Monday November 5 & Tuesday November 6 (Election Day)
I’m going to combine a couple of days here so I don’t drag it out forever. No one wants that, most certainly not me.
So on Monday we woke up early, I helped my mother unpack a few things and then we took a drive to Evergreen. It’s a beautiful little town (kinda sorta a suburb, sorta) outside Denver in the mountains down from my hometown. It was nice seeing somewhere I’m very familiar with that has changed so very much from when I was a child.
After that was lunch at Marion’s of the Rockies in Idaho Springs. Huevos rancheros complete with more green chili. This place is definitely a locals place though you will get skiers and the like in. I’m glad they re-opened (closed for a while there) but next time I visit some place new, lots of great selection now.
We then had to slip in time at the local hot springs – the Indian Hot Springs Resort. This place gets bad reviews online and I can see why. The pool is looking narly, the hotel is old (dates to 1905 and acts its age) and it’s not some place that is trying to impress tourists. It’s good for soaking in natural hot springs water and that’s about it. I love this place but it is what it is and shouldn’t be confused with something or somewhere else. Regardless we soaked in an outdoor tub for an hour. If only it was snowing or cold it would have been perfect. Ah well.
After leaving the Resort the original plan was go up to Summit County (Vail, Breckenridge, Silverthorne, etc) so the husband could check out the area but we were exhausted and decided against it. Instead we took a trip to the candy factory, Georgetown Valley Candy Company. Homemade fudge, caramel corn, saltwater taffy, oh yes, love this place! Bought plenty to take home even though they do ship online (and yes, it is totally worth it!!). I took no photos but just click to their website and you’ll see plenty. Put in an order while you are there, I promise you will not regret it!!
Some more errands for my mother and (watching my brother attempt to figure out how to ride his new ATV) it was dinner from Smokin Yard’s BBQ. The owner (owners?) is a local and his sons who my parents have known forever. Regardless just having had the best BBQ in Kansas City the week before I can honestly testify to how great this is. I hated the sauce but the meat itself was fabulous. Not top-notch but definitely very good and a fine substitute. We bought sides (except for the fried pickles which they did a fine job of) at the local grocery store instead. A better choice. A visit with my aunt rounded out the night.
Tuesday morning we bummed around (I helped my mother unpack some more) until it was time to drive to Estes Park, about 2 hours to the north. There are a couple of routes but I decided on the way up we would do the Boulder route. A granola kinda place (full of fruits, nuts and crunchy people). I love Boulder and there is no where else like it.
Estes Park in the valley below.
Anyway the first stop was Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s been nearly 20 years since I was last there, I wanted to see some true natural beauty and I was not disappointed! Right off the bat we spied deer, elk and a number of other animals as well as beautiful views and vistas.
We did hike a bit but once we got too tired we headed over to the Stanley Hotel to check in. They had offered up an awesome Groupon 2 weeks before and we took it. My other choice was go see the Great Sand Dunes, another place I adore. I had to pick one or the other and had been to both but wanted to introduce my husband to them. Next time we do the Dunes (4 hours south of my mom’s). Quick note – you pay for parking unless you stay as a guest.
So we checked in, got cleaned up and decided on dinner at Rock Inn Mountain Tavern based on the Yelp reviews. This place was expensive! We had cheaper 4-Star dinners in Las Vegas! But it was good. In hindsight we should have just ate at the restaurant onsite at the Stanley called Cascades. It would have been the same price or even better and we wouldn’t have had to leave the hotel. Oh well. Next time.
We didn’t stay long and ended up back at the Stanley. One of their channels (42) plays Kubrick’s “The Shining” on a loop 24/7 so we settled in to watch that. I still prefer the 90s mini-series over Kubrick’s. The characters are better and it’s faithful to the book. Less simpering and more sympathy with the downward mental illness spiral. Anyway I then wandered around the grounds a bit taking night photos (including room 217’s door). I really wanted to do a ghost tour but the husband didn’t and doing it by myself is no fun. It’s definitely creepier at night than during the day.
No long after we tuned into the election results (we were staying on Election night and wandering in the wilderness during the day so we could avoid most of it) and then turned in for the night.
Up next…did we see ghosts while there???