Shari and I drove up to the Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday. We wanted to see the gorgeous yellow and red aspen leaves that invariably appear around this time. Our initial plan was to drive through the entire park but we had to be flexible when we learned upon our arrival that Trail Ridge Road was closed due to weather. I felt bummed because we had gone to the Grand Lake side first this year so that we could end our day in Estes Park but since the road was closed, we had to return home the way we had come. Shari had a great attitude about it and we’ll just go to Estes Park some other time. We still had a really enjoyable day even with the change in plans.
Because the road was closed, it allowed us to stop at two short trails and hike around a bit. We wouldn’t have done that otherwise so it was a treat in its own way. Afterward, we went to Grand Lake Lodge so I could show Shari the view of the town of Grand Lake and the two lakes. I made her swing on the porch swing and the bench swing inside the lodge as one must do when visiting this cherished establishment. We warmed up a bit by the fire inside the lodge before heading back into Grand Lake. You know we got caramel apples and then ate our packed lunch at the lake. The weather held out for us just long enough to finish eating before it started raining. I had hoped that we would be able to go to Adam’s Falls but that will have to be saved for another time.
Besides that lovely day, last week was filled with going to dinner with a friend on Monday and going to dinner with Elisabeth on Thursday. Elisabeth and I are celebrating 15 years of being friends, can you believe it? It was such a joy for me to get to have dinner with her as a way to celebrate, reminisce a tiny bit, and connect. Now that we don’t live together I have to remember to be way more intentional about hanging out with her. I think it will allow us to appreciate one another even more. As Elisabeth said at the end of our meal, “here’s to another 15 years!”.
On Friday, Shari hosted me and four of our friends for a movie showing of Hocus Pocus #2. We made chili and everyone else brought sides and desserts. It was such a pleasant evening and more and more often I have to say to myself, how privileged I am to have such fun, interesting, and great friends. I’ve worked hard to build my friend base over the past three years and now I can reap the benefits.
Today I went to another friend’s home to learn how to make relish. It was a lot of fun and now I have two jars of savory relish to munch on. Might have to figure out ways to eat it besides putting it on hot dogs. Anyone have any ideas? Today was really useful because I got to ask questions about canning since I’ve been interested in it (and have made my own jam multiple times) but always felt intimidated regarding sealing jars. It’s not nearly as scary as I thought and I feel like I can do it now. I will need to buy a larger pot at some point but I’ll get there when I get there. I look forward to making more strawberry jam next summer and maybe I’ll branch out and try my hand at apricot jam or something! Perhaps I’ll give making my own applesauce a go to, who knows, I feel like the possibilities are endless, especially with the canning equipment Kaitlin and Kevin gifted me with a year or two ago. My own homemade dilly beans? Yes please!