Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Colorado (without Dr. Quinn & Sully)

Ah, Colorado. One of mom's favorite places (right next to Wales). One week with 34 Girl Scouts and their leaders as mom's assistant. Much nicer than having to worry about 9 girls in Switzerland... I could just drive the girls and adults back and forth and be the somewhat relaxed one!

I've never been to Colorado, but I have fond memories of Wyoming from a teenage Girl Scout riding horses for weeks and weeks. I remember my horses names from those years: Morgan and Freeman! On this trip, I was most interested in horseback riding and hiking. Get the horse fix and the old ticker working.

The Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA is located near Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounded by beautiful mountains. Would mountains be as beautiful if they weren't snow capped? They just look so much more majestic when they are. Mom and I hiked up one little one which kicked our butts, but we made it! Of course, we were not happy when a 75 year old man looked like he was out for a Sunday stroll.

The girls were great fun, especially since I didn't have to discipline them, and they had a gazillion questions all the time about being vegan, travelling, poetry, etc. I looked at the mom of one girl who was a chatterbox and said, "How do you do it?" It was fun watching the girls faun over all the cute boys at the Y. Wierd that some of those guys were my age. Oh, to be a silly teenager. Never again. lol.

Well, it was a great time, and I'm glad I went for mom, the scenery, and the experience.

I think the Hummingbird may be my new favorite bird...
A Maureen photo album would not be complete without a light/lamp post...

I'm still the 13 year old girl who looooooves horses.

Made a walking stick out of a dead aspen tree. Confused them with birch at first.

The bettle infestation has killed so many trees. See all that brown?

The Waterfall Hike.

Blue Columbine

Just a flood of yellow!

And no Maureen photo album would be complete without a few benches...

The fake steer which we all used for our roping lesson. I roped my mother successfully!

Bench, clouds, landscape. I mean, could you resist?


Chair, Bench. Same Difference.

Lake Irene, Rocky Mountation National Park

Doesn't it make you want to go watch the movie?

You wouldn't know it, but lightening is threatening...



Just plain cool.

Cute little chipmunk.

Girls loved to feed these two.

View from the old homestead.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm Sorry, Did You Say This is Milwaukee?

I am guilty of low expectations when it comes to Milwaukee. I mean, I've been looking forward to visiting the art museum and Woodland Pattern, but I still haven't gotten up there. So last weekend I went on my first trip to Milwaukee, which involved spending a lot of time on the Army Reserves base with Amy and Lillian while Brett was off being Mr. In Charge of ALOT of Soldiers. Then, Amy had this brilliant idea of "getting lost" in Milwaukee. Granted, we kept to one small area, but we found ourselves meandering into a beautiful bay with blue clear water (what? on the south end of Lake Michigan?), then ogling mansions, and enjoying a walk along the lake eating french fries. Thank you, Amy! This is my brief photographic homage to Milwaukee!

Know the bride and groom? I have no idea who they are, but look how happy they look. Tugged right on my romantic heartstrings...

As the poet Susan Firer says, Milwaukee Does Strange Things to People. Like leaving you inspired!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Florida Everglades Photos

Not to be deterred by my lack of international travel this year, I am still gallivanting nationally! I just returned from a long weekend in Florida visiting Bill and Cheryl Kampa. Besides the wonderful golfing (I only lost one ball!), pints in the local Irish pub, and poolside relaxing, they took me on a boat trip into the Everglades.

The large airplane engine at the back of the boat started, and the pelicans sat in front just watching us. A woman in the front seat (only 6 seats) said, "Do Pelicans eat people?" She certainly squirmed when we saw the baby alligator! Heading into the Mangrove forest reminded me of my boat trip into Botswana's Okavango Delta back in 2000. This time I wasn't surrounded by papyrus but by Mangrove trees. The weather held out for us (it didn't pour or scald us) as we mad our way through narrow channels and into large open ares. Except for the noise of the engine and the smell of fuel, the trip gave me a little taste of the new--new place, new nature, new experience!

Here are some photos of the raccoons, alligator, pelicans, and Mangrove forest. Enjoy!

Up next: Colorado in late June!