Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winter…Colorado Style

I always hate leaving Colorado. It’s where I go to get away from work, school, and other obligations that might stem from my leash (Blackberry and Macbook). I consider myself incommunicado when I’m in “the country”, or on vacation for that matter, although it’s not as strictly observed in cities.

When I was little, we used to go to the beach (Santa Cruz) to get fresh air. Though I live within a mile from the ocean, there is no comparison to fresh, clean, cold, open space, country air. Sadly, it took me about an hour to acclimate to breathing it.

It was -13o when I arrived late Thursday night. (it was 70o when I left San Diego). It’s been eight years since I last visited my family in the Loveland/Ft. Collins area. Thankfully, I relied on memory when packing extra thick face cream and legwarmers. As my plane descended, I could see frost develop on the windows. The dryness here is heavily prevalent, just putting my coat on caused a staticky mess for my hair. Unfortunately, due to the sudden cold snap, snowboarding was out of the question, this California girl isn’t sharp enough to avoid trees when frozen.

“But Desiree, you hate being cold and doing things in the snow.” Yes, but this is not just regular snow. This is primo powder. Because it’s so dry, snow remains as powder even when compressed on the streets, thus no slippery, icy unpleasantness, making leaving the house totally doable.

My aunt and uncle have a big house on Country Road 18 with a huge yard and open areas. (And fantastic views of the Rocky Mountains) Taking advantage of the space, they have three little (for now) cows, one bloodhound, one small horse, and several chickens. I got to bottle feed one of the cows! (Baby animals are so damn cute!)

I lieu of snowboarding with cousin Mitchell and his childhood friend James, we had a snowy blast being pulled and spun behind a four-wheeler in an innertube (and later, a saucer).
I attempted ice skating for the first time. It was fun, in a terrifying way. I was able to get the hang of it and gain some speed, but I spent the whole time tense and trying not to fall. (Notice the risk guards, I can afford to take a little time for vacation, but not to heal!)
The last day was low key; church, breakfast, Cheese Importers, shooting, and dinner at Father Emillio’s house. Cheese Importers is a little French themed market that imports international cheese and allows customers to shop the selection in a huge refrigerated room.

I shot my first rifle on Sunday. It was great, not as loud as I thought (though my ear plugs were probably better the ones I used to use at the range). While I was looking through the scope I kept having flashbacks of A Christmas Story and worrying over “shooting my eye out”. Even though the butt of the rifle was securely nestled in my shoulder, I couldn’t tell how much kickback there would be. We also shot a Smith and Weston handgun. I miss “ladies night” at the shooting range.

Father Emillio (Priest at my aunt’s church) invited us over for dinner because his parents were visiting from Florence, Italy. Now I can say that I’ve had real authentic Italian pizza! We had lasagna, pizza, broccoli, zucchini torta, pepperoni (roasted bell peppers with olives, anchovies, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and bread crumbs.), cheese, and prosciutto. Father Emillio’s mother made Limón cello in Italy, and brought some of the sweet lemony liqueur to the U.S. It’s as potent as whiskey, but has a sugary syrupy initial taste. I drizzled mine over vanilla ice cream, I think it might be my favorite way to eat ice cream.

All in all, I can’t wait to go back, THANK YOU Auntie Winnie, Uncle Steve, Mitchell, Sasha, Anya, Oksanna, and Tiffany!


Olga says:
at: January 16, 2010 at 8:18 PM said...

I've been trying to figure out how to post for so long... and it was only a button away :(
Sounds like you had a great time! Too bad you couldn't go snowboarding. You should look at your schedule for March - I'll be in Colorado Springs 17-21! You should come!!!
Also, I can't believe you've never ice skated before!

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