a great opening act.

The Taylor Swift Fearless Tour sold more tickets than any other female artist that has ever played at the CFD's. That’s one hell of an accomplishment for a girl who hasn’t even graduated high school yet. Remind me to reevaluate my own personal goals in life! Compared to her, I feel as if I have accomplished… mmm… nothing! Haha.

Anyways, I enjoyed my time cheering and singing along with all of the teeny boppers. Scott drank several “Bud Heavy” beers, wishing the whole time that we were at a concert with people who were old enough to swear, but I think he secretly enjoyed every second of Taylor’s performance. (:

Here is a picture of Taylor herself...and if I can ever figure out a way to reformat my videos, I will post a video from her performance.

I would like to make it back to the CFD next year and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fair-like atmospheres. They have everything a fair has to offer: Ferris wheels, endless funnel cake, cold brews, corn dogs, candy apples, ice cream, concerts, and so much more all in the western atmosphere with cowboys, cowgirls & the Rodeo! Maybe some of you can join us next year.

Until next time, be good and smile. OJ.
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